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Management research on disabilities: Examining methodological challenges and possible solutions

Providing companies and managers with knowledge about the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace is important since they often face significant obstacles such as discrimination and high unemployment rates. Poor workplace inclusion also has detrimental effects for companies, such as discrimination litigation, untapped personnel resources and missed business opportunities. Yet, empirical research on the topic of disability is extremely limited, especially in top-tier management journals. Although this shortcoming in research has often been mentioned by scholars, few explanations for it have been put forward. I propose that specific methodological challenges for quantitative research in the field are an important contributor to this shortcoming. In this paper, I identify and outline specific challenges through expert interviews, identify underlying issues and provide first suggestions on how to address these. The goal is to help increase the number of high-quality research studies in the organizational sciences and thereby advance our knowledge of the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.