Disability, workplace inclusion and organizational citizenship behavior: an exploratory study of the legal profession

May 26, 2023
Researchers: Fitore Hyseni, Douglas Kruse, Lisa Schur, and Peter Blanck
University Affiliate: Syracuse University & Rutgers University
Full Publication: Hyseni, F., Kruse, D., Schur, L. and Blanck, P. (2023), “Disability, workplace inclusion and organizational citizenship behavior: an exploratory study of the legal profession”, Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. doi.org/10.1108/JPEO-10-2022-0017

Many workers with disabilities face cultures of exclusion in the workplace, which can affect their participation in decisions, workplace engagement, job attitudes and performance. The authors explore a key indicator of engagement—perceptions of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)—as it relates to disability and other marginalized identities in the workplace.

Using an online survey, legal professionals answered questions about their workplace experiences. Ordinary least squares (OLS) multivariate regression analysis with progressive adjustment was used to investigate the effect of demographic and organizational factors on perceptions of OCB.

The authors find that employees with disabilities have lower perceptions of OCB, both before and after controlling for other personal and job variables. The disability gap is cut nearly in half, however, when controlling for workplace culture measures of co-worker support and the presence of an effective diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policy. Disability does not appear to interact with gender, race/ethnicity and LGBTQ + status in affecting perceptions of OCB.

The results point to the workplace barriers faced by people with disabilities that affect their perceptions of engagement, and the potential for supportive cultures to change these perceptions.

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