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The Three-Legged Stool: Synthesizing and Extending Our Understanding of the Career Advancement Facilitators of Persons With Disabilities in Leadership Positions

Daniel Samosh

Samosh, D. (2021). The Three-Legged Stool: Synthesizing and Extending Our Understanding of the Career Advancement Facilitators of Persons With Disabilities in Leadership Positions. Business & Society60(7), 1773–1810. https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650320907134


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I examine the career advancement facilitators of organizational stakeholders who may be identified as simultaneously “core” and “fringe” in this article, via the insights of 21 leaders with disabilities. To navigate barriers and advance their careers, these leaders benefited from three categories of facilitators, including career self-management strategies, social networks, and organizational and societal factors. Facilitators are synthesized with a metaphor, the three-legged stool, which depicts three foundational pillars that underlie the leaders’ success. Focusing on an understudied element of the social networks pillar, I examine how leaders’ external networks (family, friends, acquaintances, and role models) facilitated their career advancement. Findings point to the role of strong and weak ties in developing leaders’ career self-management strategies as well as their access to core stakeholder positions. Last, contributions, implications, and limitations of this article are discussed.

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