Justifying (Non)Discrimination Against Disabled Workers in Emerging Economies: Managerial Choice, Business Versus Moral Case Arguments and Home Versus Host Country Effects

Pauline Dibben, Geoffrey Wood, Gareth Crockett, Nikola Bakalov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

It is widely known that disabled people face discrimination in all walks of life, including employment. Unfortunately, legal protection often does not work as well as hoped, especially in emerging markets. This leads to the core objective of this study: to understand why firms might not discriminate against disabled people. Rather than simply identifying islands of non-discrimination or best practice, we seek to better understand what has made them so and how much this might be replicable, taking account of legal regulation, firm policy and managerial choice. The qualitative findings reveal how non-discrimination is underpinned by an interplay between business and moral case influences and interaction between country of domicile and origin structural effects. Building on transaction cost economics, theoretical insights are afforded on this dynamic process. Although it is often assumed that multinational enterprises infuse best practices from abroad, non-discrimination in most instances followed country of domicile managerial choice, which in turn represented a mix of altruism and expediency. We posit that a lack of direction from headquarters might be because disability rights were assigned a somewhat low priority at central organizational level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-786
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Volume34
Issue number2
Early online date28 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge invaluable editorial feedback and insightful comments from the reviewers. This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) [Grant No. ES/K006452/1]. The authors also acknowledge the support and contributions of the broader project team and the Advisory Board, in addition to those interviewed for the purpose of this research.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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