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Disability inequality and the recruitment process: responding to legal and technological developments

Scholz, Frederike (2017) Disability inequality and the recruitment process: responding to legal and technological developments. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates how recruitment and selection practices impose social barriers for disabled people in the UK labour market. Despite the growing use of online recruitment methods adopted by employers, current literature has neglected the reactions of job applicants to web-based recruitment and selection practices from an equality perspective, in particular the voices and experiences of disabled jobseekers and their unequal access to the Internet. The research foregrounds the concepts of inequality regimes and the ideal worker to show that social barriers and disability discrimination occur within recruitment and selection practices and can result in disability inequality, as well as gender, race or class inequality. This thesis demonstrates that the notion of the ideal worker––in general a masculine notion–– is embedded within society and the labour market, and is formed around ableist norms of ‘ideal qualities and behaviour’ that a worker should have, and which views disabled people as less productive compared to non-disabled people. These implicit ideas about the ideal worker can have a significant, although often unintended, effect on recruitment and selection practices and produce inequalities in organisations. Through 22 qualitative, semi-structured interviews with disabled jobseekers and employment advisors from two disabled people’s organisations that worked with these individuals, and 12 interviews with employers over a one-year period, accounts of disability inequality embedded within traditional and online recruitment and selection practices are studied. This research has been designed around emancipatory principles of disability research and emphasises the importance of the social model of disability for disabled people and the disabled people’s movement in the UK. Likewise, it contributes to theoretical literature on the extended social model of disability to highlight that disability occurs because of social oppression associated with relationships, at both the macro and micro scales, between impaired and non-impaired people. The aim of this study has been to represent as genuinely as possible the needs and voices of disabled people and their organisations in order to challenge social arrangements that lead to disability inequality, in recruitment and selection practices via the Internet.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Disability, Recruitment, Internet, Accessibility, Inequality
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Leeds University Business School
The University of Leeds > Leeds University Business School > Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.755106
Depositing User: Miss Frederike Scholz
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 12:52
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21449

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