Managers’ hiring intentions and the actual hiring of qualified workers with disabilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Overview: The importance of workplace diversity has been recognized as a critical element of organizational success. Persons with disabilities (PWD) may serve as an untapped labor pool. Past research suggests that managers’ intentions to hire PWD are affected by public policy, attitudes, and organizational diversity climate; yet, research also recognizes a discrepancy between managers’ expressed attitudes and intentions and actual hiring. Going beyond prior cross-sectional studies, the present study is the first longitudinal study to explore the relation between managers’ attitudes, intentions, and the actual hiring of PWD by testing a model integrating demand-side factors and the components of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Method: A random sample of HR managers was interviewed at two points in time. A total of 250 managers completed a questionnaire containing TPB measures, as well as organizational characteristics and indicators of diversity climate. Six months later, 146 of these professionals reported on their hiring behaviors. Results: The TPB successfully predicted intentions to hire PWD, but failed to predict actual hiring. Instead, concrete indicators of diversity climate (formal disability hiring policy and disability training) emerged as significant predictors of hiring as measured 6 months later. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1530
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number14
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Discrimination
  • managers’ attitudes
  • organizational diversity climate
  • people with disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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