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The influence of neurodiversity management on affective commitment and turnover intention: the role of neurodiversity awareness

Muhammad Ali (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Mirit K. Grabarski (Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Canada)
Marzena Baker (Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 26 February 2024




In the wake of labor shortages in the retail industry, there is value in highlighting a business case for employing neurodivergent individuals. Drawing on signaling theory, this study explores whether perceived neurodiversity management (neurodiversity policies and adjustments) helps enhance neurodiversity awareness and affective commitment and whether affective commitment leads to lower turnover intention.


A cursory content analysis of publicly available documents of randomly selected four retail organizations was undertaken, which was followed by an online survey of the Australian retail workforce, leading to 502 responses from supervisors and employees.


The content analysis shows that retail organizations barely acknowledge neurodiversity. The findings of the main study indicate that neurodiversity policies are positively associated with both neurodiversity awareness and affective commitment, while adjustments were positively linked to affective commitment. Moreover, affective commitment was negatively associated with turnover intention. Affective commitment also mediated the negative effects of neurodiversity policies and adjustments on turnover intention.


This study supports, extends and refines signaling theory and social exchange theory. It addresses knowledge gaps about the perceptions of co-workers and supervisors in regard to neurodiversity management. It provides unprecedented evidence for a business case for the positive attitudinal outcomes of neurodiversity policies and adjustments. The findings can help managers manage neurodiversity for positive attitudinal outcomes.



The authors thank the Australian Retailers Association for funding this research and Professor Gary Mortimer from the Queensland University of Technology for leading the research team.


Ali, M., Grabarski, M.K. and Baker, M. (2024), "The influence of neurodiversity management on affective commitment and turnover intention: the role of neurodiversity awareness", Employee Relations, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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