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Towards Reconceptualisation: The Contribution of Disabled at the Workplace

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 May 1991



The implications of disabilities, whether already existing at the time of appointment or incurred during the working career, are examined at the macro‐organisational levels – productivity and human resources strategy. It is argued that the extent of physical disability of an individual may be quite independent of his/her contribution to the organisation. Consequently, a diagnostic model was developed which assesses an individual’s Total Productivity Capacity (TPC). The TPC index proposed is a multiplicative function of a disabled worker’s Productivity Potential (PP) at work, assessed by the direct supervisor, and individual Sickness Absence (SA) rate compared with the organisation’s average (SA\sb\(x)): TPC = [1 ‐ (SA\sb\(n) – SA\sb\(x))] x PP. A 2 x 2 matrix, measuring extent of physical handicap and TPC allows grouping of handicapped into four categories: mildly handicapped with low TPC scores, mildly handicapped with high TPC scores; highly handicapped with high TPC scores; highly handicapped with low TPC scores. The utility of this classification scheme is demonstrated through an exploratory study conducted at a production plant for military vehicles where 12 per cent (n= 310) of the workforce were medically defined as disabled. TPC indices were derived for each disabled employee, and for the different plants/shops. Comparison of average TPC scores with incidence of disabilities indicated the independence of these measures, partially validating the proposed diagnostic model. Implications for production planning and differential personnel policies appropriate for disabled employees within the categorisations suggested are elaborated upon.



Gluskinos, U.M. and Popper, M. (1991), "Towards Reconceptualisation: The Contribution of Disabled at the Workplace", Personnel Review, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 11-15.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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