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Paper co-authored by PhD student Deepti Sharma and Prof. Ganesh N Prabhu accepted for publication in Journal of Business Ethics

The paper is titled: ‘Navigating Competency in an Ableist World: The Lived Experiences of Disabled Individuals in Education and the Workplace’

20 December, 2023, Bengaluru: A paper titled, ‘Navigating Competency in an Ableist World: The Lived Experiences of Disabled Individuals in Education and the Workplace’, co-authored by Deepti Sharma, student of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme of IIM Bangalore, Public Policy area, along with Prof. Ganesh N Prabhu, Chairperson and faculty, Strategy area of IIMB, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Ethics, an FT-50 Journal.

Abstract of paper: In this paper, the researchers use the competency labor framework to examine how individuals with disabilities ‘fit in’ their mainstream education and early work contexts. Competency labor is an impression management tactic that regulates one’s perception of competency using cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects to project competence within societal norms and display rules. The researchers draw on longitudinal interview data collected over three years (late 2019 to early 2023) on the lived experiences of eight individuals with disabilities, from their initial encounters with disability as recalled, to their real-time experiences in a top-ranked business school and early work contexts. Despite being seen as less competent in their initial years, they showcased their competence through performance-based counters to ableism and by pivoting on their mind-body differences. The study uncovers the emotional (fear, anxiety) aspects of being perceived as less competent, causing internalized microaggressions. By covering three life phases and transitions, this research illuminates how individuals with disabilities employ competency labor strategies to fit into different ableist contexts over time. The study offers theoretical and practical insights for organizations, suggesting that individuals with disabilities can enhance their on-the-job self-efficacy and be more competitive, without requiring additional accommodations, thus fostering inclusivity in diverse environments.