Sarah Richard, enseignant-chercheur à l’EM Strasbourg, a publié récemment un article dans le volume 125 du Journal of Vocational Behavior.
Cet article est intitulé "Constructing a positive identity as a disabled worker through social comparison: The role of stigma and disability characteristics", et a été écrit en collaboration avec Sophie Hennekam (Audencia Business School).
Drawing on 36 semi-structured in-depth interviews with individuals with a variety of disabilities who are active in the labor force, we examine how such individuals construct positive work-related identities at work. The findings show how disabled workers use downward social comparison as a stigma identity management strategy, to compare themselves with individuals with disabilities that they perceive to be more stigmatizing, and how this affects their ability to construct a positive work-related identity. This perception of stigma is influenced by four disability characteristics: its visibility, severity, controllability and whether the disability needs workplace adaptations. Moreover, a range of contextual factors were identified to impact their capacity to construct a positive work-related identity. The disabled workers in this study tend to compare themselves with other disabled workers with disabilities that are more severe, more visible, less controllable and present more constraints for employers. Interestingly, they use the characteristics of one's disability as resources to construct a positive work-related identity, while those characteristics simultaneously stigmatize them as a social group. However, disabled individuals who cannot engage in downward social comparison are put in a marginalized position and struggle to construct positive social identities.