Date of Conferral
Keri L. Heitner
CEOs report difficulty finding skilled workers ready to assume leadership roles. The literature lacked effective strategies for individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers to gaining a leadership role. The specific problem was a potential source of skilled employees, individuals with disabilities, struggle to ascend to leadership roles while organizational leaders struggle to gain a competitive edge in developing a diverse base of skilled leadership. The literature lacked effective strategies for individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers to gaining a leadership role. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory single embedded case study was to explore the perceptions of seven leaders with a disability about what barriers they encountered and effective strategies in overcoming such barriers. The research questions pertained to the perceived barriers and effective strategies. The triangulated multiple data sources included interviews, a virtual focus group, and journal notes. The analysis focused on the barriers encountered, the strategies used, and their organizational context. A 6-step thematic analysis model revealed thematic results in five categories: competencies, barriers to ascension, strategies used, workplace accommodations, and workplace culture or climate, with 16 themes aligned with the research questions. HR managers may use the results to develop trainings, mentorships, and other supports for people with disabilities to access the leadership pipeline. The results may contribute to positive social change by providing people with disabilities with effective strategies to advance to leadership positions, gain a better sense of self-determination, higher self-esteem, and a higher level of self-efficacy than other people with disabilites can model and aspire to similar roles.
Hardy, Dawne Marie, "Overcoming Barriers to Ascending to Leadership Roles for People with Disabilities" (2021). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 9951.