Autism in the workforce: A case study

Teresa Ann Grenawalt, Emily A. Brinck, Rachel Friefeld Kesselmayer, Brian N. Phillips, David Geslak, David R. Strauser, Fong Chan, Timothy N. Tansey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a global society experiencing an increasing shortage of qualified workers and the recognition that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be effective employees, there is an uptick in private sector initiatives to address employment needs through the recruitment of workers with ASD. A case study methodology with consensual qualitative research analysis was used to gain a rich understanding of employment of people with ASD at a medium-sized clothier in collaboration with a service provider for people with ASD. Perceptions of implementation and effectiveness were collected. Results suggest the hiring of people with ASD was positively perceived by employees. Components of this success included changes to the physical work environment, diversity training specific to individuals with disabilities, and a company climate of engaging and supporting employees with ASD. This research suggests that the collaborative initiative may prove a meaningful model for other companies interested in employing people with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
StateE-pub ahead of print - Aug 27 2020


  • autism
  • collaboration
  • managing diversity
  • organizational change
  • recruiting and training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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