Market reactions to businesses' actions towards people with disabilities: Making the business case in the international context

Claudia Araceli Hernandez Gonzalez, University of Texas at El Paso


From the business point of view, people with disabilities still suffer discrimination in employment and lack of accessibility as customers. Opposing, as recipients of philanthropic efforts many individuals and firms donate resources to improve the life of people with disabilities. These actions demonstrate how the majority of the population is still fixed in a medical model of disability by trying to repair the person to conform to the social norm, instead of accepting that many disabilities do not undermine other abilities. However, there is little evidence of how these actions impact the financial performance of the organization. This study attempts to show evidence for the business case in three different facets: people with disabilities as employees, as customers, and as recipients of philanthropic efforts. Results show support for the hypotheses of negative abnormal returns for discriminatory practices for the day of the announcement, and the cumulative (-1, 0); and positive abnormal returns for inclusion or accommodation practices for the day following the announcement and the cumulative including the day of the announcement (0, 1). Moreover, an international approach was taken in order to assess differences between countries. Following norm activation theory, in-group collectivism, assertiveness and humane orientation were investigated as factors of differentiation between countries. Results support assertiveness as a predictor in negative events, but not for positive events. In-group collectivism and humane orientation did not produce significant results. Additionally, exploratory analysis of type of disability, type of source and origin of the news, and longitudinal effect was performed showing differences in the type of source and origin of the source.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Management|Labor economics|Labor relations|Organizational behavior

Recommended Citation

Hernandez Gonzalez, Claudia Araceli, "Market reactions to businesses' actions towards people with disabilities: Making the business case in the international context" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3708544.