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Social Networks and Career Advancement of People With Disabilities

Social Networks and Career Advancement of People With Disabilities

Abstract

Although organizational social networks are known to influence career mobility, the specific direction of this influence is different for diverse employee groups. Diversity in organizational network research has been operationalized on various dimensions such as race and ethnicity, age, religion, education, occupation, and gender. Missing in this stream of research are application and implications of social networks as they influence career advancement of people with disabilities. The objective of this conceptual article is to outline how social network characteristics such as network density, multiplexity, cohesiveness, and homophily influence career advancement of individuals with a disability. The author concludes by proposing that human resource development professionals can engage in structured socialization programs, network audits, focused training, and the creation of an inclusive climate to ensure that social networks do not pose a deterrent to career advancement of minorities such as people with a disability.
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