Virtuous Human Centered Organizational Culture The Case of People with Disabilities

Armand Bam and Linda Ronnie


All-embracing communities where humanity, empathy and compassion for all people foster inclusion and value diversity are at the heart of Human Centered Management (HCM) (Lepeley, 2017). Nonetheless, the case of people with disabilities (PWD) related to work is underresearched in management and organizational culture in spite of the evidence that work is a crucial factor in personal development and effective participation in multiple social roles (Holmqvist, 2009).

In effect, PWD confront recurrent difficulties in corporate communities and very restrictive work opportunities compared to most people. Although the practice of exclusion of PWD is not new and has a tradition, new knowledge of human development and the benefit associated with inclusiveness in organizations and societies worldwide deserves special attention as essential values and morals to build a human centered culture in organizations.

Legislation plays a vital role in eliminating discriminatory and unfair employment practices. But deep reliance on laws tend to obscure and overlook the benefits of inclusive and holistic practices, as opposed to legitimate human practices to advance organizational theories (Thomas, 2003). In the last decade, increasing numbers of organizations are embracing local and international initiatives to promote inclusiveness through rights-based approaches to meet legislative imperatives (Araten-Bergman, 2016). But instead of successful outcomes, a declining number of PWD in meaningful employment worldwide (Kalef, Barrera, & Heymann, 2014) demonstrates that the approach is flawed and not meeting expectations.

Aristotelian virtue ethics, as a dynamic theory of business, offer a comprehensive ethical vision able to ensure the development and advance of human centered organizations and inclusive practices (Arjoon, 2000). This theory asserts that, in order to become sustainable in the global VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment of the 21st century, organizations need to adopt and deploy ethical principles such as Universal Design (UD) to promote the inclusion of PWD

(Barclay, Markel, & Yugo, 2012). This chapter discusses how organizations address and promote the development of a human centered and inclusive organizational culture for all employees using virtuous practices to consolidate this vision.

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