Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 5: Accessing and understanding autism spectrum conditions in the workplace

Anne Cockayne


Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a condition which legislation places as a disability, yet about which employers have limited understanding. AS individuals experience substantial inequalities in employment outcomes, while it is a condition associated with skills and strengths, a paradox which provides impetus for research. Studies of such hidden conditions are scant, particularly those that explore employer experiences, in the main because AS only becomes visible and open to study once an individual has chosen to disclose their condition to their employing organization. Substantial ontological and epistemological challenges exist for researchers studying AS, in accessing relevant participants within organizations. This chapter shows how a combination of critical realism and social constructionist approaches have been powerful in deepening understanding of AS in the employment context. It suggests how researchers might approach the many avenues for research into AS, considering the role of neurodiverse and neurotypical researchers.

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