Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144937
Title: (Un)Fit for Work: An Exploratory Study on Employers’ Perceptions Towards the Employability of Persons with Mental Illness
Authors: TAN MEI HUI RACHEL
Keywords: perceptions, hiring behaviour, employability, mental illness, organisation, stance
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2018
Citation: TAN MEI HUI RACHEL (2018-04-16). (Un)Fit for Work: An Exploratory Study on Employers’ Perceptions Towards the Employability of Persons with Mental Illness. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Persons with mental illness often encounter difficulties gaining employment due to the social stigma in the job market. Employers' perceptions towards the employability of workers with mental illness play a key role in determining employment outcomes. This thesis sheds light on how the decision to hire, which appears to be a personal, independent choice under the complete autonomy of the employer, can be significantly influenced by social structures and interactions. Studying the hiring experience of 17 employers from different sectors and organisation types, I argue that decisions to hire and work with persons with mental illness are dominated by pressures to conform to the organisation’s stance on such hiring. As a representative of the organisation, hiring employers are compelled to appear legitimate to stakeholders which includes management, current employees and others affected by the organisation’s performance. Thus, unless the organisation’s stance explicitly supports the hiring of persons with mental illness, employers tend to be cautious about the risks of doing so. Nevertheless, there are notable exceptions. Moulded by prior positive experience, a minority of employers are more willing to exercise agency to hire persons with mental illness. This means that perceptions of employability of workers with mental illness are affected in part by subjectivity. Thus, improving employability of potential workers does not depend only on upgrading employee skills. It also depends on whether there are favourable conditions to increase employer willingness to hire persons with mental illness.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144937
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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