Enhancing Engagement of Employees with Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Leadership

Open Access
Parr, Alissa Denzin
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
September 23, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Sam Hunter, Thesis Advisor
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Thesis Advisor
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • leadership
The focus of this study was to identify leader behaviors, styles, and competencies which elicit successful engagement of employees with ASD, a population which is powerfully emerging into the workplace. The ultimate goal of this effort was to improve the quality of life of employees with ASD by facilitating an environment which can lead to their success. Through a series of interviews with 54 employees with ASD and 15 supervisors managing employees with ASD, results indicated that leadership has a great effect on employee attitudes and performance, the relationship between leadership preferences is quite complex culminating in several important behaviors rather than one superior leadership theory, and performance of employees with ASD is very effective. Implications and future research directions are discussed.