To disclose or not to disclose: Investigating the stigma and stereotypes of autism in the workplace

Open Access
Neely, Jr., Brett Hamilton
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 24, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Sam Hunter, Thesis Advisor
  • Suzanne Scherf, Committee Member
  • Kisha Jones, Committee Member
  • Organizations
  • Disabilities
  • Stereotype
  • Stigma
Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represent a large and growing population that possess a host of skills valuable to many organizations. However, those on the autism spectrum also face unique challenges across the entirety of employment processes, ranging from difficulty in hiring, struggling with socialization, to performance appraisal biases. In light of such unique challenges, this study used the Stereotype Content Theory (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, and Xu, 2002) to examine the perceptions of neurotypical employees about working with individuals with autism. The results suggest that individuals with autism are viewed as being high on the dimension of “warmth”, but low on the dimension of “competence.” Practical and research implications are discussed.