Workforce Diversity in Malaysia: Current and Future Demand of Persons with Disabilities

  • Rosly OthmanEmail author
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 17)


One of the most recent additions to the idea of workforce diversity in Malaysia is the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs). However, such inclusion does not come without any challenges as most employers interviewed are worried about the cost in terms of time, money, and productivity when hiring PWDs. In addition, many employers often had preconceived ideas about PWDs’ abilities and shortcomings. The situation was further aggravated by the fact that most of the employees in these organizations had never worked with PWDs, and they had to learn how to interact with them and how to provide guidance and instruction. Nevertheless, things have started to change over the years, and generally, there is a positive outlook on disability employment. This study used the institutional theory to explore several sets of institutional influences under which employment of PWDs is likely to occur. A total of 36 organizations with diverse profiles were sampled for this study. Although it was difficult to achieve representativeness of the actual Malaysian organizational landscape, most of the eight employment sectors specified in the Malaysian Economic Report 2011/2012 were represented. Eighteen respondents are current employers of PDWs, while the remaining 18 employers did not have any prior experiences in hiring workers with disability. Results indicated that there seems to be a paradigm shift from “selling” to employers of potential PWDs to accommodating the workforce needs of the employers. Both categories of employers agreed that a more constructive approach has been taken by the government and NGOs involved in disability employment to convince employers to hire PWDs. Results also indicated that prior experiences in hiring PWDs as workforce is one of the main catalyst for employment of PWDs. Therefore, a smart partnership between the various stakeholders in disability employment will contribute positively toward the future supply and demand of PWDs workforce in Malaysia.


Corporate Social Responsibility Venture Capitalist Disability Worker Future Demand Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research project was funded by the Research University Grant, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Account No: 1001/PGURU/816047. The contributions of the research team members and also the participants of the study are acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of BusinessUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia

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