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Neurodiversity of the workforce and digital transformation: The case of inclusion of autistic workers at the workplace

Emmanuelle Walkowiak

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2021, vol. 168, issue C

Abstract: This paper analyses the productive complementarities between the digital transformation, the skills of autistic workers and neurodiversity management. Based on a qualitative approach and interviews with leaders or experts of neurodiversity initiatives, we provide a theoretical framework to analyse the links between the neurodiversity of the workforce and digital transformation at the individual, organisational and industry levels. We identify several ways by which the digital transformation may provide a context favourable to autistic workers. This includes creating new opportunities, valuing their performative abilities, cognitive differences and creativity, removing stereotypes and biases during the recruitment and improving the management of psycho-social risks. Neurodiversity management also contributes to the digital transformation by closing the digital skills shortage, shaping algorithms of artificial intelligence and providing a competitive advantage for innovation. Most importantly, neurodiversity management provides an effective model of inclusion that can mitigate the development of inequalities associated with the digital transformation.

Keywords: Neurodiversity; Inclusion; Digital transformation; Work organisation; Skills; Technological change; Autism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120739

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