Employees with Disabilities in Special Employment Centers Perceptions: Similarities and Differences Considering Educational Level
Marina Romeo* and Montserrat Yepes-Baldó
Director of the University Chair, University of Barcelona-Fundación Adecco, Spain
Submission: December 11, 2018;Published: January 11, 2019
*Corresponding author: Marina Romeo, Full professor and Director of the University Chair, University of Barcelona-Fundación Adecco, Spain
How to cite this article: Marina Romeo, Montserrat Yepes-Baldó. Employees with Disabilities in Special Employment Centers Perceptions: Similarities and Differences Considering Educational Level. Glob J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2019; 5(5): 555672. DOI:10.19080/GJIDD.2019.05.555672
It is usually considered that the worker with disability experiences job satisfaction just for having a job. In this context, we analyze the reality of people with disabilities in Special Employment Centers (SEC), given their important role as employers of this group during the years of economic crisis. The degree of satisfaction, motivation, commitment, and perception of employability, according to the educational level, of employees with disabilities is compared. Employees with or without university studies, feel motivated, committed and willing to continue in the SEC where they work, although the levels of satisfaction in relation to their work are moderate. Disabled employees with higher education have a greater perception of employability, either in general company or in another special employment center, contributing to the empowerment of the employees, giving them a perception of competence and self-efficacy.
Keywords: Motivation; Satisfaction; Commitment; Employability; Special Employment Centers; Employees with Higher Education Studies.
The main objective of the present research, elaborated on the framework of the University Chair of Barcelona-Fundación Adecco for the labor inclusion of people with disabilities, was to analyze the reality of people with disabilities in Special Employment Centers (SEC), given their important role as employers of this group during the years of economic crisis.
Different questionnaires evaluating job satisfaction, motivation and organizational commitment were used. All these questionnaires were part of the Human System Audit, developed by Quijano . The questionnaire HSA-SAT was used to measure job satisfaction. This questionnaire analyzes the level of satisfaction with economic retribution, physical conditions in the work environment, job security and stability that the company offers, relationships and colleagues at work; support of superiors; recognition of work well done, and the possibility of learning and personal development at work. The questionnaire uses a 5-points Likert scale (1: very dissatisfied, 5: very satisfied) and has an internal consistency of 0.90 .
To measure motivation, the administered questionnaire was the HSA-MOT, that measures the level of general motivation (3 items) and its antecedent psychological processes (10 items). The psychological processes analyzed are self-efficacy (belief, on the part of the subjects, that they are capable of giving effective answers to the demands of the job), equity (perception of balance
between what the employee receives from the organization and what he or she contributes to it, compared to what others contribute and receive), awareness of results (knowledge of the results obtained from the work), responsibility for results (the employees are aware that the results of their work depend mainly on themselves, and not on chance or other external factors), and the perceived meaning (degree in which the employees conceive that their work is an important activity for the company, recognized by the members of the organization, and whose results have an impact on other people inside or outside the organization). The internal consistency of the general motivation scale measured by Cronbach’s alpha is 0.68 . Its criterion validity, proven through its correlation with the intrinsic work motivation scale  is 0.63 .
To measure organizational commitment, the validated Identification-Commitment Inventory (ICI)  was used. This inventory distinguishes four dimensions of commitment: values commitment (the most intense link between the employees and their organization, based on the congruence between the values of the individual and those of the organization), affective commitment (understood as an emotional link established between the employee and the organization), exchange commitment (link based on the perception of equity between the efforts of or costs for the employee with respect to the remuneration or benefits received), and need commitment (the employee’s relationship is minimal and is determined by the individual’s need to continue
being a member of the organization). The Cronbach’s alpha of the
scale is .94 .
The intention to quit was measured from a single item (“I am
going to look for a new job next year”), and for the perception of
employability a scale was developed ad-hoc in which employees
were asked to assess the possibilities that they consider in order
to find work in another SEC, or in a general company (perception
of external employability), as well as the probabilities of changing
positions within the same organization (perception of internal
employability). Finally, the level of education was measured,
and employees were classified into two groups: with or without
After contacting 20 SEC, we finally received answers from 234
SEC employees in Spain. Results show that both, employees with
university studies and without them, felt motivated, committed
and were willing to continue in the SEC where they were working
although the levels of satisfaction, in relation to their work, were
moderate (Table 1).
High levels of motivation were also reflected in the employees’
perception of being able to give effective answers to the demands
of the job (self-efficacy). In addition, outstanding levels of
knowledge of the results obtained from their work, a marked
sense of responsibility for these, and the perceived importance of
their activity were found. To all this, it should be added that both
groups claim to have a medium-high emotional link with their
organization (affective commitment).
Comparing both groups, significant differences were observed
in the link established by the employees with the organization
based on the perception of balance between what they contribute
(effort, dedication, hours of work, ...) and what they receive
in return (working conditions , salary, hours, ...) (exchange
commitment) (Figure 1), the perception of employability and the
intention to continue forming part of the SEC.
Specifically, people with higher education perceived that they
were more likely to find work in the general market and / or in
another SEC than people with primary or secondary education
levels. In contrast, employees without university studies had
higher levels of exchange commitment than people with higher
education. Regarding the intention to remain in the SEC, the results
indicated that both wished to remain in their companies (scores
below 3 on a scale of 5 points), although there were significant
differences between both groups. Employees without university
studies were those who most wanted to continue working in their
SEC (Figure 2).
This research contributes to the analysis of the perceptions
of employees in Special Employment Centers, given the paucity of
studies concerned about the set of variables that affect the quality
of working life of employees with disabilities. In this sense, our results show that SEC workers feel motivated and committed
affectively with their organization. To these results, we must add
their high awareness and responsibility regarding the results they
obtain with their work and, in addition, the consideration that
the activity they perform is important and recognized by their
colleagues and managers.
Comparing the group of employees with disabilities, with and
without higher education, it is observed that the former has a
higher perception of employability, either in general companies or
in another special employment center. In this sense, a university
degree favors the empowerment of the employees, by giving
them a sense of competence and self-efficacy and enabling them
to perform behaviors aimed at achieving results [6-9]. Hence,
we can affirm that university education contributes to “selfdetermination
and autonomy, so these employees can exercise
more influence in decision making and, in this way, improve their
self-esteem, autonomy and in general, their quality of life” .