Sriram Narayanan, Eli Broad College of Business
Peckham, Inc.
When searching for a job, people with disabilities can face significant barriers to getting hired, sometimes due to myths regarding their ability to work efficiently. A number of programs exist to help increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities, but these programs have not examined the barriers within manufacturing processes that may impede persons with disabilities from full productivity. 
Peckham, Inc. is a Lansing-based company that employs a significant number of people who have some sort of disability. Two years ago, Dr. Narayanan teamed up with Peckham to utilize supply chain management methods to research and design an effective workplace environment that is inclusive of people with disabilities while maximizing productivity. 
Much of the research focused on team dynamics in the workplace. Narayanan worked with a team of MBA, supply chain doctoral, and computer engineering students, as well as with Peckham staff, to identify areas of Peckham’s operations where diversity could be increased to improve productivity. The findings of the team were applied to Peckham’s operations and have also been presented broadly within the field to increase workplace opportunities and the quality of such opportunities for employees with disabilities.