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Exploring organizational inclusion and inclusive leadership in Indian companies

Sunaina Kuknor (Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune, Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Symbiosis International University, Pune, India)
Shubhasheesh Bhattacharya (Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune, Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Symbiosis International University, Pune, India)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 26 August 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2021

763

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how practitioners and policymakers of inclusion perceive inclusion at workplace and define the role and behavior of leaders in fostering inclusion and struggles associated with acceptance and implementation of inclusion initiatives at the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 20 in-depth semi-structured interviews were taken from diversity and inclusion leads, inclusion consultants and human resources experts. Each interview was transcribed and a technique of inductive content analysis was used. Broad themes and several new items emerged that define organizational inclusion and inclusive leadership.

Findings

The paper provides insights on how inclusion is perceived differently by each individual and even though organizations have policies in place, getting them into practice is yet to be accomplished. The paper finds key leadership behaviors to be practiced to foster and sustain inclusion in the workplace. Struggles and outcomes of inclusion are also discussed in the paper.

Practical implications

The study will facilitate creating awareness in practitioners and academicians who think inclusion is mostly concerned with disabled learners, which is misleading. The paper will help the concerned stakeholders to formulate inclusion policies to encourage healthy employee relations and better the organizational outcomes.

Originality/value

India is known to have a rich diverse culture. The paper explores with empirical evidence how this diversity can be leveraged through inclusion to benefit the organization. It adds to the existing body of knowledge on how inclusion and role of a leader are experienced by the employer and employee in Indian companies which is a niche area of research.

Keywords

Citation

Kuknor, S. and Bhattacharya, S. (2021), "Exploring organizational inclusion and inclusive leadership in Indian companies", European Business Review, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 450-464. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-04-2020-0089

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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