The purpose of this paper is to examine perceptions of inclusion and related factors, to understand how organizations can encourage and facilitate the full participation of employees. The research explored authentic leadership (AL) as an antecedent of inclusion, and two outcomes, organization-based self-esteem (OBSE) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB).
Using an online survey, data were collected from 107 primary and 219 peer participants in various industries throughout the USA. Primary participants provided perceptual ratings on inclusion, AL, OBSE and OCB. Co-workers assessed primary participants’ OCB.
AL was positively related to inclusion (β=0.58, p<0.01) as well as self-rated OCB (β=0.36, p<0.01). Inclusion was positively associated with OBSE (β=0.48, p<0.01) and self-rated OCB (β=0.63, p<0.01). Inclusion mediated the relationship between AL and self-rated OCB. OBSE mediated the relationship between inclusion and self-rated OCB. All analyses controlled for the effects of race and gender.
Results suggest organizations can promote inclusive environments through AL, and that inclusive environments promote employees’ work-related self-esteem and their willingness to go above and beyond in their jobs.
This paper examines previously unstudied relationships, thus contributing to organizational theory and practice.
The authors would like to acknowledge Dr Kumea Shorter-Gooden for her contributions to the first author's dissertation, which served as the basis for this paper and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.
Cottrill, K., Denise Lopez, P. and C. Hoffman, C. (2014), "How authentic leadership and inclusion benefit organizations", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 275-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-05-2012-0041
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