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Employee reactiveness and inclusive leadership: time to manage emotional diversity

Preeti S. Rawat (HR, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, India)
Shiji Lyndon (HR, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, India)
Manas Ranjan Pradhan (Population Sciences, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India)
Jackson Jose (HR, Marsh India Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India)
Milcah Kollenchira (Change Management, Accenture Technology, Mumbai, India)
Grishma Mehta (Sales,, Mumbai, India)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 16 December 2020

Issue publication date: 19 October 2021




The different perspectives of diversity have until recently ignored emotional diversity primarily because emotions were discounted as “irrational.” To highlight the need for a broader integrative view of emotions in the workplace, the question addressed in the study was whether inclusive leadership helped emotionally reactive employees improve their performance and whether these employees displayed potential leadership qualities for future roles.


The study was qualitative. This cross-sectional study applied qualitative methods to gather the required information. Sixteen business heads across different sectors in India were purposively chosen for in-depth interviews with respondents. The interviews were semi-structured. The approach of theoretical sampling was adopted. From the initial set of questions, the next set of questions was evolved and the itineration was continued until saturation was achieved.


The results showed that mentoring and empowerment helped emotionally reactive employees improve their performance. On the question of their potential leadership role, the results were mixed.

Research limitations/implications

The follower (protégé) perception, if also taken, can validate whether the person-centered style helped in the performance improvement of the followers. The responses of the leaders were based on their memory and no reports were checked from their office records to corroborate the same.

Practical implications

Researchers have argued that worker behavior and productivity are directly affected by employee affect and emotional states. The study contributes significantly to creating emotionally inclusive workplaces.


The study is focused on the role of diversity of emotions in the workplace impacting productivity. Emotions are vital and affect the workplace significantly. The study focused on what organizations could do to handle emotionally reactive employees at work. The study showed that inclusive leadership through mentoring and empowerment helped in assimilating difficult employees into the mainstream work.



This papers forms a part of special section “Management in the Era of Disruption: Insights from India”, guest edited by Vishal Gupta, Naresh Khatri and Karthik Dhandapani.


Rawat, P.S., Lyndon, S., Pradhan, M.R., Jose, J., Kollenchira, M. and Mehta, G. (2021), "Employee reactiveness and inclusive leadership: time to manage emotional diversity", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 357-376.



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