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Please read the following chapter and complete the assignment based on the instructions below:

Ferdman, B. M., & Deane, B. R. (2014). Chapter 10: The development of inclusive leadership
practice and processes. In Diversity at work: The practice of inclusion.
[Books24x7 version]. Available in the Trident Online Library.

For the Session Long Project, you will be applying the concepts in the background materials to your own personal experiences in the workplace. For this first SLP assignment choose a supervisor that you personally worked for and got to know well and compare and contrast this supervisor’s leadership characteristics with your own personal leadership characteristics using the concepts from the required background materials. Carefully reflect on your supervisor’s traits, behaviors, and leadership styles. Then write a 
2- to 3-page paper (excluding title page and References Page) to 
include 2 scholarly sources from the required and optional readings list and addressing the following issues:

1. Overall, is your current role more of a leadership or a management role? How about your supervisor?

2. What key differences in leadership behaviors do you see between yourself and your supervisor? Refer to the concepts of being task-oriented, or people-centered/relationship-oriented that are discussed in the required background materials.

3. What key differences in leadership traits do you see between yourself and your supervisor? Refer to specific leadership traits discussed in the required textbook chapters.

4. Would you describe your and your supervisor’s leadership style as diverse and inclusive? If so or if not, please explain your response. 

SLP Assignment Expectations

1. Your SLP should be at least 
2 pages in length (not including title and reference pages).

2. Be sure to cite and reference (using APA Style) a 
minimum of 2 scholarly sources listed in the Course Materials and Bibliography (Module 1 Required and Optional Reading List), or in the Module 1 Background Page: Required and Optional Readings.

296

CHAPTER TEN

The Development of
Inclusive Leadership
Practice and Processes
Lize Booysen

This chapter addresses (1) how leaders can be developed to
enhance inclusive leadership behavior and practice and (2) how
leadership development can be done in an inclusive way.

My interest in leadership development, diversity, and inclu-
sion was piqued during my work on the sixty-two-nation cross-
cultural GLOBE leadership project (Booysen & van Wyk, 2008;
House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004), my own doc-
toral research and scholarly work on race, gender, identity, and
leadership in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (Booysen,
1999, 2001, 2007b, 2007c; Booysen & Nkomo, 2006, 2007, 2010,
2012), and extended through my subsequent research with the
Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) on the Leadership Across
Differences project in twelve different countries (Gentry, Booysen,
Hannum, & Weber, 2010; Hannum, McFeeters, & Booysen, 2010).
Currently my leadership development focus is on inclusive leader-
ship and social justice issues.

I address the following two questions in this chapter:

• What do we know and what can we suggest about how to fully
take account of inclusion in leadership development systems?

• How should organizations do leadership development in a
way that both develops inclusive leaders and is in itself
inclusive?

Diversity at Work : The Practice of Inclusion, edited by Bernardo M. Ferdman, et al., John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.
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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 297

In exploring these two questions, we can get nearer to iden-
tifying effective strategies and practices for inclusive leadership
development and inclusive organizations.

This chapter follows a systems approach, which involves under-
standing how people, structures, and processes influence one
another within a whole. To address question one, the what of
inclusive leadership development, I first give a short overview
of inclusion, inclusive workplaces, and inclusive leadership. I then
focus briefly on the evolution of leadership development and
discuss the difference between leader development and leader-
ship development. I proceed with discussing first the relationship
between leadership and leadership development, and then new
trends in leadership thinking and inclusive leadership. I conclude
this subsection with a definition of inclusive leadership. I then
proceed to discuss how inclusive leadership practices and pro-
cesses can be institutionalized by focusing on individual (micro),
group (meso), and organizational (macro) processes and levels.
I also focus on the importance of creating an inclusive organiza-
tional culture, a climate of respect, and a safe working environ-
ment as enabling factors to do leadership development in an
inclusive way.

I address question two, the how to do inclusive relational-based
leadership development, by presenting a process model for inclu-
sive leadership development based on assessment, challenge, and
support in the context of a climate of respect, equality, and fair-
ness. I highlight inclusive leadership practices and provide practi-
cal examples. Finally, I conclude the chapter with a summary, as
well as highlighting current dilemmas and future questions in the
arena of inclusive leadership development.

Inclusion, Inclusive Workplaces, and
Inclusive Leadership
Inclusive leadership is good leadership practice and essentially an
extension of diversity management. Inclusive leadership focuses
on valuing diversity and the effective management of diversity
and inclusion of all (Hannum, McFeeters, & Booysen, 2010; Mor
Barak, 2011; Pless & Maak, 2004). It shifts the focus from affirma-
tive action and equity toward equality, social justice, fairness, and

Diversity at Work : The Practice of Inclusion, edited by Bernardo M. Ferdman, et al., John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.
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298 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

the leveraging of diversity effects in the system (Ferdman, 2010;
Roberson, 2006). Ferdman (2010) defines inclusion as follows:
“In its most general sense, inclusion involves both being fully
ourselves and allowing others to be fully themselves in the context
of engaging in common pursuits. It means collaborating in a way
in which all parties can be fully engaged and subsumed, and yet,
paradoxically, at the same time believe that they have not com-
promised, hidden, or given up any part of themselves. Thus, for
individuals, experiencing inclusion in a group or organization
involves being fully part of the whole while retaining a sense of
authenticity and uniqueness” (p. 37; see also Ferdman, Chapter
1, this volume).

Inclusive leadership extends our thinking beyond assimilation
strategies or organizational demography to empowerment and
participation of all, by removing obstacles that cause exclusion
and marginalization. Inclusive leadership involves particular skills
and competencies for relational practice, collaboration, building
inclusion for others, creating inclusive work places and work cul-
tures, partnerships and consensus building, and true engagement
of all (Ferdman, 2010; Mor Barak, 2011).

In contrast to exclusive workplaces where individuals or
groups need to conform to preestablished “mainstream” value
systems and ways of doing things, inclusive workplaces are based
on a collaborative, pluralistic, coconstructed, and coevolving
value frame that relies on mutual respect, equal contribution,
standpoint plurality (multiple viewpoints), and valuing of differ-
ence. Feldman, Khademian, Ingram, and Schneider (2006) as
well as Mor Barak (2011) discuss inclusion as functioning at a
micro level inside the organization, but also as encompassing
individuals (internal micro), groups (internal meso), and organi-
zational processes (internal macro level), as well as operating on
a larger external macro level outside the organization, involving
other stakeholders, communities, societies, and even nations. Mor
Barak (2011) incorporates these levels in her definition of an
inclusive workplace:

The inclusive workplace is defined as one that

• Values and utilizes individual and intergroup differences within
its workforce

Diversity at Work : The Practice of Inclusion, edited by Bernardo M. Ferdman, et al., John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.
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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 299

• Cooperates with, and contributes to, its surrounding community
• Alleviates the needs of disadvantaged groups in its wider

environment
• Collaborates with individuals, groups, and organizations across

national and cultural boundaries [p. 8].

In a truly inclusive workplace or environment, all people from
diverse backgrounds will feel valued, respected, and recognized.
Inclusive organizations function multiculturally and are places
where “there is equality, justice, and full participation at both the
group and individual levels . . . [and] . . . differences of all types
become integrated into the fabric of the business, such that they
become a necessary part of doing its everyday work” (Holvino,
Ferdman, & Merrill-Sands, 2004, p. 248). In a truly inclusive orga-
nization, no one will feel that he or she does not fit in, is not
valued, or does not have a place in the organization; no one will
ask: “What about me?”

The benefits of inclusion and frameworks for understanding
and communicating inclusion, as well as individual and group
level perspectives on inclusion and core competencies and skills
of inclusive leaders, are addressed in detail in Parts One and Two
of this volume, and I do not repeat them in this chapter. Suffice
to say that inclusive leadership is good practice, and that all leaders
and leadership should be inclusive. It follows then that for leadership
development to be truly effective it also should be inclusive. So the first
question to turn to is, what do we know and what can we suggest
about how to fully take account of inclusion in leadership devel-
opment systems?

Inclusive Leadership and Leadership Development
In this chapter, I assume that leadership is a combination of selec-
tion and socialization and can be taught, learned, and developed
(McCauley, van Velsor, & Ruderman, 2010). Therefore I do not
focus on the debate about whether leadership is innate versus
learned—as discussed, for instance, by Popper (2005) and Doh
(2003). I do, however, briefly focus on the evolution of leadership
development and then clarify the distinction between leader
development and leadership development.

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300 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

Hernez-Broome and Hughes (2004) note that the goal of
early leader development practice was about producing more and
better leaders, and the general approach to and understanding
of leadership was transactional and focused on leadership tasks
and relationships. Over time, there has been a shift to thinking
about transformational leadership, tapping into follower values,
supporting a sense of higher purpose and engendering higher-
level commitment. Recent leadership thinking has shifted from a
leader and leader-follower focus to a focus on relationships and
relational practices in the collective and increased inclusion of all
the interconnected systems (Komives & Wagner, 2009; McCauley
et al., 2010; Riggio, 2008; Uhl-Bien, 2006).

Leadership development programs have also changed from a
focus on individual performance to a focus on performance at
the organizational level and on the need to develop organiza-
tional capacity and individual capacity alongside each other
(Collins, 2001; Hernez-Broome & Hughes, 2004; McCauley et al.,
2010; Riggio, 2008). This change in focus spotlights the distinc-
tion between leader and leadership development.

Leader Development and Leadership Development

Day, Harrison, and Halpin (2008) define leader development as
enhancing individual human capacity (that is, knowledge, skills,
attitudes), and leadership development as growth of social capital
(such as relationships and networks) between individuals. Leader
development (also called “human capital development” or “psycho-
logical capital development”) is aimed at individuals, to expand
their capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes; it
focuses on desirable personal attributes and behavior. Leadership
development (social capital development), in contrast, is aimed
at expanding the organization’s capacity to enact the basic leader-
ship tasks needed for collective work, such as setting direction,
creating alignment, and maintaining commitment; in other
words, it focuses on leadership as a collective process, includes
leader development, and focuses on succession of leadership as a
norm (Heifetz, Linsky, & Alexander, 2009; McCauley et al., 2010;
Popper, 2005).

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 301

Leadership development is a continuous systemic process,
designed to expand the capabilities, competencies, and aware-
ness of individuals (leaders and followers), groups, and organi-
zations toward attaining shared goals and objectives. Thus
leadership development is the broader concept and expands on
leader development. This distinction is important for practitio-
ners working to build inclusive organizations, since it places
emphasis on two levels of entry for practitioners, one through
the leader (and his or her behavioral changes) in leader develop-
ment and another through leadership development processes,
which include behavioral, structural, and cultural changes at an
organizational level.

Wasserman, Gallegos, and Ferdman (2008) emphasized the
importance of the role of leaders in creating inclusive environ-
ments. While the role of the leader and leader development is
important, the process of leadership development—as an expan-
sion of leadership capabilities throughout the organization—
is equally important. As Day et al. (2008) argue, “the distinction
between leader and leadership development .  .  . is important
because enhancing [the] individual . . . does not guarantee that
effective leadership will develop” (p. 159). For that to happen,
leadership development is needed, not only leader deve-
lopment. (Again, in this chapter the focus is on leadership
development, the umbrella term, which encompasses leader
development.)

The Relationship Between Leadership and
Leadership Development

Anderson and Ackerman-Anderson (2001) argued that what
gets developed in leadership development programs depends
on how leadership is framed. When leadership is defined as
what people do, what gets developed is about “doing” (skill and
ability competencies). If the understanding about leadership is
directed toward what people know (their level of expert knowl-
edge), then “knowing” gets developed. And if the view of lead-
ership is about “the aggregate expression of one’s mindset,
emotions, and behavior” or the “way of being,” then the

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302 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

emphasis of leadership development will be on becoming
(Anderson & Ackerman-Anderson, 2001, p. 189). Inclusive lead-
ership development should incorporate the development of
knowing, doing, and being; it should not be seen as a choice of
competencies versus knowledge versus mindset, but rather be
focused on all three.

Riggio (2008) reminds us that “the practice of leadership, just
like the practice of medicine, or law, or any other profession, is a
continual learning process” (p. 387). Because leaders are practi-
tioners, they are busy with “doing” all the time, which is contin-
gent on their “knowing” and “being” or “becoming.” Or, as Vaill
(1996) argued in his book Learning as a Way of Being, leadership
is learning. In this sense leadership and leadership development
actually fold into each other, in the sense that leadership develop-
ment is also learning leadership. Or, as McCauley et al. (2010)
argued: “Participating in leadership roles and processes is often
the very source of the challenge needed for leadership develop-
ment. Leadership roles and processes are full of novelty, difficulty,
conflict, and disappointments. In other words, leadership itself is
a developmental challenge. Leading is, in and of itself, learning
by doing” (p. 14).

Leaders are thus constantly developing, and leadership devel-
opment and leadership cannot really be distinguished from each
other; they are two sides of the same coin, as aptly pointed out by
Johnson (2012): “In fact, perhaps because of the application of
adult learning theory to leadership development, there is a
growing understanding that leader development is a life-long
process that entails developmental experiences and the ability to
learn from those experiences” (p. 7). The act of doing or practic-
ing leadership is in itself developmental in nature and as such
constitutes a key part of leadership development.

The Relationship Between New Trends in Leadership
Thinking and Inclusive Leadership

While it is not my aim in this chapter to categorize inclusive
leadership or even to speculate about its status as a theory, a
model, or a mere framework, it is useful to at least, in a cursory
manner, link its practices to some existing leadership thinking.

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 303

Jackson and Parry (2008) point out a tension in the dominant
and less dominant perspectives in leadership thinking. They
maintain that the dominant perspective is leader focused, as an
approach that explains individual, group, and organizational
performance outcomes by identifying and examining specific
leader behaviors directly related to them, while the less domi-
nant perspectives are relationship-based. Relationship-based per-
spectives focus on how reciprocal social exchanges between
leaders and followers evolve, nurture, and sustain dyadic, group,
and collective relationships and collaboration (Cunliffe &
Eriksen, 2011; Komives & Wagner, 2009; Sinclair, 2007; Uhl-Bien,
2006). Relationship-based leader perspectives are thus more
process- and context-focused and emphasize participation, col-
laboration, follower expectations, inclusion, and implicit leader-
ship models. Inclusive leadership thinking falls squarely in the
relationship-based process and follower-focused, less-dominant
way of leadership thinking.

In line with recent leadership thinking, leadership develop-
ment has also shifted from a leader and leader-follower (human
capital) focus to also focusing on the social capital, or the relation-
ships and relational practices, in the collective and on increased
inclusion of all the interconnected systems (Day, Harrison, &
Halpin, 2008; McCauley et al., 2010; Riggio, 2008; Uhl-Bien,
2006). Table 10.1 depicts the key differences between more tra-
ditional and less inclusive entity-based views of leadership and
more inclusive relational-based views.

To create more inclusive organizations, leadership training
needs to be geared toward instilling the values, norms of behavior,
mindsets, and processes listed in the right-hand column, “Inclu-
sive Relational-Based Leadership,” in organizational systems and
processes. Inclusive leadership skills that focus on collective rela-
tional practice are more complex than those needed in tradi-
tional leader-focused leadership styles, which emphasize the
leader’s individual or relational identity; they are also more dif-
ficult to develop and to attain. It is also conceivable that most of
the foundational individual and interpersonal traditional leader-
ship competencies, as depicted in Table 10.1, are prerequisites for
the development of the more complex collective relational prac-
tices needed for inclusive leadership.

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304 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

Table 10.1. Differences Between Traditional Entity-Based and
Inclusive Relational-Based Leadership

Traditional Entity-Based
Leadership

Inclusive Relational-Based Leadership

Focus of the leader:
Entity (individual reality)
perspective; subject-object
understanding of
leadership; human capital
focus

Focus of the leader:
Relationships (multiple reality)
perspective of leadership;
understanding throughout
organization; social capital focus

Leader centered; focus on
follower-leader exchanges
of the leadership process

Focus on me, us, and them
Focus on difference,
similarity, and common
ground

Relational context and process
centered; focus on various forms of
relationships and networks of
reciprocal social interactions; social
constructions made in a process
Focus on us and all
Value and pursue diversity and
multiple viewpoints

Orient to outcomes and
business processes

Orient to outcomes, social processes,
context, and business processes

The use of power:
Power is seen as a
commodity, a leadership
tool, concentrated in
certain individuals

The use of power:
Power is seen as distributed throughout
the system; focus on mutual enabling
practices such as collaboration, power
sharing, and empowerment

Forceful and controlling Thoughtful, reflective, transparent,
participating, and inclusive

Smooth things over
Hierarchical and positional

Set courageous expectations
Networked

Decision-making processes
Direct, tell, and sell

Decision-making processes
Elicit and facilitate; create space for
dialogue

Give marching orders Set boundaries and frame the intention
Make decisions Create a process for engagement,

decision making, and leading as
learning

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 305

Inclusive Relational-Based Leadership

Following Vaill’s (1996), Riggio’s (2008), and McCauley et al.’s
(2010) thinking on leadership as learning, coupled with Uhl-
Bien’s (2006) emphasis on relational practice and collectives,
leadership can be viewed as practicing learning in relations and in
context. It is an ongoing cycle of collective learning: knowing,
being, and doing (learning) together with others (relational

Traditional Entity-Based
Leadership

Inclusive Relational-Based Leadership

Engage in directing and
delegating

Engage in meaning making and
opportunity creating, agency and
partnerships

The role of leadership
Leadership seen as a
formal role that drives
organizational process

The role of leadership
Leadership seen as generated in social
dynamics

Entity-based process of
leading
Positional, formal and
informal

Collective, consensual process of
leading
Community and collectives of leaders,
and leaders in place, formal and
informal

The role of the leader The role of the leader
Create and enforce rules
and regulations

Question dominant and normative
practices; focus on fairness, equality,
and civil dissent

Take control and solve
problems

Create a holding space for followers to
solve problems

Focus on me, us, and them Focus on we and all
Focus on similarity and
common ground

Value and pursue diversity and
multiple viewpoints

Sources: Anderson and Ackerman-Anderson (2001); Booysen (2001); Ferdman
and Brody (1996); Heifetz, Linsky, and Alexander (2009); Komives and
Wagner (2009); McCauley et al. (2010); Pless and Maak (2004); Riggio
(2008); Uhl-Bien (2006); Wasserman, Gallegos, and Ferdman (2008).

Table 10.1. Continued

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306 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

practice), in a way that is directed, aligned, and committed toward
shared outcomes within specific constraints (context).

In the same vein, I define inclusive leadership as follows:

inclusive leadership: an ongoing cycle of learning through
collaborative and respectful relational practice that enables
individuals and collectives to be fully part of the whole,
such that they are directed, aligned, and committed toward
shared outcomes, for the common good of all, while retain-
ing a sense of authenticity and uniqueness.

Inclusive leadership development thus needs to focus on
these aspects.

This section has examined the context of inclusive leadership
and leadership development. Now I turn to the second question:
what can be done to develop leaders and collectives to be inclu-
sive, and to create and sustain inclusive workplaces?

Leadership Development: Institutionalizing Inclusive
Leadership Practices and Processes

I pointed out earlier that inclusive leadership is good practice; all
leaders and leadership should be inclusive, and leadership devel-
opment should also be inclusive. Senge’s (2006) principles of a
learning organization are useful as a starting point in framing how
leadership development can be done in an inclusive manner
at all levels of the organization. Senge (p. 23) pointed out that
although individual learning experiences may work best for indi-
vidual leader development on a micro level, it is possible for
individuals to never see the consequences of their behavior or
decisions at the organizational level, or sometimes even at the
group level.

Therefore, to enable the organization as a system to conti-
nually learn and develop, formal and informal learning mecha-

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 307

nisms must be established on all three levels: micro (individual:
personal mastery and mental models), meso (team/group: team
learning), and macro (organizational: shared vision and systems
thinking). In this regard, Marsick and Watkins (1994) state:
“Learning is a continuous, strategically used process, integrated
with and running parallel to work. Learning is continuous, linked
to daily work, developmental, strategic, and just in time. Learning
is built into work planning, career paths, and performance
rewards. Employees at all levels develop a habit of learning, asking
questions, and giving feedback. . . . They are empowered to make
decisions that affect their jobs. Learning is rewarded, planned for,
and supported through a culture open to risk taking, experimen-
tation, and collaboration” (pp. 354–355).

I contend that for leadership development to be done in
inclusively, it must be done in such a systemic way. Also, for lead-
ership development to be done effectively and inclusively, the
organizational system in which it occurs must itself be inclusive,
with an inclusive organizational culture and a climate of respect,
equality, and fairness that fosters safe learning and working spaces.
In the following two sections I elaborate on how to create an
inclusive organizational culture (the underlying assumptions,
values, and beliefs that affect the way in which work is done and
people behave) and a climate (the mood, prevailing atmosphere,
and subjective perceptions of the work environment) of respect,
quality, fairness, and safety.

Creating an Inclusive Organizational Culture
Doing leadership development inclusively requires a large-scale,
planned social-change effort for instilling an inclusive organiza-
tional culture, one in which the underlying assumptions, values,
and beliefs that affect the way work is done are based on inclu-
sion (Anderson, 2010; Booysen, 2007a; Holvino et al., 2004;
Wasserman et al., 2008). Individual and cultural values need
to be changed from a monocultural perspective with an exclu-
sionary, insular, parochial, and ethnocentric focus to ultimately
achieve a multicultural perspective or culture of inclusive lead-
ership, based on justice and respect for all, standpoint plurality,
valuing and integrating of differences, empowerment, and

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308 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

recognition (Booysen, 2007a; Holvino et al., 2004; Mor Barak,
2011).

To create a culture of inclusion in an organization, a thor-
ough audit and diagnosis of its structure, culture, systems, strate-
gies, and practices should be undertaken. Once this is done, the
change process can start to move the organization toward more
inclusion. Inclusive leadership training is an important aspect of
this process, but it is not enough. More often than not this also
requires a revision of all management systems. Key in this process
is to pay attention to employment relations (ER) systems. Some
ER practices can create systemic exclusion if practitioners are
not particularly mindful of inclusive principles: these practices
include recruitment, orientation and induction programs, per-
formance appraisals, compensation and benefit packages, pro-
motion, leadership and organizational training and development,
and succession planning (Booysen, 2007a; Mor Barak, 2011; see
also, in this volume, Church, Rotolo, Shull, & Tuller, Chapter 9;
Nishii & Rich, Chapter 11; Offerman & Basford, Chapter 8; and
Winters, Chapter 7).

In essence, these practices do not necessarily have to lead to
exclusion, provided that authority, policies, rules, and regula-
tions do not favor one group, level, or function above another.
If inclusion has been institutionalized, these rules and regula-
tions can actually be valuable tools toward ensuring inclusion
and inclusive leadership practice. Examples include policies pun-
ishing discrimination and harassment and incentivizing equal
treatment; performance management systems based on fairness
and equality; formalized conflict-management procedures pro-
viding fair systems for complaints and safe spaces for dialogue,
apology, and acceptance; and published codes of conduct
based on fairness and inclusion (Hannum et al., 2010; Ruder-
man & Chrobot-Mason, 2010). Nishii and Rich (Chapter 11, this
volume) also elaborate on creating organizational climates for
inclusion.

A culture of inclusion can be institutionalized by weaving
inclusion into the everyday operation and fabric of the organiza-
tion through translating the values of inclusion into its mission,
vision, strategies, policies, structures, and processes as well as its
leadership practices. It is thus important to put systems in place

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 309

that hold everyone, especially management, accountable for
achieving inclusion goals and upholding inclusion values. Once
a culture of valuing inclusion is established and entrenched, it is
imperative to monitor and evaluate it through a process of con-
tinuous oversight to ensure that inclusion stays institutionalized.
Lastly, a constant auditing feedback loop into the system will
ensure continuous improvement in establishing a culture that
values inclusion (Booysen, 2007a).

The importance of organizational structures and processes
as part of an integrated systemic strategy to institutionalize
inclusive leadership development cannot be overemphasized.
However, this discussion of leadership development focuses
more on relational leadership practices, processes, and strate-
gies than on organizational structural, design, policy, or devel-
opment issues, which fall more within the scope of organization
development and change than leadership development per se.
The need for systemic changes to create inclusive organiza-
tions is also further discussed in the rest of Part Three of this
volume.

Creating a Climate of Respect and a Safe Learning and
Working Environment
Alexandre (2010), Essed (2010), Ferdman (2010), and
McFeeters, Hannum, & Booysen (2010) offer some guidelines
for how to facilitate and create safe learning and working
environments—or, in Heifetz’s (1994) terms, “holding environ-
ments”—in which all individuals feel comfortable and safe
expressing themselves, taking risks, and exploring possibilities.
To facilitate inclusion, leaders or facilitators need to recognize,
respect, and value difference and pay attention to inclusion by
holding all participants in positive regard and valuing their
contributions—and in this way modeling inclusive leadership.
Leaders or facilitators need to listen carefully and be respectful
of everyone’s humanity, give voice to all, and not make quick
judgments or feel pulled or pushed toward a specific group’s
point of view. Leaders or facilitators must foster inclusion by
remaining aware of power dynamics and must not take respon-
sibility for participants’ choices. These are some examples of
how to do this:

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310 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

• Use dialogue strategies that provide space for voice, silence,
and listening.

• Prevent dominant consensus from silencing numerical
minority dissent (regardless of your own convictions).

• Model how to have discussions about “isms” without making it
personal.

• Don’t pretend to know everything; allow for vulnerability.
• Foster values of respectful dialogue, mindful inquiry, and civil

dissent.

The people in an inclusive learning environment have the
capacity to reflect on process, both individually and collectively.
It is thus important for inclusive leadership development facilita-
tors to create an environment in which everyone is encouraged,
but not forced, to actively participate. When working with groups,
facilitators should stress the importance of having openness and
mutual respect for one another, as this encourages full participa-
tion from all, which is valuable to the organization.

How to Fully Take Account of Inclusion in
Leadership Development Systems
How to fully take account of inclusion in leadership development
systems is integrated in the Leadership Development System of
Inclusion model, depicted in Figure 10.1. This model indicates
that the enabling systems for doing leadership development in
an inclusive way are (1) an inclusive organizational culture, with
inclusion institutionalized throughout the organization’s prac-
tices, systems, and processes; and (2) an organizational climate of
respect, equality, and fairness, which creates safe learning and
working environments.

The model also specifies that, to develop leaders and collec-
tives to be inclusive and to create and sustain inclusive workplaces,
leadership development should be done in a systemic way; it is an
ongoing, developmental cycle of continuous learning and not a
series of one-shot events. It should focus on the leader-follower,
the relationships and relational practices in the collective, and
increased inclusion of all the interconnected systems (social

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 311

capital). It should be done on a micro level inside the organiza-
tion, including intra- and interpersonal learning of both leaders
and followers; on a meso level inside groups and teams; and on
a macro organizational process level. Furthermore, it should focus
on the knowing, doing, and being of inclusive relational-based
leadership, as pointed out in Table 10.1. Lastly, it is important to
remember that leadership development also happens in the act
of leadership itself. I refer to this all-inclusive continuous process
of leadership development as a comprehensive leadership development
framework.

The discussion up to this point has focused on the why and
what of leadership development as well as the assumptions under-
lying inclusive leadership development, and culminated in the
Leadership Development System of Inclusion (shown in Figure
10.1). The rest of the chapter focuses on how to do inclusive
relational-based leadership development in an inclusive way, and
speaks to question two: How should organizations do leadership

Figure 10.1. A Leadership Development System of
Inclusion Model

Inclusive
organizational

culture: practices,
systems, and processes

Climate of respect,
equality, and fairness,
and safe learning and
working environment

Comprehensive Leadership Development Framework
A continuous process of leadership development focused:
• On micro and meso and macro levels
• On human and social capital
• Across all levels and functions
• On including followers and leaders (not positional)
• On knowing, doing, and being of inclusive relational practice

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312 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

development in a way that both develops inclusive leaders and is
in itself inclusive?

A good leadership development program starts by focusing
on the individual leader (leading the self, with focus on intra- and
interpersonal relations); it then progresses to leading in more
complex relations (leading other individuals and groups), then
to leading organizational functions and projects; finally, it moves
into leadership development by focusing on the processes of
leading whole organizations, subsidiaries, mergers, and acquisi-
tions, and ultimately leading globally across organizational and
country boundaries (McCauley et al., 2010; Riggio, 2008). The
focus is thus on progressively maximizing personal leadership and
shared leadership, interdependence, and collaboration to accel-
erate the organization’s or collective’s direction, alignment, com-
mitment, and, ultimately, results. Allen and Wergin (2009) point
out that achieving leadership expertise or mastery requires the
“process of outgrowing one system of meaning by integrating it
as a subsystem into a new system of meaning” (p. 9). This is a
lifelong process that entails developmental experiences and the
ability both to learn from them and to acquire new knowledge,
skills, and attitudes. Furthermore, the effectiveness of this learn-
ing is contingent on how conducive the work team, workplace,
culture, and processes are to the integration and implementation
of this new learning.

A Process Model for Inclusive
Leadership Development
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a well-known and
internationally recognized global leadership development insti-
tute headquartered in the United States, developed a two-part
process model for leadership development (McCauley et al.,
2010). Part one includes the elements of assessment, challenge,
and support (ACS) to make the learning experience more power-
ful and developmental. Part two focuses on leadership develop-
ment as a process “that requires both a variety of development
experiences and the ability to learn from experience” (McCauley
et al., 2010, p. 6). I believe that inclusive leadership development
includes essentially the same type of leader development pro-

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 313

cesses, but embedded in a system of inclusion (as depicted in
Figure 10.1) and focused on relational leadership practices. The
CCL process model can be adapted for inclusive leadership devel-
opment, as depicted in Figure 10.2.

Figure 10.2 shows that inclusive leadership development
takes place in a system of inclusion (as per Figure 10.1). The lead-
ership development process thus takes place within an inclusive

Figure 10.2. A Process Model for Inclusive Leadership
Development

A Leadership Development System of Inclusion

• Inclusive Organizational Culture
• Climate of Respect and Safe Learning Environment
• Comprehensive Leadership Development Framework

Leadership Development

Challenge Support

Variety of Development Experiences

Leader and Organization
Ability to Learn

Assessment

Source: Adapted from McCauley et al., 2010, p. 5.

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314 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

organization culture, a climate of respect, and a safe learning
environment, and it follows a comprehensive leadership develop-
ment framework. It shows that training or development experi-
ences or interventions need the elements of assessment,
challenge, and support, all of which feed into each other. It also
shows that leaders and organizations need both (1) a variety of
development experiences and (2) the ability to learn from expe-
rience. This ability to learn from developmental experiences has
a reciprocal impact, in that developmental experiences enhance
a person’s or organization’s ability to learn, and individuals and
organizations with a high ability to learn will in turn seek out
(and may benefit from) a variety of developmental experiences.
Finally, since the comprehensive leadership development frame-
work is all-inclusive, it implies that leadership development
should take place on a micro, meso, and macro level—across all
functions and levels in the organization, with followers and
leaders—and it should not be the prerogative of only positional
leaders—or worse, only senior leaders. It also follows that the
variety of developmental experiences should specifically, but not
exclusively, focus on the knowing, doing, and being of inclusive
relational-based leadership, along with generic leadership devel-
opment experiences.

Self-awareness is a key precursor for effective leadership devel-
opment (Komives & Wagner, 2009; Popper, 2005; Riggio, 2008).
On a micro level this means leader awareness. On an organiza-
tional level this means not only the individual leader’s self-
awareness but also organizational self-awareness and organizational
learning. Self-awareness also develops through internalizing inclu-
sive leadership values; reflecting on current practice; continuous
questioning of normative practices, differential treatment, and
assimilation practices; and becoming a community of inclusive
practice (Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, & Smith, 1994). Ques-
tions that need to be answered by such a community of inclusive
practice are, for instance:

• Who are we as an organization?
• Do we stand for real inclusion? Can that be seen in both our

espoused and enacted core values?

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 315

• How do our core values, our vision and culture, and our
organization’s practices, systems, rules, regulations, and
policies include and privilege some individuals and groups
and exclude and marginalize others?

• How can we be even more inclusive in our leadership
practices?

Learning is a key component of leadership development.
The capacity for learning is a complex combination of personal-
ity and motivational factors and learning experiences. Gaining
the ability to turn learning into adaptive practice is even more
difficult. It is less complex to learn about inclusion (to have
the knowledge, or “knowing”) and more complex to translate
“knowing” into “being” and “doing”—the practice of inclusive
leadership, or leading inclusively. Training interventions should
be designed to fit individual and organizational readiness and
capacity (McCauley et al., 2010; Riggio, 2008). For inclusive
leadership development to be effective, leaders and organiza-
tions must both be ready (they must be committed and must
intend to be inclusive) and have the capacity to be developed as
inclusive leaders or organizations as well as the intent to lead
inclusively.

I now take a closer look at how assessment, challenge, and
support (ACS) can be applied so as to do leadership development
inclusively. My further discussion focuses mainly on the micro
level of leadership development. As most of the macro level lead-
ership strategies and some of those at the meso level fall within
organization development, they have been discussed already in
the section on institutionalizing inclusive leadership practice
in this chapter, and they are elaborated on in other chapters
(particularly in Part Three) of this volume.

Assessment for Inclusive Leadership Development

The function of assessment is manifold. It gives individuals an
understanding of where they are now, functioning as a baseline
of their current performance and as a benchmark for future
development. It gives information on the gap between current

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316 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

performance or ineffective practices and desired performance or
effective practices, and it leads to higher levels of self-awareness.
It clarifies what individuals have to learn, change, or improve
upon. It provides a means for critical self-reflection; as McCauley
et al. (2010) argued, “the result [of assessment feedback] can
be an unfreezing of one’s current understanding of oneself to
facilitate movement toward a broader and more complex under-
standing” (p. 7). Assessment also creates opportunities to moti-
vate when individuals receive feedback on progress or effective
behavior.

There are several sources for individual and organizational
assessment, including self-assessment and assessments from family
and friends, colleagues, peers, bosses, subordinates in the work-
place, customers, coaches, counselors, trainers, facilitators, and
organizational consultants. Assessments can be formal or infor-
mal. They can be done informally through feedback by others or
formally through performance appraisals, 360-degree feedback,
employee satisfaction surveys, and evaluations.

Assessment thus helps individuals to fully understand their
situation, through reflection, and to become motivated to capital-
ize on the learning opportunities available to them. The following
are some good leader development assessments (McCauley et al.,
2010; Riggio, 2008) that can be used in inclusive leader
development:

∘ Multirater, multisource feedback, such as 360-degree
feedback, can be adapted to measure specific inclusive
leadership competencies, including relational practice, dealing
with difference, and appreciation for multiple viewpoints. An
example would be designing a 360-degree feedback
questionnaire in which peers, teams, subordinates and superiors
all can give feedback to each other on their level of
inclusiveness in decision making and leading.
∘ Assessments focused on inclusive leadership practices, such as
the Global Competencies Inventory (http://kozaigroup.com/
inventories/the-global-competencies-inventory-gci), the
Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (http://kozaigroup.com/
inventories/the-intercultural-effectiveness-scale), and the
Inclusion Measurement Survey (Davis, 2010) (see also Bird,

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 317

Mendenhall, Stevens, & Oddou, 2010; Ferdman, Barrera, Allen,
& Vuong, 2009).
∘ Other leader development personality and type assessment
instruments can also be used to explore areas for further
development, using an “inclusive leadership development
lens.” Tools for exploration (and associated assessments) can
include:

• The Workplace Big 5 Profile (Howard & Howard, 2010),
which assesses the degree to which an individual
responds to stress, tolerates sensory stimulation from
people and situations, is open to new experiences and
new ways of doing things, pushes toward goals, and
defers to others.

• The FIRO Business assessment tools (Schnell & Hammer,
1997), which assess interpersonal needs such as expressed
and wanted involvement, influence and connection.

• The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; Myers &
McCaulley, 1985) which assesses thinking style preferences
and other individual styles.

• The Belbin Group Profile (Belbin, 1981), which assesses
group action role preferences and styles.

The results of such assessments can give leaders (and organi-
zations) more insight into their level of inclusion, leading to
better self-awareness and calibration (and reduction) of exclu-
sionary practices. Results can also be discussed in coaching and
mentoring conversations and can be very helpful in team build-
ing. Leaders can reflect not only on their own results, but also
on how those results might interact with those of the team or
work group they work in. The results of the interpersonal needs
(FIRO Business), cognitive style preferences (MBTI), and group
action role preferences (Belbin) assessments can be used with
great effect in constructing more diverse and inclusive teams and
workgroups.

Challenge for Inclusive Leadership Development

Challenges stretch people and force them out of their com-
fort zones and habitual ways of doing. Challenges create

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318 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

disequilibrium, or a sense of a “disorienting dilemma,” in which
known ways of doing are not successful anymore (Mezirow, 2009).
These states of disequilibrium cause individuals or collectives to
question the appropriateness of their known ways and the ade-
quacy of their existing skills, frameworks, and approaches. They
require people to deal with ambiguity and paradox and to find
new ways of doing, or to evolve their ways of understanding and
learning to be successful. Challenges come in many forms and are
dependent on individuals’ level of experience and maturity.
McCauley et al. (2010) point out that the elements (or sources)
of a challenge are usually novelty (new experiences, learning new
skills), difficult goals (stretch goals), goal setting, conflict or com-
peting values (intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, or social iden-
tity conflict), and dealing with adversity (overcoming difficulty or
challenging circumstances).

Challenge can most effectively be practiced in an inclusive way
if all people in the organization feel free and safe to participate
in decision making and sharing of ideas, and if failure is expected
and seen as part of the learning process. The following are some
examples of good leadership development challenges (Booysen,
2007b; McCauley et al., 2010) that can be used in inclusive leader
development:

∘ Developmental and stretch assignments, like an expatriate
assignment, conflict management resolution between
different work teams, or an organizational diagnosis and
culture change endeavor can be used to develop inclusive
leadership capabilities. These assignments help leaders to
test out and develop new inclusive leadership skills and
competencies, such as relational practice, and they heighten
awareness of marginalization and privilege and promote
questioning of dominant and normative thinking styles and
practices.
∘ Job rotation and job sharing across and within functions,
horizontal job enlargement, or vertical job enrichment can help
leaders to have a deeper understanding of working across
different job function levels and of silos in the organization.
Leaders will gain more insight into how these different
functions, jobs, and processes all work toward shared goals in

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 319

the organization, and of how silos can be integrated and
boundaries spanned.
∘ Action learning (employees learning through working
together), individual talent management (the process of
attracting and retaining high-potential employees), and career
pathing (charting a course within an organization for an
individual’s career path and career development) can all be
included in this level of development.
∘ Education, skills training, and development programs can also
be categorized as challenges. These are usually done through a
combination of on-site and off-site programs and initiatives and
have didactic and experiential components. Inclusive leadership
rests on a deep level of consciousness—deep self-awareness as
well as an awareness of other perspectives—and an
understanding of ethics and social justice issues. To develop
these micro-level leadership development strategies in an
inclusive manner, the programs need to meet the learners
where they are, which may require different approaches even
within the same group of participants. Aspects such as
participants’ different learning styles, social identities,
leadership levels, and developmental levels all need to be
taken into consideration (Allen & Wergin, 2009; Anderson
& Ackerman-Anderson, 2001; McCauley et al., 2010; Riggio,
2008).

To deal effectively with difference and to be inclusive, leaders
also need to be aware of the different leader role demands placed
on them and to engage in compensatory practices so as not to be
caught up in exclusionary practices due to one of these role
demands. Hannum et al. (2010) and Ruderman et al. (2010)
identify three leader role demands in the context of dealing with
difference and exclusion:

1. Leaders are often pulled in many directions between conflict-
ing intergroup values, viewpoints, and beliefs. Inclusive leaders
need to be unbiased and not influenced by their own or their
group’s values and viewpoints, and they need to be respectful of
everyone’s needs and viewpoints.

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320 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

2. Leaders are commonly pushed to one side. By definition,
a leader is a member of some groups and not others.
Groups will form perceptions of a leader based solely on social
identities. An inclusive leader will focus on practices of fairness
and equity to show that he or she is not partial to his or her
own group.
3. Leaders are all too frequently caught out of the loop. This is
in part due to information filtering, but also in part due to the
leader’s lack of critical awareness concerning social identity
dynamics. Inclusive leaders need to be sensitive to group dynam-
ics, to create an environment of trust and safety, and to be acces-
sible so as to be in the loop.

Support for Inclusive Leadership Development

Support helps individuals deal with the struggle and pain of
development and to find safety and new equilibrium in their
growth. The most important sources of support, regardless of
experience or challenge, are the other people in an individual’s
work and life spheres—people who can listen, reassure and
empathize, identify with the struggles, give advice for coping
strategies, and celebrate the wins. Organizational structural, cul-
tural, and systems support is also critical. Support is also a key
motivating factor and a mechanism for providing learning
resources, through feedback from others confirming and clarify-
ing the lessons leaders learned from the challenging leadership
development experiences. Furthermore, if individuals do not
receive support for leadership development from their work-
places or significant others, the challenges inherent in develop-
ment experiences may overwhelm them rather than foster
learning. That is why realistic goal setting is important, because
it shifts a classroom or a development event’s insights and ideas
forward into a process of action outside the classroom into the
organization. Goal setting also serves as an individual’s own
development plan for needed action.

The following are some specific sources of support (Booysen,
2007b; McCauley et al., 2010; McFeeters et al., 2010) that can be
used in inclusive leader development:

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 321

∘ Mentoring, coaching, and executive coaching for
performance development. For instance, the coach or
mentor can raise the coachee’s or mentee’s awareness
levels regarding exclusion or inclusion by focusing on
recognizing differences of individuals, while looking for the
common bond and/or shared goals among individuals. They
can also do this by exploring the coachee’s or mentee’s
personal biases and normative thinking. Cross-cultural
coaching and mentoring and role-play during coaching and
mentoring can be useful in developing inclusive leadership
practices.
∘ Safe learning environments. Alexandre (2010) maintained
that the most important element contributing to a safe
learning culture is the establishing of equality through
respectful information sharing and mutual growth that
empowers all involved. Frank Boyce (2012), the news
reporter who worked with Danny Boyle in the creation of
the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, described
such a safe learning space: “Danny created a room where no
one was afraid to speak, no one had to stick to their own
specialism, no one was afraid of sounding stupid or talking
out of turn. He restored us to the people we were before
we made career choices—to when we were just wondering”
(para. 3).

In summary, the key elements of the Process Model for
Inclusive Leadership Development are a variety of learning
experiences focused on inclusive relational-based leadership
practices, undergone by committed leaders and collectives in a
safe learning and working environment, and that include ele-
ments of assessment, challenge, and support, in an inclusive
organizational context and a climate of respect, equality, and
fairness.

Conclusion
This chapter set out to investigate: (1) What do we know and what
can we suggest about how to fully take account of inclusion in

Diversity at Work : The Practice of Inclusion, edited by Bernardo M. Ferdman, et al., John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.
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322 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

leadership development systems? (2) How should organizations
do leadership development in a way that both develops inclusive
leaders and is in itself inclusive?

In addressing these two questions, I first argued that inclusive
leadership is good practice: all leaders and leadership should be
inclusive and leadership development should also be inclusive.
Second, I explained that I use the term leadership development as
an umbrella term that includes leader development. Third, I
argued that the act of doing or practicing leadership is in itself
developmental and as such constitutes leadership development. I
then showed how recent leadership development thinking has
shifted from a leader and leader-follower (human capital- or
entity-based) focus to also focus on social capital—the relation-
ships and relational practices in the collective and increased
inclusion of all the interconnected systems. I also defined inclu-
sive leadership as an ongoing cycle of learning through collab-
orative and respectful relational practice that enables individuals
and collectives to be fully part of the whole, such that they are
directed, aligned, and committed toward shared outcomes, for
the common good of all, while retaining a sense of authenticity
and uniqueness.

The discussion of question one—the why and the what of
leadership development as well as the assumptions underlying
inclusive leadership development—culminated in the Leader-
ship Development System of Inclusion model (Figure 10.1). This
figure shows that the enabling systems for doing leadership
development are (1) an inclusive organizational culture and (2)
an organizational climate of respect, equality, and fairness, which
create (3) safe learning and working environments. Further-
more, it shows leadership development as an ongoing cycle of
continuous learning and follows a comprehensive leadership
development framework. Because this framework is all-inclusive,
it implies that leadership development should take place on the
micro, meso, and macro level, across all functions and levels in
the organization, and should not be only the prerogative of posi-
tional leaders. It focuses on both the leader-follower and the
relationships and relational practices in the collective and
increased inclusion of all the interconnected systems (social
capital).

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The Development of Inclusive Leadership 323

The discussion of question two—how organizations should do
leadership development in a way that both develops inclusive
leaders and is in itself inclusive—culminated in a Process Model
for Inclusive Leadership Development (Figure 10.2). This figure
shows that inclusive leadership development takes place in a
system of inclusion (as per Figure 10.1). The leadership develop-
ment process is comprehensive and takes place in an inclusive
organization culture, a climate of respect, and a safe learning
environment. It shows that leadership training or development
experiences or interventions need the elements of assessment,
challenge, and support, all of which feed into each other. It also
shows that leaders and organizations need both a variety of devel-
opment experiences and the ability to learn from experience. It
follows, then, that the variety of developmental experiences
should specifically, but not exclusively, focus on the knowing,
doing, and being of inclusive relational-based leadership, as
depicted in Table 10.1, alongside generic leadership development
experiences.

This chapter focused primarily on the micro level of inclusion
in organizations and some macro-level aspects of institutionaliz-
ing inclusion in organizations. Although I alluded to some larger
systems implications, I did not focus on inclusive practices outside
the organization itself (see Mor Barak & Daya, Chapter 13, this
volume). So a key question still remains: How can inclusion be
effected outside the organization, with stakeholders, communi-
ties, societies, and nations, and globally?

Further questions remain unanswered, not only in this chapter
but also in the larger debate about inclusion in workplaces: How
does one create organizationally sustainable inclusive leadership
practices, particularly in multinational corporations? (See Jonsen
& Özbilgin, Chapter 12; and Mor Barak & Daya, Chapter 13, this
volume.) In what way do historical patterns of exclusion impact
the perceptions and efficacy of inclusive leadership practices?
What do dominant groups gain from inclusive leadership? Finally,
is true inclusion even possible, or is the act of inclusion in orga-
nizations invariably still in the hands of those in power? These are
questions that should be explored in more depth in future dia-
logue and research, particularly from a critical perspective prob-
lematizing the possible power dynamics still inherent in acts of

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324 Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion

inclusion. For example, in a forthcoming publication, The Two
Faces of Ubuntu—An Inclusive Positive or Exclusive Parochial Leader-
ship Perspective? (Booysen, 2013), I explore the inherent exclusion-
ary elements in Ubuntu,1 a concept that is typically seen as an
inclusive and generative mechanism and a strength-based per-
spective. In my opinion, the challenge is to capitalize and to build
on the inclusive nondiscriminatory positive practices of Ubuntu,
while minimizing the possible exclusionary practices, which seem
to be more context-bound. Similarly, in developing and imple-
menting inclusive leadership practices, we need to engage in
ongoing critique and exploration.

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Wasserman, I. C., Gallegos, P. V., & Ferdman, B. M. (2008). Dancing with
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Diversity at Work : The Practice of Inclusion, edited by Bernardo M. Ferdman, et al., John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.
ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/trident/detail.action?docID=1568418.
Created from trident on 2023-01-08 15:12:57.

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