About and beyond leading uniqueness and belongingness: A systematic review of inclusive leadership research

Ayfer Veli Korkmaz*, Marloes L. van Engen, Lena Knappert, René Schalk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of this systematic review of 107 papers is to address the conceptual confusion about what inclusive leadership (IL) behavior entails and understand the theoretical development of IL. Synthesizing the divergent conceptualizations of inclusive leader behaviors, we propose a multi-level (i.e., employee, team, organizational) model of IL behavior consisting of four dimensions namely, fostering employee's uniqueness (e.g., promoting diversity); strengthening belongingness within a team (e.g., building relationships); showing appreciation (e.g., recognizing efforts and contributions); and supporting organizational efforts (e.g., promoting organizational mission on inclusion). Further, we provide a summary of studied variables as a nomological network in relation to inclusive leadership and an overview of the different theories (e.g., social exchange, intrinsic motivation) supporting the respective relationships and explaining the underlying mechanisms (e.g., reciprocity, motivation). We propose future research to empirically test the multi-level model of IL and examine the predictive value in terms of employee and organizational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100894
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to express our appreciation and thank Allianz Benelux for supporting the successful completion of this research project. We would like to thank Sanne Nijs, Robin Bauwens, Charissa Freese and Brigitte Kroon for their help in defining the levels of analysis in our conceptualization of inclusive leadership and Sarah Duurloo for her support during the revision.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Belongingness
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Multi-level perspective
  • Systematic literature review
  • Uniqueness


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