Inclusive leadership and employee work engagement: A moderated mediation model

Ping Bao, Zengrui Xiao, Gongmin Bao, Niels Noorderhaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
1360 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between inclusive leadership and employee work engagement by identifying person-job fit as a mediator, and employee felt responsibility as a moderator.

Employing a two-wave survey from 261 employees across various industries in China, the study tests hypotheses using hierarchical regression analysis with the PROCESS procedure developed by Hayes.

The results show that inclusive leadership is positively related to employee work engagement through person-job fit. The results further demonstrate that employees’ felt responsibility moderates the positive direct relationship between inclusive leadership and person-job fit as well as the indirect relationship between inclusive leadership and work engagement via person-job fit.

Research limitations/implications
Although two-wave data were used to test the model, issues of common method bias cannot be excluded because the data were collected from a single source (the employee).

Practical implications
Organizations should promote and develop inclusive leaders in the workplace to enhance employee work engagement, and pay attention to employees' felt responsibility for their work to ensure effectiveness of inclusive leadership.

Integrating social information processing theory and person-environment fit theory, this study enriches the theoretical foundation of inclusive leadership scholarship. This study deepens the understanding of the mechanism underlying the link between inclusive leadership and work engagement, as well as an important boundary condition of this relationship, by examining the mediating role of person-job fit and the moderating role of felt responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-139
JournalBaltic Journal of Management
Issue number1
Early online dateDec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • inclusive leadership
  • person-job fit
  • work engagement
  • felt responsibility


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