Positive leadership: Relationships with employee inclusion, discrimination, and well‐being

Byron Adams*, Christina Meyers, Lusanda Sekaja

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The diverse nature of 21st‐century organizations has compelled leaders to minimize discrimination and bring about inclusion amongst their employees. One of the ways this can be achieved is through authentic, respectful, and inclusive leadership. The aim of the present paper was to (1) explore whether the three leadership styles can promote inclusion and curtail discrimination in the South African context and (2) ascertain whether this relationship has any bearing on well‐being across Dutch, German, Icelandic, Indonesian, and South African contexts. To reach these aims, two cross‐sectional studies have been conducted. In Study 1, 569 employees were surveyed, and results indicated that all three leadership styles loaded on a common latent factor (positive leadership) that was positively associated with both inclusion and discrimination. In Study 2, 1,926 employees were surveyed across the five countries. Results indicated that once again, the latent, positive leadership factor was positively associated with both inclusion and discrimination. Furthermore, inclusion, when compared to discrimination seemed to be a stronger mediator in the relationship between positive leadership and well‐being. We propose leadership development that will cultivate positive leadership behaviors for the benefit of employee well‐being and collaboration in increasingly diverse teams.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Psychology: An International Review
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


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