Theses Doctoral

Inclusive Leadership Questionnaire: The Design and Validation of a Theory-based Instrument

Li, Aitong

The increasing diversity, globalization and aging of the U.S. workforce have put pressure on organizations to better understand and manage diversity (Perry & Li, 2019). While there are various ways in which companies can “manage” this diversity, increasing attention is being paid to the role that leaders play (Avery & McKay, 2010). More specifically, a number of authors have begun to discuss the potential benefits of inclusive leadership in managing increasingly diverse employees (Randel et al., 2018). Despite discussions about the potential benefits of inclusive leadership, there is relatively little consensus about what inclusive leadership is and how best to measure it (Randel, Dean, Ehrhart, Chung, & Shore, 2016). The purpose of current research is to highlight the limitations of previous measures and to begin to develop a more theoretically grounded and empirically valid measure of inclusive leadership. Based on a review of inclusion and inclusive leadership literature, a measure of inclusive leadership was designed, evaluated by six subject matter experts, and administered to a large MTurk sample (N = 529). The current research found that inclusive leadership is a multi-dimensional construct that includes leadership behaviors of treating all work unit members with fairness, equality, and respect; encouraging integration of and synergy among all work unit members; and translating (i.e., compliance and implementation) organizational diversity and inclusion related policies and programs that support inclusion and prevent exclusion into explicit diversity and inclusion practices in the work unit. The current research established a content, construct, convergent, discriminant, and criterion valid and reliable measure of inclusive leadership, the Inclusive Leadership Questionnaire (ILQ), that can be used to help academics better understand what inclusive leadership is, how best to measure it, and assess its impact on work-related processes and outcomes. Additionally, practitioners can use this measure to assess the strengths and development opportunities of leaders; develop inclusive leadership capabilities; facilitate the incorporation of behavior based inclusive leadership criteria into the talent management system; and continuously make progress toward the goal of creating an inclusive workplace and gaining long-term organization health and growth.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social-Organizational Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Perry, Elissa L.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 11, 2021