With the acceleration of economic globalization, the organizational environment of enterprises is undergoing changes, and employee diversity has become a prominent feature in the workplace. Poor management on diversity can lead to hostility, conflicts in the workplace and high turnover rate, which triggers serious challenges to organizational management. As the continuous research on diversity management, the focus of research turns to inclusion, namely, from a perspective of the integration of diversity, it encourages the participation and input of all members in the organization, and tries to make full use of the potential benefits of diversity. Inclusion is an inherent requirement for the effective management of diversity and is a hot topic in the field of management research. To master the concept, formation and functions of inclusion is of great theoretical and practical significance to Chinese organization management. There are a large number of valuable research findings on inclusion in western countries. The research has lagged behind in China. This paper reviews relevant research findings of inclusion from the perspectives of individual cognition, collective cognition and practice at home and abroad. It expounds the connotation of perception of inclusion, inclusive climate & inclusive practice, and analyzes similarities and differences between diversity, exclusion, assimilation, differentiation, social identification, perceptions of insider status and inclusion. Due to the differences in research problem and perspective, concept definition and operationalization, the measurement of inclusion is still at the development stage. There are many different scales. More researches used Mor Barak’ perceptions of inclusion scale and Nishii’ inclusive climate scale. Jansen developed perceived team inclusion scale by taking strict scale development program, which has not been widely accepted, and its division of sub-dimensions remains to be further demonstrated. Some scholars proposed inclusion structural dimension, but did not give scales. The influencing factors of inclusion include demographic variables, personalities, leader and colleague behaviors, individual dissimilarity, diversity methods and practice, communication style and climate, policy and culture of work and family life, and so on. Diversity practice has impacts on inclusive practice, and leadership behavior affects inclusive climate. Inclusion affects employee performance, behavior, attitudes, job stress, fairness and other variables. The mediation and moderation mechanism of the influence process is concerned by a small number of studies. Inclusive climate and practice have an impact on performance and behavior, and related research is deficient. Inclusive climate moderates the effects of team diversity. High inclusive climate encourages the potential value of workplace diversity to be fully utilized, which brings beneficial results to the organizations. There are few studies that perception of inclusion and inclusive practice moderate the effect of diversity practice and management on employee and organization performance. Most studies are conducted at an individual level. Finally, the future research ideas are put forward: to develop localization measuring tools of inclusion, to enrich antecedents, effect outcomes of inclusion and its mechanisms, to improve the method design of inclusion research, and to promote cross-cultural comparative research on inclusion. The contributions of this paper are to grasp the latest research progress and development trend from the perspectives of individual cognition, collective cognition and behavioral practice, to clarify existing problems and possible future research directions, and to provide new theoretical perspectives for motivating employees. It is important to supplement the existing management theories to explain organizational behaviors, and is of great inspiration to the promotion of inclusion research and inclusive management in China.
A Literature Review of Inclusion and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 39, Issue 12, pp. 3 - 22 (2017) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2017.12.001
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Cite this article
Jing Baofeng, Zhou Xia. A Literature Review of Inclusion and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2017, 39(12): 3–22.
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