Dialogic change and the practice of inclusive leadership
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Purpose: This chapter explored theories related to inclusive leadership, and the application of inclusion and collaboration principles in a master’s-level leadership program. Design/Approach: We reviewed the concept of inclusive leadership, its theoretical grounding in social construction, and the role of collaboration and dialogue in learning, creativity, and what has been called, “dialogic change” in creating an inclusive culture. The application of four principles —leadership as engagement, engaged scholarship, orientation to possibility, and learning as transformation —have been critical to the practices of the authors as leadership educators and in teaching leadership. Findings: Inclusive leadership practices can have a dramatic positive impact on employee engagement, organizational culture and, ultimately, on organizational effectiveness. Moreover, inclusive leaders can effectively navigate through a context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, through engaging those affected by these issues. Social Implications: Universities play a key role in making the world a better place by educating future leaders to work effectively and respectfully with others by fostering creative problem solving. When faculty and staff embrace inclusive leadership principles in their work together, they generate creativity, and improve their effectiveness. As leadership educators, we not only model inclusive leadership principles; we use them as a framework for our teaching. Originality/Value of paper: Our leadership journey from theory to practice is of interest to leadership educators, scholars, and practitioners seeking to better understand and apply the concept of inclusive leadership in their particular settings. While our setting is Canadian, we argue the theoretical discussion and principles have broader application.
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