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Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research

A great deal of research has focused on work group diversity, but management scholars have only recently focused on inclusion. As a result, the inclusion literature is still under development, with limited agreement on the conceptual underpinnings of this construct. In this article, the authors first use Brewer’s optimal distinctiveness theory to develop a definition of employee inclusion in the work group as involving the satisfaction of the needs of both belongingness and uniqueness. Building on their definition, the authors then present a framework of inclusion. Their framework is subsequently used as a basis for reviewing the inclusion and diversity literature. Potential contextual factors and outcomes associated with inclusion are suggested in order to guide future research. © The Author(s) 2011.