Determinants of Innovation Capability: An Exploratory Study of Inclusive Leadership and Work Engagement

Nenad Vladić, Damjan Maletič, Matjaž Maletič


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how innovation capability can be enhanced by inclusive leadership. In particular, the focus is on identifying the key drivers of work engagement and the role of leadership in boosting the innovation capability.           

Methodology/Approach: This research has a qualitative exploratory nature. The exploratory fieldwork is based on an in-depth interview with the CEO, field observations and on the analysis of relevant corporate sources.

Findings: The research provides further confirmation of the link between inclusive leadership, work engagement and innovation capability. Specifically, authentic communication and leadership traits such as trust, courage, humility, empathy and gratitude are considered to be among the most important enablers of an inclusive environment that leads to business success.

Research Limitation/Implication: This study contributes to a better understanding of how companies could enhance innovation capabilities by leveraging the power of inclusion. The subjective business evidence coming from only one company constitute the main limitations of the present study.

Originality/Value of paper: This paper contributed to leadership and innovation literature. The results of this work provide a thorough understanding of the mechanisms for improving work engagement and, consequently, innovation capability. By grounding our research in both theory and empirical evidence, we provide valuable insight for both academia and practice.


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Nenad Vladić
Damjan Maletič
Matjaž Maletič (Primary Contact)
Vladić, N., Maletič, D., & Maletič, M. (2021). Determinants of Innovation Capability: An Exploratory Study of Inclusive Leadership and Work Engagement. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 25(2), 130–152.

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