Inclusive climate and the performance of employees from Muslim diaspora in the Western organisations

Main Article Content

Sardana Islam Khan
Rumana Afroze
Laila Zaman


This exploratory study focuses on the impact of inclusive organisational climate on the members of Muslim diaspora in the Western workforce. There are theories and evidence that view increasing diversity in the workforce as a positive rather than a negative phenomenon. This is one of the few research papers that exclusively focuses on the implications of inclusive management practices for Muslim employees in the Western organisations. Evidence from the Muslim employees working in different industrial sectors in Australia, New Zealand, United States, and Canada have been used to explore the positive outcomes of inclusive organisational climate propositioned by the growing Muslim community in the Western workplace. This exploratory qualitative study presents the findings from 30 interviews with purposively selected Muslim employees working in the Western economies. Recursive abstraction and thematic approach have been used to analyse the data. The findings supported the popular assumption that inclusive organisational environment positively influences the desired employee outcomes among the Muslim employees that may lead to the attainment of various organisational goals. The findings also revealed that Muslim workers in the Western workplace feel more comfortable and included in a work climate where co-workers from different backgrounds or orientation are interested and encouraged to discuss their faith, values, and practices openly instead of carefully avoiding such conversation in the social interaction. Inclusiveness, to the Western workers with Muslim identity, is more about the interaction and behaviour of their co-workers at a personal level and less about the organisational system level mechanisms. Social exchange theory underpins the phenomenon explored in this study. Implications have been drawn for managers and human resource experts in the Western organisations.

Article Details

How to Cite
Sardana Islam Khan, Rumana Afroze, & Laila Zaman. (2022). Inclusive climate and the performance of employees from Muslim diaspora in the Western organisations. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 27(2), 135–161.
Original Articles


Afshar, H., Aitken, R., & Franks, M. (2005). Feminisms, Islamophobia and identities. Political Studies, 53(2), 262–283.

Aghazadeh, S. M. (2004). Managing workforce diversity as an essential resource for improving organizational performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 53(6), 521–531.

Albrecht, S., Boos, T., Deffner, V., Gebauer, M., & de Araújo, S. H. (2016). Conceptualising ‘Muslim Diaspora’. Journal of Muslims in Europe, 5(1), 1–9.

Ball, P., Monaco, G., Schmeling, J., Schartz, H., & Blanck, P. (2005). Disability as diversity in Fortune 100 companies. Behavioral Sciences and The Law, 23(1), 97–121.

Baser, B. & Swain, A. (2008). Diasporas as peacemakers: Third party mediation in homeland conflicts. International Journal on World Peace, 25(3), 7–28.

Bergen, C. W. V., Soper, B., & Parnell, J. A. (2005). Workforce diversity and organizational performance. Equal Opportunities International, 24(3/4), 1–16.

Bertone, S., & Leahy, M. (2001). Social equity, multiculturalism and the productive diversity paradigm: Reflections on their role in corporate Australia. In Phillips S. K. (Ed.), Everyday diversity: Australian multiculturalism and reconciliation (pp. 113–144). Common Ground Publishing.

Bloomberg Finance LP. (2010). Labor and employment report on doing business in the Muslim world: Practical issues for employers and employees. Bloomberg Law Reports – Labor and Employment, 4(4).

Butts, M. M., Vandenberg, R. J., DeJoy, D. M., Schaffer, B. S., & Wilson, M. G. (2009). Individual reactions to high involvement work processes: Investigating the role of empowerment and perceived organizational support. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14(2), 122–136.

Coleman, T. (1995). Managing diversity. Local Government Management, October, pp. 30–34.

Cropanzano, R., & Mitchell, M. S. (2010). Social exchange theory: An interdisciplinary review. Journal of Management, 31(6), 874–900.

EEONA (Equal Employment Opportunity Network of Australia). (2005). Australasian diversity and equality survey: Moving ahead on equality and diversity. Melbourne. Elisabeth, M., Cecilie, B., & Linda, C. (2013). Managing diversity through flexible work arrangements: Management perspectives. Employee Relations, 36(1), 49–69.

Grillo, R. (2004). Islam and transnationalism. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 30(5), 861–878.

Groeneveld, S. (2011). Diversity and employee turnover in the Dutch public sector. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 24(6), 594–612.

Gonzalez, J. A., & DeNisi, A. S. (2009). Cross-level effects of demography and diversity climate on organizational attachment and firm effectiveness. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(1), 21–40.

Hatia, Y., & Temporal, P. (2012). The next billion, the market opportunity of the Muslim world. Fleishman-Hillard International Communications.

Hom, P., Tsui, A., Wu, J., Lee, T., Zhang, A., Fu, P., & Li, L. (2009). Explaining employment relationships with social exchange and job embeddedness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), 277–297.

Jansen, W. S., Vos, M. W., Otten, S., Podsiadlowski, A., & van der Zee, K. I. (2015). Colorblind or colorful? How diversity approaches affect cultural majority and minority employees. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46(2), 81–93.

Kataria, A., Garg, P., & Rastogi, R. (2013). Does psychological climate augment OCBs? The mediating role of work engagement. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 16(4), 217–236.

Kezar, A. (2001). Investigating organizational fit in a participatory leadership environment. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 23(1), 85–101.

Maslach, C. (1999). 12 - Progress in understanding teacher burnout. In R.Vandenberghe, & A. M. Huberman (Eds.), Understanding and preventing teacher burnout: A sourcebook of international research and practice (pp. 211–222). Cambridge University Press.

Masterson, S. S., & Taylor, M. S. (2000). Integrating justice and social exchange: The differing effects of fair procedures and treatment on work relationships. Academy of Management Journal, 4(4), 738–748.

Mir, R. A. (2013). Religion as a coping mechanism for global labor: Lessons from the South Asian Shia Muslim diaspora in the US. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 32(3), 325–337.

Moghissi, H., & Ghorashi, H. (2016). Muslim diaspora in the West: Negotiating gender, home and belonging. Routledge.

Mor Barak, M. E. (2011). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace (2nd ed.). Sage Publications.

Mor-Barak, M. E. & Cherin, D. A. (1998). A tool to expand organizational understanding of workforce diversity: Exploring a measure of inclusion-exclusion. Administration in Social Work, 22(1), 47–64.

Mutsikiwa, M., & Baseral, C. H. (2012). The influence on socio-cultural variables on consumers’ perception on halal food products: A case of Masvingo Urban, Zimbabwe. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(20), 112–119.

Nembhard, I. M., & Edmondson, A. C. (2006). Making it safe: The effects of leader inclusiveness and professional status on psychological safety and improvement efforts in health care teams. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(7), 941–966.

Nishii, L. H. (2010). The benefits of climate for inclusion for diverse groups. Cornell University.

Panicker, A., Agrawal, R. K., & Khandelwal, U. (2018). Inclusive workplace and organizational citizenship behaviour: Study of a higher education institution, India. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 37(6), 530–550.

Penrose, E. T. (1995). The theory of the growth of the firm. Oxford University Press.

Pelled, L. H. (1996). Demographic diversity, conflict, and work group outcomes: An intervening process theory. Organization Science, 7(6), 615–631.

Rahnema, S. (2006). Islam in diaspora and challenges to multiculturalism. In H. Moghissi (Ed.), Muslim diaspora: Gender, culture and identity (pp. 23–53). Routledge.

Roberson, Q. M. (2006). Disentangling the meanings of diversity and inclusion in organizations. Group and Organization Management, 31(2), 212–236.

Safran, W. (1991). Diasporas in modern societies: Myths of homeland and return. Diaspora, 1(1), 83–99. and

Saint?Blancat, C. (2002). Islam in diaspora: Between reterritorialization and extraterritoriality. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(1), 138–151.

Schumann, R. (2007). A Muslim ‘diaspora’ in the United States? The Muslim World, 97(1), 11–32.

Seibert, S. E., Silver, S. R., & Randolph, W. A. (2004). Taking empowerment to the next level: A multiple-level model of empowerment, performance, and satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal, 47(3), 332–349.

Shain, Y., & Barth, A. (2003). Diasporas and international relations. Theory International Organization, 57(Summer), 449–479.

Shen, J., Chanda, A., D’Netto, B., & Monga, M. (2009). Managing diversity through human resource management: An international perspective and conceptual framework. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(2), 235–251.

Shore, L. M., & Barksdale, K. (1998). Examining degree of balance and level of obligation in the employment relationship: A social exchange approach. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 19(S1), 731–744.;2-P

Shore, L. M., Randel, A. E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M. A., Ehrhart, K. H., & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1262–1289.

Syed, J., & Kramar, R. (2009). Socially responsible diversity management. Journal of Management and Organization, 15(5), 639–651.

Syed, J., & Kramar, R. (2010). What is the Australian model for managing cultural diversity? Personnel Review, 9(1), 96–115.

Twenge, J. M., Konrath, S., Foster, J. D., Campbell, W. K., & Bushman, B. J. (2008). Egos inflating over time: A cross-temporal meta-analysis of the narcissistic personality inventory. Journal of Personality, 76(4), 875–902.

United Nations. (2015). Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP.241.

Welbourne, T. M., Rolf, S., & Schlachter, S. (2017). The case for employee resource groups: A review and social identity theory-based research agenda. Personnel Review, 46(8), 1816–1834.

Yin, N. (2018). The influencing outcomes of job engagement: An interpretation from the social exchange theory. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 67(5), 873–889.

Zoll, R. (2010). US Muslims: A new consumer niche. The Associated Press.