The concept of inclusive leadership tends to be understood from different perspectives and contexts. However, there is a consensus that inclusive leadership has proven to be one of the effective leadership styles for ensuring sustainable development. Clearly, this is embedded in the leaders’ ability to recognise bias, demonstrate an open mindset, and most importantly have the ability to acknowledge and empower others, especially those at sub-managerial level who are mostly in touch with the realities of policy implementation within an institution. While studies have proven the impactful role of middle-level management towards organisational performance, it was clear that the middle-level management at the universities are those set of leaders that are usually in full engagement with the university community including lecturers and students, thereby making them wholly responsible for the implementation of university policies at micro level. However, this class of leaders seems to be excluded or not fully recognised in deliberating and taking managerial decisions in the university leadership. Consequently, the intention of this paper is to critically conceptualised the six empirically acknowledged concepts of inclusive leaders and leadership framework by Bourke and Dillon which are courage, commitment, cognisance of bias, curiosity, cultural intelligence as well as collaboration and fully contextualised them in higher educational institutions with respect to straightening the relevance of middle-level management in leading universities.
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