Chapter 15: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in Israel
Shay S. Tzafrir, Aviv Barhom-Kidron and Yehuda Baruch INTRODUCTION Israel is a country characterized as unique in many aspects, and while geographically located in the Middle East, its political, social and economical systems as well as the Jewish religion of the majority, and particularly its culture, differ substantially from its neighboring countries. These features and the scarcity of natural resources are reflected in the Israeli leadership style. The dominant national and managerial culture of Israel is close to that of Western societies (that is, the educational, political and legal systems, the welfare state, and the ethical values). With scarce natural resources, Israel looks for economic benefits from the human factor, and thus leadership plays a major role in Israeli society (Tzafrir et al., 2007). Israel has a legacy of a nation surrounded by enemies, which requires fighting against all its opponents in order to survive. One myth that helps in such endeavor and prevails from the Biblical times, throughout the life in the Diaspora, up to the establishment of the state of Israel and up to date, is being the few standing up against the many. A complementary theme, typically coupled with ‘the few against the many’ is that of being ‘the chosen people’. Again, deeply rooted in the Bible, this theme is concerned with determination and pride, serving as self-fulfilling prophecy in many struggles along the Jewish and Israeli history. The aim of this chapter is to present research and literature on both historical and empirical findings about leadership...
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