Leadership Development in the Middle East

Leadership Development in the Middle East

Edited by Beverly Dawn Metcalfe and Fouad Mimouni

Leadership in the Middle East has never been as vital as it is in the wake of the global financial crisis and the Arab Spring – yet there is a lack of detailed knowledge concerning strategies for developing capacity in leadership, national skills and knowledge management. This volume aims to address this deficit. This book is the first text on the subject of leadership development in the Middle East to be published in English (drawing on both English and Arabic scholarship) and will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of leadership theory and practice in the global economy.

Chapter 1: Leadership, Social Development and Political Economy in the Middle East: An Introduction

Beverly Dawn Metcalfe and Tony Murfin

Subjects: business and management, critical management studies, politics and public policy, leadership


Beverly Dawn Metcalfe and Tony Murfin Hold fast to God’s rope all together; do not split into factions. Remember God’s  favour to you: you were enemies and then He brought your hearts together and you became brothers by His grace; you were about to fall into a pit of Fire and He saved you from it – in this way God makes his revelations clear to you that you may be rightly guided. Qur’an, sura, The Family of ‘Imran, 3:128 Among the Arabs there were no distinctions, traditional or natural, except the unconscious power given a famous sheikh by virtue of his accomplishment; and they taught me that no man could be their leader except he ate the ranks’ food, wore their clothes, lived level with them, and yet appeared better in himself. T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1926 This volume advances scholarship of leadership theorizing by exploring the socio-cultural, political and economic context of leadership identity formation in the Middle East. Central to this analysis is the role of Islam in shaping leadership behaviour and social practices. Our contention is that Islamic philosophy and science are at the very heart of conceptualizing leadership roles and relations in the Middle East, but are often silenced in contemporary global discourse. We begin this chapter by investigating the historicization of Islamic cultural and intellectual heritage and the legacy of the period immediately following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in which Islamic leadership traditions were formed (Campbell 2008). Current theological...