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 5: Leadership and Organizational Change in the Middle East

Christopher J. Rees, Rashid Althakhri and Aminu Mamman

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


Christopher J. Rees, Rashid Althakhri and Aminu Mamman INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we explore the subject of organizational change and development (OCD) in the Middle East from a leadership perspective. The critical factor of leadership in relation to the success or failure of OCD interventions has long been recognized in OCD literature and diagnostic instruments (Weisbord 1976). Yet, despite the transitional nature of the Middle East, we highlight from the outset that there is a dearth of published research that has focused on OCD in this region from a leadership perspective. In drawing on a range of source material, the main objective of this chapter is to identify and discuss a number of key contextual factors that are associated with the leadership of OCD initiatives in the Middle East. The content of the chapter is structured as follows. We first introduce the field of OCD from a general perspective, noting the relatively high failure rates that are reported for OCD interventions. We then explore various studies on the subject of OCD that have emerged from the Middle East. These studies consistently identify resistance to change as a key factor in OCD interventions in this context. Having emphasized the association between leadership behaviour and resistance to change, we subsequently examine how various political, cultural and economic factors are inextricably associated with the leadership of OCD initiatives in the Middle East. We draw on case study material from a public sector organization in the United Arab Emirates to highlight certain aspects of...

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