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 8: Leadership in Jordanian Organizations: How Does it Differ from Leadership in Western Organizations?

Samir Abuznaid and David Weir

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


Samir Abuznaid and David Weir INTRODUCTION Jordan is a small country, relatively poor in natural resources, with a political history marked by its central position in the long-running conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The kingdom, in common with many of the others in the region, has largely artificial boundaries deriving from the division of former Ottoman territories between Britain and France after World War I and, in particular, in the creation of the states of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq out of the lands of the British mandate (Ryan 2011). However, the country has developed a strongly integrated political sense in which the lack of natural resources is balanced by a very strong sense of national identity and social culture. The monarchy, especially as embodied by the late King Hussein, has been a defining influence on this identity and culture in this Arab and Muslim (predominantly Sunni) state. In this chapter we first characterize the economic situation of Jordan, and then describe some general features of the organizational structure and leadership behaviours and styles in the region of the Arab Middle East. We then discuss some recent empirical research studies on leadership and management in Jordan. Although the unique style of leadership in the country owes much to the continuing influence of the military, the relative lack of corruption is also an influence, with Transparency International stating: ‘countries such as Bhutan, Botswana, Cape Verde, Chile, Jordan, Uruguay and some Caribbean islands continue to exhibit relatively low levels of perceived...

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