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 11: Leadership in Turkey: Toward an Evidence Based and Contextual Approach

Mustafa F. Özbilgin

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


1 Mustafa F. Özbilgin INTRODUCTION The field of leadership in non-Western contexts is saturated with studies which draw on constructs developed in Western contexts. This generalization also applies to studies of work values (including Hisrich, Bucar and Oztark 2003) and leadership (including Smith 1997 and Pasa 2000) in Turkey. Except for the GLOBE study (Kabasakal and Bodur 2002), which allows for emic and etic insights to be gathered, most studies reported in this chapter provide us with etic understandings of leadership in Turkey as they draw on replications of survey instruments which were designed in Western contexts in Turkish settings or using comparative data with common measures of leadership (these include Brodbeck et al. 2000). As leadership theory in Turkey draws heavily on theoretical frames which are developed elsewhere, it is a truism to say that there is dearth of a posteriori (inductive) research on leadership in the country. In this chapter, I argue that the unique contextual setting and dynamics of leadership in Turkey requires us to also engage in field studies which provide emic insights, which frame leadership in Turkey using concepts, theories and paradigms that are developed specifically with the Turkish context in mind. While I do not wish to understate the value of replication or large-scale comparative studies such as the GLOBE project (see Kabasakal and Dastmalchian 2001), in this chapter I outline the reasons why we also need studies which provide situated (cross-sectoral), embedded (ethnographic), contextual (sensitive to history and geography) and rich insights into...

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