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AN EXPLORATION OF LEADERSHIP IN THE CULTURAL CONTEXT OF SAUDI ARABIAN HIGHER EDUCATION

Alsuood, Yousef Abu (2019) AN EXPLORATION OF LEADERSHIP IN THE CULTURAL CONTEXT OF SAUDI ARABIAN HIGHER EDUCATION. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

The influence of culture on leadership is an area of significance. While the contribution of research to cross-cultural leadership in industry and business sectors has been substantial, the same cannot be claimed with regard to Higher Education, and in particular, Saudi Arabian Higher Education. This research study addresses this significant gap and explores societal and organisational cultures, and their influence on University Deans’ leadership perceptions and practices. The research has been conducted in eight, main governmental universities under the Ministry of Education control. Qualitative data has been collected, involving interviews with fifteen university Deans, with data scrutinized by an interpretive thematic analysis. The study’s findings conceptualise the cultural influence on leadership in the context of Saudi Arabian higher education with nine distinct themes identified: the influence of societal culture, tensions between traditions and change, limitations in Deans’ leadership preparation, a centralised environment, strict regulations, the authority of top management, selection and promotion features, reputational factors, and human resources issues. Moreover, due to these factors, five culturally conditioned leadership practices were identified: a reliance on authority, a lack of motivation, limitations in Dean-subordinates’ relations, autocratic decision making and limitations of planning techniques. The research yields a number of contributions to the existing understanding of this area. This includes the impact of culture on leadership practice in this context, particularly cross-cultural leadership. Further, by answering the questions of what is needed for leaders to be effective, the research offers a new dimension for leadership effectiveness, which was extensively explored by considering what is needed by leaders to be effective.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 08:03
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 08:03
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34846

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