Leadership development in Egypt : how indigenous managers construe Western leadership theories
Cullina, Helen T.
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This research examines the ways in which Egyptian managers make sense of the leadership theories they are exposed to in their work interactions and their in-house leadership development training. This empirical study utilizes Personal Construct Theory to uncover how the indigenous managers construe Western evolved leadership theories. The research strategy follows a phenomenological paradigm, based on a comparative case study centered on an international design consulting firm headquartered in the Middle East region. The data collection tools, i.e., the Repertory Grid Technique (RGT), Personal Value Statements and Storytelling are consistent with an inductive, constructivist approach. The findings illustrate differences in how leadership theories are construed by indigenous managers compared to their UK counterparts and consequently which theories are more and less favoured. An emergent finding that evolved from this enquiry was the differences between Egyptian managers’ espousals and actual day to day leadership practices. This finding raises greater awareness of the role that cultural values play in the cross-cultural arena of leadership. The ethnographic technique of Storytelling brought to light the influence of national culture when leadership is enacted. The findings and results of this thesis throws some much needed light onto a geographical area that recent political events have brought to prominence as well as making a contribution towards understanding the potential barriers of transferring knowledge between cultures that differ in several important ways. The results are also useful from the perspective of Training and Development. Western trainers working in the Middle East region in addition to indigenous trainers seeking to provide effective leadership development programs will be able to discern which Western leadership theories to focus on, adapt and or disregard.