Women-Focused Leadership Development in the Middle East: Generating Local Knowledge
32 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2009 Last revised: 23 Oct 2009
Date Written: June 30, 2009
Leadership development is high on the agenda of many executives around the world, particularly in fast-developing regions such as the Middle East. Although leadership development programs in these regions are often based on an export model, our effectiveness in preparing successful leaders largely depends on locally generated knowledge. Despite a surge in cross-cultural studies comparing management practices across different regions, research about and conducted in the Middle East remains extremely scarce. In particular, little research has been conducted with respect to women in the workplace. This paper outlines our research efforts in the Middle East related to the Women Leadership Initiative and presents preliminary findings from two studies. In the first study, gender stereotyping is examined using the Schein Descriptive Index, based on a Saudi student sample. The second study explores women’s career decisions in the UAE and identifies challenges and coping mechanisms. Implications for leadership development and future research are discussed.
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