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Volume :11 Issue : 3 2004      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

A Comparison of Gulf Arab and Western Women’s Attitudes towards Leadership in the Workplace

Auther : Mark Neal
Jim Finlay
Nouri Beyrouti

This article discusses the results obtained from developing an instrument to measure differences in women’s attitudes towards leadership in Arab and Western societies. In this study, student subjects in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom were used as test subjects for the development of an instrument to be administered to full-time employees. Doing so reveals important differences along recognized dimensions such as ‘traditional’ and ‘participative’. Such differences between the different groups of women are explained in terms of their different historical and cultural contexts. While the results of this study are preliminary in nature, they do point to some important differences among the student subjects, who will soon be entering the job market. In particular, the findings demonstrate the strong influence tribe, family and religion exert on Emirati women, resulting in attitudes that are more comfortable with paternalistic styles of leadership. In such a way, the paper aims to contribute to the debate about women’s attitudes towards leadership, and broaden the debate to include women in developing economies.

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