Leadership: A Study of Global and Cultural Context In Saudi Arabian Organisations

  • Mona Aseri

Student thesis: Phd


Despite the substantial number of studies and the developments that have been made in the field of leadership studies, organizations all over the world and across diverse sectors are not able to meet today's business challenges. Leadership accounts for successful implementation of strategies as well as development of human capital, and social and economic growth. Nowadays, the diversity of work environments, projects, culture and social conditions significantly influence leadership practices and therefore must be carefully and urgently considered. The most important aspect of leadership that makes it hard to measure is people. Leadership is about communicating with people, understanding their diverse perspectives, respecting their cultural values, and reflecting their social identity. Over the years, leadership has been studied, defined and many theories on it have been developed, each one providing a critical understanding of the leadership phenomenon. However, the field research is continuing to expand as demand continues to grow. The aim of this research project is to understand the current leadership behaviours that are present within organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in order to positively influence leadership practices and, overall improve organizations' performance and productivity. The researcher conducted an in-depth study in which all aspects of the context are examined, including leadership, cultural influence and the organization's unique context. The adaptation of the grounded theory analytical approach and the use of in-depth interviews allow the researcher to better understand the study's findings. The generated substantive theory of leadership has been represented and named as "collective leadership in action" and is demonstrated and clarified by the introduction of the conceptual model and the theoretical model. This substantive theory is broken down into three critical categories, namely leadership in action, knowledge management in action, and social influential factors. The relationships between these categories are highly important and have been comprehensively discussed. The main conclusion is the new approach to leadership, which assumes that each individual in this world is powerful beyond measure, and that human capital and individual competences and growth are therefore the greatest aspects of leadership development in Saudi Arabia organizations, with focus on the context and global influence. Future research are encouraged examine the generated substantive theory within different contexts and industries.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJamshid Parvar (Supervisor)


  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Globalisation
  • Saudi Arabia

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