Title: From desert to destiny: knowledge, attitudes and practices of Saudi Arabian leadership

Authors: Mark Charles Bechtold

Addresses: Bechtold Consulting, 99 Hyfield Lane, Jefferson, New Hampshire 03583, USA

Abstract: This paper aims to examine the ways in which Saudi organisational leaders and followers in organisations in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia interpret the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of organisational leadership within the context of the Saudi Arabian culture. Based on a qualitative study, findings indicate the prevalence of a power-driven leadership style and a desire for Saudi organisational leaders to adopt culturally-sensitive leadership and organisational development approaches that serve to enable, develop, and empower employees. Key themes suggesting the need for a developmental leadership style include relationships, leader-follower roles, the principles of Islam, and governmental support for business. The paper offers several implications for human resource management and development for organisations throughout Saudi Arabia, the GCC region, and beyond.

Keywords: leadership styles; power-driven leadership; developmental leadership; Saudi Arabia; culture; organisational leadership; cultural sensitivity; organisational development; employee empowerment; relationships; leader-follower roles; Islamic principles; Islam; government support; human resource management; HRM; human resource development; HRD.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2014.068079

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2014 Vol.14 No.1/2/3, pp.157 - 169

Available online: 12 Mar 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article