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Title: Renaissance of Saudi Women leaders’ achievement
Authors: Gazzaz, Lama
Advisors: Khan, T
Chen, W
Keywords: Leadership;Women leaders;Saudi women;Family support;Self confidence
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This research investigated cultural and social factors that influenced or allowed Saudi women to become leaders. It also examined those values that are synchronous with cultural and social factors that improved their access to leadership opportunities. An understanding of the factors and values that enabled these Saudi women to succeed leads to better knowledge of formation of leadership character. The context in which these Saudi women achieved their successful goal of becoming leaders, provides insight into their development as leaders and contribute to leadership studies in a traditional and religious context. The empirical data, gathered through in depth structured interviews using multiple rounds of interviews, was interpreted to produce a framework focused on the achievement of leadership and the cultural and social factors that enable or inhibit women leadership. The research revealed culturally based constructs related to gender. Whilst men are given responsibility and favoured for responsible positions, women are not inferior to men. Significantly, the women regarded themselves as no different from men in terms of bearing responsibility, being independent and achieving success. It confirmed the expectation depicted in the conceptual framework that women’s attributes or values are critical and significant in their successful journey to leadership. Sixteen such values and attributes emerged from the data. Significant among them were empathy with employees, ability to adapt, strength of character, expert knowledge and solidarity among women. By understanding the values that help women to achieve, sustain and evolve their leadership skills, which social and cultural dynamics enable or inhibit them in becoming leaders, and which organisational factors are critical for their success, this research has contributed better knowledge of Saudi women leadership achievement. Knowledge about women leadership in the Saudi context is thus advanced. This reveals that there is a role of the family and especially the father’s role, individual’s aspirations and action, the personal and professional struggle that Saudi women leaders experience, and the interpersonal relationships that they establish with their male counterparts to succeed. The research contributed understanding and knowledge of those values held by successful women leaders that are both unique and shared with successful leaders around the world. It revealed the social and cultural factors and dynamics, in the opinion of the participants that inhibit or enhance their ability to gain leadership roles and to work as effective leaders. The research revealed the organisational factors or dynamics affect women leaders.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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