Transactional and transformational leadership behaviour of expatriate and national managers in the UAE: A cross-cultural comparative analysis

Dianne Bealer, Bhanugopan Ramudu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The paper by Dianne Bealer and Ramudu Bhanugopan aims to understand the distinctiveness of the leadership styles displayed in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) context. The paper draws on a sample of 213 managers from several countries representing divergent institutional contexts working in the UAE. It therefore examines and compares the leadership behaviour of expatriate and national managers in the UAE so as to identify their distinct styles and approaches. The factorial structure, mean, standard deviation and percentiles were derived to compare the leadership styles. The results revealed that significant differences existed on two dimensions of leadership practice between the sets of managers; managers in the UAE were found to be less transformational and more passive avoidant than managers in the USA and Europe. Implications for theory and practice, limitations and directions for future research are discussed. The study provides a better understanding on the comparative leadership styles across the USA, Europe and Middle East, which is indispensable to cross-border business practices that the International Human Resource Management literature identifies as especially important to Middle Eastern context. The findings of the study may extend to other countries in the Middle Eastern region. Comparative studies on transactional and transformational leadership practices involving expatriate and national managers across cultures are scant, particularly in the Middle East. The aim of the study, therefore, is to examine and compare the leadership behaviour of expatriate and national managers in the UAE so as to identify their distinct styles and approaches. The study analyses responses employing factorial and descriptive statistical methods from a sample of 213 managers from several countries representing divergent institutional contexts working in the UAE. The results revealed that significant differences existed on two dimensions of leadership practice between the expatriate and national managers. The findings of the study were then compared to the standard norms of leadership practices in the USA and Europe. Implications for cross-cultural and comparative understanding of leadership styles in the UAE are discussed. This study paves avenues for further research to be carried out on a larger sample drawn from a wider cross-section of Middle Eastern countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-316
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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