Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)


An Empirical Study of Leadership Styles in the UAE Human Resource Strategy

Author(s): Damodharan Varadarajan Sowmya, Anil Chandrasekaran, Louise Patterson

Introduction: This study focuses on eliciting the leadership styles used in the decisionmaking process against various organizational levels across different organizational types and the influence of the position, age, experience, department, education under differing situations among the employed people of UAE. Initially, the authors believed that participant’s traits such as age, education would have the major impact rather than position-based experience, industry, and different situations on the leadership styles expressed. However, a deeper analysis and study of the data gathered from various organizations, the results were surprisingly different.

Aim: The analysis of the study revealed how the participant’s position, qualifications, experienced and industry affected the leadership styles. Some very interesting questions and situations have been attempted to understand the leadership style in this report based on a standard leadership style survey. This paper aims to report the findings of an empirical study exploring the relationship between three prominent models of leadership styles using the independent variables. Further, a Neural Network analysis methods and identify the most prominent influencer of the choice probability of leadership style. The independent variable which relates to the demographic and work-related includes factor such as age, gender, level of education, industry type, levels of management, total work experience, experience in the organization.

Methodology: The study is an empirical study based on leadership questionnaire survey using multivariate analysis followed by neural network estimation on the data collected from employees across various levels of management in the UAE. Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire developed and administered as a means of objective assessment of the leadership style of various managers across the UAE followed by the categorizing of scores to identify prominent/explicit styles and dormant styles that were then analyzed based on modeling.

Findings: The results reveal that the spectrum of three leadership styles containing basic characteristics, such as the type of branches, the age, and educational level are inter-related with communication, commitment, satisfaction, and effectiveness. The authors conclude that the unique setting and context found in the public sector-very much defined by the UAE Constitution-leads to subtle, but very real and noteworthy differences. The current literature around the world show that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector based on the various analyses. However, our research analyses gives a different picture for the UAE. The results shows that in the UAE the public sector is more effective and efficient than the private sector because of the leadership styles followed in this sector.

Research Limitations/Implications: Limitations include the self-report methodology that measures perceptual data with a series of questionnaire items. The survey responses that were Academy of Strategic Management Journal Volume 17, Issue 6, 2018 2 1939-6104-17-6-285 complete for analysis were more skewed towards the public sector as the other sectors did not respond well.

Originality/Value: The paper is original research that identifies the characteristics of an organization linked to selected demographic (personal and professional) variables of all level of managers on their managerial style in the UAE.