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Effective leadership in implementing change in Arab culture: the case of the Abu Dhabi police

Alnuaimi, Saif Salem (2013) Effective leadership in implementing change in Arab culture: the case of the Abu Dhabi police. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Leadership has a direct influence on actions in the work environment that enable changes. The present study examines the views of employees on effective leadership in implementing change in the context of the Abu Dhabi Police (ADP). Employing a mixed-methods approach comprising the use of survey instruments, interviews and documents, the study identifies strengths and weaknesses in the ADP‘s leadership. Using a random sample of 288 ADP employees, the results of the survey, interviews and documentanalysis consistently show that the ADP leadership was dominated by a top-down approach and a directive and commanding leadership style which was effective in terms of having a clear vision for change, motivating employees to change and using empowerment and delegation, but rather weak in communicating change to employees and involving them in change, due to the culture and traditions. The findings also suggest that the employees‘ perceptions of leadership varied according to education, working experience and job position. Therefore, the ADP leadership should pay attention to the demands and expectations of employees at all levels in order to implement change more efficiently. The study further demonstrates that the six characteristics of leadership were intertwined. The organizational culture, which is rooted in Arab culture and police culture, has shaped the leadership styles in the ADP. The study contributes to a better understanding of the ADP‘s leadership characteristics and highlights future directions for improvement:the ADP leadership should focus on developing a better communication strategy and making employees more involved in the implementation of change. This study can be used as a model for future studies in other similar police leadership settings.

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