Universal HRM and the Gulf Leadership Style: The Perils of Best Practice

William Scott-Jackson (Oxford Strategic Consulting, UK) and Jonathan Michie (University of Oxford, UK)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 21
EISBN13: 9781466658998|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5067-1.ch001
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This case study aims to allow students, using various business dilemmas, to explore differences in approach between the most commonly taught “universal” models of human resource management (HRM), mostly based on Western culture and practices (Brewster, Farndale, & Ommeren, 2000) and a more contingent HRM predicated on the leadership culture prevalent in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Scott-Jackson, 2008). It aims to generate discussion of strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches to leadership and HRM as well as some recognition that there is a valid, distinctive Gulf Arab Management Style that is worthy of study and provides an alternative to more commonly recognized approaches. The supporting research was carried out between January 2011 and June 2012. It was largely based on interviews with 50 Gulf Arab leaders, together with action research and advisory work in 5 large Gulf companies (including the family conglomerate forming the basis for this case).
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