Understanding the influence of psychosocial factors on Emirati female college students’ leadership identity development: Hermeneutic multiple case studies from Ras Al Khaimah

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Reviewing literature on women’s leadership, I realized that not enough studies have been done on the psychosocial factors that can shape women’s leadership identity, particularly in relation to the cultural context. The paper offers an understanding of how Emirati women develop as leaders, how they form an understanding of leadership while focusing particularly on exploring the psychosocial and cultural factors that contribute to their leadership identity formation. Since identity formation is a very complex issue, the paper will explore it from different dimensions and will use a complex framework that addresses sociocultural, psychosocial factors and women leadership formation theories. These factors can be social or cultural influences that contribute to building the participants’ leadership identity; like the role of the family, social factors, culture and the image of leadership role models and how it affects their aspirations to pursue leadership roles. I will also be looking at the influence of role models and their role to inspire young Emiratis to pursue leadership. The paper intended to shorten the gap in Arab women’s leadership generally and Emirati women leadership in particular while providing an insight to educators to help them plan and design successful leadership programs that are gender and socially sensitive to the needs of students in the Arab regions. A qualitative hermeneutical research approach will be carried out to explore the relational leadership of multiple case studies in one of the UAE colleges. The paper will introduce a new leadership identity development model that is gender and culturaly sensitive, and can be used to study leadership identity among college students cross-culturally. The new model looks at developmental influences, group influences, boarding views of leadership, the development of the oneself and others. It also investigates other influences like religion, gender, culture, belief system, family, authority and power, and transnational influences.
Women -- Education (Higher)., women’s leadership, Ras Al Khaimah, Emirati students