Emirati Women’s Leadership Development: Biographical Narratives of Culture and Learning

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate cultural factors and learning that have contributed to the leadership development of Emirati women. Available international educational leadership literature does not adequately address religious and cultural values, particularly those in Islamic and Arab contexts. The methodology adopted is qualitative aimed at an exploration of meaning, important in understanding the factors that contributed to leadership development of my participants. Three sources of data were used in understanding the complex issue of leadershipdevelopment: in-depth narrative semi-structured interviews, document analysis and diary writing. Several themes are identified in the data analysis as having the main influences on Emirati women’s leadership development: family influences, cultural influences, social influences, influential role models, colleagues’ relationships, workplace culture/environment, and involvement in leadership activities. Based on these findings, an Emirati model of women’s leadership development has been developed that includes those factors distinctive to UAE society that contribute to a local model. The thesis will focus on participants from two Emirates in the UAE that are less frequently studied in research on the GCC and Middle East region: Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Further qualitative and quantitative research is required in order to continue the research that this thesis has presented as an exploratory study that has sought to begin the dialogue that is so relevant at this time in the UAE.
Educational leadership., Women school administrators., biographical narratives, cultural factors, Emirati women, United Arab Emirates (UAE)