Beyond “Leader” Development: Advancing New Leadership Development Models in the GCC


By May Al-Dabbagh and Christine Assaad

Brief Summary

In recent years, the countries of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) have been the site of a booming industry for leadership development programs. The growing demand for competent “leaders” has been met with a plethora of programs from local and international actors, including academic institutions, governments, private sector companies, international development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and for-profit consultancies. Many of these costly programs are funded by governments with the aim of producing a cohort of qualified citizens that play a leading role in public and private sectors alike. However, in a post-financial crisis context, the cottage industry of leadership programs has been under scrutiny and questions have been raised about its efficacy and impact. Moreover, the nascent interest in developing “women’s leadership” risks waning with little reflection on lessons learned from recent experiments and ways of improving them in the future. This policy brief provides a broad overview of contemporary leadership development programs for men and women in the Gulf region, a description of the main challenges facing these programs, and a number of recommendations for advancing effective leadership development in the GCC.1

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عضو مؤسس في مجموعة قيادة، ومدير مساعد ادارة المشاريع و المتابعة و ادارة الأداء بالهيئة العامة للاستثمار. حاصلة على الدكتوراه في ادارة...

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