Leadership in Saudi Arabia: A Multifaceted Phenomenon

  • Khalil M. Dirani
  • Christine Silva Hamie
  • Hayfaa Tlaiss
Part of the Palgrave Studies of Internationalization in Emerging Markets book series (PSIEM)


Making sense of leadership development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is very important for a number of reasons. The kingdom is considered the heart of Islam; it is one of the closest Arab allies to the United States, and the largest producer of oil in the world. However, the country is undergoing rapid changes: Its aged leadership is ceding power to a new generation, and its society, which is dominated by young people, is restive. Saudi Arabia has long remained closed to foreign scholars, with a select few academics allowed into the kingdom over the past decade. The purpose of this chapter is to present contextual factors affecting leadership practices and development in the kingdom. In particular, the authors provide a historical, geographical, and economic overview of KSA in connection to leadership practices; discuss cultural, economic, political, and other social aspects affecting leadership and leadership development in the kingdom; and present examples of how leadership practices are reflected in different sectors.


Saudi Arabia Leadership Style Leadership Development Leadership Practice Paternalistic Leader 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khalil M. Dirani
    • 1
  • Christine Silva Hamie
    • 2
  • Hayfaa Tlaiss
    • 3
  1. 1.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.University of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

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