Extensive field research sheds light on Palestinian executives

Around 110 executives were interviewed

LONDON - Ashgate and Gower Publishing (UK) last month released a new book titled The Palestinian Executive: Leadership Under Challenging Conditions. Authored by Dr. Farid Muna and Dr. Grace Khoury, the book analyses field research conducted in the West bank and Gaza. Around 110 executives from 63 business organizations were interviewed in depth regarding their personal journeys to leadership success, their leadership styles, and the challenges they face working under Israeli occupation.
The Palestinian Executive synthesizes international literature from notable management thinkers and practitioners to answer the question “What makes great organizational leaders?” The authors provide a new cultural perspective in a bid to discover what makes great leaders. The book tackles five related issues.
1. What influence do early childhood years have on success?
2. What are the specific life experiences that contribute to leadership success?
3. What are the Palestinian executives’ leadership styles and their preferred decision-making styles?
4. What paths must potential leaders follow on their journey to success?
5. What are the effects of culture and context on leadership?
Dr. Muna and Dr. Khoury provide a new framework for thinking about leadership from various perspectives without losing sight of the big picture. The authors identify a new framework for leadership development:
• The early ingredients for success gained from childhood to the time one starts a career. Potential leaders are those who have some, if not all, of the five early ingredients.
• The competencies required for successful leadership.
• Three stages of leadership development.
The book’s lessons are illuminating and beneficial for current and aspiring leaders as well as those responsible for recruiting and developing them. This is an indispensable tool for organizational leaders and multicultural organizations working in Palestine and other Arab countries. It takes into account the nuances, similarities and differences in context and cultures.
“The Palestinian Executive highlights the resilience and determination required to survive and prosper in an environment long marked by arbitrary, often deliberate, barriers. This book provides first-hand evidence of the ingredients for successful business leadership: self-development, early responsibility, experience, and training. Warning signals are given: risks of excessive social pressures from connections, cronyism, and nepotism. What are strengths in one context may be weaknesses in others. Farid Muna and Grace Khoury are to be congratulated on this clearly written work, says
Michael Jefferson, London Metropolitan Business School and University of Buckingham, UK.
“Farid Muna and Grace Khoury have written an empirical and insightful book that sheds much-needed light on leadership in non-Western organizations. The findings of The Palestinian Executive will be invaluable not only for present and future business leaders in Palestine, but are also vital for understanding management practices in the rest of the Arab world,” notes
Riad Kamal, Founder and Executive Chairman, Arabtec Construction and CEO, Arabtec Holding, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Farid A. Muna studied and worked in both the West and the Middle East. He earned his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, US, and his PhD from London Business School, UK. He is Chairman of Meirc Training & Consulting. Dr Muna is the author of The Arab Executive and Seven Metaphors on Management, and the co-author of Developing Multicultural Leaders.
Grace C. Khoury has been a faculty member in the business administration and marketing department at Birzeit University, Palestine for over twenty two years. She is also the director of the MBA program. Dr Khoury has written a number of case studies and published several articles on leadership, entrepreneurship, and management. She holds an MBA from Suffolk University, Boston, USA, and a PhD in Human Resource Management from Bradford University, UK.