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An empirical assessment of Islamic leadership principles

Khaliq Ahmad (Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
O.K. Ogunsola (Graduate School of Management, Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

International Journal of Commerce and Management

ISSN: 1056-9219

Article publication date: 6 September 2011




The main purpose of the present paper is to document some Islamic leadership principles of management. The paper equally examines the leadership function as adopted by academic administrators within the International Islamic University, Malaysia vis‐à‐vis Islamic principles of management. The whole process is an attempt to conduct an empirical study of the important role of excellent leadership from an Islamic perspective.


A combination of revealed sources of knowledge (the Quran and Sunnah) and literature reviews were used to document Islamic leadership principles. Then, a questionnaire‐based survey was used to examine the Islamic leadership principles, approaches, and sources of leadership principles adopted in the university. Use of the scale of statistical measurement was done to test the significance and reliability level.


It was found that academic administrators were imbued with Islamic leadership principles. The research also showed that servant‐leadership approach is preferably used in conjunction with alternative transactional and transformational styles, while the revealed sources of knowledge (Quran and Sunnah) were given the highest priority as sources of developing leadership principles.

Research limitations/implications

Islamic management is a diverse field. This study is, however, limited to Islamic leadership principles in an organization. Perhaps, this study will be little known to adherents of the conventional management principles, which may stimulate further thinking and debate on the crossing point between Islam and the management of an organization.


It is aimed at providing some knowledge of Islamic philosophy and practice in order to help today's employers and employees carry on everyday activities imbued with Islamic values and cultures.



Ahmad, K. and Ogunsola, O.K. (2011), "An empirical assessment of Islamic leadership principles", International Journal of Commerce and Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 291-318.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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