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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Helga Drummond and Fayyadh Bani Al‐Anazi

This study compares leadership styles and employee reactions in public and private sector organisations in Saudi‐Arabia. The results both confirm and contradict media…

Abstract

This study compares leadership styles and employee reactions in public and private sector organisations in Saudi‐Arabia. The results both confirm and contradict media reports of conservatism and inefficiency in the Saudi‐Arabian public service. The practical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed. Saudi‐Arabia is popularly regarded as a wealthy country. Yet whilst some individuals enjoy extreme riches, the nation as a whole is ranked by the World Bank as a middle income nation. The future, moreover, is potentially bleak. Faced with a chronic budget deficit, the government's immediate priority is to identify new sources of income whilst simultaneously seeking to reduce expenditure. There is also the added pressure of needing to develop new industries as oil reserves become exhausted. Although Saudi‐Arabia's economic difficulties reflect the effects of Gulf War and the current depression of oil prices, the real cause of the apparent malaise may rest with the performance of its government executive: Saudi Arabia is not facing an economic crisis…but is suffering from over‐centralised government ministries best noted for the opportunities they have missed… Too many ministers have been too long at their posts for the good of the country. Clearly the suggestion is that an injection of entrepreneurial enthusiasm, ability and cosmopolitan outlook is required in order to make progress not least because many of Saudi Arabia's industrial and service organisations are in total or substantial government control. Although such claims of malaise in government and government controlled organisations are based upon media reports, empirical studies suggest that they may be alid. Saudi‐Arabian managers are apparently averse to innovation and risk, restrained by fear of failure. Such caution is reflected in relatively high reliance upon authority and relatively low delegation compared to north American organisations. The evidence is conflicting, however, as some enquiries suggest a high preference for consultation and participation amongst Saudi‐Arabian managers. We wish to suggest two weaknesses in the existing corpus of knowledge. First, existing studies concentrate upon the perceptions of the leaders rather than the led. A manager may perceive himself, (it is invariably him in Saudi‐Arabia), as participative or authoritative but there is no guarantee that this perception is shared by his subordinates. Second, existing studies fail to allow for the possibility of variation in leadership styles between different organisations. Whilst it may be true that Saudi‐Arabian managers are generally risk averse when compared to their north American counterparts, this does not mean that all Saudi‐Arabian managers are equally cautious and reactive. Such a broad brush approach may mask important differences between organisations. The present study seeks to explore such issues by comparing leadership styles in a range of Saudi‐Arabian organisations from the subordinates' standpoint. The theoretical rationale for the choice of organisations is explained in more detail later in this article. Here it is sufficient to note that the basis of comparison is the assumed level of bureaucratic formality. The research organisations range from the nearest equivalent to a European or North American private company, to the Saudi Civil Service.

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Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1992

Helga Drummond

Someone tells you there is a problem. Is there – how do youknow? Someone says there are three options – how do they know?Decisions turn upon what people believe is…

Abstract

Someone tells you there is a problem. Is there – how do you know? Someone says there are three options – how do they know? Decisions turn upon what people believe is reality, yet reality is a resource which can be manipulated to make power. Explores some of the techniques whereby decision makers′ perceptions may be influenced.

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Management Decision, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Helga Drummond

Impressions are potentially decisive. Preferment often accrues toindividuals who succeed in creating “the right impression”,regardless of their competence or capacity for…

Abstract

Impressions are potentially decisive. Preferment often accrues to individuals who succeed in creating “the right impression”, regardless of their competence or capacity for hard work. Explains the psychology of impression management and outlines some techniques for creating a powerful impression.

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Management Decision, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1992

Helga Drummond

Examines time based control in productions environments. Outlinesthe historical background to time‐based control. Argues that time basedcontrol can be wasteful, alienating…

Abstract

Examines time based control in productions environments. Outlines the historical background to time‐based control. Argues that time based control can be wasteful, alienating and even potentially destabilising. Suggests some alternatives to time based control, including task‐based control, and concludes that the challenge to work study is to chart the transition to task based control.

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Work Study, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Helga Drummond and Elizabeth Chell

Sole practitioner solicitors′ firms provide a unique and relativelycost‐effective service. Such firms are believed to be at risk because ofa trend within the legal…

Abstract

Sole practitioner solicitors′ firms provide a unique and relatively cost‐effective service. Such firms are believed to be at risk because of a trend within the legal profession towards larger practices offering a wider and more sophisticated range of services. Research reported here, however, suggests that sole practitioner practices are still potentially viable. Their vulnerability stems not from competition from larger practices, per se, but from solicitors′ lack of business education. Identifies the salient training needs.

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Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Helga Drummond

Power is generally regarded as the key to managerial achievement,if only in enabling users to get things done. Posits powerlessness as amajor source of managerial…

Abstract

Power is generally regarded as the key to managerial achievement, if only in enabling users to get things done. Posits powerlessness as a major source of managerial inefficiency, resulting in wasted time, needless conflict, stress, anger and frustration. Examines power and explains how you can develop your power base.

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Management Development Review, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0962-2519

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

Helga Drummond

Argues that incentives can facilitate the management process. Showsthat traditional productivity based incentive schemes are incompatiblewith new manufacturing techniques…

Abstract

Argues that incentives can facilitate the management process. Shows that traditional productivity based incentive schemes are incompatible with new manufacturing techniques that emphasise speed, flexibility and responsiveness to fluctuations in customer demand. Claims that rewarding outcomes is unlikely to produce commitment. Suggests that further research identify incentive schemes.

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Work Study, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Helga Drummond and Elizabeth Chell

Locates the roots of inefficiency in small solicitors′ firms as thelack of effective office management and administrative infrastructure.Argues that solicitors can…

Abstract

Locates the roots of inefficiency in small solicitors′ firms as the lack of effective office management and administrative infrastructure. Argues that solicitors can transform their practices into thriving businesses, by implementing recording systems for all claimable activities. Shows the potential of unadmitted staff; utilising the potential of administration; and maintaining quality.

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Work Study, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Helga Drummond and Elizabeth Chell

TQM creates a dilemma for organizations. The dilemma is that TQMimplies increased employee responsibility at shopfloor level. Increasedresponsibility traditionally equates…

Abstract

TQM creates a dilemma for organizations. The dilemma is that TQM implies increased employee responsibility at shopfloor level. Increased responsibility traditionally equates with increased pay. The TQM gurus however advise that monetary rewards are likely to prove counterproductive. Analyses the problem and examines the potential impact of coercive and symbolic power as alternatives to material reward. Concludes that, although little can be achieved by rewarding contributions with money, neither of the alternatives are workable. The answer lies in matching increased responsibility with increased control. Suggests that organizations which succeed in adjusting this balance may gain a competitive advantage ahead of the Japanese.

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Personnel Review, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Helga Drummond

Recalls that the collapse of Baring’s bank showed what may lie behind an apparently successful organization. Barings was destroyed by the unauthorised activities of a…

Abstract

Recalls that the collapse of Baring’s bank showed what may lie behind an apparently successful organization. Barings was destroyed by the unauthorised activities of a trader named Nick Leeson. For almost three years Leeson deceived the bank by appearing to earn phenomenal profits, while in reality incurring massive and ultimately catastrophic losses. A striking feature of the bank’s collapse is that it was both sudden and total. No one had the least suspicion of impending catastrophe despite the emergence of clear signs of malfeasance. The article explains why Barings’ management failed to respond effectively to those danger signs and considers the lessons to be learned.

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Management Decision, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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