Paternalistic Leadership in Kuwaiti Business Environment: Culturally Endorsed, but Largely Ineffective

Keywords: Paternalistic Leadership, Kuwait, Culture, Leadership, Wasta.


There is an assumption from the reviewed literature that Paternalistic Leadership (PL) is culturally endorsed as a leadership style in Kuwait. With many diverse perspectives on the effectiveness of paternalistic leadership, the research objectives of the current research are threefold. First, to examine if PL is recognized as a leadership style in Kuwait organizations, second, to test the effectiveness of that style if present, and third, to identify the specifics of the Kuwaiti leadership practice. The findings lead to the conclusion that PL is present in Kuwaiti leadership practices, culturally is endorsed, but otherwise is considered as an ineffective leadership style because of the influence of wasta.

Author Biography

Slobodan Adžić, Faculty of Management FAM

Dr. Slobodan Adžić is an associate professor at FAM - Faculty of Management, Sremski Karlovci, University Union - Nikola Tesla, Serbia. He was an assistant professor at Arab Open University, Kuwait Branch in the period 2017-2019, as well as at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Affiliated Colleges in Hafr-Al-Batin, Saudi Arabia in period 2014-2016. Before his academic career, Dr. Adžić spent 20 years on the top leading positions in the public and private sectors. He was the Chief Executive Officer of two Serbian corporations, PETROHEMIJA, and AB KONSTRUKTOR. He served as President of the Executive Council (City Manager) for The Municipal Assembly of Pancevo. Dr. Adžić holds a BSc (Hons) in marketing from Belgrade University, an MBA from Lancaster University Management School and a Ph.D. from Megatrend University in leadership. He speaks Serbian, English, and German.


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