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Situation leadership in small growing technical consultations companies in Sweden and Jordan
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background Small and medium businesses (SME) are important elements in the strategies of economic growth and improvement. The SME have played a great role in regional and global economic recovery during many years and thus they are very desirable. Small business leaders have to fulfil a wide range of roles and responsibilities however, the most important role being the leader role. Valdiserri (Valdiserri and Wilson, 2010) stated that poor leadership is one of the main failure reasons for small businesses. Furthermore, different countries may have different leadership styles and culture. Aim The purpose of this thesis is to identify the differences between the leadership styles in small technical companies in Sweden, an industrialized country, and Jordan, a developing country Method We adopted the study case method to study the leadership style in small companies. Through pre-defined questionnaire surveys, the leaders of eight small businesses (four companies in Sweden and four in Jordan) were asked to answer multifactor questions. We then studied the answers based on three situational leadership models. The situational methods used in our study were the Fiedler model, the normative model and the SLII model. The answers were then analysed in order to determine the current as well as the appropriate leadership style based on the models. Results In brief, our study identified several examples of different leadership styles in various situations in small companies and presented the most suitable leadership in those situations. The thesis also shed light on differences in small technical company leadership in Sweden and Jordan. The analysis of the case studies of the studied companies showed that the situational leadership methods could be used in small companies. The study concluded that in order to identify the leadership style, more than one model had to be used. In general, the leadership style in the Swedish companies matched the recommended leadership style. The Jordanian companies’ leadership style however did not match the recommended leadership style. The models in our framework also revealed the reasons behind and also proved to be valuable tools in recommending the suitable leadership style for all companies. The used models in our thesis however lacked the appropriate tools to explain the differences between the Swedish and Jordanian companies. The differences are thought to be due to cultural aspects, however, these models does not take in account the cultural aspect nor the size of the companies, an issue pointed out by Gary (Yukl, 2002). Conclusion The situational leadership style model was shown to be fully applicable in our case study as in previous literature. The conducted study suggested that more than one model had to be used in order to identify the suitable leadership style. Interestingly, the models used were clearly applicable in Middle East companies. This was, to our knowledge, the first time these models were used in Middle East countries when studying leadership style. Furthermore, the studied situational leadership style showed a clear difference in leadership between Sweden and Jordan. The models recommended a participative style in the small technical companies both in Sweden and Jordan. However, the current practiced leadership style in the Jordan companies were not exhibiting the recommended leadership style. Interviewing the leaders in the Jordanian companies gave us a hint that this difference could be due to cultural differences. The cultural differences must thus be born in mind when interpreting the data and trying to understand the reasons behind the results when studying these models. The Jordanian companies used more power leadership (telling leadership) than their Swedish counterparts who exhibited a participating leadership. According to (Hofstede, 1991) leadership in Arab culture show higher power distance than in Nordic companies. Our results thus coincide with previous studies. However more studies need to be made in order to draw conclusions on whether this is a common phenomenon in all Jordanian or Middle East companies and our thesis present an interesting pilot study in this regard.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Situation leadership, Small and medium businesses, Culture, Small technical consultant companies
National Category
Business Administration Other Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-3199Local ID: diva2:830500
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2015-11-11Bibliographically approved

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