Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experiences of Leaders in Organizations in the U.S. Cultural Context: Perspectives from the Nigerian Diaspora
by Adeniyi, Mary, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2013, 240; 3557555
Abstract (Summary)

Diaspora studies suggest that despite having resided in a host country for a significant portion of their lives, diaspora members will bring the respective values, ideas, and practices in which they were socialized in their home country with them into different facets of their lives in their host country. Given 1) the importance of leadership for the well-being of organizations and their employees, 2) the presence of diaspora members in the U.S. in leadership roles, 3) research evidence of the impact of national cultural values on leadership, and 4) the dearth of research on the leadership of diaspora members in their host country, it is important to understand how these members experience leadership. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study was to understand how Nigerian-born individuals in a formal leadership role in U.S.-based organizations describe and interpret their leadership experiences.

Using purposeful and snowball sampling, eight Nigerian-born leaders working in the U.S. were interviewed for this study. Adaptability, educational and professional preparation, and cultural values defined leadership experiences as described and interpreted by the participants. Although the participants' sense of leadership identity was informed by values espoused in their home country and reinforced in their diaspora, their sense of cultural identity was attributed to a mix of Nigerian and American cultural values.

Based on the findings of this study, organizations can gain an understanding of the experiences of members of the Nigerian diaspora in leadership roles and can design leadership development programs and environments conducive to their development. Members of diasporas with similar characteristics with the study's participants could also learn about and reflect on their own leadership identities, which can contribute to their approaches to address challenges in organizations. Future research should include perceptions of subordinates working with leaders from diasporas and should investigate the specific cultural values that impact these perceptions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cseh, Maria
Commitee: Coningham, Beatriz, Khilji, Shaista
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Business administration
Keywords: Leadership experience, National culture, Nigerian diaspora, Nigerian national culture, Us national culture
Publication Number: 3557555
ISBN: 978-1-303-00727-9
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