Understanding leadership development for young people: creating a multi-dimensional and holistic framework for emerging high-school students as future leaders in KSA
Almohaimeed, Saleh Abdulaziz
This thesis concerned with understanding what makes young people as future leaders. It sets out to explore leadership development for secondary school students (12-to-18-year), focussing on what makes young leaders and how they become future leaders. The fundamental purpose of this explanatory and exploratory qualitative study was to investigate leadership development at the age of adolescence. There are three key objectives for this study: (1) to explore and investigate what contributes to forming young people as future leaders; (2) to clarify and understand how young people become future leaders; and (3) to create a multidimensional and holistic framework for developing secondary students as future leaders. These aims were achieved via conducting qualitative in-depth interviews (N=46) with established leaders (N=19) and university professors (N=27) in both the UK and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Additionally, as this study focuses on adolescence, it was important to conduct three focus groups with secondary school students in KSA (N=27). Succinctly this study aims to deepen our understanding of the issue of developing young people as future leaders. This study used multi-levels of analysis and multi-domains of purposive sampling via using maximal variation sampling, both leaders and academics are categorised into six domains (business, education, social, voluntary sector, YLD programmes directors, and developmental psychologists). The secondary school students were selected from government school, private school, and gifted students. Due to the extensive sample gathered (46 interviews and 3 focus groups) and significant data generated (287.000 words), the author’s study produces both emergent themes and abundant numerical results. However, these large quantities can encourage various quantitative studies in the future. There are several key contributions of value in this study; (1) creating and conceptually testing a comprehensive framework to develop young people as future leaders; (2) the theoretical contribution as the qualitative analysis has generated massive number of new emergent themes related to the research questions; (3) analysis of the empirical contributions revealed lots of variables, factors, criteria, tools; (4) a cross-cultural YLD which verify that there are both differences and similarities between the UK and KSA; (5) the findings proved that leadership for young people is learnable to a great extent; that adolescence is a critical period for developing leaders; that sparking the motivation to lead is important at this age; there are serious obstacles facing YLD; generic leadership is more applicable for YLD; and finally, one of the significant contributions of this study is its focussing of attention on a long-term approach for young people leadership development. The further contribution of this study is creating a multi-dimensional and holistic framework for YLD based on theories of adult leadership and intensively reviewing the literature review on YLD. It has been developed via pilot study and finally developed and validated throughout a cohort of stablished leaders and university professors (N=41). This study’s findings can benefit policy and practice to a great extent since it focuses on the secondary school students; as they are the future leaders, this study can be of significant help to the strategic planning of policy makers in the Ministry of Education, Youth Ministry, and generally within the political context, family business. This study inspires me to establish a leadership-based academy, which focuses on high-school students and develops them as national leaders.
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