Christian Leadership, the Gospel and Culture

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CHAPTER 2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

The previous chapter has shown that the task of Christian ethics is to understand the context, to analyse and evaluate the nature of ethical problems, and to elicit suggestions and propose practical actions. Leaders base their actions on norms and values. To evaluate a leader’s behaviour the biblical values of love, justice, mercy, faithfulness and humility are key. Jesus is the example modelling true Christian leadership. Thus, in terms of providing leadership and exercising power, Christian leaders ought to follow the example of Jesus who set out the vision of the kingdom of God. We have seen in chapter one that for Christian leaders it is important to have a sound biblical understanding of leadership, and that leadership style is influenced by a person’s character, culture and theology. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of a leader’s character and its formation process. It is also important to understand the cultural context of a leader as it influences her/his actions. To gain a better understanding of what Christian leadership means, a cross-cultural dialogue is useful. To evaluate leadership styles in chapters three, four and five the Christian-ethical values outlined in chapter one such as love, justice, mercy, faithfulness and humility are employed. These criteria, together with the vision of kingdom leadership in reference to servanthood and stewardship, the biblical use of power and the importance of virtues and character formation of a leader will help to identify and propose possible changes and actions in chapter five. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the research design and methodological approach used in this study. Since this research relates to different cultures, a combination of different methods and data sources must be employed to facilitate sound data collection appropriate to each cultural context. This study combines theoretical and empirical qualitative research in a dialectical process. The theory applied to general observations and experience of more than ten years leads to a hypothesis, which is stated at the beginning of the following chapter three. The hypothesis is measured against the data sources. The main data sources are literature, especially books and articles, and participant observations, case studies, informal and semi structured interviews, and a group discussion, which illustrate the theoretical argument (Mason 2002:126 & 176). The qualitative data provide contextual information and uncover emic views 16 (Guba & Lincoln 1994:106). The combined picture of theory and generated data is measured against the Christian-ethical framework of chapter one. These different methods are complementary. This combination of various methods is important in generating valid and reliable data; the argument is empirically and theoretically grounded. British sociologist Jennifer Mason distinguishes between generating and collecting data because a researcher cannot be… a completely neutral collector of information about the social world. Instead, the researcher is seen as actively constructing knowledge about the world according to certain principles and using certain methods derived from, or which express, their epistemological position (2002:52). Thus the researcher generates data from the chosen data sources through her/his subjective lens. An empirical world does exist, but it can only be known and understood interpretatively (:179). So there is no neutral collector nor objective view of the environment or situation. The main approach of this qualitative research is ethnographic. The immersion of the researcher into the cross-cultural setting provides the basis for this research. Participant observations over a period of more than ten years, including exercising a role in the society as a leader, provide the necessary credibility and trust enabling the researcher to conduct interviews.
In this chapter I describe how the two leadership styles are analysed, interpreted, evaluated, reflected, and practical actions considered. Below in section 2.1 “Data Collection and Analysis of Leadership Styles”, there is a discussion about what research methods, such as participant observations, case studies, interviews and group discussion are used to generate data for the analysis. How these research methods are employed to collect data about the leadership styles is explained. After discussing the research methods it is laid out why culture is important for this study. Leadership behaviour is influenced by culture. A definition of culture is given and two cultural value models by Hofstede, Trompenaars and HampdenTurner are discussed at length. A synthesis is derived from these two models and key themes are drawn for this study. The cultural value models are used as a basis for the design of parts of the questionnaire for the interviews, and to analyse, interpret and position the leadership styles culturally. Once the cultural value models have been discussed, section 2.2 “Dialogue and Evaluation of Leadership Styles” describes how a dialogue among Westerners and Tanzanians takes places in form of a comparison of leadership styles, presenting their view of each other’s leadership and a group discussion. How the leadership styles are evaluated in light of the Scriptures as outlined in chapter one is then described. Finally, from the analysis of the generated data and an evaluation of the cross-cultural dialogue there is a discussion of how practical actions and application for Christian leadership can be considered

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Acknowledgements
Summary
INTRODUCTION 
CHAPTER 1 CHRISTIAN ETHICS, LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE: SOME KEY ISSUES 
1.1 Definition of Christian Ethics 
1.2 Leadership and Christian Ethics
1.2.1 Leadership and Christian Norms and Values
1.2.2 Leadership and the Vision of the Kingdom of God
1.2.3 Leadership and Power
1.2.4 Leadership and Christian Virtues
1.2.4.1 Leadership and Character
1.2.4.2 Christian Leadership and Character Formation
1.3 Christian Leadership, the Gospel and Culture
CHAPTER 2 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 
2.1 Data Collection and Analysis of Leadership Styles
2.1.1 Leadership and Cultural Norms and Values
2.1.1.1 Definition of Culture
2.1.1.2 Hofstede’s Model
2.1.1.2.1 Power distance
2.1.1.2.2 Individualism versus collectivism
2.1.1.2.3 Assertiveness versus modesty
2.1.1.2.4 Uncertainty avoidance
2.1.1.2.5 Short-term versus long-term orientation
2.1.1.3 Trompenaars’ and Hampden-Turner’s Model
2.1.1.3.1 Universalism versus particularism
2.1.1.3.2 Individualism versus communitarianism
2.1.1.3.3 Specificity versus diffuseness
2.1.1.3.4 Achieved versus ascribed status
2.1.1.3.5 Neutral versus affective
2.1.1.3.6 Sequential versus synchronous time
2.1.1.3.7 Inner versus outer direction
2.1.1.3.8 Organisational culture
2.1.1.4 A Comparison of Hofstede’s and Trompenaars and
Hampden-Turner’s Models
2.2 Dialogue and Evaluation of Leadership Styles
2.3 Reflection, Practical Actions and Applications in Christian Leadership
CHAPTER 3 THE CULTURAL CONTEXTS, PERSONAL BACKGROUND AND CHARACTER OF WESTERN, PARTICULARLY GERMANIC AND ANGLO-SAXON, AND TANZANIAN LEADERSHIP
3.1 Cultural Contexts and Leadership
3.1.1 Western Context
3.1.2 Tanzanian Context
3.2 Personal Background and Leadership
3.3 Character and Leadership 
3.3.1 Christ-Like Leadership
3.3.2 Christian Leadership and Culture
CHAPTER 4 RELATIONSHIPS, POWER AND CONFLICT IN WESTERN, PARTICULARLY GERMANIC AND ANGLO-SAXON, AND TANZANIAN LEADERSHIP 
4.1 Relationships and Leadership
4.1.1 Organisational Structure and Leadership
4.1.2 Trust and Leadership
4.1.3 Self-Disclosure and Leadership
4.1.4 Task, Time and Leadership
4.2 Power and Leadership
4.2.1 Women and Leadership
4.2.2 Use of Power and Leadership
4.2.3 Meetings and Leadership
4.2.4 Decision-Making and Leadership
4.3 Conflict and Leadership
CHAPTER 5 A CHRISTIAN-ETHICAL DIALOGUE AND EVALUATION OF WESTERN AND TANZANIAN LEADERSHIP STYLES AND THEIR IMPACT ON CROSS-CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS
5.1 A Dialogue of Western and Tanzanian Leadership Styles
5.1.1 Differences between Western and Tanzanian Leadership
5.1.2 Christ-like Leadership in the West and in Tanzania
5.1.3 Strengths and Weaknesses of Western and Tanzanian Leadership
5.1.3.1 Strengths and Weaknesses of Western Leadership from a Western Perspective
5.1.3.2 Strengths and Weaknesses of Western Leadership from a Tanzanian Perspective
5.1.3.3 Strengths and Weaknesses of Tanzanian Leadership from a Tanzanian Perspective
5.1.3.4 Strengths and Weaknesses of Tanzanian Leadership
from a Western Perspective
5.2 An Evaluation of Western and Tanzanian Leadership Styles in Light of the Bible .
5.2.1 A Christian-ethical Evaluation
5.2.2 Practical Action Steps Forward
5.3 Towards a Christian Leadership Style
5.3.1 What can Westerners learn from Tanzanian Leaders?
5.3.2 What can Tanzanians learn from Western Leaders?
5.4 Leadership Styles and their Impact on Partnerships
5.4.1 Challenges and Hindrances for Partnerships
5.4.2 A Way to Foster Partnerships
CONCLUSION 
Appendix
Bibliography 

 

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