An Analysis of the Role of Motivation in Leadership Styles Utilized by Today’s Leaders in the “SMART” Organizations in the United Arab Emirates

  • Kiran Nair Abu Dhabi School of Management
  • Wayne James Abu Dhabi School of Management
  • Samer Shilbayeh Shilbayeh Abu Dhabi School of Management


Leadership plays an important role in the success of organization and employee motivation. The culture of leadership in this region has been shaped over centuries through a variety of factors, such as reputation, family, and religion, which continue to influence decision-making. Unlike many other regions in the world, a diverse range of nationalities and different cultures characterize the Middle East and particularly the United Arab Emirates. Official estimates suggest that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosts some 200 different nationalities. In such a context, diversity becomes an enormous challenge for organizations to choose the right leader with the appropriate leadership style to assure their success. Human Resource functions need to ensure that they choose the right people, management practices, and processes that will develop the right leaders who can lead and motivate employees to achieve the organization’s vision and mission. 

Author Biography

Kiran Nair, Abu Dhabi School of Management
Dr. Nair is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Abu Dhabi School of Management. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with specialization in Retail Management from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. Dr. Nair also holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from MS University India and has completed a certification course in Retail Management from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). Dr. Nair has 17 years of industry experience having worked with various multinational organizations in the Middle East and India. His primary responsibilities have spanned Sales & Distribution Management, Marketing, and General Management. Throughout his career, he has held various key positions such as Regional Business Development Manager, Category Head, and Country Manager. His research interests relate to Marketing, Consumer Behavior, E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Strategic Human Resource Management, and Leadership. In 2017, Dr. Nair published five papers which include “UAE a Promising Terminus in Higher Education Investment” and “Digital Marketing Influencing Firms Promotion and its Effect on Customer Feedback”. 


Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Vision 2020 -2021, UAE Cabinet Meeting 2010

Amabile, T. M., (2001), Motivational Synergy: Toward New Conceptualizations of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in the Workplace, Human Resource Management Review, Volume 3, 1993, 185 -201.

Champoux, Joseph E., (2011), Organizational Behavior, Rutledge, New York and United Kingdom, 2011

Covey, Stephen R., (1992), Principled-Centered Leadership, Simon and Schuster Ltd. 1992

Day, David D., Fleenor, John W., Atwater, Leanne E., Sturm, Rachel E., McKee, Rob A., Advances in Leader and Leadership Development, The Leadership Quarterly Volume 25, 2014, 63-82

Greenleaf, R.K., (1970), The Servant as Leader, Robert K. Publishing, 1970

Heller, Robert & Hindle, Tim (1998), Essentials Manager’s Manual, Dorling Kindersley, London, New York, Sydney and Moscow,1998

Shia, R. M. (1998). Assessing Academic Intrinsic Motivation: A Look at Student Goals and Personal Strategy. Unpublished College Thesis, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV. Retrieved February 17, 2003

Sotirofski, Ilendena, A Theoretical Framework of Employee Motivation and Leadership Relationship, European Journal of Economics, Law and Social Science, Volume 2 No. 2 June 2018.

Spears, Larry C., (1998), Insights on Leadership, John Wiley and Sons Inc.1998

The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 Team, The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Department of Planning and Economy, Council for Economic Development November 2008