A1 Journal article (refereed)
Collaborative Leadership in the Institution of Higher Education : A Sociocultural Context of Pakistan (2023)

Shaikh, S. A., Lämsä, A.-M., & Heikkinen, S. (2023). Collaborative Leadership in the Institution of Higher Education : A Sociocultural Context of Pakistan. South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases, 12(1), 65-80. https://doi.org/10.1177/22779779231154646

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Shaikh, Shabnam A.; Lämsä, Anna-Maija; Heikkinen, Suvi

Journal or series: South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases

ISSN: 2277-9779

eISSN: 2321-0303

Publication year: 2023

Publication date: 28/04/2023

Volume: 12

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 65-80

Publisher: SAGE Publications

Publication country: India

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/22779779231154646

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/86865


The need for collaborative leadership to advance knowledge sharing, novel ideas, inclusion and employee engagement has increased in modern organizations, with the aim being to make organizations more effective and responsible. Yet, an interesting question arises about how this kind of leadership model, which is arguably of Western origin, is understood and whether it can be applied in sociocultural contexts where top-down leadership tends to be exercised. This study addresses this question and explores the meaning of collaborative leadership from a cultural viewpoint in Pakistan, where collaborative relationships across hierarchical levels are not common. The applicability of collaborative leadership in the study context is also highlighted. The qualitative instrumental case study was conducted in a higher education institution in Pakistan, where the data were gathered with the help of open-ended interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Two central themes were explored: the tradition of leadership collaboration and the exclusion of some groups from collaboration. The study shows that the traditional cultural attribute called Otaq lays a foundation for understanding collaborative leadership in the study context. Similarly, it was discovered that several cultural features place limits on specific people’s opportunities to participate in leadership collaboration. Cultural features and how they are linked to the inclusion of the studied organization members in collaborative leadership efforts are highlighted. It is concluded that more contextually sensitive knowledge about collaborative leadership activities is needed in the future.

Keywords: leadership (activity); leadership (properties); management culture; institutions of higher education; sociocultural factors

Free keywords: case study; culture; collaboration; collaborative leadership; higher education organization; leadership; Pakistan

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2023

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-05-09 at 10:22