Leading change
: adopting a transformational approach to leadership within the Internal Security Forces of Lebanon, enabling a community based style of policing

  • Kevin Michael Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The aim of this research is to ascertain whether a Middle Eastern quasi-military organisation with a hierarchical structure and centralised decision-making ethos can change its transactional leadership model to a transformation model that reflects a new community-based style of policing. It examines whether western-developed transformational leadership principles are culturally transferable, and it analyses the methodologies used by both the donor and recipient of the leadership development capacity building programmes.
This research examines the strategies and challenges for introducing a community policing style in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), a journey which began in 2013 and continues to the time of writing (Summer, 2019).
It also highlights the necessity to adopt a collaborative participatory active research approach when researching a closed Middle Eastern security organisation where access is difficult, and the motives of researchers can be viewed with the utmost suspicion.
The research examines the literature in relation to culture and highlights the negative effects of an ethnocentric approach to capacity building programmes that fail to give cognisance to culture and context. It suggests that equal partners taking a collaborative approach can successfully adapt western models of transformational leadership and a community policing style to meet the needs of their organisation.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn Fox (Supervisor), Sarah Charman (Supervisor) & Barry Loveday (Supervisor)

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