Leadership Development in Emerging Market Economies

Alexandre Ardichvili and Khalil M. Dirani


This edited monograph addresses an important and so far largely unexplored area of practice and research: leadership development (LD) in emerging market economies. In the USA, LD comprises the largest and one of the fastest growing segments of training and development efforts of the majority of business organizations. For example, in 2012 for-profit firms in the USA have spent $14 billion on LD, and this amount has doubled compared with the annual spending in mid-1990s (Loew & O’Leonard, 2012). Furthermore, research by Bersin by Deloitte’s (2014) showed that LD accounted for 35 % of learning and development budgets of more than 300 large U.S firms. While leadership and LD studies originated mostly in the USA and a handful of European countries, over the past two decades LD has become a dominant HRD trend both in developed and emerging economies globally (Dinh et al., 2014).

A. Ardichvili (*)

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA K.M. Dirani

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA © The Author(s) 2017

A. Ardichvili, K. Dirani (eds.), Leadership Development in Emerging Market Economies, DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-58003-0_1

At the turn of the twenty-first century, Goldman Sachs projected that by 2050 the combined GDP of four emerging countries, known as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), will be larger than that of the G7 (seven largest developed economies; Goldman Sachs, 2001). Later, South Africa was added to the list and the group became known as BRICS. In 2005, Goldman Sachs has added a larger group of emerging countries to their watch list, calling them The Next Eleven (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam; O’Neill, Wilson, Purushothaman, & Stupnytska, 2005). Despite the recession of 2008-2009 and recent overall decline of the growth rates in many of the emerging markets, the combined economies of BRICS and of The Next Eleven have grown much faster than those of the G7, and today there is no doubt that soon the emerging countries will account for a larger percentage of the world GDP, compared to the developed countries. A concurrent development is the rapid global expansion of multinational corporations (MNCs) based in the emerging market economies. Thus, the 2014 Fortune Global 500 list of largest companies worldwide included dozens of MNCs from China, Brazil, Russia, India, and other emerging countries (Fortune 2014).

Given the growing importance of the emerging markets, understanding how current and future business leaders in these countries are educated and trained is a matter of high priority for academics, business executives, and policymakers worldwide. However, systematic studies of LD in emerging markets and especially English-language publications on this topic are scarce. We hope that this book will help to close an important gap in the academic literature by bridging LD studies and research on emerging markets and by providing analysis of LD practices in a number of key emerging economies.

A single volume cannot provide a comprehensive picture of the LD landscape of dozens of countries, classified as emerging markets. By necessity, we had to make difficult choices. We included some countries, while leaving out other, arguably equally important examples. We have attempted, nevertheless, to provide representative examples from most important country groupings and regions. Thus, we included chapters on all five BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). Furthermore, four largest economies of the South-East Asian region were included (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam), as well as examples from the Eastern Europe (Hungary and Poland), and Middle East and Africa (Ghana, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia). Two countries in our sample do not fall into any of the above groupings but were deemed important to include: Turkey and South Korea. Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia and has close ties with both the European Union and the Middle East region. It is one of the largest (both in population and by the size of its economy) emerging markets and has a potential for becoming one of the leading economies in the world. We included Turkey in the Middle East grouping of chapters. In making this decision, we followed the example of the GLOBE research project where Turkey was classified as part of the Middle East cluster (Javidan, Stahl, Brodbeck, & Wilderom, 2005).

South Korea, having achieved status of one of the largest and most developed economies in Asia, can no longer be classified as an emerging economy. However, it was listed among The Next Eleven by Goldman Sachs, and we felt that it was important to include this country as an example of an impressive development of LD systems that paralleled equally fast transformation of its economy from the developing to developed status.

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