The application of Western management to the development of a management education programme in Bahrain
Management education and development are recognised as highly problematic in advanced industrial societies that have a relatively long tradition of management theory and practice. Problems of developing managerial competence become all the more acute in non-Western societies that require the transfer of managerial know-how from external, mainly Western sources. The focus of this thesis is Continuing Management Education as a vehicle for Management Development with special reference to Bahrain as a transitional society. The investigation serves as a context for evaluating the transferability of selected Western Management theories to non-Western *environments. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of leadership, motivation and managerial professionalism, following a detailed empirical investigation of the Bahrain management culture at the macro, intermediate and micro levels. A strategy for Continuing Management Education is designed within the broader context of scanning four major management development options available to Bahrain, namely Westernisation, Bahrainisation, Japanisation and Pragmatisation. The latter option is recommended in the light of evidence generated through a collaborative approach involving an extensive survey of the management community. The strategy is applied to Bahrain through evaluating Gulf Polytechnic's Continuing Management Education Programme (COMEP) against it and identifying areas where specific correctives are needed. An explicit attempt is made to develop some guidelines pertinent to cross-cultural management theory transfer with special reference to such variables as specificity of a particular theory, its level of analysis and its methodological structure. At a parallel level, an effort is made to derive pertinent lessons of experience; both in policy terms and on theoretical grounds, out of the Bahrain case by way of a series of tentative generalizations whose applicability extends beyond Bahrain to the Gulf region, the Middle East and possibly other transitional societies. The research is based on a processual-developmental qualitative methodology and amounts to a managerial evaluation of a particular body of management theory and practice. This choice was partly influenced by the author's duality of roles as researcher and director of a major institution of higher learning. A future research agenda is also charted out.