Fatima Al Jaber and Al Jaber Group: Traditions and Transitions in a United Arab Emirates Family Enterprise

Published 30 Sep 2009
Reference 5609
Industry Construction
Region Middle-East
Length 19 page(s)
Language English

Very little has been written about women business leaders in the Middle East. Fatima Al Jaber is the Chief Operating Officer of a multibillion-dollar family owned company in Abu Dhabi. The case traces her personal history, highlights the challenges faced by family businesses in the region, and focuses on the distinctive strengths and leadership styles of Muslim businesswomen. The case will prompt discussion about work-life balance, the significance of culture, and the traditional and transitional roles and responsibilities of women in a rapidly evolving geopolitical context. It can also be used more broadly to compare leadership and gender in Western cultures to more traditional Middle Eastern cultures.

Teaching objectives

The primary purpose of this case is to provide an introduction to the Middle East and an overview of the issues and challenges faced by working women as they seek to reconcile traditional values with professional demands and obligations. The context of the case includes family business issues, and individual and organisational life cycle transitions. The case can be used with different audiences: I. Students or executives familiar with or living in the Middle East a. A discussion of the importance of family values b. The influence of culture on organisations c. Life cycle transitions and succession and the relevance of gender d. Decisions/action in the public sphere (face-saving and social constraints) II. Students or executives not familiar with the Middle East a. Introducing the region, breaking down stereotypes, finding commonalities b. Exploring family business issues and challenges in a traditional context

  • family business
  • family business leadership
  • Muslim women leaders
  • Abu Dhabi
  • work life balance
  • women in the Middle East
  • RD0909
  • AR2009
  • AR0910
  • ADEC
  • Succession, next generation
  • Governance, parallel planning, strategy, boards
  • Women in family business, gender