The psychological strengths of Muslim woman as leaders in the workplace.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychological strengths of Muslim women who serve as leaders in the workplace. Muslim women have increasingly entered the South African workplace, but are underrepresented in leadership, similarly to other South African women, and encounter specific challenges because of their religious and cultural backgrounds. A mixed methods approach was employed in this study. By using the qualitative research approach of semi-structured interviewing, data was made available on the psychological strengths of a sample of fifteen Muslim women who occupy leadership roles in various industries. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was the data analysis method used to analyse the emerging themes, which revealed positive psychological strengths, as well as contextual factors, including experiences of leadership and the nature of the opportunities and challenges encountered by the participants. Various categories of strengths were distinguished and labelled as cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and behavioural. Quantitative personality trait data was generated using the 16PF-5, against which the derived strengths were compared. These strengths were also considered against existing strengths frameworks in positive psychology, including the Values in Action (VIA) classification system and Buckingham and Clifton’s StrengthsFinder. The results of the study were descriptive rather than explanatory and provided a basis for further research on psychological strengths and leadership, gender and personality in a South African context.