, Professor, Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, USA
Cultural homogeneity can make socialization, training, developing, and decision-making a little easier and more predictable. Afghanistan is homogeneous in some respects but it is a culturally diverse country, which has a rich heritage of “guzaara” or getting by, getting along, surviving, and avoiding excessive risks to make progress in life and profession through cooperation, win-win thinking, and compromises. The conditioning of “guzaara” comes with certain weaknesses that might discourage critical thinking and encourage the acceptance of the status quo. Interestingly, the concept of “guzaara” is learned; and it is used by over two billion individuals living in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This conceptual paper suggests that effective guzaara education along with better skills in “edaara” (managing through task-orientation) are especially crucial for management and leadership practices in South Asia and other countries around the world.
Using cultural experience, leadership practices, and case examples, this article explains the concept of “guzaara” (relationship-orientation) and its shortcomings, externalities and unintended consequences linked to mismanagement, violence, discrimination, cronyism, bribery, and other forms of corruption. Using literature, management, and leadership models along with cases, the paper provides reflections and suggestions that are useful for managers, expatriates, government officials, and educators who are expecting, promoting, creating, and trying to sustain a growing and prosperous political and ethical economic climate in Afghanistan.
Keywords: Afghan management skills; guzaara; edaara; rahbariat; inclusion; heterogeneity, homogeneity; ethics.
JEL Classification: J24, M00.
Cite as: Mujtaba, B.G. (2019). Leadership and Management Philosophy of “Guzaara” or Cooperating to “Get Along” in South Asia’s Afghanistan. Business Ethics and Leadership, 3(1), 44-57. http://doi.org/10.21272/bel.3(1).44-57.2019.
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