Leadership in a Slum

A Bangkok Case Study

By Alan R. Johnson

Foreword by Suntaree Komin

Leadership in a Slum

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781608994076
  • Pages: 258
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2010
  • Retail Price: $30.00
Web Price: $24.00
Web Price: $24.00

Leadership in a Slum

A Bangkok Case Study

By Alan R. Johnson

Foreword by Suntaree Komin

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781608994076
  • Pages: 258
  • Publication Date: 4/1/2010
  • Retail Price: $30.00
Web Price: $24.00

About-

In Leadership in a Slum Johnson looks at leadership in the Thai social context from a different angle than traditional studies that measure well-educated Thais on leadership scales derived in the West. Seeking a cultural account of social influence processes he turns to those who have been left behind in the race to participate in a globalizing world, the urban poor. Using both systematic data collection and participant observation he develops a culturally preferred model as well as a set of models based in Thai concepts that reflect on-the-ground realities. Johnson also examines the community-state relationship and finds that in the face of state power that brings both development and the forces of eviction, the community and its leaders are not passive in this relationship but modify, reject, or resist state views in their various forms. He concludes by looking at the implications of his anthropological approach for those who are involved in leadership training in Thai settings and beyond. This work challenges the dominance of the patron-client rubric for understanding all forms of Thai leadership and offers an alternative view for understanding leadership rooted in local social systems to approaches that assume the universal applicability of leadership research findings across all cultural settings.

Endorsements & Reviews-

Alan Johnson takes the reader on a multi-faceted leadership journey into a Bangkok slum. Resisting the temptation to overlay Western leadership theory on a culture as unique as the Lang Wat Pathum Wanaram Community, Alan masterfully weaves together a rich tapestry from the raw fabric of implicitly embedded leadership among those whom most from the outside would dismiss as leaders. The researcher's forthright chronicling of his own research journey and his intimate descriptions of on-the-ground ethnography, combined with an intellectual grasp of leadership theory, scholarship and research method, provide a new standard for those committed to the study and practice of leadership.
Roger Heuser, Professor of Leadership Studies,
Vanguard University

Based on sustained and sensitive field research conducted in the Thai language, this study makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of how slum neighborhoods in contemporary Bangkok inflect the broader structures and norms of urban society and Thai society in general. In this, Johnson's study joins the very small group of previous studies that have attempted to engage with these local societies 'warts-and-all'. Most useful, I believe, is the nuanced exploration of how officialdom and the state interact with and shape neighborhoods and the perceptions of ordinary people.
Marc Askew, Senior Fellow, Anthropology Programme,
University of Melbourne

This study offers in-depth and insightful analysis of the nature of leadership in a slum where people live in a tense multi-dimensional relationship. Instead of looking for a leadership model, the research investigated qualities of "preferred leadership" from slum community members. With participant observation, the author methodically carried out systematic interviews and was able to capture the implicit and explicit knowledge on community leadership.
Amara Phongsapich, Professor, Department of
Anthropology of Sociology, Chulalongkorn University

Contributors-

Alan R. Johnson
Suntaree Komin

Bio(s)-

Alan Johnson (PhD Oxford Centre for Mission Studies / University of Wales) has lived in Thailand since 1986. He works with a Thai Christian Foundation and is currently working on a project with urban poor.

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