Leadership in a Slum: A Bangkok Case Study

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  • Edition: Reprint
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  • Copyright: 2010-04-01
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub
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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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. xi
List of Figuresp. xi
List of Photographsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xiii
Notes for the Readerp. xv
Forewordp. xvii
Acknowledgementsp. xix
Introductionp. 1
The Journey that Led to a Slump. 3
Framing an Approach to Solve a Puzzlep. 5
Organization of the Chaptersp. 7
Issues in the Study of Thai Leadershipp. 9
Issues from the Study of Thailandp. 10
Issues from the Literature on Thai Cultural Values and Social Organizationp. 13
Hierarchy and Patron-Client Relationshipsp. 13
Interpersonal Relationships: Reciprocity, Gratitude, and Obligationp. 16
Issues from the Literature on Thai Leadershipp. 17
Rural Leadershipp. 18
Formal Leadership Studiesp. 19
Issues from the Literature on Thai Bureaucracyp. 21
Summaryp. 26
Slums, State Response, and the Lang Wat Pathum Wanaram Communityp. 29
Bangkok and Its Slum Communitiesp. 29
Upgrading and Eviction: The Two Faces of the Statep. 33
Upgrading, Policy, and the Realities of Implementationp. 34
Elite Attitudes towards the Poorp. 35
Evictionp. 37
Chumchon Lang Wat Pathum Wanaramp. 39
A Walking Tour through LWPWp. 40
Exploring the Inner Workings of LWPWp. 51
Summaryp. 68
A Model of Preferred Leadershipp. 71
Free-recall Listing, Saliency Analysis, Paired Similarity Judgement, and Consensus Analysisp. 72
Free-recall Listing and Saliency Analysisp. 72
Paired Similarity Judgement Exercisep. 74
Consensus Analysisp. 82
The Results of the Correspondence Analysisp. 83
The Nature of the Representation of the 21 Termsp. 83
Interpretation of the Correspondence Analysisp. 85
The TLM and Thai Leadership Idealsp. 89
The TLM and Issues in Thai Leadershipp. 91
Examining Other Bases for Interpersonal Influencep. 92
General Insights on Reciprocity and Obligationp. 95
Factors that Influence a Person's Sense of Obligationp. 97
The TLM and the Development of Interpersonal Influencep. 101
Summaryp. 104
Leading in LWPW: Trust, Privilege, and Suspicionp. 107
The Trustworthy Leader Modelp. 107
Chuathuu and the Discourse about Leadership in the Communityp. 108
Trustworthiness (chuathuu), Respect (nabthuu), and the TLMp. 110
Discussion and Analysisp. 114
Evidence for another Model: The Acceptance of Privilege and the Reality of Suspicionp. 119
Three Lines of Evidence for the SABLHp. 120
Elements of the SABLHp. 123
Three Illustrations of the SABLH as Used in Daily Lifep. 125
How the SABLH Affects Leadership Practise in the Communityp. 130
Summaryp. 135
Leadership Dynamics in the Space Outside of Administrative Controlp. 136
Evidence of Agency in Non-administrative Spacep. 137
Group (phuak) and Horizontal Non-reciprocal Relationsp. 140
Analysis of Leadership on the Ground in LWPWp. 145
The Relationship of the Factors to other Concepts of Thai Leadershipp. 146
The Basis for Authorityp. 146
Dynamics between TLM, Trust, and the Reality of Suspicionp. 148
Summaryp. 149
Relations between the Community and the Statep. 151
Community-State Relations: Frameworks for Understandingp. 152
The State and the Role of the Committee: Rhetoric and Realityp. 155
Public Transcript in LWPWp. 155
Official Views of the Committeep. 156
Comparing and Contrasting Dominant and Subordinate Public Transcriptsp. 157
The Dream of Unity and the Reality of Divisionp. 162
The State and the Concept of Developmentp. 168
The State and Evictionp. 175
Community-State Relations and the Nature of Leadership in LWPWp. 179
The Ambiguity of 'Community' and 'Leadership'p. 179
Leading as Caretakingp. 179
Caretaking and Civil Society in LWPWp. 180
Summaryp. 184
Applications for Leadership Practise and Trainingp. 187
Solving the Puzzle: Answers to the Focal Questionsp. 188
Applications and Implications from this Investigation for the Practise of Real Life Leadershipp. 190
Thinking of Leadership as a Totalityp. 191
Mapping Leadershipp. 195
Finding Disjunction: the Explicit and Implicitp. 197
Trust and Group: Dilemmas of Thai Leadershipp. 199
Leadership Trainingp. 203
Seek Understanding of the Local Leadership Context Firstp. 204
Bring the Implicit to the Surfacep. 204
Look for Local Answers to Cultural Problemsp. 205
Summaryp. 205
Epiloguep. 207
Glossary of Thai Termsp. 209
Appendix: Methodologyp. 211
Bibliographyp. 217
Indexp. 235
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