Wasta: Advancing a holistic model to bridge the micro-macro divide

Journal article


Ali, Sa'ad and Weir, David 2020. Wasta: Advancing a holistic model to bridge the micro-macro divide. Management and Organization Review. https://doi.org/10.1017/mor.2020.27
AuthorsAli, Sa'ad and Weir, David
Abstract

This paper offers a synthesis of understandings of Wasta, seen as a form of social network prevalent in the Arab Middle East. Whilst there has been increasing interest in this practice, research remains fragmented and has been criticised for its limited theoretical rigor. To address this issue, a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal articles exploring Wasta published between 1993 and 2019 was conducted. The authors analysed the identified papers according to the theoretical lens from which Wasta was viewed, creating a bridge between a theoretical focus on the macro aspect of Wasta and an alternative focus on its micro aspects, leading to the development of a holistic model of Wasta. The model also helps us to understand the complexity of Wasta, both as the network itself and as the social ties that exist among its members, and sheds light on the complex nature of the role and interactions of the Waseet. The findings respond to calls for more holistic and inclusive research to inform social networks research and bridge the micro–macro divide. The paper offers recommendations to future researchers to build on the holistic and emic approach to Wasta research adopted here.

KeywordsWasta; Social Capital; Social Networks; Middle East; Institutional Theory
Year2020
JournalManagement and Organization Review
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN1740-8776
1740-8784
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/mor.2020.27
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/624936
hdl:10545/624936
Publication dates21 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Jun 2020, 10:05
Accepted13 Apr 2020
ContributorsUniversity of Derby and York St John's University
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