Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

Toward a Leadership Framework for Rebuilding Oppressed People Groups:
A Study of Exodus 18:14-24 Using Insights From Black Liberation Theology

Theophilus O. Idowu
April 2009

This study explores in a critical and analytical way the concept of leading marginalized and oppressed people groups using insights from African American liberation theology. Using House et al.‘s (1999) culturally implicit leadership theory as a platform, an exegesis of Exodus 18:14-24 was executed in an effort to understand the Israelites‘ oppression and liberation, as well as the leadership model proposed by Jethro in Exodus 18:14-24, to explore similarities in the Israelites‘ and Blacks‘ experiences, and determine if Jethro‘s model of organizational leadership may work for leading Black people in the 21st century. The study underscores the different views as well as the criticisms leveled against liberation theology and illustrates how research findings from literature affirm similarities between the Israelites‘ experience and Black experience, postulating liberation theology as the best method of analysis. As the Israelites came out of Egyptian oppression, so did African Americans come out of racial and social oppression; the quest of the study was, therefore, to determine if there are similarities in these experiences and can Jethro’s model of organizational leadership work for Black societal structure? Answers to these questions provide insights to cross-cultural contexts that shape our understanding of leadership. After careful systematic synthesis of thematic, conceptual, and empirical studies on the subject, the author concludes by proposing a leadership framework for leading oppressed people groups and suggestions for further research.