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There is a lot of information from various authors concerning the health issues faced by adolescents, children and adults, who are exposed to violence or crime. According to some authors, direct exposure to violence is a form of exposure to violence and crime. For example, there are times when an adolescent can witness an incident whereby a person is attacked by a knife. This is a direct experience and it has the ability to affect the health of the adolescent who witnessed the crime as well as the violent act. The authors believe that this is a form of exposure that needs to be known because it affects many people all over the world.

The other type of exposure has been researched and mentioned by Ross (2000). This information is present in her article titled ‘Neighborhood Disadvantage and Adult Depression’. According to Ross, people who live in mother-only and poor residential areas were most likely to suffer from depression. This is when they were compared to people living in better neighborhoods. In order to obtain this information, Ross used a sample data of 2482 adults living in Illinois. Earlier on in the year 1995, a survey had been undertaken concerning Community, Crime and Health and it provided information concerning the census tract of the respondents. Ross adjusted the data while focusing on variables such as sex, ethnicity, individual-level race and household structure, among others. It is evident that poverty and female headship is a leading cause of disorder in any neighborhood. This means that when people become used to living in poor conditions, the social order becomes broken down and this leads to depression.

Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman (2011) came up with an interesting article titled ‘Mass imprisonment and racial disparities in childhood behavioral problems’. It is evident that the exposure to violence and or crime that they focus upon is as a result of paternal incarceration. They believe that from the beginning of the 1970’s up to the year 2010, there was a prison boom. It means that at the time, out of the entire American population 3 percent of it was under some form of correctional supervision. This means that parents have been incarcerated and some children have been affected by this issue. Parental incarceration is on the rise and this means that many children will suffer in the long-run. Quite a number of studies have shown that children are harmed when a parent is incarcerated, but other studies seek to prove that it can be beneficial to the child. Wakefield and Wildeman (2011) found out that children are faced with behavioral problems when a parent is sent to prison. This is especially evident among black children who have an incarcerated parent and the reason for the racial disparity.

Exposure to poverty and exposure to paternal incarceration have an impact on the health of those who expererince either one of the two. It is thus evident from the articles by Ross (2000), Wakefield and Wildeman (2011) that depression and behavioral problems are experienced as a result of exposure to crime and violence. According to Ross, poor neighborhoods will most likely suffer from various incidents of crime and this will cause stress among individuals. The stress usually lasts for a long time and people will not trust their neighbors. In turn, these will enhance crime and later on, depression will affect the individuals. Families headed with women generate quite a lot of depression and this is a mental health issue that has serious consequences. The psychological well-being of an individual is not well because of the single-parent and poverty factor.

Behavioral and mental health problems are experienced by the children who have an incarcerated parent. The children as well as adolescents tend to show various forms of aggression when dealing with other individuals. The effects associated with parent incarceration are a global problem and it has resulted to delinquency. I agree with Wakefield and Wildeman (2011) as there are many cases of children who have become criminals because they were exposed to parental incarceration when they were growing up. Others who have been exposed to parental incarceration tend to exhibit internalized problems such as depression and anxiety. The well-being of children is greatly affected because of incarceration, especially if it is the father who has been sent to prison. It has been proven there is a 19 percent to 33 percent increase in physical aggression levels among children who have an incarcerated father.

Health is a key issue in the life of every human being and it has to be maintained at all times.  Ross (2000) believes that children who live in poor neighborhoods will suffer from depression and even turn into a life of crime. When they become depressed their mental health will be affected as well. In turn, they are likely to engage in unhealthy habit such as excess intake of alcohol and taking drugs, among other things. Furthermore, since the mother is the provider of the household, she might not sufficiently provide for the family and this will cause problems. It might reach a point whereby a child can decide to commit suicide brought about by depression. In the long run, death is eminent and all because of being exposed to poverty and crime.

Social problems are bound to arise because of the incarceration of a parent and this will affect the health of the children. When a person’s mental health is not as it ought to be, the individual will most likely suffer from a nervous breakdown. This will have an impact on their overall health, which can either be experienced externally or internally. Externally they will become aggressive and engage in fights where they risk being caused bodily harm or death. On the other hand, they might suffer from anxiety or stress. In turn, they might neglect themselves and even refrain from doing simple tasks such as eating or even taking a shower.

In conclusion, a person can easily turn to violence and crime because of exposure to poverty and parental incarceration. In turn, this will affect the person’s emotional and physical well-being. It is no wonder that the three authors believe that the health of the individual will be most affected and this can have detrimental effects. The environment which adolescents and children live in should be made safe and in order, so as to have social control. In turn, they will not be prone to exhibiting criminal tendencies and becoming delinquents in the future. Therefore, adolescents and children should not be exposed to environments that do not promote their well-being and health.




Ross, Catherine. (2000). Neighborhood Disadvantage and Adult Depression. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 41, 6, 177-187.

Wakefield, Sara. & Wildeman, Christopher. (2011). Mass imprisonment and racial disparities in childhood behavioral problems. Criminology and Public Policy, 10, 3, 793-817.

UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPTS OF RESEARCH a level history essay help: a level history essay help

4.1. Introduction


This chapter seeks to contextualize both the philosophical approach adopted and the methods chosen to explore the research question and achieve the research objectives. The chapter begins with exploring the research problem and questions, and highlights the research aim and objectives. The chapter then justifies the selection of a qualitative research approach and moves on to explore the epistemology of the research, i.e. constructionism, and to outline the theoretical perspective adopted, i.e. interpretivism. Moreover, the chapter presents an introduction to the methodology adopted, which is multiple case study.

The chapter then explains the data collection methods, which include semi-structured interviews and document analysis. It then explores the validity, reliability, and triangulation of the data. Finally, the chapter discusses the issue of generalization in qualitative research and a critique of qualitative research.

4.2. Research overview

Although there is a great deal of literature focusing on TQM, most of it focuses on manufacturing industries concerned with producing tangible products with little attention paid to service industries. There is limited empirical evidence that shows the extent to which hotels have approached a TQM culture. As a result, two research questions have emerged to frame this research: How do hotel managers and staff approach TQM in their hotels? What are the critical factors that can enable the introduction of TQM culture within hotel operations? As a result, the aim of this research is to explore how TQM is approached in 5-star hotels in order to develop an integrated model to support the introduction of a TQM culture in 5-star hotels. Therefore, six objectives were developed

4.3. Qualitative research approach

Researchers use a qualitative research approach to refer to meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols and descriptions of things (Berg, 2008). Qualitative researchers are interested in understanding individual or group perceptions of their environment (Bryman and Bell, 2007).

Qualitative research involves the studied use of and collection of a variety of empirical materials, such as case studies, personal experiences, life stories, interviews, cultural texts and productions, and observational, historical, interactional, and visual texts (Denzin and Lincoln, 2005). It also involves the use of other materials such as feelings about organizational functioning, social movements, cultural phenomena, and interactions between nations (Strauss and Corbin, 1998). Throughout the history of qualitative research, qualitative researchers have defined their work in terms of hopes and values, religious faiths, occupational and professional ideologies (Denzin and Lincoln, 2005).

According to Morse (1991) and Creswell (2008) researchers adopt a qualitative research approach for two reasons. First, a qualitative approach is convenient if there is lack of evidence in the literature and previous research that the problem has been studied. Second, a qualitative research approach is convenient when the available theory may be inaccurate, inappropriate, or biased. In this research, there is lack of evidence in the literature and previous empirical research that TQM has been approached in the hotel industry.

According to Creswell (2009), two factors can help researchers decide which research approach should be adopted. First, researchers need to match the research problem to the approach. Different types of social research problems adopt different approaches. The researcher decided to adopt the qualitative approach as it seeks explanation and, as explained by Creswell (2009), would help the researcher identify the important variables to examine. A qualitative approach enables the researcher to explore the research question through the methodology of case study. In order to achieve the research aim, the researcher collected data through the use of semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Second, personal experiences can help researchers decide which approach to use (Creswell, 2009). In his Master’s degree, the researcher used a qualitative approach in exploring the research problem. In order to achieve the research aim, the researcher had to collect data through the use of semi-structured interviews and observations. Consequently, the researcher preferred using the qualitative approach as it is flexible and it would allow him to be more creative. Based on those two factors, the researcher decided to adopt a qualitative research approach. This study adopts the research process model of Crotty (1998), which divides the research into four phases: Epistemology, Theoretical perspective, Methodology, and Methods (see figure 4.2). The first and second phases of the research process represent the theoretical approach of this study. The third and fourth phases of the research process represent the practical approach of this study.

4.4. Theoretical approach

4.4.1. Epistemology

Epistemology is a specific theory of knowledge (Seale et al., 2007). Crotty (1998) defined it as a way of understanding and explaining how we know what we know. The term is originated from a combination of two Greek words: episteme’, which means knowledge, and ‘logos’ which means explanation. It is concerned with the nature of knowledge and justification of realities (Miller and Brewer, 2003; Denzin and Lincoln, 2005). It is also concerned with what constitutes acceptable knowledge in a field study (Saunders et al., 2007). The epistemological approach adopted in this research is constructionism.

Constructionism is the view that all knowledge and meaningful reality is contingent upon human practices, being constructed in and out of interaction between human beings and their world, and developed and transmitted within an essentially social context (Crotty, 1998).

Constructionism implies that social phenomena and categories are not only produced through social interaction but that they are in a constant state of revision. Recently, the term has also come to include the notion that researchers’ own accounts of the social world are constructions (Bryman, 2008). This approach was adopted in this study as the aim of the research is to explore how TQM is approached by hotel managers and staff. Hence, the constructionism approach enables the exploration of the understanding of TQM in the views of hotel managers and staff

4.4.2. Theoretical perspective

According to Crotty (1998), a theoretical perspective reflects the philosophical stance of a methodology. It provides a context for the process involved. The theoretical perspective adopted in this study is interpretivism. In order to achieve the aims of this research, starting from the theoretical perspective, an interpretive approach is best suited, as the research process requires engagement with the public-sector stakeholders and other stakeholders in order to gather in-depth qualitative data, from which interpretations are made. Additionally, the epistemological stance of this thesis is constructionism, which as already mentioned, is linked with interpretivism.

This is because constructionism allows the researcher to gain a better understanding of the selected problem and to view it from all angles in order to gain a better perspective and to present a clear interpretation (Miller and Brewer, 2003). Interpretivism emphasizes that reality is not observed but interpreted (Corbetta, 2003).

The aim of this study is to explore how TQM is approached in 5-star hotels in order to develop an integrated model to support the introduction of a TQM culture in 5-star hotels. Therefore, the researcher believed that adopting an interpretivist approach would help achieve this aim. This is because interpretivism would enable the researcher understand the reality of TQM as interpreted by managers and staff in 5-star hotels in the UK.


4.5. Research methodology (Multiple case study)

4.5.1. Introduction

  Methodology is composed of a set of rules and procedures to guide research and against which its claims can be evaluated. It is therefore fundamental to the construction of all forms of knowledge. Methodology is concerned with how we conceptualize, theorize and make abstractions as it is with the techniques or methods which we utilize to assemble and analyze information (Miller and Brewer, 2003). It is the strategy, plan of action, process or design lying behind the choice and use of particular methods to the desired outcomes (Crotty, 1998). There are four major methods used by qualitative researchers: observation; analyzing texts and documents; interviews; (Silverman, 2001) and audiovisual material (Creswell, 2009).

The methodology is aimed toward achieving the third and fourth objectives of the study. The third objective is to explore how hotel managers and staff approach quality management in 5-star hotels. The fourth objective is to explore the critical success factors relating to the introduction of a TQM culture in 5-star hotels. In order to achieve those two objectives, this study adopted a multiple case study approach. Case study is a common way to do qualitative research (Stake, 2005). It is used to investigate a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence. It has the ability to answer questions “why” and ‘what” as it is mostly used in explanatory or exploratory researches (Saunders et al., 2007).

4.5.3. Research cases


The researcher conducted the multiple case study in three 5-star hotels in UK. The researcher chose to conduct the study in hotels that are run by management contracts. It is generally understood that these hotels benefit from improved quality levels and more experienced management (Hayes and Ninemeier, 2006; Stutts and Wortman, 2006). Therefore, it is believed that 5-star hotels would have a more in-depth approach to a TQM culture than hotels in any other grading category. Another reason for choosing 5-star hotels to conduct the study on is because hotels that have this grading offer their customers more than just basic services. Therefore, customers of those hotels would have certain needs and expectations that are far more than their needs and expectations if they stay at lower graded hotels.




Hence, it is more challenging to the management of 5-star hotels to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of their customers; and therefore, the managers of 5-star hotels should have a deeper approach to quality management and TQM than managers of less-graded hotels. Table 4.1 presents a fact sheet of the three hotels chosen.


4.6. Data collection procedures


As highlighted earlier in the chapter, the research questions of this study are: “How do hotel managers approach TQM in their hotels?” and “What are the critical factors that can enable the introduction of TQM culture within hotel operations?”. In order to answer these questions using a case study approach, the researcher decided to use multiple sources of evidence, i.e. semi-structured interviews and document analysis.


4.6.1. Semi-structured interviews


Interviews are characterized by several positive aspects. First, interviews provide flexibility for both the interviewer and interviewee. Second, the response rate in interviews is higher because more people prefer to react verbally rather than in writing. Third, interviewing can be useful when extensive data is required on a small number of complex topics. Fourth, probing may be used to elicit more complete responses (Burns, 2000).



Interviews are qualitative methods of research that help researchers to observe data that cannot be observed like feelings, thoughts, behaviours and intentions by allowing the interviewer to entre into the interviewee’s perspective. Qualitative interviewing begins with the assumption that the perspective of others is meaningful, knowable, and able to be made explicit (Patton, 2002).


Another key distinction about interviews is that the interviewing style is conversational, flexible and fluid, and the purpose is achieved through active engagement by the interviewer and the interviewee around relevant issues, topics and experiences during the interview itself (Mason, 2002). That active engagement is beneficial when it comes to inquiring about someone’s straight opinion or view on an issue with no short answers that may hide the truth about the information being obtained.



Interviews can be structured, semi-structured or unstructured. That engagement can take the shape of face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, or focus group interviews (Creswell, 2008). A semi-structured interview may be the most important way of conducting a research interview because of its flexibility balanced by structure, and the quality of the data so obtained. In semi-structured interviews, the same questions are asked of all those involved; the kind and form of questions go through a process of development to ensure their topics focus; to ensure equivalent coverage, interviewees are probed by supplementary questions if they haven’t dealt spontaneously with one of the sub-areas of interest. Approximately equivalent interview time is allowed in each case (Gillham, 2005). Probes are used to deepen the response to a question, increase the richness and depth of responses, and give cues to the interviewee about the level of response that is desired (Patton, 2002).

Due to the fact that interviews in this research are conducted with top


level managers of five-star hotels, there would be high possibility that managers


may not have enough time to answer so many questions about one issue.


Hence, probing would be vital to allow managers to express their views on a


certain point and to also allow the interviewer to ensure that all areas are



4.6.2. Document analysis


The most commonly employed qualitative research methods are interviews, documentary analysis, and observation. An important criticism is that reliance on such methods, especially interviews, alone can result in overly empiricist analysis (Stark and Torrance, 2005). As a result, document analysis was conducted in this research to support the evidence that interviews are providing. According to Creswell (2008), documents include public documents, private documents, and e-mail discussions. Bryman (2008), however, stated that document sources include personal documents, official documents deriving from the state, official documents deriving from private sources, mass-media outputs, and virtual outputs.



The documents source used in this study is virtual outputs represented in internet websites. Documents were downloaded from websites of the hotels involved in the case study. The documents included hotels policies, staff reward and recognition schemes, business ethics and human rights policies, customer feedback and factsheets. Those documents were downloaded from the websites of the hotels involved in the case study. Some hotels did not make these kinds of documents available for the public to download from their websites or to be obtained by any other means.


4.7. Analyzing qualitative data


As explained earlier in the chapter, a multiple case study is conducted in this research in order to help achieve research objectives. To analyze data obtained from the case study, the researcher used cross-case synthesis.

According to Yin (2009), cross-case synthesis is an approach that is specifically suitable for analyzing multiple cases of study.



There are two important reasons of adopting cross-case synthesis according to Miles and Huberman (1994). First, this approach enhances the generalizability of the research. Second, cross-case synthesis enables the researcher to deepen the understanding and explanation. In this study, the researcher aimed to explore how TQM is approached by both hotel managers and staff in 5-star hotels. The aim required the adoption of a cross-case synthesis to help generalize. This would also enable to enhance the understanding of TQM and how it is approached in 5-star hotels in the UK.



Analyzing qualitative data should be conducted through a set of procedures according to Saunders et al (2009). Those procedures include four main activities: categorization, unitizing data, recognizing relationships and developing categories, and developing and testing theories to reach conclusions.


In terms of categorization, the researcher classified the collected data into meaningful categories. Those categories have been derived from the TQM culture model that was developed from the literature review. Category A included two variables, which are quality definitions and quality barriers (see table 4.3). Category B included one variable, which is information sources (see table 4.4). Category C also included five variables, which are quality planning, quality control, quality improvement, quality assurance, and quality auditing (see table 4.5). Category D included six variables, which are teams, leadership, staff empowerment, communication, training, and customer focus


In terms of utilizing data, the researcher assigned relevant pieces of information of the collected data to the appropriate category of the model. The researcher did not conduct this phase using any Computer Assisted Qualitative

Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS). The reason being is that such software was time consuming. Instead, the researcher conducted this activity manually. This approach enabled the researcher to immerse himself in his data and to engage with it in a more comprehensive way.

In terms of recognizing relationships and developing categories, the researcher used a simple matrix to sort the data and make it easy to understand. In this matrix, collected data were placed within the cells of the matrix. This activity enabled the researcher identifying key aspects regarding the implication of each element in the TQM model in each hotel. It also enabled the researcher to draw comparisons between the three hotels in terms of their application of each element, and also to compare these practical aspects with theoretical aspects from the literature.



In terms of developing and testing theories to reach conclusions, the researcher used the analyzed data to develop a revised version of the TQM culture model based on the practical views of the field study respondents.



The researcher used the conceptual framework developed in the literature (the TQM culture model) as a proposed pattern that shows a framework for TQM culture in hotels. The researcher then matched it with the data from the field study. As a result, the field study data pattern mostly matched the predicted proposition excepted in some areas. Hence, the researcher developed a revised version of the TQM culture model.


4.8. Validity, reliability, and triangulation


In terms of the validity of the research, it refers to the accuracy and trustworthiness of instruments, data and findings in the research. The validity of data is tied up with the validity of instruments so if instruments are valid then data are valid (Bernard, 2000). The validity of a research is related mainly to the data collection instruments used in it. (Coolican, 1999).



Coolican (1999) stated that validity of a research can be tested using at least one out of four methods. Those methods are face validity, construct validity, content validity, and criterion validity. In this research, the researcher used face validity to ensure the validation of data collection instruments. The researcher was able to match the questions of the designed research interviews with its objectives.



Creswell (2008) approached research validity using a different methodology. He stated that the validity of a research can be achieved by the use of several requirements. The first requirement is triangulation. This research achieved data triangulation using different approaches of hoteliers (managers and staff) towards TQM culture. Triangulation is explained in detail further on in the chapter.


The second requirement is using member checking to determine the accuracy of the findings. This research met this requirement as two professors in University of Wales Institute, Cardiff supervised it. They were keen to check upon the research findings after each phase. They also used to match the findings with the research objectives to ensure that the research process is going to the right direction.



The third requirement is using rich and thick description to convey the findings. This research met this requirement through the use of cross-case synthesis, which reinforced the study with in-depth analysis about the use of quality management methods in hotels of different affiliations and also their approaches towards the introduction of TQM culture.



The reliability of a research study, on the other hand, is achieved if the method used to collect data can produce similar results each time it is used

(Coolican, 2004). Reliability refers to the dependability, stability, consistency, predictability, and accuracy of a research (Burns, 2000).



Coolican (2004) highlighted two main types of reliability: external and internal. External reliability is concerned with the consistency and stability of the tests involved in a research that is conducted on several occasions

(longitudinally). Here a researcher seeks to determine if the data collection instrument would produce similar results if the research is conducted on several occasions and administered to the same respondents.



This type of reliability does not apply to this research as it wasn’t highlighted in the research objectives. Internal reliability is concerned with the consistency and stability of the data collection instrument used in the research. In this type, a researcher seeks to determine whether the data collection instrument is consistent within itself through checking that all respondents answered each questions in the same way that they answer the rest of them. In this research, the interview questions were designed to help achieve the research objectives. The researcher also explained each question to each respondent in order to ensure that all questions are answered in the same way.



In terms of research triangulation, an increasing number of researchers are using triangulation as a multi-method approach to achieve broader and often better results. It allows researchers to use different methods in different combinations as the more methods used to study humans; the better chances will be to gain some understanding of their behaviours (Fontana and Frey,






According to Seale et al. (2007), the idea of triangulation derives from the measurement by quantitative methodologies. Denzin’s 1978 version outlines four types of triangulation (Denzin and Lincoln, 2005). The first type is data triangulation where one seeks out instances of a phenomenon in several different points in time or space. The second type is investigator triangulation. It involves team research; with multiple observers in the field engaging in continuous discussion of their points of difference or similarity.


The third type is theory triangulation. It suggests that researchers approach data with several hypotheses in mind, to see how each one fares in relation to the data. The fourth type is methodological triangulation, which is widely used and understood. It involves a multi-method approach, which can take several forms.



In this research, the researcher used the methodological triangulation as the researcher used two methods of data collection: semi-structured interviews and document analysis. The semi-structured interviews were conducted with hotel operations managers, HR managers, and staff members. The researcher was able to obtain documents that included fact sheets and facilities offered in the hotels involved in the case study. The documents also included the characteristics of grading hotels in the UK.


4.9. Ethics and Bias


Several ethical issues were put into consideration in this research.


During the identification of the research problem, it is important to identify problems that will benefit participants. At the data collection stage, participants should not be put in risk because of the research; researchers also need to respect research sites so that they are undisturbed after a research; and researchers should also anticipate the possibility of harmful information being disclosed during data collection. In data collection analysis and interpretation, the researcher needs to consider how the study protects the individuals’ anonymity and that data should be kept for reasonable time (Creswell, 2008).



The research problem involves the introduction of a TQM culture in 5-star hotels. Not only managers and staff will benefit as individuals, the benefit should occur for the whole organization which would positively have its impact on any individual working under its umbrella. As for data collection stage, the data collection processes didn’t involve any kind of risk for the participants, hotels that have been involved as research sites were not disturbed by the processes and there were no harmful information disclosed by any chance during the processes. As for data collection analysis and interpretation, the anonymity of the participants and incidents has been kept undisclosed in the research and the data will only be kept for maximum of five years.

The main concern for a researcher is to recognize whether his/her biases, assumptions, or beliefs are intruding into the analysis (Strauss and


Corbin, 1998). Bias is a consistent error that is present in all data whether they are recorded on different individuals or on the same individuals at different times (Corbetta, 2003).



Any research can be biased on at least one of three platforms: interviewers, questions, and interviewees. In terms of interviewer’s bias, the researcher managed to conduct interviews and analyze the answers without any personal interference or self-interpretation (unless the researcher is required to do so).



In terms of questions’ bias, the researcher managed to design and ask interview questions that do not imply any viewpoint to the interviewees to enable them to answer the questions freely without any influences.



In terms of interviewees’ bias, the researcher managed to disregard any biased answers or comments that the researcher obtained from the interviewees except in the questions that the researcher needed to have the


4.10. Summary


This chapter is concerned with explaining the theoretical and practical approaches of the study that will help the researcher achieve the aim of the study. Initially, the researcher reviewed the aim and objectives of the study. The researcher then explained the reason behind adopting a qualitative research approach. The researcher portrayed the research approach model, which involved the theoretical and practical approaches used in the study.



The researcher adopted constructionism as the epistemological stance of the study. The researcher adopted interpretivism as the theoretical perspective of the study. The researcher adopted a multiple case study as the methodology of the study. The researcher used semi-structured interviews and document analysis as data collection methods of the study. The researcher used cross-case synthesis as the analytical approach of the research data. The researcher also presented how the validity, reliability, and triangulation of research were met.



The following chapter is concerned with achieving the third objective of the study, which is to explore how hotel managers and staff approach quality management in 5-star hotels. In chapters and six, the researcher presents the results of the field study. In chapter seven, the researcher conducts the analysis of the data collected from the field study.



The modern multidistrict litigation (MDL) process african history assignment help

In an age of increasing skepticism regarding the use of class actions in our legal regime, the modern multidistrict litigation (MDL) process embodied in 28 U.S.C. § 1407 is emerging as the primary vehicle for the resolution of complex civil cases.[1]  In 1968 Congress created the MDL system to establish a centralized forum where civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are consolidated for the purpose of efficient and effective discovery proceedings and pretrial motions.[2]  In theory, this centralized forum, or “transferee court,” as it is known, is a sort of way-station at which the preliminary aspects of the litigation can be more or less completed before individual cases are sent to their final destinations in courts across the country for ultimate resolution.  In practice, however, the centralized forum can do more than function as a discovery crucible.  Indeed, by establishing a mechanism for conducting “bellwether” or “representative” [“test”] trials, the transferee court can enhance and accelerate both the MDL process itself and the global resolutions that often emerge from that process.

This paper begins with a brief overview of the traditional MDL process.  It then traces the rise and development of bellwether trials, from early attempts to bind related claimants to the results of such trials, to the modern information, or nonbinding approach.  A typical bellwether case often begins as no more than an individual lawsuit that proceeds through pretrial discovery and on to tiral in the usual binary fashion: one plaintiff versus one defendant. Such a case may take on “bellwether” qualities, however, when it is selected for trial because it involves facts, claims or defenses that are similar to the facts, claims, and defenses presented in a wider group of related cases.  The primary argument presented here in support of the information approach is that the results of bellwether trials need not be binding upon consolidated parties with related claims or defenses in order to be beneficial to the MDL process.  Instead, by injecting juries and fact-finding into multidistrict litigation, bellwether trials assist in the maturation of disputes by providing an opportunity for coordinating counsel to organize the products of pretrial common discovery, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments and evidence, and understand the risks and costs associated with the litigation.  At a minimum, the bellwether process should lead to the creation of “trial packages” that can be utilized by local counsel upon the dissolution of MDLs, a valuable by-product in its own right that supplies at least a partial justification for the traditional delay associated with MDL practice.  But perhaps more importantly, the knowledge and experience gained during the bellwether process can precipitate global settlement negotiations and ensure that such negotiations do not occur in a vacuum, but rather in light of real-world evaluations of the litigation by multiple juries.

The paper moves on to discuss the primary practical consideration for courts and counsel in employing bellwether trials, namely the method of selecting bellwether cases from a wider group of related lawsuits.  Although there is no one trial selection paradigm, the process generally should proceed in three steps.  First, the transferee court should catalogue the entire universe of cases that comprise the MDL and attempt to divide the cases into several discrete categories based on prominent variables.  Second, the transferee court should create a pool of representative cases, which includes cases from each category, and then place these cases on a fast-track for case-specific discovery.  Third, the transferee court must devise the appropriate methodology for selecting a predetermined number of individual cases from the pool for trial.  Throughout the entire process, the transferee court can greatly benefit from the assistance of the attorneys involved in the litigation.  Indeed, the bellwether process works best when counsel are engaged and devoted to the endeavor from the start.


Introduction to Bellwether Trials.

For a significant period of time, the federal courts and the state have persistently grappled with the unusual problems that stem from mass tort litigation[3]. To address the issues in an effective manner, the courts are currently opting to use simple as well as complex creative procedures like the bellwether trial[4]. The concept ‘bellwether’ is derived from the tradition of using a rope to fasten a bell around the castrated male sheep’s neck that is usually chosen to act as a lead or head of the rest of the flock[5]. Essentially, a bellwether is a pacesetter of all the trends or key determinant of the practices[6]. In the legal context, a trial is considered a bellwether when the verdicts of constituent sample cases are employed for resolving other cases[7]. Currently, bellwether trials are informally employed by the judges in mass litigation[8]. In this regard, they are useful for valuing the cases as well as encouraging settlement. Regardless of the fact that the origin of the concept of ‘bellwether’ is compounded by certain complexities, employment of bellwether trials especially in mass tort litigation has increasingly gained momentum.

Fundamentally, the courts seek to use the outcomes of bellwether trials to formally bind related claimants[9]. In a binding bellwether trial procedure, the courts begin by choosing certain cases that they seek to present to the jury during trial. The judge then divides the selected cases in two phases; liability and damages. Alternatively, the judge might decide to classify these in three categories of causation, liability or damages. After this, the court proceeds to trying the bellwether cases in stages while the jury provides a verdict of each case at each stage. In the end, the outcomes of the trials are inferred to the rest of the plaintiffs.[10]  At the outset, courts attempted to use binding bellwether trials as type of class action adjudication. [11]  Despite the fact that there was no class certification, courts employed the binding approach on the premise that trying representative cases was sufficient to have a binding impact on all the related cases.  However, the appellant courts doubted the credibility of the binding approach.  For instance, in Cimino v. Raymark, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refers to the majority opinion in earlier Fifth Circuit case, In re Chevron U.S.A., Inc., to clarify that Judge _____’s language favoring the binding use of statistically representative bellwether plaintiffs is “plainly dicta, certainly in so far as it might suggest that representative bellwether verdicts could properly be used to determine individual causation and damages for other plaintiffs.”[12]  Other circuits have also recognized that the results of bellwether trials are not properly binding on related claimants unless those claimants expressly agree to be bound by the bellwether proceedings. For instance, in In re Hanford Nuclear Reservation Litigation, the Ninth Circuit held that the results of the Hanford bellwether trial would not be binding on the remaining plaintiffs.[13]  Along the same lines, in In re TMI Litigation, the Third Circuit held that “absent a positive manifestation of agreement by Non-Trial Plaintiffs, we cannot conclude that their Seventh Amendment right not compromised by extending a summary judgment against the Trial Plaintiffs to the nonparticipating, non-trial plaintiff.”[14]  Such experimentation of the binding strategy by courts did no last for long. It was terminated by the decision by the Fifth Circuit which deemed the practice unconstitutional based on the provisions of the Seventh Amendment.[15]

Today courts use no longer use bellwether trials for the purpose of resolving thousands of related cases pending in a MDL in one “representative” proceeding, but rather to provide meaningful information and experience to everyone involved in the litigations – the nonbinding informational approach.  Although cases addressing a particular issue are chosen and reviewed, their outcomes or verdicts are non-binding and do not influence the rest of the litigants in the respective category in any way.  Usually, relative outcomes are useful in helping the parties to arrive at a common and undisputable settlement. Alternatively, the respective parties are free to ignore the outcomes completely and instead undertake individual trials.


Advantages of Bellwether Trials.

Bellwether trials benefit the litigation process as well as the involved parties in different ways.  As aforementioned, bellwether trials within the MDL context can be effectively employed for nonbinding informational reasons. For instance, they can be useful for testing a host of theories, strategies and defenses in a real live trial. In this respect, bellwether trials are useful for enhancing the experience, capacities and competencies of the involved parties.[16]  While the outcomes of such bellwether trials can only bind the specific bellwether cases, they can still benefit the related claimants and the MDL procedure. The Fifth Circuit best illustrates the importance of bellwether trials in this regard:

The notion that the trial of some members of a large group of claimants may provide a basis for enhancing prospects of settlement or for resolving common issues or claims is a sound one that has achieved general acceptance by both bench and bar …. The reasons for acceptance by both bench and bar are apparent.  If a representative group of claimants are tried to verdict, the results of such trials can be beneficial for litigants who desire to settle such claims by providing information on the value of the cases as reflected by the jury verdicts[17].


Also worth recognizing is that bellwether trials provide a vehicle upon which litigation theories can be effectively put in practice.  However, it is well known that the trial environment is not only dynamic but very complex and as such, trials generally do not proceed as intended by the parties or their respective attorneys. Besides the unforeseen logistical issues, the effects of evidence and facts upon the court and jury remain uncertain. During multidistrict litigation, the preceding uncertainties are usually made worse by the differences that exist among the circumstances of consolidated claimants and by the volume of pertinent evidence produced during the course of the discovery.  Bellwether trials aid in alleviating such uncertainty and by giving the coordinating counsel the chance to organize the products of pretrial discovery, assess the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, strategies, and evidence, and internalize the risks and costs involved in the trial process.[18]  In the long run, all parties are not only prepared but also well informed about the litigation process. Certainly, the employment of bellwether trials is beneficial and has the capacity to speed up and improve the MDL process in two main ways.    Firstly, they give the coordinating counsel a chance to perfect their presentations for future trials, potentially resulting in the creation of “trial packages” that will likely prove useful to local counsel upon the dissolution of MDLs.   Secondly, by indicating future trends, such as how a certain claims may fare before the jury, bellwether trials have the potential to inform and trigger settlement negotiations.[19]

The Trial Packages

Bellwether processes benefit the MDL process by motivating the attorneys to develop ideal trial packages. As indicated before, bellwether trials compel the litigants to streamline, restructure and systemize comprehensive material and information that are generated during the pretrial discovery phase of the MDL. These packages are an invaluable resources and can be employed by local counsel or litigants once the MDL is dissolved and hen the individual cases have been remanded for trial to transferor courts. A series of bellwether trials give the counsel an opportunity to perfect their presentations by making minor adjustments usually based on litigation realities or on previous performances.

In the long run, trial package safeguard the knowledge and information that is acquired or developed by the coordinating counsel. This is particularly important because the respective knowledge is likely to be lost in instances when global resolution my no be attained by the transferee court. In instances where the cases under trial are remanded, trial packages are useful as they ensure pretrial common discovery products do not override the capacity of the coordinating counsel. Certainly, the bellwether processes ensures the effective functioning of the transferee court and eventual attainment of its goals with regards to preparing the cases for trial at the local district level efficiently and simplifying pretrial discovery.

Global Settlement

Essentially, the goal of a mass tort trial is to attain a settlement through harmony. In light of the MDL Panel, the transferee court provides the most viable environment for global settlement negotiations. This is because it provides room for a central forum comprising of lawyers and litigants from across the nation. These assemble before one judge and the settlement process takes place ago. Transferee courts can play a leading role in necessitating fulfillment of relative goals by creating and managing bellwether trials. Nonetheless, it should be appreciated that the process can be undermined counter arguments by the appellate[20]. In this respect, some courts consider bellwether trials to be akin to judicial blackmail[21].

In sum, the concept of bellwether trial process stemmed from the custom of tying a bell around the male sheep’s neck. This male sheep was considered to be the leader of the flock and the bell was used as an identification of the respective flock. Likewise, the verdicts of bellwether trials were employed as determinants of the fate of a host of claimants. During their experimentation, the credibility bellwether trials were doubted by the appellate and the Fifth circuit demanded their prohibition due to the fact that they were unconstitutional. Regardless of this, the bellwether trials have various benefits to the to the MDL process. As indicated in the preceding review, they are not only employed as non binding informational approaches but they also aid in testing of theories. Most importantly, they help in creation of the trial packages that ease the litigation process in various ways. Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that they still face opposition from the appellate that considers them to be forms of judicial blackmail.


The Bellwether Selection Process.

After the threshold determination to utilize bellwether trials, the transferee court and coordinating counsel should focus on the mechanics of the trial selection process.  The process of selecting representative bellwether plaintiffs is a highly controversial issue in mass tort proceedings.  Bellwether trials must produce valuable information that will allow the parties involved to evaluate the strength and settlement value of all the related cases.   In order for bellwether trials to fulfill their valuable purpose of being “informative indicators of future trends” and “catalysts for an ultimate resolution”, it is critical that the transferee court and attorneys involved formulate a trial selection process that will be fair to all parties involved and most importantly render a representative set of bellwether plaintiffs.[22]  Thus, selecting cases for bellwether trials and constructing litigation strategies require thoughtful consideration by both plaintiffs and defendants.  However, for this to occur it is imperative that there be a sufficient number of cases tried, and that the cases selected be representative of the range of cases, in order to enable the parties to determine what range of value the cases may have if resolved in the aggregate. [23]  For it is only when a “representative … range of cases” is selected may “individual trials … produce reliable information about other mass tort cases.”[24]  The Manual for Complex Litigation instructs that in the selection of bellwether cases

Sampling and surveying can be used to obtain information useful both for settlement and for bellwether trials of the sample cases or for a class trial.  Whether the aim is settlement or trial, the court should ensure that the sample is representative of all claims encompassed in the particular proceedings with respect to relevant factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the circumstances of exposure to the product or accident, applicable state law, and the products and defendants alleged to be responsible.[25]


Basically, selection of bellwether trial cases should be reflective of the various classifications of cases that constitute the MDL, should evaluate the possibility of success and underscore relative damages of each class and highlight the practical as well as forensic challenges that are associated with presentation of some cases to the jury. Any given trial selection procedure that is not aligned to the preceding procedure is unlikely to be representative in nature and hence its global impact is likely to be insignificant [26]

Before selecting the actual bellwether, the transferee court and coordinating counsel must take preparatory steps to ensure the selection of a representative sample of bellwethers. To Begin with, the attorneys and the transferee court need to catalogue the cases that constitute the MDL. Then they must categorize the respective cases in well defined classes in order to make them easily identifiable. In other words, they need to establish the make up of the respective MDL. The underlying reason for cataloguing and division of the cases is very simple. The effectiveness of a given bellwether trial is heavily depended on its ability to determine future trends with utmost accuracy as well as effectuate the end result of the litigation. To attain this, it is vital to be conversant with the types of cases that constitute the MDL.

If this is not done, the attorneys and the transferee courts risk trying a case that is compounded by various anomalies. This is not sustainable because it wastes significant resources that would have otherwise been employed for other purposes. In order to ensure that the cases that are selected to undergo ultimate trial are representative of other cases in the MDL, the attorneys and transferee court need to verify the cases in the MDL before they proceed to other trial selection phases. To attain optimal results in this regard, both the attorneys and the transferee court should individually undertake a census of the litigation and cite all the main variables. To carry out this initial step effectively, the attorneys need to be well versed with the contents of individual cases of the MDL. In the case of the Vioxx MDL, the exchange of defendant and plaintiff profile forms enhanced the attainment of this[27].

Within an MDL, there are usually various factors that differentiate cases from each other. Instead of placing undue emphasis on each variable, the transferee court and attorneys should emphasize on factors that are easily identifiable, those that are vitally important and those that provide clear demarcation. Put differently, they should solely focus on the main variables. The respective groups or classes act as guideposts and help in directing the attorneys on the most important litigation issues. After the attorneys and transferee courts have individually analyzed the main variables and MDL composition, they need to hold a status conference to jointly discuss the variables in a bid to determine and agree on those that are important and predominant. By the end of this meeting, the court needs to have determined the manner in which the MDL would be divided and the attorneys should be aware of the reasons for the choices.

After successfully establishing the constituents of MDL and developing classifications that categorize the MDL, the coordinating counsel together with the transferee court should start the process of coming up with a manageable group of cases from which bellwether cases would ultimately be selected. The respective group needs to be reflective of different classes and should contain cases that are worthy of being tried in the MDL as well as those that are almost trial-ready. After assembling the trial selection pool, individual cases should be exposed to case-specific discovery. The discovery process is typical to the one that occurs in normal circumstances. Towards the end of case-specific discovery process, attorneys and the transferee court would then make the selection of the bellwether cases.

The next section will explore the various bellwether selection methods that have been used, in an effort to determine which method is likely to produce the most representative set of bellwether plaintiffs.

Selecting the Bellwether Plaintiffs

There are essentially four basic approaches to selecting bellwether plaintiffs: (1) random selection, (2) selection by transferee judge, (3) selection by plaintiffs’ counsel, and (4) selection by plaintiffs and defense counsel. [28]  Additionally, the transferee court may allow the attorneys to exercise a predetermined number of strikes or vetoes to eliminate potential bellwether cases in the pool, from consideration prior to the actual selection.[29]   While all these selection methods have been utilized over the years, mere usage does not prove/confirm their reliability.  Rather, at issue is whether any of the selection methods reliably produces a true bellwether verdict.  A bellwether verdict generated by an improper selection method has the potential to skew not only the verdict but also any results influenced by it.  It is always important to keep in mind the goal – the selection of typical cases “which when decided and reviewed may provide a legal and factual pattern against which the remaining issues in the pending cases may be subsequently matched.”[30]  In essence, bellwether verdicts should be used to “develop a pattern for evaluation.”[31]   Each of the four bellwether selection methods will be evaluated below.

Random Selection.

Legally, it is widely agreed that for bellwether cases to be valid and representative of the population, they need to be not only sufficient in number but also selected randomly[32]. The Manual for Complex Litigation accredits random selection to be the most ideal method of attaining effective representation especially during identification of cases. According to it, the credibility of bellwether cases is greatly determined by equal representation of the plaintiffs and well as their claims in the cases employed as samples. Further, it cites that the tendency of some judges to allow the plaintiffs and defendants to determine the cases needed to undergo initial trial undermines the credibility of the end result. The manual insists that effective or equal representation of cases can only be attained if the judge directs the relevant parties to employ random selection or use a couple of cases that are considered by all parties to be an ideal mix[33].

Random selection is a valid and credible strategy that is usually pursued in two main ways. It can be undertaken in a direct manner that is commonly referred to as ‘out of hat’[34]. Alternatively, more sophisticated or complex methods can be employed in choosing the sample[35]. Regardless of the type of methods employed, it is generally agreed that random sampling is not only a fair approach but it is also rational because of the fact that each case in the population is given an equal chance to be a part of the sample[36]. In addition, it is simple, devoid of in depth analyses by the attorneys or judges, straight forward and makes sure that ideal cases that are representative in nature are chosen[37]. Also worth mentioning is the fact that random sampling helps to filter the cases by separating the credible cases from fraudulent ones and thereby reducing relative costs. In this regard, costs are saved when the fraudulent cases are exposed to intense scrutiny and investigation to ensure that selected cases are based on credible grounds[38]. Nonetheless, random selection is also compounded by two main shortcomings.

To begin with, random selection has the potential to alienate attorneys from the entire procedure. In this respect, it is worth appreciating that defeats and victories are not the sole reasons why bellwether cases are tried. The process of trial gives the attorneys a chance to prepare their cases prior to trial and familiarize themselves with wide ranging vital decisions that need to be made upfront. Allowing attorneys to participate in choosing the cases that they would try gives them an opportunity to further their individual selfish interests. In essence, random selection prevents coordinating attorneys from exploring various methods of trial and determining their practicality before a jury, hence inhibiting a possibility for mass resolution at the end of the trial[39]. Secondly, it is posited that random selection culminates in a possibility of unequal representation of bellwether plaintiffs in the sample.  Ideally, a typical random sample is likely to comprise of two of the five needed variables. Undoubtedly, this undermines the credibility of the entire process.

However, the risk of having an unrepresentative set of bellwether plaintiffs may be remedied by using scientific statistical evidence, also known as stratified random sampling.  Some circuits have recognized the use of inferential statistics with random sampling as a valid method of selecting bellwether plaintiffs.[40]  In Cimino v. Raymark Industries, Inc., Judge Parker used statistical sampling by Professor Ronald G. Frankiewicz to select the representative plaintiffs whose claims would be tried in the asbestos litigation.[41]  Dr. Frankiewicz attested to the use of stratified random sampling, an approach used by the United States Census Bureau that sets the total group of plaintiffs as component populations, each of which is sampled using a simple random plan.[42]  He suggested that the plaintiffs be stratified into smaller groups according to (i) primary medical complaint and (ii) severity of the medical condition, and sampled at random to attain a group of representative bellwether plaintiffs.[43]  The use of statistical random sampling enabled Judge Parker to establish that his plaintiff selections were reliable to a 99% confidence interval.[44]  Furthermore, such statistical random sampling has been approved by significant legal scholars such as Professor Saks and Blanck, who describe the procedure as follows:

Mass torts represent a sampling theorist’s dream.  The population of cases from which the sample is to be drawn is known with unusual completeness.  This provides the sampling frame from which any type of case sampling proceeds.  In addition, many details are known or can be learned about each member of the population.  Thus, the degree to which the sample is representative of the population can be known with near certainty – a great improvement over most sampling situations.  Representativeness is the touchstone of good sampling.


[Concluding sentence]


Test cases should produce a sufficient number of representative verdicts to enable the parties to determine what range of value the cases may have if resolved in the aggregate.  Manual for Complex Litigation (4th) § 22.315.  If the cases are randomly selected, they will reflect the full range and diversity of the claims at issue, including in terms of factual issues, choice of law, legal theories and defenses, and perhaps counsel as well.

Selection by the Transferee court

This is a step wise process that begins by the attorneys either individually or jointly preparing reports about every case included in the trial-selection pool. These reports outline various factors ranging from the facts that are related to each case (both those that are contentious and those that have been agreed on) to the main legal issues surrounding each case and their personal positions regarding why each case needs to be selected or exempted from being employed as a bellwether case by the respective transferee court. The main advantage of this approach is that it allows the transferee court to make sure that all predetermined variables are analyzed by all parties at the trial. This ensures that the ultimate selection is fair and just to both sides.

The main weakness of this approach pertains to its tendency to minimize attorney participation. However, compared to random selection, this allows the attorneys to present an argument for or against the selection of the respective cases. It gives them a chance to voice their individual reasons pertaining to why they think certain cases need to be tried or not tried. However, it should be appreciated that allowing the attorneys to voice their personal views regarding the cases does not mean that the respective views would be effected. Also, in some instances, attorneys may not be willing to voice their internal motives or share their personal views with the opposing counsel or transferee court. Moreover, the process is likely to be time consuming and hence may not be appropriate for attorneys and the transferee court. This is because it requires the affected attorneys to prepare comprehensive reports for every case. The transferee court on the other hand is required to critically evaluate the merits or advantages of each case.

Selection by Attorneys

Selection by attorney is pursued by allowing a single side to make the entire selection of the required bellwether cases or allowing both sides to engage in alternate selection of the bellwether cases. However, it is worth acknowledging that is usually better if the attorneys responsible for coordinating the process mutually agree on the cases that need to be included in the bellwether trials. Irrespective of the fact that the preceding preposition is the most desirable, it is not achievable from the practical point of view. This is because the relative stakes are likely to be enormous and their values so divergent that it becomes difficult for the attorneys to arrive at a mutual agreement regarding the cases. An example that best illustrates this is the Vioxx Litigation where the first case only was agreed upon and ultimately selected[45].

Under one category of this selection strategy, one side of the attorneys responsible for coordinating the process is allowed to make the selection of the entire bellwether cases. This reasoning is based on the premise that if one side only is allowed to select all the required bellwether cases and the respective side eventually looses all or a significant percentage of the selected trials, it can be concluded that the theories employed by the respective side are not credible. This strategy was employed in Propulsid MDL[46].

This approach has two advantages that play an instrumental role in enhancing its credibility. To begin with, it is efficient because it employs only a single side during the trial selection step. However, both sides of the coordinating attorneys need to evaluate the strengths and shortcomings of the selected cases. Then, it gives a single side of the coordinating attorneys the capacity to actively participate in the process. The disadvantage of this approach is that it greatly favors the participating side at the expense of its counterpart. Furthermore, the credibility of the process may be undermined by the fact that the participating side is likely to select the cases that further their good because they have the powers to. In the process, they might omit important variables from a sample that would be representative of the entire population.

The second variety of this strategy requires that both coordinating attorneys participate in the selection process by alternating picks. Compared to the preceding approach, this is fairer because it gives both attorneys an equal chance to participate in the selection process. The fact that both attorneys are involved however undermines the efficiency of the process. Although giving all attorneys a chance to participate in the selection of bellwether cases is unlikely to guarantee absolute inclusion and ultimate representation of all major variables, it should be acknowledged that designation of main variables is used for ensuring that the attorneys’ focus on the vital aspects that characterize the litigation. However, both sides of coordinating attorneys have a right to disregard the help of main variables during the selection process.

At this point, it is certain that this approach offers the most credible method of selecting bellwether cases. This is because it does not only enhance fairness, but it also allows attorneys to participate. Most importantly, it is efficient and ensures that professional and competent personnel assume the noble responsibility of selecting trial cases. In the Vioxx MDL case, each side of coordinating attorneys was allowed by the transferee court to make five choices[47]. Then, each side was permitted to veto two cases from the list of its opponents[48]. Finally, the six cases that remained were tried on a rotation basis, beginning with the selection of the plaintiff[49].

At times courts have permitted each side to select one-half of the test cases, practice that will likely not offer a representative sample, but rather a mix of the “best” and “worst” cases for each side.  See In re Chevron USA, Inc., 109 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1997).  This approach has an element of fairness, and may offer the benefit of allowing each side to test out issues that are important to its strategy, or which each party feels will be persuasive to the other side once resolved.

While it would self-evidence that trial of plaintiffs selected by one side only will not provide meaningful information (unless the other side manages to prevail anyway), it is not unusual for courts to allow plaintiffs to select the “test” cases, as has occurred in aspects of the Vioxx mass tort.  In re Vioxx Lit., Case. No. 619 (N.J. Super. Ct., Atlantic Cty.) (ordering plaintiff to select a grouping of eight plaintiffs, with trials consisting of two or more plaintiffs).  The danger is, of course, how a few early trial results can have significant unfortunate effects, decreasing rather than increasing the prospects of any early global resolution, rainins to unreasonable heights the expectations of the plaintiffs’ bar.  The plaintiffs secure verdicts in their handful of best cases out of hundreds or thousands, which may be arno resemblance to the best few, should come as no surprise.  And may not encourage rational defendants to alter their views about the merits of the bulk of the cases.

Even when the court randomly selects bellwethers, or permits the defendants to select some bellwethers, plaintiffs’ counsel often seek to exercise control over the process by refusing to go forward with the selected unfavorable cases, either by convincing the client to dismiss or by withdrawing as counsel.  This has happened in the tobacco, HRT, and Vioxx litigation, for example. Defendants should ask the court to put safeguards in place to minimize plaintiffs’ ability to undermine the selection process, and in no event should plaintiff who dismisses rather than proceed with the selected bellwether have the ability to select the next bellwether. There really ought to be a system to supply substitutes that achieves the same goals as the original selections.

Because matching between the bellwether plaintiffs is an essential element of any effective plan, no method depends on upon self-serving selections by counsel can yield a reliably predictive bellwether group.



Plagued by protracted trials and in an effort to better serve judicial economy, courts are increasingly experimenting with utilizing representative plaintiffs for determining a defendant’s liability to the class as a whole in mass, complex, toxic tort cases.  All of this experimentation occurs amid questions about the effectiveness of the representative plaintiffs’ approach in accomplishing the goal of setting benchmarks for settlement.  However, as this debate continues, courts increasingly are required to establish a criterion for selecting such representatives.[50]

[1]               See, e.g., In re Zyprexa Prods. Liab. Litig., 238 F.R.D. 539, 542 (E.D.N.Y. 2006) (“As use of the class action device to aggregate claims has become more difficult, MDL consolidation has increased in importance as a means of achieving final, global resolution of mass nation national disputes); see also In re Fosamax Prods. Liab. Litig., 248 F.R.D. 389, 396 & nn. 7-8 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (collecting recent authorities rejecting the use of class actions in the mass tort context).  [Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Lit. Tulane Law Review]

[2]               See 28 U.S.C. § 1407 (2000).

[3]               See Manual for Complex Litigation § 38.2 (3d ed. 1995)

[4]                                                                                            See id.

[5]               In re Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 109 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1997)

[6]               Bellwether Trials by Lahav

[7]               Bellwether Trials by Lahav

[8]               See, e.g., Cimino v. Raymark., Indus., Inc., 151 F.3d 297, 318 (5th Cir. 1998).

[9] Bellwether Trials by Lahav, p6

[10] See, e.g., Cimino v. Raymark., Indus., Inc., 151 F.3d 297, 318 (5th Cir. 1998).

[11]See id.

[12]  Cimino v. Raymark Indus., 151 F.4d 297 (5th Cir. 1998)

[13] In re Hanford Nuclear Reservation Litig., 497 F.3d 1005, 1025 (9th Cir. 2007)

[14] In re TMI, Litig., 193 F.3d 613, 725 (3d Cir. 1999)

[15] Cimino v. Raymark.

[16] Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Litigation, p 2337

[17] In re Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 109 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1997)

[18] Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Litigation, 2338

[19] Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Litigation, 2338

[20]             Castano v. American Tobacco Co., 84 F.3d 734, 746 (5th Cir. 1996)

[21]             Bellwether Trials, p2343


[22] Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Litigation, p2343

[23] Manual for Complex Litigation (Fourth) §22.315(2004)

[24] Manual for Complex Litigation (Fourth) §22.315 (2004)

[25] Manual for Complex Litigation (Fourth) §33.27 at 326.

[26] Bellwether Trials, p2343

[27]  See In re Vioxx Prods. Liab. Litig., 501 F. Supp. 2d 789, 790-91 (E.D. La. 2007).


[28] Sterling v. Velsicol Chem. Corp., 855 F.2d 1188, 1196 n.6 (6th Cir. 1988) (declining to address the issue because it was not raised as error on appeal) (emphasis added).

[29] Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Litigation.

[30] Allen v. United States, 588 F. Supp. 247, 258 (D. Utah 1984), rev’d on other grounds, 816 F.2d 1417 (10th Cir. 1987)

[31] Manual for Complex Litigation, §23.15, at 173 n.486.

[32]             James M. Wood, the Judicial Coordination of Drug and Device Litigation: A review and Critique, 54 FOOD DRUG L.J. 325, 347 (1999).

[33]             Manual for Complex Litigation (Fourth) § 22.315 (2004)

[34]             See In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 1507 (E.D. Ark. July 14, 2005) (order regarding bellwether trial selection); In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 1507 (E.D. Ark. July 14, 2005) (letter order).  Information about these two orders can be found on a Web site dedicated to this multidistrict litigation.  See Prempro Product Liability, (last visited June 13, 2010)

[35]             In the Bextra & Celebrex MDL, the transferee court had attorneys use a third-party randomizer computer program as a random selection method.  See In re Bextra & Celebrex Mktg. Sales Practice & Prod. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 1699 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 17, 2006) (pretrial order no. 18) (describing the initial selection of plaintiffs for discovery and trial pool), available at

[36]                                                                                                                                                See Manual for Complex Litigation (Fourth), § 22.315

[37]             See, e.g., In re Chevron, 109 F.3d at 1019 (“A bellwether trial designed to achieve its value ascertainment function … has a core element representativeness – that is, the sample must be a randomly selected one.”)

[38]             From Both Sides Now: Additional Perspectives on “Uncovering Discovery”.  By Amy Schulman and Sheila Birnbaum

[39]             Moreover, although random selection may be theoretically attractive method for selecting bellwether trials, and, indeed, although some courts and commentators have suggested that it may even be of constitutional significance when the results of bellwether trials are used to bind related claimants, random selection is of considerably less importance when bellwether trials are employed in practice for nonbinding informational purposes.

[40] See In re Chevron USA, Inc., 109 F.3d 1016, 1017-18 (5th Cir. 1997); In re Estate of Marcos Human Rights Litigation, 910 F.Supp. 1460, 1467 (D.Haw. 1995)

[41] 751 F. Supp. 649, 664 (E.D. Tex. 1990).  Judge Parker’s opinion in Cimino contains an extensive and scholarly discussion of the history and reliability of these statistical procedures.  See id. at 659-66.  Essentially, Professor Frankiewicz’s procedures are acceptable for the “same reasons that society embraces the science [of statistics].  It has been proved to provide information with an acceptable degree of accuracy and economy.” Id. at 663; see also In re Estate of Marcos Human Rights Litig., 910 F. Supp. 1460, 1464-68 (D. Haw. 1995) (using stratified random sampling to select representative trial plaintiffs).

[42] See Affidavit of Ronald G. Frankiwicz, Ph.D. at 4, Adams (No. H-96-1462) (on file in Appendix, supra note 17, at 20)

[43] See id. at 7-9.

[44] See Cimino, 751 F. Supp. At 664.

[45]             See discussion supra note 107.

[46]             See In re Propulsid Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 1355, 2003 WL 22023398, at *1 (E.D. La. Mar. 11, 2003)

[47]             See In re Vioxx Prods. Liab. Litig., 501 F. Supp. 2d 789, 791 (E.D. La. 2007).

[48]             See id.

[49]             See id.

[50] Sterling v. Velsicol Chem. Corp., 855 F.2d 1188, 1196 n.6 (6th Cir. 1988) (declining to address the issue because it was not raised as error on appeal) (emphasis added).

THE CONCEPT OF ACTIVE LISTENING apus history essay help: apus history essay help




It is evident that through an affective and Therapeutic communication, the patient-directed care as well as patient catered care will be 100 percent implemented in the health care facilities or in aftercare centres such as homes. Therefore, it upon the obligation of the health care professionals such as nurses and other physicians to ensure that there is an active communication amid the professionals and the patients (Browning & Waite, 2010).  Therefore, this paper will discuss the components of active listening as below in order to understand how effective and efficient patient-directed care and patient centred care can be implemented.


The best way to make sure that active listening is evaluated amid the health professionals and the patients is by ensuring that there is always an attendance between the health care professionals and the patient. For a professional to be able to offer health care service well to the patient, he/she should be readable available in order to understand of know the problem of the patient. Nothing less than being in attendance is the patient, for a patient to be able to be treated or to be given the direct care he/she should also be present during the treatment process so that they could come to an understanding with the health care professionals offering patient centred care or patient-directed care.  The patient as able to explain his/her health problem and the health or medical professionals is able to take notes and advice on the best diagnosis. Therefore, it is considered important that the attendance stage of active listening should be maintained and adhered wit to the latter (Shipley, 2010).

For example, through the attendance, the patient is able to meet the medical or health care professionals who will in return give his diagnosis or even offer health advice to the patient. Hence, the first process of active listening is one of the best ways that such professionals and patient are able to come with an effective understanding of each other. Therefore, the attending phase of active learning amid the patient and health care professional should always be ensured at all times with reason easing their communication.


Observation is another important step in the active listening process and all the stakeholders in the health distribution channel should encourage observation. For the well-being of the active listener, he/she will be able to second his information with other data that is obtained via facial recognition or via observation. Through observation there are various important issues or things that both the health care professional offering patient-directed care and patient centred care will gain advantage of. The health care professionals are given the chance to view through the signs and symptoms of the patients hence able to communicate back or offer feedback to the patient according to the symptoms present as well as give health care advice on the diagnosis.  Through observation, the physician is able to evaluate the condition of the patient based on other observable indications ever seen in such cases (Bodie, 2012). Thus, it can be deduced that through observation the professional is able to evaluate the nature of the patient and determine the most effective way to manage his diseases or ailment evident.

Therefore, it can be deduced that poor observation skills amid the health care professionals is a serious issue that can lead to health care risks. Hence, for effective and efficient communication between the patient and the health care professionals it is worth adopting these skills or knowledge for better understanding of patient-centred care as well as patient-directed care.  It is important to ensure that health service providers should make sure health professionals are keen on observational skills and knowledge.



There are various steps to ensure that health care communication is adhered for the case of patient-directed care and patient centred care. The ability of a health care professional to be able to question the client efficiently and effectively in order to understand their health conditions or status. In the case of nursing, it is important to understanding the nursing skills of questioning so that they could be able to understand the value of health care to patients. With these skills nurses are able to offer either patient centred or patient-directed care with ease. This is one of the attributes of a good nurse. Health care professionals such as nurses should be able to question all the patients to get the deepest need of the patient.  Questioning is the most important concept needed in effective communication. There are various attributes that second questioning as one of the best steps to make sure the quality of health care meets the desired qualifications. For this to be possible health care professionals should adopt better questioning skills to get the right feedback out of the patient (Ingram et al., 2011).

It is considered important to evaluate the feeling of the patient, but this can only be got from close questioning of the patient. Thus, the nature and understanding of the patient needs can only be obtained through effective questioning of the patient. Health or medical professionals must be trained to gain knowledge and understanding of better questing skills and abilities to change the current form of communication amid patients and professionals.

Paraphrasing, and Summarising

Nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals should ensure that they develop a culture of taking patients’ notes and be able to summarize the notes in order to increase the understanding of the information in the notes. It is noted that the health care service is a unique service from the others because the health status of a patient depends on the various notes about the patients’ health.  For this reason, it is worth mentioning that that these professionals should be able to summarise patients’ records to ease the reading and analysing of the patient medical status. Thus, the ability of the professionals to summarize the notes will not only help in the communication process, but also in the understanding of the patient medical report more easily in the case of referrals or other issues (Ingram et al., 2011).

Taking care of the patient’s records by being able to paraphrase the information given by the other doctors is an important step in effective communication in the therapeutic and effective communication in patient-directed care and patient centred care.  Therefore, all individuals related to health care services should ensure improved this active listening skills in order to push health care to the next level.  In the case of a patient approach the doctor who in this case could be the listener should be able to summarize and paraphrase the information from the patient so that he could be able to gunner the information needed and to provide the feedback such as diagnosis and treatment plans for the patient. Finally, it can be noted that without these two skills, then active listening will be a problem especially in the health care profession (Olukoga, Folayan, Harris & Ajayi, 2010).

Reflection of feeling

Being able to reflect the information obtained from listening is an important step to deduce the best decision. Self or personal reflection is known to be the best tool to ensure upright decision is undertaken on all the issues in the world. Therefore, it is important to consider that reflection is an important step in ensuring that all measures are taken to adhere to these facets for better or high quality service. It is important to reflect on the patient records for some time if the case is not an emergency one.  This will helps the health/medical professional to be able to offer the best diagnosis or treatment to the patient. To the patient, it will be a good step towards his/her treatment.


It’s worth mentioning that I have various strengths in my active listening skills. One of my strengths is being able to summarize and paraphrase information from the patient. With this skill I am able to evaluate the information from the patient with ease and also provide a clear and accurate information for medical record purposes.  In most cases other professionals find it easy to contemplate on my previous notes, hence able to help the patients more effectively and easily. The other strength that I am competent in is my observation skills. I am able to evaluate observable information about my patients such as symptoms and the patient’s progress. This has helped me over the year to offer quality health care service to my patients


Contrary to the known strengths, I am not able to execute my questioning and attending skills. Therefore, in order to improve the above skills I will use the below development plan to improve my skills.

Development Plan

v To evaluate the areas that I have in the above two weaknesses in order to ascertain the areas to develop.

v Take a step to attend active listening training to make sure I am able to back my skills and knowledge and skills

v To improve my understanding of the above weakness I will execute an experience attachment to allow me to evaluate understanding of my skills


It is important to understand active listening skills. As in the case of health professionals, it is worth ensuring that this skill are adopted for better patient-directed care and patient centred care.


Olukoga, A., Folayan, M., Harris, G., & Ajayi, O, 2010. An Analysis of Listening Skills of           Healthcare Students in Nigeria. West African journal of medicine, 29(2).

Jagosh, J., Donald Boudreau, J., Steinert, Y., MacDonald, M. E., & Ingram, L, 2011. The             importance of physician listening from the patients’ perspective: Enhancing diagnosis, healing, and the doctor–patient relationship. Patient education and counseling, 85(3),           369-374.

Bodie, G. D, 2012. Listening as positive communication. The positive side of interpersonal             communication, 109-125.

Shipley, S. D, 2010. Listening: A concept analysis. In Nursing forum (Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 125-     134). Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Browning, S., & Waite, R, 2010. The gift of listening: JUST listening strategies. In Nursing          forum (Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 150-158). Blackwell Publishing Inc.






Quantitative Analysis

(Author’s name)

(Institutional Affiliation)




Table of Contents



Chapter Overview.. 3

Methodology 3

Qualitative Collection of Data. 5

NVivo for the Coding and Analysis of Data. 5

Qualitative Data Background Information. 6

Discussion and Analysis of Data. 7

Leadership Concepts. 8

The Role of Leadership. 9

Leadership Education and Training. 14

Leadership According to Islam.. 16

The Role Within leadership. 16

Conclusion. 17

References. 18

Figure 1. 20

Figure 2. 21





Chapter Overview

This section of the study will provide the audience with the results derived from the qualitative data analysis conducted in the study. To achieve this adequately, the section will be separated into three major segments. The first section of the results part will be used to explain the rationale for carrying out the study, followed by the explanation of the kind of instruments and qualitative research methods used in the study. The second part of the section will be used to show the background information of the participants utilised in the study’s interviews, and the reasons for choosing these particular participants. The third part, on the other hand, will be used show the results of the study and will also show the discussions that the study conducts based on the major questions of the study.


Melhem in 2002 argued that interviews are the most essential tools in any form f scientific research, and, therefore, features as an indispensable tool in numerous fields (Melhem, 2002). Studies have found out that research interviews are carried out purposely for seeking to explain or describe the main themes in the world, or life of the individuals being interviewed. As it follows, the main purpose of carrying out an interview is to understand the meaning of the expressions, and opinions of the interviewee. Further, research in the area points out that a qualitative research interview seeks to understand both a meaning and a factual level, though it is usually challenging to carry out an interview on a meaning level. Interviews, therefore, are especially useful for getting the story and understanding it from the experiences of the interviewee. The interviewer usually has the option of carrying out an in- depth inquiry to collect information and data related to an area of concern. Interviews can also be effective methods of pursuing certain responses to interview questions (Kvale, 1996).

Appleton defines interviews as a useful tool that can be used to gather information or data, and that which involves more than two parties, including the respondent, and the interviewer. It is carried out either over the telephone or face to face, or through electronic mails (Appleton, 1995). Furthermore, an interview can be taken as a powerful tool that can be utilised in a research to collect data and information in human resource departments, as it usually is a conversation between the interviewee and the interviewer. The interviewer in this case, must prepare a set of questions which the respondent must answer. Because of this, interviews have been known to be the best strategies for obtaining data and information about a certain issue (McMillan, 2008).

Therefore, in addition to being a powerful tool to collect information, data and facts about the attitudes, lives, experiences, and opinions of individuals, the interview can also be an essential tool for gathering information about a phenomena’s meaning that the participants in an interview live in; as it follows, interviews are the most meaningful ways of gathering information and shaping and creating opinions and views about different issues (Hannan, 2007).

It has also been argued that interviews are useful in explaining specific phenomenon of experiences people have witnessed, (Al Enzi, 2005) and the participant’s opinions, in addition to, their views and feelings about the subject (Hannan, 2007). This can be achieved by carrying out a verbal interaction between the respondent and the interviewer so as to explore the behaviours in leadership that occur in Taibah University. Figure 2 summarises the process that the study is going to adapt in the analysis of the obtained qualitative data. Generally, the figure indicates that data analysis should follow a certain flow which, moves from the collection of data to the presentation and interpretation of the data. The figure includes six basic steps that must be followed for the qualitative analysis of the collected data to be comprehensive. These six steps include; the qualitative collection of information and data, the translation and transaction of data, scanning and skimming of the collected data, categorising the data, and the interpretation and the presentation of the data. These steps will be analysed in detail in the following paragraphs.

Qualitative Collection of Data

First, based on the semi- structured schedule of the interview, the data were collected from specific interviewees who were treated as the sample representatives. The study conducted a total of 14 interviews with the deans of college of the university. The interviewees were selected from different faculties and departments in the university.  The interviews were then translated into the English language by an experienced English teacher before they were brought into the N- Vivo software for analytical and topics coding analysis. The data codes used for analysing the data were formulated from the questions of the research as well as the underlined topics in the presented and interpreted interview guide.

NVivo for the Coding and Analysis of Data

The study used the NVivo software to code and analyse the collected data for a number of reasons. One of the reasons was that it was quick and easy to identify the collected data through the software. Second, the software also allows the researcher to come up with an analysis that is precise, in addition to, aiding him link up the quantitative data with the qualitative data. This linking of data is an efficient method of indicating that the analysis of data started as soon as the data was fed into the software. NVivo has been indicated to be among some of the best qualitative software tools used in qualitative studies to analyse semi- structured, structured, or unstructured data derived from interview transcripts of either individuals or groups. The software can also be used to analyse literature reviews, video and audio recording, diaries, and reports, among others.

The utilization of this software has numerous advantages. For example, it has been shown that the software provides researchers with in- depth understanding of the data derived from a study. The software also is an efficient way for a researcher to explore issues, comprehend trends, and answer several questions about an issue. The software is also advantageous especially when a researcher is interested in gaining some insight into the attitudes, values, behaviours, motivations, concerns, and aspirations of individuals. The software is also useful in aiding individual’s inform their decisions in business, communication in policy- making, and research.

The software is also easy to use. It is possible to transport documents or data from a processing package for word and code the data on screen. Stripes for coding can also be made visible in the document margins so that the researcher can easily see which codes have been utilised where (Morrison, Moya & Moir, 1998). One way the data can be imported into the program is through the use of nodes, which can be defined as the positions were the categories of data and coding are kept for giving the researcher a reliable and valid qualitative study (Richards, 2005; International, 2006).

Qualitative Data Background Information

Qualitative information and data can be collected by the use of semi- structured interviews. It has been argued that these kinds of interviews are best suited for small samples and for analysing certain situations or for adding and validating data collected from other research methods. Also, since this kind of research gives one insights into what the opinions and concerns of the people are, it can be highly effective for giving one a better insight into issues that cannot be recognized immediately but those that are nonetheless essential in particular areas or segments of the population.

Semi- structured interviews have several common traits. These include; the fact that the interviews are formal, the interviews follows a previously developed guide, and the fact that the interviewer can stray from the interview plan slightly, so long as they deem it appropriate. Lindlof and Taylor in 2002 argued that semi- structured interviews are best used when an interview is almost sure that they not get another chance to interview the interviewee. The guide or the plan of the interviews provides the interviewer with a clear set of instructions that helps him collect data that is reliable, and comparable. Before carrying out a semi- structured interview, it is best if an interviewer precedes this activity with observation, and interviews that are informal and unstructured so that he understands the issue at hand better (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). Hence, the interviews used in this study were carried out with a number of college deans from the university. Figure 1 will give a better overview of the sample distribution.

Discussion and Analysis of Data

The focus of this section will be to present the interviews of the study. The conducted interviews will be shown in a group basis and according to categories into which the respondents were assigned. Since this section is about the interviews and the analysis and discussion of the interviews, it should be noted that a substantial amount of material will be quoted from the interviews. However, the identities of the participants will be protected because of a number of constraints presented by the official positions of the deans. Each corresponded was issued with a letter showing them to what group or category they belonged to, and there views are presented in between single quotation marks in italics. For example, if an interviewee belonged to group A, or B, then they were given a name that coincided with their group like B1, B2 and so forth.

Leadership Concepts

It is in this section were the different views of the respondents will be presented. It should be noted that the participants had acknowledged that leadership is a means that is interactive between a number of working groups towards addressing an issue, as well as, addressing the challenges and problems faced during work. In addition to this, they agreed that leadership is a method of easing conflicts or disagreements between employees, as well as, a guideline for work relations for the purposes of coming up with the best decisions and creating communication means that are effective at work.

Moreover, the respondents agreed with the fact that leadership is a social influence process in which an individual can require the others to support and aid them achieve a certain goal. It was noted that most participants believed in the social aspect of leadership. This aspect is based on a number of factors; motivation, voluntary attitude, and enthusiasm. As it follows, leaders who are trustworthy, those who have vision and values must comply with these social aspects. Different participants had different definitions of leadership. B1, for example, defined leadership as the activity conducted by a leader or the responsibility that has the main focus to bring together several efforts for achieving objectives and goals, and as an expression that defines an association between power, authority and ability.

On the other hand, B9 defined leadership as a social process that is whose foundations are built on fostering desire, motivation, and enthusiasm to work. B10 indicated that leadership was supposed to be the responsibility of the boss. He thought that its nature is based on the authority given to him by the institution; the authority, according to him, was the main driving force behind leaders. B14 agreed with this claim by arguing that leadership is the ability of an individual to influence one’s co-workers regardless of the place or the nature of work.

It was noted that most of the understandings, expressed by the participants, of leadership was in consistent much of the definitions found in the literature, as leadership is a social process that is based on making an impact on other individuals (Maher, 2003). Leadership is also the behaviour expressed by an individual for the purposes of guiding the efforts of other individuals (Moursi, 2002). Leadership has also been defined as the social process or behaviour an individual expresses so as to influence others to volunteer (Graham, 2004). With the above definitions, it was obvious that leadership is based on three main elements; a leader who has the ability to lead others, a group of people who can follow such guidance, and a goal to be attained by following utilizing such coordinated efforts. As it follows, the three elements, that are followers, leader, and situation, must be present for one to appropriately comprehend the behaviours of leadership.

The Role of Leadership

To come up with the appropriate answers for this section, the responses of the interviewees had to be read numerous times. It was clear from the responses that the role of leaders emerged from the relationship that results from the behaviours and influences of the influence and the receiver of the influence. For one to comprehend this influence correctly, they must be able to create some kind of relationship with their followers. Respondents B13 and B9 argued that the roles of leaders resulted from the needs and interests of individuals and from the motivation of these individuals to practice their responsibilities, and coordinate their relations and efforts for the purposes of achieving a goal. Furthermore, they argued that the leadership was practiced or was expressed when the positive impact of the behaviour of the leaders benefited their followers, by influencing their social associations towards better and improved corporation in work, as well as productivity.

B1, on the other hand, said that practicing leadership can be achieved through practicing and achieving its sub missions, found in coordinating and administrating work to enable workers to work efficiently. B7 was quick to add that practising leadership must branch from imagination, intelligence and thinking ability, confidence, tolerance, and reflection. In addition to this, a leader who is considered effective must be able to act well, and lead through example, unless they want to become irrelevant, or to be ignored by their followers. Good leaders, according to B7, are those leaders who are able to withstand criticism and tolerate others in case their followers commit errors that are tolerable. In this way, the leader can guide and shape the kind of behaviour expressed by his followers and turn it from a direction that is negative to a more positive and profitable direction.

B11, agreed and, pointed out that the only purpose for one to practise leadership is to obtain certain goals. He said that achieving the goals that are desired was the only reason why he practiced leadership in his work. He further argued that a leader could only be considered competent if he was able to inspire and motivate others for the purposes of making sure that their cooperation and respect for authority leads to desirable and profitable outcomes. B14 added that leadership is a social process that can only be practised through the creation of the followers, and the influence. As it follows, a leader can only practice leadership if they exercise it through specific roles. For one to effectively practice leadership, B14 argues that they must first establish a relationship that is stable and continuous, between those who exercise the leadership influence and those that receive this influence. According to B14, a leader is an individual who is able to retain his leadership position and one who is able to exercise and display the kind of behaviour that is usually associated with the same position he holds.

With regards to the roles and responsibilities of a leader, it was found that leaders had the following duties; to motivate followers, to manage work flow, to control his followers, to achieve goals that have been priory planned, to establish a balance between stakeholder, followers, and interested parties, to solve problems, and to coordinate and manage individuals and groups for the purposes of achieving goals. As already seen, all of the participants seemed to think that leaders must possess certain skills and competencies. From the related literature, it was clear that leaders do need several skills and competencies to carry out their duties. Though no trait has been found wanting in individuals who are not leaders when compared to leaders, it has been indicated that leaders possess more drive and determination, and in most cases more a higher level of positive qualities that individuals who are not leaders (Meredith, 2001).

Though certain qualities might differ in different kinds of leaders, studies have shown that the basic characteristics of leaders do not change. Some of these qualities include; appropriate communication skills, honesty, visionary, and ability to identify and select a good team, being able to lead by example, ability to motivate their followers, consistency, and ability to withstand criticism (Sinnema & Robinson, 2007; Robinson, 2006). Moreover, a leader must be able to utilise a number of motivation styles with his followers. They must be unpredictable, effective and inspiring (Luthans, 1995).


Good Communication Skills

Since time in memorial, good communication skills have been termed as some of the most essential traits of a great leader. There are numerous reasons why a good leader has to possess good skills of communication. It has been argued that even if a leader possesses all the other traits of a good leader but fails to have fine communication skills, then he cannot be termed as a great leader. This is because without excellent communcationskills, a leader cannot express to his followers what new ideas can further and enhance the productivity and profitability of the company. Generally, good communication skills are essential for developing successful business or work relationships.


Honesty is considered to be the most valuable asset a leader can ever possess. A leader must be honest with both his workers and higher authorities. Integrity is also another feature closely associated with honesty that a leader must possess. A leader must, therefore, protect and maintain his integrity.

Visionary Outlook

Qualities of leadership differ from leader to leader. However, all leaders must be able to think ahead for the purposes of obtaining answers to stabilise the current business as well as the future business. Therefore, a leader must be able to see and look behold today, and analyse were the business is headed. The same vision can be used to improve the business.

Selecting a Good Team

A good leader must also possess the ability to select a team that is skilful, and efficient to back up and provide for some of the skills they lack. The ability to identify and work hand in hand with these people is a skill that all leaders must possess.

Leading by Example

Leaders must first and foremost be good listeners. Their workers must always think that their leaders are listening and understanding what they are saying. The leader, through their listening skills can understand what the concerns their workers have; however, identifying and understanding what these concerns and needs are is not enough. Leaders must find a way to act upon the new knowledge they obtained to try and make their worker comfortable by addressing their concerns and needs.

Ability to Motivate Workers

An excellent leader is the one who has the ability to motivate and inspire his co- workers and provide a working- environment that is healthy and conducive for work. An excellent leader must also make it his priority to ensure that his workers are safe and happy. He must also ensure that his workers are not being overworked by his superiors.


This is also another characteristic that defines a great leader. It is impossible for a leader to lead effectively when they are not consistent. As it is, most leaders have their own unique approaches to management and leadership. They should, therefore, not constantly change their unique leadership styles as this can indicate that they are inconsistent. One can improve some areas without necessarily appearing inconsistent

Ability to deal with Critics

Criticism is a constant occurrence when one is successful. Leaders who are effective must, therefore, possess the ability to withstand this criticism. An excellent leader is the one who knows that there will always be a group of people who will never agree with their style or way of doing things.

Additionally, Luthans indicated that for one to be able to utilise leadership for achieving desirable results, one has to use a particular style of interaction, or motivate his workers towards achieving their goals. He argued that leaders had to possess numerous leadership styles so as not to become boring or monotonous. For a leader to be effective, unpredictable and inspiring, they have to possess a number of leadership styles. The study carried out a survey to find out how leaders were managing to be effective, motivating, and inspiring, without getting monotonous or predictable. The participants indicated that they had to possess a number of characteristics so as to be effective. Such examples include; being participative, guiding and directing workers, caring about their employees, and letting their workers accomplish their work without interfering.

Leadership Education and Training

This section focused on the issue of the role education and training plays in developing and enhancing leadership skills. After reviewing the answers provided by the respondents, it became clear that most interviews had a number of similarities in their opinions and views about the kind of education they had obtained. Most of them agreed that they had received education and training from university programs, professional development programs, conferences, discussions and peers by peers, and personal reading. It was also noted that most participants indicated that the education they had received had helped in a large way in shaping them as leaders. It was, however, noted that most interviewees expressed regret that most university programs were useless in grooming individuals to be effective leaders.

B3 affirmed that university education was not enough to train individuals about being leaders, and so did interviewees B9 and B11. B3 argued that there is no official education or training program in universities for leadership, and, as a result, he did not benefit from any of it in his job as a leader. B9 felt that most universities and colleges focused more of the visions of the administration more than the innovative visions of the students. B11 lamented that the only education and training he got of leadership was from his own readings and from colleagues other than from the university, as the university did not offer any good training programs in leadership.

B6, however, indicated that training was not as important as accumulated experience in grooming one to be an effective leader. He argued that most programs provided by the universities focus more on increasing and enhancing leadership skills than in developing and establishing leadership behaviour. The essentiality of training in developing good leaders has long been valued. Leadership in the education area has been considered essential, and, therefore, training should not be considered to be less significant in fostering leaders with the essential goals (Debaja, 2001). With the current climate in business, and the increased growth and development in technology, the need to train leaders has become critical (Austin, 2001). Training is a term used to refer to the activity that alters the behaviour of individuals. The driving force behind most training programs is arguably to increase productivity. Training can also increase motivation, and inspiration. Training has several advantages; it increases motivation, morale, satisfaction, efficiency, capacity to work with emerging technology, innovation, and reduces the turnover of workers (Training Magazine, 2001).

Leadership According to Islam

From the answers provided by the interviewees, it was found that Taibah University displays a number of Islamic leadership behaviours and tendencies. These behaviours included; trust or Ammaneh, justice or Adalah, integrity or Nazaha, consultation or Shura, commitment and excellent example, and observation of Islamic principles and rules. These definitions of leadership were further confirmed by the interviewees. For example, interviewee B1 thought that an excellent leader had to have Nazaha and Ammaneh. By this he meant that a leader had to be trustworthy and of high integrity.  B3 thought that a leader had to practice consultation and authorization for them to be considered good leaders. B2 indicated that a leader had to be of high integrity for them to be considered excellent leaders. B7 said that an effective leader is the one who exercise Ammaneh and justice.

Leadership is supposed to be a coaching and inspiring voluntary process that aims at guiding followers to fulfil a shared and a clear objective (Chowdburry, 2001; Altalib, 1991). According to Islam, a leader cannot act as he feels like, he must also not act according to the wishes of others; he can only act in a manner that fosters the wishes of Allah (Beekun & Badawi, 1999). In Islam, a good leader is the one who does good deeds for the sake of his community, humankind, and Allah (Kader, 1973).

The Role Within leadership

Most of the participants indicated that the role of an educational leader in the university is to keep work in the university flowing as required. B3 described the role of a leader as carrying out tasks as assigned and required by the administrative system of the institute, and according to the functions hierarchy, to give and provide control, direction, make decisions, and provide coordination.B4 affirmed this by indicating that he was an employee of a higher entity, and, as a result, he had the role to act as an example, and to ensure the flow of work, and to motivate the rest of the staff to work for the good of the whole. B5 explained his responsibility by indicating that discussion, persuasion or the expression of attention and facts was one of his roles, in addition to, playing an active role in coming up with new ideas, as a member of the whole group, and to explain and clarify things that are not clear to the others. He argued that there was no way the desirable objectives could be attained if the personnel was not enlighten and aware of the certain matters. The publication of the university affirms that indeed the role of leaders in the institute is to draw and foster the general policies of education, as well as, those of the university (Taibah University, 2001).


The previous chapter has put a lot of its focus on the views and opinions of the respondents on the behaviour of leadership common in Taibah University. The correspondents were divided into different groups that were composed of several representatives of college deans in the institution. The views and opinions of these representatives indicated different concepts leadership and responsibilities of leaders. Furthermore, the participants also expressed their opinions of the characteristics of leadership that is based on Islam as practised in the Taibah University.

From the above chapter, several things were realised. For example, it was realised that for a leader to be effective he has to possess a number of characteristics. It was also found that leadership has numerous roles, and that leadership in the Islam context is significantly different from the leadership models in other contexts. Leadership was also found to be depended largely on training and education. Based on the above findings, the paper has come up with a number of recommendations that can be essential for aspiring leaders, and especially in the Arab world. One recommendation concerns schools, universities and colleges. It was found that most educational institutes do not offer sufficient education and training to foster effective leadership skills to students. As it follows, schools and other educational institutes must find a way to incorporate programs that offer better training for future managers.





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Figure 1









Figure 2


Categories (thematic & analytic coding)

Data Skimming and Scanning

Data Transaction and Translation



Qualitative Data Collection