Mana or moni? : what it means to be a Māori business leader : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Industrial/Organisational Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
Research about Māori leadership has faced growing interest in recent years, particularly in the business and management literature. Despite this growing interest, and years of leadership study it still remains under researched. Using a Māori centred approach, this research focuses on the role of mana in leadership and makes an important contribution to examining what it means and what is required to be a successful Māori leader in a Māori organisational context. This research comprised of a case study of a collectively owned hapū organisation based in the Ngāti Porou region involved in the primary industries sector. Six participants from different levels of the organisation were interviewed, and their responses thematically analysed. Three main themes emerged from the data. First, in order to become a leader in a Māori organisation you have to have the mandate, through whakapapa and mana, to lead. Second, in order to be successful as a Māori leader, you have to engage, direct, and defend the collective. Third, Māori leaders have to be guided by the correct goals, such as kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the whenua (land), service to the people, and mana motuhake (mana through autonomy and self-determination). These themes were then used to create a model of successful Māori leadership. Limitations include this research being exploratory and only having one case study. Further research could include exploring the universality of this leadership model.