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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Stirling Management School legacy departments
Title: Cultural Dynamics of African Management Practice
Author(s): Iguisi, Osarumwense V.
Supervisor(s): Baldry, Chris
Keywords: Culture
Social Connections
Coping Strategies
Issue Date: 17-Nov-2009
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This research study looked at the cultural value preferences in Western management practice for African manager and non-manager employees exemplified by Nigerian cement industries. The study specifically focused on management practice of leadership, motivation, recruitment and promotion around which their cultural values, the meaning of their work-world and their coping strategies are structured. From management and culture theory perspectives, managerial practices are affected both by Western factors, such as education, money, challenging tasks, and by traditional factors, such as family, ethnicity, social connections etc. The theoretical bases for this study drew largely from three streams of literature. The first theoretical base for the study relates to traditional African environment of management, especially the cultural perspectives. The second drew largely from the theoretical discourse on culture, management and organisation perspectives. The mainstream schools of management discourse on management theories and models as proposed by Western management theorists represent the third stream. As a methodology, the study used a quantitative questionnaire survey and qualitative open-ended interviews to collect data on the manager and non-manager employees in the organisations. The quantitative questionnaires and open-ended interviews centered national dimensions of cultures and on these Western and traditional factors of: leadership styles, motivation, dedication, satisfaction, ethnicity, family and social connections. The survey confirms that the dimension of national cultures of Nigeria as measured by the work-values and desires of the employees population are somehow different from those obtained by Hofstede’s study for the West African Region. Nigeria is still more collectivistic, although at least Nigeria has become relatively more individualist since Hofstede’s study. Over the years between Hofstede’ IBM study and the present study, there has been no change in the difference in Power Distance. Power Distance is much higher in Nigeria, like elsewhere in Africa, and this is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. The large Power Distance in Nigeria means that the ideal manager is benevolent paternalistic. On recruitment and promotion, one major point made is that the traditional factors are generally felt by the respondents as influencing employees’ recruitment and promotion more than the modern (intrinsic) factors. The employees however, generally felt that the modern (intrinsic) factors should or ought to have greater influence. Building on the premises that every society is unique and its trajectory is shaped by its unique historical events, cultural norms and values, it can be argued that since the history of Western management concept in Africa is short, Africa then has a unique opportunity to develop its own unique management values based on its unique traditions. However, the increasing globalisation of market economies suggests that management values in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general can hardly be realised without proactively contributing to the Western management concepts in its unique ways. As the intensity of interaction between Western management practices and African traditional values increases, we can anticipate the increase in the importance of a new form of management concepts and practices in various African countries. Based on others and this study, the study proposes a “management heterogeneity” concept that reflects this new and unique perspective. Management heterogeneity perspective endorses the view that the practice of leadership, motivation, recruitment and promotion are developed differently in different cultural societies and organisations. But it adopts a pragmatic position on the mounting social and economic challenges now facing African organisations and argues further that management techniques, skills and behaviours practiced in different cultures and organisations can be brought together in a positive synergistic blend to address the needs of a given society and organisation and improve its ability to deliver effective and relevant values to its actors. It is the ability to judiciously select and combine the Western and traditional values and practices into new practices that fit the managerial requirements of a given group of organisational members that provides management its competitive edge in a culturally dynamic management environment.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Stirling Management School

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