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African management practice culture count


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This presentation has shown that the western management theories of leadership and motivation in the form they have been developed and applied in the West may not or partially fit culturally in …

This presentation has shown that the western management theories of leadership and motivation in the form they have been developed and applied in the West may not or partially fit culturally in Africa. The similarities and differences among cultures suggest that it make sense to study and compare western management value assumptions with African cultural values, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes.

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  • Thanks for your observation and constructive contribution towards providing researched based 'growth-positive' and 'growth-negative' culture-based factors for African management practice and economic development. I invite academics and researchers to join in making available other empirically validated cultural value factors that could provide the impetus for management theory building and economic model development.
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  • Good empirical study and well argued. The issues highlighted in here are similar to what we see in politics, governance, religion, medicine etc. The African man's acceptance of Western culture, practices, principles and processes as apparently superior to the African way of life makes it difficult to introduce and develop our own African culturally based institutional practices, principles and processes in politics, religion, business management, medicine, etc. That notwithstanding, we need our academics to do more work in this area to translate theories and researches into practice.
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  • 1. Cultural Dynamics in African Management Practice Leadership and Motivation Osarumwense Iguisi, PhD Executive Director Osarumwense Iguisi, PhD Euro-African Management Research Centre
  • 2. Cultural Dynamics in African Management Practice Introduction The importance of culture for effective management in Africa has become increasingly obvious in recent years as many of the expectations of African organizations and institutions created and managed along lines of Western textbooks and models have failed to achieve expected results of economic growth and sustainable development. In most projections of economic development, SubSaharan African countries score poorly. Thus, while western type organizations have no doubt, contributed somehow to the development and progress of Africa, I am of the opinion that the economic performances of these countries since decolonization have not been able to meet up with expected economic development compared to the economic achievements of other developing countries like Asia.
  • 3. Africa’s Socioeconomic Problems in the Streams of Management Discourse Background Modern Africa suffers from a number of unfortunate influences, such as tribal warfare, despotism, starvation, AIDS and compounded with economic decline. According to World Bank Development (2007) Report, Africa figures as the poor relative in the world family of nations and seems to be condemned to remain so for the foreseeable future. In official statistical data, African countries nearly always show up at the negative end. Among several reasons for this dramatic situation, a lack of appropriate indigenous management takes a prominent position. The noticeable lack of success of many African organisations created and managed along lines of Western theories and models can be attributed to this fact. Projects more or less function so long as foreign experts manage them, but they flounder after having been transferred to locals.
  • 4. Africa’s Socioeconomic Problems in the Streams of Management Discourse   Clearly, Africa is not the nearest in culture to the Western world, yet the continent has been experiencing perhaps the fastest pace of Westernisation this century of anywhere in the non-Western world. The colonial era in most of Africa has been one of the shortest in world history. Most countries of Africa below the Sahara were exposed to Western colonial powers for less than a century before reverting to independence in the second half of the twentieth century. Before the colonialists came, Africa had functioning political, economic and administrative infrastructures and ways of organising their world of work. Neither the institutions nor the political borders imposed by the colonisers have respected these infrastructures. However, unlike in Europe and most part of Asia, the attempted Westernisation has completely neglected the native cultural values and traditions and transplanted ready-made Western management theories to African soil. The results of these transformations, in most cases, have been failures.
  • 5. Africa’s Socioeconomic Problems in the Streams of Management Discourse Because of the failure of westernised African managers to identify and take advantage of the ‘growth-positive’ cultural value factors of their society for effective management practice, the relevancy of Western management theories and models utilised in training managers in universities and business schools for managing organisations in Africa comes into question. A basic assumption to be made here is that suitable African management theories and models can only be developed by Africans themselves, or at least in close collaboration with African practitioners and western suppliers of technology (Jackson 2004; Iguisi 2009).
  • 6. Culture 6
  • 7. What is Culture?  Hofstede (2005, p. 9) defines culture as the collective programming “software” of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one social group or category of people from another. It includes the society’s institutions, legal system, method of government, family patterns, social conventions-all those activities interactions and transactions, which define the particular flavour of a society.  Iguisi (2009) defined culture as the pool of rules, beliefs, and values by which individual or group members conceptually order the objects and events in their lives in order to operate in a manner that is acceptable to people identifying with them and people that are negotiating with them in the course of their interaction. Culture consists of the patterns of thinking that parents transfer to their children, teachers to their students, friends to their friends, leaders to their followers, and followers to their leaders. 7
  • 8. Sources of Our Culture Levels of culture National Religion Ethnic Generation Place of socialization Family Society Values Professional Business School Practices Organization Workplace 8
  • 9. The Manifestation of Culture ‘onion diagram’ Symbols Heroes Rituals a Pr e tic c s Values 9
  • 10. Values in Culture The core of culture is formed by values. Values are broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs over others. The values and traditions of a culture are generally the best instruments available for dealing with the degree of uncertainties, ambiguities and anxieties experienced in the workplace and the wider society. Values are learned in early life and often unconscious and not discussable. Values as Attributions of:  Good – Evil  Clean – Dirty  Beautiful – Ugly  Rational – Irrational  Natural – Unnatural  Normal – Abnormal  Logical – Paradoxical 10
  • 11. Operationalizing Some Culture Value Factors 1. 2. 3. Ethnicity Family orientations Friendship Ethnicity. The works of Martin (1992; 2001), Koot, (1997; 2002), Tennekes (1995) led this study to argue that African managerial history is replete with ethnic politics, whereby ethnic groupings tend to help each other rather than those who do not belong. This ethnicity is defined as traditional (extrinsic) to management and rooted in the employees’ cultures. Family orientations. Family is conceptualised as one’s immediate family. In Africa, it is assumed that a person’s family is often a factor that greatly influences an employee’s attitude to work and consequently his motivational state of mind in the workplace. Friendship. Is conceptualised as intimate relationship between senior management and one seeking to be employed or one already employed in the organisation. Friendship is perceived as both a Western (intrinsic) and traditional (extrinsic) factor. 11
  • 12. Operationalizing Some Culture Value Factors 4. 5. 6. Past experience Formal education Indigenous language Past experience. In this cultural context, past experience is viewed as a Western (intrinsic) and traditional (extrinsic) management requirement. Formal education. Do African managers view formal education as important in their attitudes to leadership, motivation, recruitment and promotion? Formal education is a modern work value and a managerial requirement. It is intrinsic to work and motivation in management. Indigenous language. Iwuji (1992) stated that understanding the language of an area facilitates one’s recruitment to work in that area. He also stated that being able to speak the local language of the man at the top is an asset to rapid promotion within the organisation in Africa, even when the candidate is not from the manager’s own ethnic group or qualified for the new position. 12
  • 13. Research Methods Four Methods for Operationalizing Research Constructs Words Deeds 1 * projective tests * questionnaires * interviews (structured) 3 * content analysis of speeches * documents * discussions 2 * experiments * laboratory * field experiments 4 * direct observation * use of available descriptive methods (o-e interviews) Provoked Natural Source: (Hofstede, 1980; expanded by Iguisi, 2008) 13
  • 14. Demographic Data Sample size Managers Non managers Total: Education: (>13 yrs) Managers Non managers Age over 39 Managers Non managers Family size (>4) Managers Non managers Dependents (>4) Managers Non managers France No. 51 Italy GB No. 105 No. 81 Netherlands No. 146 Nigeria No. 314 58 % 42 % 100 % 48 % 52 % 100 % 65 % 35 % 100 % 44 % 56 % 100 % 64 % 34 % 100 % 73 % 54 % 86 % 62 % 88 % 65 % 68 % 80 % 80 % 64 % 45 % 54 % 67 % 42 % 56 % 35 % 75 % 70 % 60 % 54 % 17 % 07 % 26 % 00 % 33 % 20 % 10 % 09 % 71 % 50 % 09 % 07 % 26 % 01 % 15 % 16 % 21 % 09 % 85 % 50 %
  • 15. Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture Hofstede’s versus Iguisi’s Scores •Power Distance •Individualism/Collectivism •Uncertainty Avoidance •Masculinity/Femininity
  • 16. Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture Scores: Dimensions             Power Distance Hofstede (2001) Iguisi (2009) Individualism Hofstede (2001) Iguisi (2009) Uncertainty Avoid Hofstede (2001) Iguisi (2009) Masculinity Hofstede (2001) Iguisi (2009) France Italy Scotland (GB)* Netherlands Nigeria 50 70 68 62 35 69 71 48 76 46 89 58 80 86 57 75 62 35 34 53 43 27 70 33 66 27 38 65 14 (WAF)** 77 100 20 63 46 54 69 38 46 22 39 * (GB) = England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ** (WAF) = Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone 16
  • 17. Dimensions of Cultures This study compare the present scores with Hofstede’s IBM scores with some Western countries that have great influence on management education, training and practice in Africa. Table : Compared Iguisi’s scores for Nigeria with Hofstede’ for WAF, UK and USA Country     PDI IDV MAS UAI Nigeria – Iguisi Nigeria (WAF) - Hofstede United Kingdom-Hofstede USA - Hofstede 100 77 35 40 46 20 89 91 39 46 66 62 38 54 35 46 17
  • 18. Leadership
  • 19. Leadership Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. It is a collective or group process which is inherently value-based (Iguisi, O, 2002). Leadership Styles Autocratic A leader who centralizes authority, dictates work methods, makes unilateral decisions, and limits employee participation Paternalistic Leader acts as a ‘father figure’ makes decision but may consult and believes in the need to support staff Consultative Participative leader seeks input and hears the concerns and issues of employees but makes the final decision him or herself leader who involves employees in decision making, delegates authority, encourages participation in deciding work methods and goals, and uses feedback to coach employees
  • 20. Table : Leadership Styles Autocratic Leadership Styles Across-Cultures France P A R % % % 0 Italy P A R % % % GB P A % % 35 76 5 28 66 10 35 Netherlands P A R % % % Nigeria P A R % % % 52 0 7 31 60 R % 12 71 Paternalistic 24 20 6 30 34 1 27 31 4 24 36 0 40 39 3 Consultative 49 20 6 48 32 11 52 25 6 58 39 0 35 15 18 Participative 27 16 12 17 6 22 11 9 38 18 9 29 18 14 19 P = Preferred A = Actual R = Rejected 20
  • 21. Leadership Styles and Levels of Satisfaction Table : Nigerian-African Managers + Professional Non-Manager s Questions Security of employment Satisfied Dissatisfied Challenging tasks Satisfied Dissatisfied Cooperation Satisfied Dissatisfied Clear job description Satisfied Dissatisfied Autocratic Paternalistic Consultative Democratic 60 % 38 % 78 % 20 % 49 % 51 % 18 % 73% 33 % 65 % 30 % 70 % 69 % 28 % 63 % 37 % 70 % 30 % 75 % 25 % 20 % 80 % 58 % 42 % 80 % 20 % 35 % 65 % 50 % 50 % 68 % 31 % 21
  • 22. Motivation
  • 23. Motivation •Motivation – The intensity of a person’s desire to engage in an activity. •The Law of Individual Differences – A psychological term representing the fact that people differ in their personalities, abilities, self-concept, values, and needs. •Three main approaches to motivation – Need-based approach – Process-based approach – Learning/reinforcement-based approach.
  • 24. Motivation Theories in Needs Hierarchy Western Management Theories Nigerian Managers and Non-Managers Ranked Order of Importance High – Self Actualisation and Esteem Needs: Challenge Stress Freedom Variety and Adventure Living area 1 2 3 4 5 Middle – Social needs: Cooperation Relationships with boss Opport for helping others Successful organisation Serve your country Contribution Challenge Security Opport. for higher level jobs Cooperation 1 2 3 4 5 Middle – Social needs 6 7 8 9 10 Low – Security and Physiological Needs: Security Earnings Opport for higher level jobs Physical conditions Contribution High – Self Actualisation and Esteem Needs: 11 12 13 14 15 Relationships with boss Earnings Serve your country Freedom Variety and Adventure 6 7 8 9 10 Low – Security and Physiological Needs: Living area Physical conditions Opportunity for helping others Successful organisation Stress 11 12 13 14 15
  • 25. Cultural Value Factors in Motivation Across Cultures Question: Table : "How important are the following cultural value motivation factors in your work life at the present time?" Rank Order of Importance Among Managers France Italy Scotland - GB Netherlands Nigeria 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 family 2 work 3 friends 4 religion 5 wealth 6 community 7 leisure Family work Friends leisure wealth community Religion family work friends leisure wealth religion community family friends work leisure wealth community religion family leisure work friends wealth community religion 25
  • 26. Table : Family Size Across-Cultures Question: “Your family is considered to be you, your wife and children. How many are you in your family?” France Italy Scotland Netherlands Nigeria no. % no. % no. % no. % no. % No. of People 1‑2 22 43.1% 39 37.2% 32 39.5% 85 59% 78 28% 3‑4 19 37.3% 53 50.5% 36 44.5% 58 41% 75 27% 5‑6 8 12 11.4% 10 12.3% 0 0% 116 42% >6 2 3.9% 3 3.7% 0 0% 10 3% 51 100 % 81 100 % 143 100% Total Mean 2.61 15.7% 1 1.0% 105 100 % 2.53 2.63 3.21 279 100% 5.19 26
  • 27. Table : Number of Persons Dependent on Salary Across-Cultures Question: “How many people are regularly dependent on your salary for their support including you?” France no. % Italy no. % 1‑2 30 58.8% 3‑4 13 25.5% 5‑6 7 13.7% 7 6.7% 10 12.3% 2 >6 1 4 3.9% 2 No. of People Total Mean 2.0% Scotland no. % Netherlands no. % Nigeria no. % 70 67.3% 44 54.4% 84 61% 27 10% 23 22.1% 27 33.3% 51 37% 28 10% 1% 108 39% 2% 117 41% 0 0.0% 51 100 % 105 100 % 81 100 % 143 100% 2.29 2.10 3.13 2.37 280 100% 7.31 27
  • 28. Conclusions
  • 29. Conclusions This study cast serious doubts on the validity of the dominant Western universal perspectives in management practice “Leadership and Motivation” in African organizations. It has been shown that both perspectives – modern and traditional values – suggest that elements of African cultural values pose serious challenges to African managers’ ability to adopt practices that can improve the effectiveness of management in their organizations and societies. The debate today is whether cultural values can become the foundational myth of modern and effective management in Africa. Or on the other hand whether modern management theory is only possible once the African cultural values are no longer as important to westernized African managers and elites as it is construed in most organisational settings in Africa 29
  • 30. Conclusions (Cont) It is argued, based on the empirical evidence of this research results, that the generally accepted Western (most especially USA) leadership and motivation theories like Maslow, Herzberg, Vroom, Likert may not or partially apply in African cultures "Western" models, such as "participative management", may not be very appropriate for managing indigenous organizations in Africa, but the problem is that there are hardly any alternative role models available yet of the African manager of the future, who would proudly retain the inheritance of his/her cultural values but at the same time is able to function in an effective organization on a competitive market. If one follows the news, this problem seems to exist in politics as much as in industry. 30
  • 31. Conclusions (cont)  However, in developing theories and building models of management in Africa, it is unlikely to pay Africa to throw away all that the West has to offer. Rather, the process of appropriate management development should be to reflect on the cultures and assumptions of Western management theories, compare Western assumptions about social and cultural values with African cultural value concepts. Before the coming of colonial administration, the old African villages and towns had effective public administrative mechanism, which the village and town heads, chiefs and kings administered.  This study introduces fresh perspective and methodology into the study of management in Africa and therefore invite academics, management and organizational developers, researchers, and anthropologists to rethink the premise of their cultural values, management discourse and research concepts. 31
  • 32. THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS PRESENTATION Comments To: Osarumwense Iguisi, PhD Chair, Cross-Cultural Management Euro-African Management Research Centre 57 Great Cullings Romford, UK RM7 0YJ Tel: +447981990263 Emails: 32
  • 33. Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture Implications
  • 34. Socialization Emphasis and Some Consequences for the: Family School Workplace
  • 35. Power Distance “The extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally”. In high power distance cultures, people are expected to display respect for those of higher status. It also refers to the extent to which power, prestige, and wealth are distributed within a culture. Cultures with high power distance have power and influence concentrated in the hands of a few rather than distributed throughout the population. 35
  • 36. Socialization Emphasis According to Power Distance Societies Small Power Distance In the family Large Power Distance Student-centered education (initiative) Learning represents impersonal “truth” Teacher-centered education (order) Learning represents personal “wisdom” from teacher (guru) Age is a resource of status Management by Objectives may work At the workplace Parents teach children obedience Older people are both respected and feared Young is beautiful At school Children encouraged to have a will of their own Parents treated as equals Older people are neither respected nor feared Management by Objectives may work Subordinates expects to be consulted Subordinates expect to be told what to do Other leadership training packages may work Existing leadership training packages are largely irrelevant Corruption frequent; scandals are covered up Corruption rare; scandals end political careers 36
  • 37. Individualism versus Collectivism Individualism Individualism refers to how people define themselves and their relationships with others. In an individualist culture, the interest of the individual prevails over the interests of the group. Ties between individuals are loose. People look after themselves and their immediate families. Individualist cultures are loosely integrated. Collectivism Collectivism refers to a society where relationships between people in a society are expected to stress ‘be thy brother’s keeper”. People are born into collectivities or in-groups, which may be their extended family (including grandparents, uncles, and aunts and so on), their tribe, or their village. Everybody is supposed to look after the interest of his or her in-group and to have no other opinion and beliefs than the opinions and beliefs of their in-group. The in-group or collective is, also, expected to protect its members - individuals. 37
  • 38. Socialization Emphasis According to Collectivist versus Individualist Societies Collectivist In the family Individualist People are born into extended families or other ingroups which continue to protect them in exchange for loyalty Identity is based on social network to which one belongs Children learn to think in terms of ‘we’ Everyone grows up to look after him/herself and his/her immediate (nuclear) family only Identity is based in the individual Purpose of education is learning how to do Purpose of education is learning how to learn Diplomas increase economic worth and/or self respect At school Diplomas provide entry to higher status At the workplace High-context communication Relationship employer-employee is perceived in moral terms, like a family link Hiring and promotion decisions take employees’ in-group into account Management is management of groups Relationships prevails over task Bad performance no socially acceptable reason for dismissal Children learn to think in terms of ‘I’ Low-context communication Relations employer-employee is a contract supposed to be based on mutual advantage Hiring and promotion decisions are supposed to be based on skills and rules only Management is management of individuals Task prevails over relationship Bad performance socially accepted for dismissal 38
  • 39. Uncertainty Avoidance Uncertainty Avoidance is not the same as risk avoidance; it deals with a society's tolerance for ambiguity. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict behavioral codes, laws and rules, disapproval of deviant opinions, and a belief in absolute Truth; 'there can only be one Truth and we have it'. Cultures strong in uncertainty avoidance are active, aggressive, emotional, compulsive, security seeking, and intolerant; cultures weak in uncertainty avoidance are contemplative, less aggressive, unemotional, relaxed, accepting of personal risks, and relatively tolerant. 39
  • 40. Socialization Emphasis According to Uncertainty Avoidance Societies Weak Uncertainty Avoidance In the family At school At the workplace Strong Uncertainty Avoidance What is different, is ridiculous or curious Ease, indolence, low stress Aggression and emotions not shown What is different, is dangerous Higher anxiety and stress Showing aggression and emotions Student comfortable with * Unstructured learning situations * Vague objectives * Broad assignments * No timetables Teachers may say “I don’t know” Students comfortable with * Structured learning situations * Precise objectives * Detailed assignments * Strict timetables Teachers supposed to have all the answers Dislike of rules-written or unwritten Less formalization and standardization At the workplace Acceptance of risks, familiar and unfamiliar Showing of emotion by managers is taboo Emotional need for rules-written or unwritten More formalization and standardization Acceptance of familiar risks, avoidance of unfamiliar risks Shouting and table-pounding represent acceptable manager behaviour 40
  • 41. Masculinity versus Femininity Masculinity Sharply differentiated social sex roles: masculine roles implies achievement, assertiveness, sympathy for the strong, and material success Femininity Overlapping social sex roles; both imply warm relationships, modesty, care for the week, and quality of life 41
  • 42. Socialization Emphasis According to Masculinity versus Femininity Societies Feminine Societies In the family At school At the workplace Stress on relationships Solidarity Resolution of conflicts by compromise and negotiations Masculine Societies Stress on achievement Competition Resolution of conflicts by fighting it out Average student is norm Best students are norm System rewards students’ social adaptation System rewards students’ academic performance Students’ failure at school is relatively minor Students’ failure at school is accident disaster- may lead to suicide Assertiveness ridiculed Undersell yourself Stress on life quality Resolution of conflicts by compromise and negotiation Motivation by quality of interpersonal relationships Assertiveness appreciated Oversell yourself Stress on careers Resolution of conflicts by fighting them out Motivation by opportunity for advancement 42