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Cultures and management education in afric1

  1. 1. 1 CULTURES AND MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN AFRICAByIGUISI OsarumwenseEuro-African Management Research CentreMaastricht-The NetherlandsE-mail:
  2. 2. 2 CULTURES AND MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN AFRICA AbstractOf recent, some voices have been raised in opposition to what can be described as aninfatuation with theories and models of management developed in the western world. Someresearchers and scholars have been vigorous in their attack upon this form of westernization.One cannot help feeling that there is indeed among some African scholars a certain implicittrust in the theories or formulas, which have proved successful in the west and a deep distrustin most part of Africa. It cannot be denied that in Africa, there is a strong tendency amongstudents and practicing managers to consider the science of management as another form oftechnology, which can be imported and universally applied.Up till now, there have been very little real research and analysis concerning the evolvingstate of culture and management education in Africa, both in terms of what exists and what isneeded. Thus, while management education of all sort for students of Africa have developedconsiderably, is this training the most relevant and feasible? To what extent are the variouswesternly developed training approaches relevant and effective in the setting and managingAfrican indigenous organizations of various dimensions? Any contribution to answering andresolving these questions can be welcome for what ever the management training partchosen, effective and feasible management education will be a key determinant whether thatpart leads to true national economic and managerial development and a better life for thelocal people.IntroductionAfrican countries suffer from a number of problems ranging from poverty, ignorance,diseases, and overpopulation, HIV/AIDS and compounded by economic decline. The deathrate is the highest in the world and the life expectancy the lowest (40 years). There are civilwars and internal strife over geographical borders. In the meantime, Africa is drown inexternal debt, which it can ill service. The debts are growing daily and accentuate the flow ofresources from poverty-ridden African countries to the developed world. The combinationsof these problems have resulted in abject poverty and starvation in Africa.In official statistical data, Sub-Saharan African countries nearly always show up at thenegative end. This situation has therefore brought management education in most countriesof Africa under severe criticisms vis-a-vis its managerial training approaches to Africaneconomic and managerial development. In Africa, there are a few examples if any, of verysuccessful management development and training institutions yet. Among several reasons forthis dramatic situation, a lack of adequate and feasible research and analysis of Africancultural values for local management development takes prominent position. The noticeablelack of success of many African formal organizations created and managed by products ofAfrican management institutions, using western management theories and models inmanagement schools can be attributable to the fact of the African scholars and managersignorant of African historical and cultural conditions. Thus, while management training inAfrica have no doubt, contributed somehow to the development and progress of Africancountries, I am of the opinion that the economic and managerial performances of Africannations and organizations since decolonization have been disappointing compared to theachievements of other countries considered developing.
  3. 3. 3Because of the failure of westernized African elites, scholars and practicing managers toidentify and take advantage of the growth-positive cultural value-based factors of theirenvironment for effective and feasible management practices that the relevancy of westernmanagement theories and models comes into question. Also in question are the variouswestern type management courses that are being offered in majority of African Universities,management schools and management development and training institutions. If westerntheories and models of economic and managerial development that have been imported andapplied by most African nations since decolonization have failed to produce the expectedresults of sustainable development, is that not sufficient evidence to inform Africa thatsomething African needed to be carefully looked into? .Clearly, Africa is not the nearest in culture to the western world, yet the continent has indeedbeen experiencing perhaps the fastest pace of westernization this century of anywhere in thenon-western world. The colonial era in most of Africa has been one of the shortest in worldhistory. Most countries of Africa have been exposed to western colonial powers for less thana century before reverting to independence in the second half of the twentieth century.However, unlike in Europe and most part of Asia, the attempted westernization afterindependence has completely neglected the cultural traditions of Africans and tried to importor transplant ready-made western management theories and models to traditional Africansoil. The results of this transformation, in most cases, have been disastrous.If one thing has become clear, it is that the exports of western - mostly American type -management theories and models to poor countries of Africa have contributed little ornothing to their development. There have been no lack of efforts and money spent for thispurpose; students from Africa have been sent and trained in Europe and North America,teachers and consultant-experts have been sent from Europe and America to Africa. SeveralAfrican countries have only become poorer since decolonization in the face of transplantationor importation of radical managerial and economic theories and models from the westernworld. If nothing else, the general lack of success in economic and managerial developmentof African countries should be a sufficient argument to doubt the validity of westernmanagement education approaches in the training and development of African managers.This general failure of western theories and models in Africa is a sufficient evidence toinform African scholars, politicians and development experts that something African need tobe carefully looked into, therefore the need for feasible management education rooted in thecultures and values of the Africans.It follows that where committed resources, both human and material are not achieving setobjects, there is the need therefore, to re-examine management theories and models, how theyhave been applied, and why they have not achieved the expected results of managerial andeconomic development. This is with the view to modifying and adapting them taking intoconsideration the impact of cultural values and the local environment on development andmanagement practices.Convergence versus Divergence Debate on Culture Influence on Management TheoryCultural influence on management is a difficult topic to study. Cross-cultural nature ofresearch increases the research design complexity, complicates data gathering procedures andmakes the interpretation of the obtained results more difficult. A substantive complication in
  4. 4. 4cross-cultural research is that the variety of contexts in which multicultural surveys areembedded means that salient alternative explanations and hypotheses multiply, as do thesources of error and bias that complicate and hinder understanding. Therefore, although manystudies on cultural influence on management theory have been conducted to date, the resultsremain ambiguous and contradictory. Consequently, two opposing views on the nature ofcultural influence on management coexist simultaneously, both partially supported byempirical studies. The basic argument of the culture-specific position is that differentenvironments create different management systems. What represents appropriatemanagement in one setting does not have to be appropriate for a differently programmedmanagement system.Proponents of the divergence culture-specific perspective (Jackson, 2005; Hofstede, 2001;Iguisi, 2012) maintained that the occurrence and effectiveness of management is likely to beunique to a given culture. They argue that the values, beliefs, norms, and ideals that areembedded in a culture affect, for example, leadership behaviour and goals, as well asstructure, culture, and strategies of organisations. Newman (1996) states: “National culture isa central organizing principle of employees‟ understanding of work, their approach to it, andthe way in which they expect to be treated. National, regional, organisational culture impliesthat one way of action or one set of outcomes is preferable to another.”According to Berry, Poortinga, Segall (2002), culture affects personality, perceptions,behaviours and work values of leaders and followers in a country. Personality can be viewedas the outcome of a lifelong process of interaction between an organism and its ecoculturaland sociocultural environments. “The effects of these external factors make it likely that thereare systematic differences in the person-typical behaviour of people who have been socialisedand brought up in different cultures”.Proponents of the convergence universalistic perspective argue that management is auniversal phenomenon. They argue that, although some differences across cultures are boundto exist, there are many more similarities than differences in management across the world.They maintain that increasingly common technological imperatives, common industrial logic,and global technologies and institutions all serve to harmonise management practices andstructure (Carl & Javidan, 2001). They also point out that indigenous patterns of leadershipare often unjustifiably romanticized – in much the same way as some social anthropologistsused to champion the cause of the “noble savage,” a luxury less easily indulged by thesubjects of their concern (Blunt & Jones, 1997). Moreover, even when studies finddifferences in management styles across cultures, they implicitly assume the universality ofconstructs (and instruments) used to measure these or styles.Three groups of arguments can be advanced in support of this position. First, management atits broadest is a universal phenomenon, occurring in all societies across the world (Bass,1997, 1990; Peterson & Hunt, 1997; 2002). Moreover, the simultaneous appearance of socialinstitutions such as government, organised religion, and a significant role of management forindividual leaders argue that there may well be something about people in complexorganisations that provides a social and economic value in management – they arise to fulfil abasic social function. To the degree that management is culture-free means that a universalconstraint is placed on how much various contingencies, such as culture or training, impactmanagement behaviours. Finally, management requires a disposition to be influential, whichmay result in some universal influence-oriented behaviour.
  5. 5. 5Second, in many cases, observed cross-cultural differences are a product of research designlimitations and flaws (such as unmatched sampling and disregard for confounding variables),or the differences could be attributed to some variables other than culture. Consequently, themagnitude of “pure” cultural influence on management might be negligible and insignificant.Finally, forces of modernization and globalization are boosting cultural congruence, at leastat the level of organisational and business practices. These are strongly influenced bycontingencies such as the size of organisations, their technologies, their strategy, and thestability of their environments. It is likely that such variables have a much more direct andsignificant impact on management than culture (Kerr, 1983; Blyton, 2001).The basic argument of the universalistic perspective is that management is a basicallyuniversal phenomenon, common to all cultures, which may sometimes vary because of localcultural idiosyncrasies, but is generally more similar than different across cultures.Converging Management Culture Debate: Management is ManagementAs observed above, beliefs in the convergence hypothesis of management practices are stronglyheld among many management scholars and practicing managers. Their core argument is thatmanagement is management, consisting of a set of principles and techniques (like ParticipativeManagement, Management by Objective, etc) that can be universality applied. Management isconsidered to be similar to engineering or science, and therefore transcends national boundaries.And yet even in science and engineering, this assumption may be misplaced. For example, whileit may be true that civil engineers designing road systems have inherent logic about speed andsafety, this has not prevented them from implementing different systems, even in ostensiblysimilar environments. If the practice of engineering or science can be shaped by its culturalorigins, why should the practice of management be any different?Those who argue for the universality of management practice concede that management differsin Malaysia and Hungary. This, they argue, is due to economic or technological lag. Theassumption is that once these countries catch up, then it will be business as usual. In fact, thepace of technological and economic development in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia hasbeen quite impressive, and indeed bears evidence of convergence.Convergence is also encouraged through management education, which is being exported fromthe west to non-western societies. This training not only provides the tools and techniques offinance, accounting and marketing, but also transmits a particular business philosophy andideology, such as notions of the shareholders, and the bottom line. This economic, technologicaland managerial development however, has not necessarily led to a warm embrace of westernstyle management, but can in fact trigger a forceful reassertion of local values and beliefs.Given similar levels of technological and economic development, convergence of managementpractice is not necessarily apparent. Comparing French with British firms, Italian with Dutchfirms, Iguisi (1998, 2007) found clear evidence of different accounting and marketing practices,economic policies, and management approaches.Kanter (1991) former editor of Harvard Business Review acknowledged that managementpractice is not as global as once hoped. Following a massive survey conducted of 11,678managers in 25 countries, she concludes that, "idea of a corporate global village where acommon culture of management unifies the practice of business around the world is more dreamthan reality”.
  6. 6. 6Thus despite technological and economic forces for integration or convergence, there are equalor perhaps greater forces for fragmentation, one of them being culture. For this reason we needto consider how culture can be a powerful force, undermining or shoring up our effectiveness asnations, as enterprises, and as management trainers. We need to be able to recognize thepressure and power of culture in order to be able to design appropriate and feasible managementprograms. We need to discover how to harness the power of culture in marketing, accounting,leading and motivating in order to effectively provide management education and training toAfrican managers towards the achievement of national and organizational goals.Paradoxes in Management Education in AfricaIn the introduction to this paper, a good number of questions were raised concerningrelevancy of prevailing adoption of western materials without consideration for the localcultural values in training African managers. Have the products of local managementinstitutions had any significant or positive impact on the managerial and economicdevelopment in African organizations? Can we authoritatively say that the economicdevelopment of Africa since decolonization has improved or worsened? Where is the place ofculture in the development of materials for training modern day African managers in solvingthe managerial and economic problems that pervades most African countries? Here lies themanagement education paradox in Africa.When all the current socioeconomic problems in Africa are carefully considered, theproblems are overwhelming. We can admittedly say that the fact that the economic andmanagerial situations in Africa have not improved since deconolization, and there is no signas yet of radical positive improvement in the near future without a paradigm shift in theapproaches to solving these problems indicates that the western management theories andtraining approaches imported into Africa management schools may not have been veryappropriate and feasible. Effective and feasible theories and models can only be developedthrough culture and management research. In training managers in African managementinstitutions, it should be clear to know the relationships between cultures and managementand how they reinforce each other in research teaching and training.Management education refers to the processes and activities by which continuousdevelopment is sought in skills and abilities of managers and administrators through teachingand learning processes by impacting theories from established existing body of managementknowledge.Research encompasses all the activities dealing with the discovering of new knowledge orinformation and relationships and expansion as well as the verification of existing knowledgeby using carefully designed systematic enquiry and analysis. Research in this regard is anexercise in building management knowledge or building management theories. Thus, interms of the business language, research involves producing knowledge for theory buildingand practical application.There is a strong case to support the contention that, although management theories andmodels are importable or exportable from one culture to another, nonetheless, it is so only toa limited extent. The wisdom to import management theories from western to non-westernsocieties have been questioned by scholars and practicing managers Hofstede (1991), Iguisiand Hofstede (1993). Iguisi (1999) demonstrated how certain types of management behaviordiffer significantly among countries therefore making the idea of universal managementconcept inconceivable.
  7. 7. 7Culture DefinedThe constituent elements of a culture consist of the whole complex of distinctive features thatcharacterized a society or social group. These features may be spiritual, intellectual, materialor emotional.Culture is a common word and like most common words it comes with much conceptualbaggage, much of it vague, some of it contradictory.UNESCO defined culture as: The whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterizes a society or social group. It includes not only the arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs.Hofstede (1980) refers to what he calls “culture one” and “culture two”. He defines cultureone as manifested in music, painting, dances, art, folklore, and literature. The emphasis is ona product, a performance, and an artifact-something, which makes up cultural heritage of asociety. In this sense, culture is the human made parts of our environment.Hofstede (2001, p. 9) defines culture two as the “software of the mind”, a collectivephenomena, shared with the people who live in the same social environment. It is thecollective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one social group orcategory of people from another. It includes the society‟s institutions, legal system, methodof government, family patterns, social conventions-all those activities interactions andtransactions, which define the particular flavour of a society (Hofstede, 2005:5). Cultureconsists of the patterns of thinking that parents transfer to their children, teachers to theirstudents, friends to their friends, leaders to their followers, and followers to their leaders(Hofstede, 1984). According to Hofstede, culture is the „collective programming of the mind‟and went on to explains that it lies between human nature on one side and individualpersonality on the other (Hofstede, 1991).Culture is a distinctly human capacity for adapting to circumstances, and then being able totransmit this knowledge and experience to subsequent generations. Culture gives a particularpeople sense of who they are, of belonging, of how they should behave, and of what theyshould be doing. Culture impact behaviour, moral, and performance it influences perceptionsand attitudes, values and actions. Yet many people are totally unconscious of their culturalconditioning, and do not fully utilize this valuable insight into human activity. For cultureprovides a context for understanding so much that occurs in our daily lives, be it education oreconomics, politics or productivity, science or religion. Culture can be the source ofcooperation, cohesion, and progress. It can also be the source of conflict, disintegration andfailure.As Eagleton (2002) reminds us: „we owe our modern notion of culture in large part tonationalism and colonialism, along with the growth of anthropology in the service of imperialpowers‟. This concept of culture deriving from anthropology as it evolved in the nineteenthcentury permeates most organisation and management writings.
  8. 8. 8Values in Management DiscourseThe core of culture is formed by values. Values are broad tendencies to prefer certain states ofaffairs over others. According to Hofstede (1991, 2001), Values are basic convictions thatpeople have regarding what is right and wrong, good and bad, important or unimportant. Somevalues are related to relatively specific aspects of life-such as, what is socially appropriatebehaviour for people in different societies. Values are among the first thing children learn-notconsciously, but implicitly.Values involve a collective, shared evaluation of what behaviour ought to be whiletranslating into sanctions to induce a particular behaviour or value (White, 1998). Kemptonet al. (1995) argue that the cultural framework shapes the issues people see as important andeffects the way they act on those issues. Early work by Rokeach (1973, as quoted byBurroughs and Rindfleisch, 2002) considers values to be a centrally held, enduring belief thatguides actions and judgment across specific situations and beyond immediate goals. Jehn etal. (1997) define values as individuals‟ fundamental beliefs regarding the desirability ofbehavioural choices. Thomson et al. (1999) confirms values as implicated beliefs, discoursesand identities while simultaneously representing a given worth in particular communities oreconomies.According to Lindbeck (1997) values emerge as a result of spontaneous social interactionbetween individuals in groups. Values are used as norms to express social identity and thusserve as measures against which behaviour is assessed. Values thus constitute and reflectexpected behaviour and are used to enforce sanctions such as blame and praise, socialinclusion and exclusion (Anderson, 2000). People assess themselves in relation to othersthrough shared experiences which underscores the importance of group affiliations andvalues as a socially embedded reality (Marske, 1996). Although values are thus livedcollectively and reflect the range of human experiences, they are neither a reflection ofbehaviour nor solely dependent upon deeply held collective beliefs. The puzzle aboutvalues, according to Anderson (2000) is not why people adhere to values but how thesevalues become normative to begin with. The duality of human nature is reflected in thetension between individuality and social interaction.People are born into existing norms and patterns of conduct as established in the society andculture where they live. The values that evolve from this are socially transmitted fromgeneration to generation and further reinforced by social sanctions. Ultimately thisknowledge becomes part of one‟s worldview and ideology and forms one‟s individualvalues. Values are rarely questioned within the society and it is assumed that everyone elseshares similar values (Robbins et al., 1999).Smola and Sutton (2002) argue that the subject of values and value differences is importantin today‟s work and organisational environment while managers respond to the changingvalues of their employees and individual value systems affect management values.Employees in an organisation require from management an awareness of values held bysociety. Their attitude, behaviour and work values will be shaped and influenced by theircultural background but also their experiences. Home experiences and workplacecircumstances further shape the values of the employees in management (Loughlin andBarling, 2001).
  9. 9. 9From management perspective, values represent a fundamental starting point for the socialtheory of motivation. Fehr and Gachter (as quoted by Anderson, 2000) found that althoughmotivation in modern environment is strongly driven by self-interest, underlying groupinteraction, approval and cooperation is determined by group values.The importance of values is reflected in the way they interact and influence socialorganisations, behaviour and market outcomes (Anderson, 2009). Values play a crucial rolein everyday life in a society. They facilitate choices, motivate ideas and guide behaviour(Oppenhuisen and Sikkel, 2010). From a social normative perspective, values give rise topurposeful or „rational‟ behaviour in a society. Hosmer (1987) argues that values definepriorities that are crucial for the resolution of ethical dilemmas while Smola and Sutton(2002) indicate that values define what people believe to be right or wrong.We should remember that management scholars themselves carry with them several layers ofcultural software through socialization processes in the family, at school and in theworkplace. We are born within a family, within a nation and subject to the mental software ofour national culture from birth. Here we acquire most of our values.It is neither possible nor particularly useful to draw hard and fast rules about managementtraining within a particular culture. However, the idea of culture provides a perspective andmight suggest an approach. Management scholars must recognize that their own decision-making regarding management programs are the product of their cultural experiences.Adoption of Western Management Theories and Models in Africa Management SchoolsWhat are some of the factors that are likely to make wholesale adoption of westernmanagement theories and models in developing managers in Africa not very relevant orfeasible?The failure of many African scholars including practicing managers to notice that theories ofmanagement made social and cultural assumptions have left a hidden factor in the applicationof the principles of management in training and developing African managers.One factor is the cultural assumptions that underlie most western management theories.There are empirical evidences to show that management theories and models are not value-free (Hofstede, 1980, 1991; Hampden-Turner and Trompenaars, 1993; Iguisi, 1994, 1999,2001, 2012; Deresky, 2000; Jackson, 2000, 2005; Holden, 2002). There are assumptionsabout motivation and leadership theories. For example, Herzberg‟s popular low-factor theoryof motivation assumes that there are “motivators” with positive but no negative motivationpotentials and “hygienic” factors, with negative but no positive motivator potentials. Themotivators are the “intrinsic” aspects of work-basically those related to Maslow‟s higherneeds: esteem and self-actualization. The hygienic factors are the “extrinsic” aspects-basically those related to Maslow‟s lower needs: social and security. If Maslow‟s hierarchy isculturally determined, however, Herzberg‟s two-factor theory is to a greater degree. Thesehave been shown not to apply or partially apply to Nigerian trainees and in a wide variety ofwork settings in the Netherlands, Italy, Scotland and France (Hofstede, 1980; Iguisi 1998,2009, 2012).
  10. 10. 10Almost without exception, the cultural assumptions that went into management developmentand training packages have not been explored. What most of the management educationmaterials have in common is that they advocated universality of their theories and modelswhere for example, leadership theories advocated participation in the leaders‟ decisions bythe subordinates (participative management). Nevertheless, these packages have beenexported to African management schools and institutions as magic recipes for managementdevelopment and training of managers.In western management literature, there are numerous unquestioning extrapolations ofmanagerial solutions beyond the borders of the country in which they were developed. This isespecially true for the exportation of management theories from the west to African societies.However, the empirical basis for western management theories is western organizations; andwe should not assume without proof that they can be universally applied. This assumption isnot found only in popular political, management and development literature, the silentassumption of universal validity of culturally restricted findings is frequent. There exists awidespread tendency to underestimate the importance of deeply rooted societal norms forarriving at political or managerial solutions, which will work and be stable.This does not mean that countries cannot learn from one another. On the contrary, lookingacross the border is one of the most effective ways of getting new ideas in the area ofmanagement education. However, applying these in one‟s own setting calls for prudence andjudgment.Management Education Discourse in Africa- a Paradigm ShiftLooking at the paradoxes in the adoption of western programs and approaches tomanagement education in Africa, it will be beneficiary to divide management trainingconcepts and methods into three categories. Firstly, there are management concepts andtheories that are universally valid and can be applied across borders, for example, thequantitative aspects of management. Secondly, there are theories that are economicallyconditioned and therefore can be applied across cultures with creative adaptation. Thirdly,there are management concepts and techniques that are essentially culture-bound and arefeasible only in a given sociocultural environment, for example, the concepts of managingthe human side of organization.The prevailing situation in African management schools today is given priority tomanagement training using imported theories and models without regards to the local culturalvalues. Local culture concept is either given lip services or completely ignored in the trainingof managers in African management schools. Westernly trained scholars, westernmanagement and business textbooks, Journals and teaching materials are and continue to beimported in large quantities in African management schools to accelerate a process that isbelieved likely to result in training managers. Can we therefore be sure that these managersare trained in the right way to contribute something original in the managerial and economicdevelopment of their societies?One of the major ways in which management school programs in Africa can start to maketheir programs relevant and feasible in the local environment is to start researching into theeffects of cultural value factors for designing appropriate and feasible management trainingmaterials for their potential participants. Management training that would integrate culture
  11. 11. 11into their programs is urgently required if Africa is to make any headway in their quest forfeasible management practices. Research should be conducted in identifying the “growth-positive” culture-based factors that enhance and promote management education in Africa.This means that culture and management education has to be better integrated formanagement education in Africa.What I am suggesting is that transformation of hitherto management schools in Africa is todesign culture-guided programs and teaching materials for training managers in Africa.Although not all management schools or faculties may have the capacity and know-how onways this can be done, at least a few carefully selected faculties or Centres should beidentified and assigned the responsibility of conducting this culture and management researchfor theory building and practical application in management schools throughout Africa. Thiswill be a radical paradigm shift from the prevailing situations in most management schools inAfrica.In this suggested framework, culture is put ahead of every other program activities, whichincludes training and consultancies. Before programs are designed and training conducted,cultural values should provide the needed partway that makes management theories andtraining activities feasible in the local environment of operation. Culture should also come inevaluating the effectiveness and impact of the programs. Culture research data can throwlight on how to integrate theories with practical realities.Lack of proper integration of culture and management education in Africa will deny Africathe resultant synergy needed in national economic, managerial and social development.It will be evident from what I have written in this paper that there is no one single formula formanagement education or training to be used in different cultures. A meeting of InternationalLabor Office Experts concluded long ago stated that: One of the most important areas for research is the determination of exactly what is meant by managerial success and the identification of successful managers in different cultural settings. This would provide all those concerned with developing managers with clearer ideas of the sort of results they should aim at in attempting to provide knowledge and modify management training to meet managerial attitudes and behavior. [ILO, 1966: 185]Not only is success differently defined in different cultures, but also systems of initialmanagement education in schools and training on the job are also very different.Management education across cultural barriers could be seen as an impossible task, butfortunately it should not be judged exclusively from its cognitive content, it has otherimportant functions, which probably outweigh its cognitive role. It brings people fromdifferent cultures and subcultures together and by this fact only broadens their outlook. Inmany organizations it has become essential rite de passage, which indicates to manager-participant as well as to his or her environment that from now on he or she belongs to themanager caste. It provides socialization in the managerial subculture, either company-specificor in general. It also provides a break with the job routine, which stimulates reflection andreorientation.
  12. 12. 12The logical conclusion of the above assumptions is that Africa‟s management education andtraining must be stimulated from the assumptions of the cultures in which most of thetheories were developed (the western cultures), through export of ready-made westernmanagement models. The empirical evidences presented by Iguisi (1994, 1999, 2001)strongly suggests that majority of western assumptions concerning management educationand training are not or partially valid within the African cultural settings. Therefore, theapplicability of these management theories and systems for educating and training Africanmanagers from a high power distance and collectivistic societies is doubtful and suspect.As noted by Hofstede (1991), we should remember that management scholars andresearchers are human. They are children of their culture. Management Theories reflect thecountry in which they were written and when exported, some fit better than others, but allshould be culturally translated.
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