Global Business Cultural Analysis: South Africa Raymond J. Landis BUSI 604-D06 LUO – International Business Professor – Dr. Stephen P. Preacher Liberty University May 13, 2011
GBCA – SOUTH AFRICA Abstract This paper will endeavor to form a comprehensive analysis of South African culture, principally for the perspective of doing business in that nation. Ultimately, the paper will point out the crucial points for US businesses to consider before committing to a multinational corporate operation in South Africa. The analysis will discourse the major elements and dimensions of South African culture; tracing them to methodologies employed by local businesses already participating in that economy. Exploration will attempt to discover and compare similarities and differences within US culture and business, and make note how these cultural factors and attributes are observed in comparative to their perspective geography.
GBCA – SOUTH AFRICA Global Business Cultural Analysis: South Africa Introduction
South Africa is a nation located geographically in relationship to its name: at the southern tip of the African continent. In 1994, South Africa became a constitutional democracy and the newly formed government decided not to change the name of the new state despite of their earnest desires to form a completely revitalized national identity. South Africa was originally established in 1910. The formation of the South African state was a resolution to unify two British colonies along with two other independent republics forming the Union of South Africa. Nearly 360 years ago, in 1652, South Africa was planted as a colonial outpost by the Dutch East India Company. Cape Town is where they first establish their outstation. South African society developed slowly as a colony, but was eventually officially divided into a socio-economic stratum that consisted of colonizers and natives. The colonizers were European whites and the natives were various nonwhites of local heritage. The whites held the role of citizen, while the nonwhites were merely colonial subjects. The citizenry was the employed class; the nonwhites held positions of indentured servant. This classical South African fragmentation became the well-known and long-endured national identity symbolizing the country. It was totally orchestrated and implemented by the white minority. The whites were responsible for officiating every government activity; introducing all social policy; and positioning South Africa into an order of complete racial separation. The resultant social imaging has induced deep human affects that have reverberated into every aspect of modern South African life: it was a worldview of complete ethnic separatism. Thus we have arrived at the place of the South African Antiapartheid Movement of the latter part of the 20th century. Many people began to outwardly oppose the social segregation and
GBCA – SOUTH AFRICA the imposed inequality dispossessing so many people of their basic God-given rights. When the
nation began its first nonracial elections in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) purposed at its outset to triumph over the old apartheid legacy. The new national leaders sincerely wanted to create a fresh and unified national identity promoting strong loyalty to the national cause. They wanted to show that the new South Africa would be based and founded upon equality; and that it would endeavor to provide an equitable apportionment of resources for everyone. This challenge has been far greater than was first conceived in the 1990’s. Nonetheless, this noble envisioning of South African purpose is still being cultivated and the nation is continually moving toward full realization of their goal. Major Elements and Dimensions of South African Culture According to the South African Development Index (SADI, 2011), the nation of South Africa is a developed nation with a first quarter 2011...