Strategic Management Reading 5-1

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Overview
In Africa there is a division among the people. There is the upper class that lives as most Americans live enjoying shopping centers, healthy organic foods, and are well educated. The majority, however, fall within the lines of poverty, in stark comparison to their polar opposite, this class lives in rags, scrounging for food, and often without electricity. The leading provider in South Africa for electricity is Eskom; their business motto is “electricity for all.” (Parnell, 2008) They have gone further in this line of thinking by implementing “Ubuntu Management.” What exactly is “Ubuntu Management,” though, and how does it compare to the Christian world view? Major Points

In the mid 1980’s a law was passed in South Africa that made it legally prohibited for a company to provide electricity to the black community. (Parnell, 2008) This didn’t stop Eskom, however, from embracing the thought of “electricity for all.” That motto was just the beginning, however, today their values, according to their website are, “zero harm, integrity, innovation, sinobuntu (caring), customer satisfaction and excellence.” (Eskom) These values have derived from their belief in their management strategy, “Ubuntu Management.” “Ubuntu Management” was brought about Mr. Khoza. “Ubuntu” translated from Zulu means “I am because you are, you are because we are.” (Parnell, 2008) Thus “Ubuntu Management” is based in the idea of community, since community is a group of people there would have to be a level of respect for all people in that community in various ways. With this line of thinking Mr. Khoza studied the company, how it worked, what motivated people and when the head of his finance department he had the opportunity to sell him on the idea of the philosophy of “Ubuntu,” rather than give him a counter offer. (Parnell, 2008) By selling the head of his finance department on the philosophy, he created an ally that wasn’t there for the money, but rather there for the community,...
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