African Leadership

Topics: Africa, Management, Pan-Africanism Pages: 3 (451 words) Published: April 16, 2014


Summative Assignment 2


14 April 2014

Module Facilitator: Dr Charlene Lew

The adoption of western management and leadership practices has impacted adversely on Africa’s capacity to develop in the global marketplace (Nwagbara, 2012). According to Kuada (2010), African economies have been disastrous as compared to Asian economies who had similar levels of growth five decades ago. Scholars have argued that leadership weakness constitutes the most important reason for Africa’s poor economic performance (Walumbwa et al, 2011, Muchiri, 2011). Factors such as pre-colonial leadership, cultural values and Ubuntu play an integral role in defining leadership in Africa (Arkpoyomare et al, 2013, Nwagbara, 2012, Muchiri, 2011). Arkpoyomare et al (2013) noted that the pre-colonial Igbo society practiced a decentralised system of leadership, which led to the objectives of teamwork, recognition and reward as part of motivation, ensuring equity, fairness and above all the progress of all, the motto being “Unity in strength.” Research can be done in incorporating these practices into African leadership. Cultural values is another factor that plays an important role in leadership style especially when motivating employees. According to Walumbwa et al (2011), there is a tendency to look at Africa as one homogenous group. In reality there are different cultural values and practices that are divided along linguistic and ethnic values and managing and leading this unique workforce requires further research (Walumbwa et al, 2011). Lastly, the leadership philosophy Ubuntu can also play an important role in defining leadership in Africa (Nwagbara, 2012, Muchiri, 2011). Research in African Leadership must focus on dismantling the western organisational management practice that finds provenance in “I think, therefore I exist” and create an African Ubuntu management practice “I am because we are; I...

References: Arkpoyomare, O., Chinyere, A.,Lateef, K. (2013). Indigenous Management Thoughts, Concepts and Practices: The case of Igbos of Nigeria. Australian Journal of Business and Management Research, 3(1), 8-15.
Kuada, J. (2010). Culture and Leadership in Africa: A conceptual model and research agenda Africa. Journal of Economics and Management Studies, 1(1), 9-24.
Muchiri, M. K. (2010). Leadership in context: A review and research agenda for sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 84(3), 440-452.
Nwagbara, U. (2012). Leading a Postmodern African Organisation: Towards a Model of Prospective Commitment. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 4(9), 67-84.
Walumbwa, F. O., Avolio, B. J., & Aryee, S. (2011). Leadership and management research in Africa: A synthesis and suggestions for future research. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 84(3), 425-439.
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