Context Tension: Cultural Influences on Leadership and Management Practice

The canon of knowledge within the fields of management and leadership theory and practice has been developed and espoused from Western capitalist principles, with leading thinkers in the field being mainly of American of European dissent. These ideas have then been 'exported' beyond Western boundaries as trade has moved from being multinational, through international to global, and practices such as international outsourcing have become more widespread. While some areas of Asia, particularly India, may be both responsive and adaptive to some of these Western practices, other areas of Asia and Africa as a whole are not so. This paper offers a contextual understanding and comparison of leadership and management practices in Western and African contexts to provide some explanation as to why such practice needs to be adapted if it is to be successful outside of the Western context in which it was conceived.

Mendelek-Theimann, N., April, K. & Blass, E. (2006) Context Tension: Cultural Influences on Leadership and Management Practice, Reflections, The Society for Organizational Learning Journal (SOL) , USA , Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 38 - 51

Download PDF