Using appropriate leadership and management styles
In this chapter we focus on the nature of management in organizations in Africa in terms of managers’ styles and leadership attributes. The need to understand the principles upon which management styles are based, and their appropriateness in the African context is an important issue. The ‘ideal type’ management systems, and their foundations that we have been working with so far in this text, provide a means of understanding the bases of management principles and practices. This also has important implications for other aspects considered in this text, not least the motivation and commitment of staff (Chapter 7). The Globe Project, one of the most extensive cross-cultural studies of leadership currently being undertaken (including five sub-Saharan African countries: Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) defines organizational leadership as ‘the ability of an individual to
influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members’ (Project Globe, 1999: 184). Assuming that those whom one seeks to motivate and mobilize towards contributing to organizational effectiveness have different expectations and aspirations depending on their cultural background, appropriateness in leadership and management styles is important. This is a cultural issue.