Culture and Management: Are Western Management Styles Transferable?
The replicability of Western management models in non-Westem settings has been the subject of diverse interpretations by scholars in the fields of both development and development administration. The work of Mintzberg is indeed central to what is known today in the comparative management literature as “the universality hypothesis.” This hypothesis suggests that Western management theories, particularly organization theories, are applicable worldwide regardless of culture or historic experience of a society. The relevance of Mintzberg’s managers’ role model, however, has been the subject of a great deal of discussion among academicians in the field of development management and organization theory. The impact of culture as an important contingency on the applicability of Western management to developing countries remains an important empirical question in the development management literature. The African milieu is identified here as a key testing ground for the propositions raised in the literature from both theoretical and applied perspectives.