Title: A cross-cultural management system: The Ubuntu Company as paradigm
Authors: Otto Kroesen, Arnoud Rozendaal
Addresses: Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Department of Philosophy, Department of Technology Dynamics and Sustainable Development, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, P.O. Box 5015, Delft 2600 GA, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Department of Philosophy, Department of Technology Dynamics and Sustainable Development, Delft University of Technology, Jaffalaan 5, P.O. Box 5015, Delft 2600 GA, The Netherlands
Abstract: Although entrepreneurship is generally considered to be a promising solution for development in Africa, not yet much scientific work is available on the question, how to take the African cultural context in due consideration. A western-style business plan cannot just like that be transferred to the African context. Cultural differences should be taken into account and, moreover, a bridge needs to be built between different value sets. The management model of The Ubuntu Company explicitly takes into account cultural differences and deals with them in a creative way, resulting in a socially responsible business, which is at the same time competitive on the international market. In this management model, African collectivism is taken seriously but counterbalanced by individual initiative and judgement; western style disciplined labour and time management is introduced, but counterbalanced by attention for individual problems and, not the least important, servant leadership of the managers.
Keywords: cross-cultural management; company models; partnership; leadership; entrepreneurship; Africa; culture; cultural differences; corporate social responsibility; CSR; African collectivism; disciplined labour; time management; individual initiative; individual judgement.
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2010 Vol.10 No.3, pp.284 - 298
Published online: 06 Aug 2010 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article