n South African Journal of Labour Relations - The duality in South African leadership : Afrocentric or Eurocentric

Volume 25, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



Cross-cultural leadership studies indicate that cultural differences influence leadership behaviour, and management philosophies typically evolve in harmony with the cultures within which they function. However, although South Africa is a complex amalgam of several cultures, the dominant management practices are, for historical reasons, Anglo-American, and despite the recent changes that have taken place, there is still an overrepresentation of white managers and an under-representation of African black managers. Corporate South Africa is, however, becoming more diverse and inclusive of all race groups, which challenges the dominant management paradigm. This paper highlights some significant differences regarding culture and leadership values between African black and white managers in South Africa. The results show that the culture of white South African managers is largely congruent with Western or Eurocentric management, whereas the culture of black managers differs greatly from that of white managers in South Africa, and is comparable to Afrocentric management. It is recommended that if South African organisations are to survive, leaders need to understand the different expectations of all the people of this country, and leadership needs to "South Africanise" in order to mobilise all people effectively.

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