n South African Journal of Business Management - The effect of the social values of ubuntu on team effectiveness

Volume 37, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2078-5585


The study explores the management of South Africa's diverse workforce by analysing the impact of the social values of ubuntu on specific characteristics of team effectiveness. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with African Blacks who are members of successful work teams in a large South African company. The protocols were analysed by applying the methods of grounded theory. A conceptual model based on the canons of grounded theory was developed to explain how the social values of ubuntu could have a positive impact on team effectiveness. The study revealed that traditional African values, although in congruence with many universal ethical values, place more emphasis upon collectivism, collaboration, caring, dignity and respect. It is argued that these values should underlie a value-based leadership style to enhance team performance in modern organisations.

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