Management of Organizations in Africa: A Handbook and Reference

Management of Organizations in Africa: A Handbook and Reference

Management of Organizations in Africa: A Handbook and Reference

Management of Organizations in Africa: A Handbook and Reference


The volume editors and their contributors provide readers with an unusually comprehensive reference and easily accessed guide to the way organizational management in Africa is practiced. Offering both background and theory, the book stresses the application of concepts and principles to privatization, strategic planning, human resource planning and training, and to many other skills, such as leading, motivating, performance appraisal, and project design. The first text with a broad continental approach to management as it is understood and practiced in Africa, the book also gives step-by-step guidance on unique procedures used in managing African organizations. Also found here are suggestions on how to empower African employees and managers and thus lessen the authoritarianism so common in African organizations today.

Intended for managers, consultants, and policy makers, the book is rich in disciplinary diversity, topical discourse, and recommendations. Useful as a text as well as a reference, it has much to offer managers and other practitioners in public and nonprofit sectors.


We started this book with two intentions. First, we thought and still think that management in Africa can and should have a continental orientation and substance as opposed to country specific or regional. Secondly, we believe such orientation will encourage and facilitate more technology transfer from one country or region to another. We have therefore chosen to focus on and emphasize the continental view of management in Africa. Coincidentally, this macro view also permits borrowing and application of general principles of management to African organizations. It is our view that management practice in Africa is often characterized by a general state of inertia—that management in Africa suffers from a state of stagnation. For instance, the African public sector is dominated by a bureaucracy that is either obsolete or totally inept; managing public enterprises is characterized by endemic mismanagement, thievery and corruption; our African private sector—which may be considered to be more efficient than the public sector—appears to exhibit more of nineteenth century authoritarian nuances than the more modern management thinking and practices. Modern management, both in thought and practice, is innovative, acquisitive, empowering, and less authoritative.

Assuming a commonality of most African management problems, this book, therefore, proceeds on that understanding that common problems call for common approaches and solutions. in this way, we can expose Zimbabwean success in one area of management to the rest of the continent for possible adaption or emulation just as Zimbabwe may, in turn, be exposed to other successes elsewhere. Similarly, we may be able to transfer Ghanian experience in managing public enterprises to other countries for possible adaption. Or, have Uganda's privatization know-how emulated elsewhere and so on. With similar problems and difficulties, we believe common solutions are not only possible but very much in order.

It is within the above context that our contributors have made their true marks. These contributions fall within four general categories of management. These catego-

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