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Background

The changing geopolitical dynamics of China’s presence in Africa is significantly impacting at both organisational and community levels.

Little extant literature focuses on these dynamics and levels, which influence the way in which scholars currently view Chinese activity, often negatively so. Research at an organisational level of Chinese corporations and organisations in Africa is practically non-existent. This may reflect a previous lack of interest by management scholars in sub-Saharan Africa as an area of study.

More recently, research on the Chinese dynamic and importance of the sub-Saharan region has increased, but the danger is that it may still suffer from a lack of theoretical grounding. The rationale for this is that theories in international organisational and management studies that draw on critical studies such as Postcolonial Theory tend to focus on North-South dynamics. This may now be inappropriate to a critical understanding of the new South-South dynamic, and theoretical and empirical developments in the study of China abroad are in their infancy.

China is, of course, present in other ‘southern’ regions, not just sub-Saharan Africa. This project’s sub-Saharan research focus may have important implications for the further cross-cultural study of the organisation and management of Chinese organisations in other parts of the world, and for Chinese management policy and practice generally.

There is a need in Africa to develop not simply effective organisational management and leadership, but also that which is appropriate to Africa.

Similarly, it is not sufficient to develop knowledge for Africa, but to develop knowledge from Africa. African knowledge and culture, pertaining to the science (theory) and practice of Management, has been largely denigrated, as has the knowledge pertaining to Chinese management in Africa.

Last Modified :Tue, 13 Aug 2013 14:34:21 SAST