1st Edition

Chinese Organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa New Dynamics, New Synergies

Edited By Terence Jackson, Lynette Louw, Dev K. Boojihawon Copyright 2021
    306 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Trade between China and Africa is increasing year on year, while the West
    increasingly debates the nature and implications of China’s presence. Yet
    little research exists at the organizational and community levels. While
    western press reporting is overwhelmingly negative, African governments
    mostly welcome the Chinese presence. But what happens at the
    management level? How are Chinese organizations run? What are they
    bringing to communities? What is their impact on the local job market?
    How do they manage staff? How are they working with local firms?
       This book seeks to provide a theoretical framework for understanding
    Chinese organizations and management in Africa and to explore how
    their interventions are playing out at the organizational and community
    levels in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on rigorous empirical research
    exploring emerging themes in specific African countries, this book develops
    implications for management knowledge, education and training
    provision, and policy formulation. Importantly it seeks to inform future
    scholarship on China’s management impact in the world generally, on
    Africa’s future development, and on international and cross-cultural
    management scholarship.
       Primarily aimed at scholars of international management, with an
    interest in China and/or in China in Africa, this important book will also
    be of great interest to those working in the area of development studies,
    international politics, and international relations.

    PART I
    The context 1

    1 Current research on Chinese organizations in Africa:
    what do we know, and what do we need to do? 3
    International management research on China in Africa
    in its geopolitical context 5
    The nature of Chinese organizations in Africa 8
    Chinese engagement with African communities 12
    What do we still need to know about China’s
    engagement at the organizational level? 16
    Understanding the theoretical implications for
    international management studies 17
    Appropriate research methodologies 17
    From motivation to action 18
    Chinese firms and their contribution to Africa’s
    development 19
    References 19

    2 Why is the Chinese presence in Africa important
    to management scholars? 23
    Motives of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI)
    in Africa 26
    viii Contents
    Critical development theories: relevance for international
    and cross-cultural management studies 29
    Cultural synergy and divergence: implications for
    management scholars 33
    Factors influencing the transfer of technology and
    knowledge: implications for management practices 35
    Influence of Chinese and African cultural philosophies
    and practices on Chinese HRM practices 40
    Summary 43
    References 46

    3 Potential symbiotic Sino-African relations and
    policymaking: underexplored, under-researched
    or clearly misunderstood? 53
    Existing scholarly work on Sino-African relations 55
    China–Africa trade and investment policy review 56
    Technological and innovative capacity building through
    FDI 58
    Chinese investments in Africa and the potential
    symbiotic benefits 60
    Emerging literature and a new research framework 63
    Conclusion 67
    Acknowledgement 69
    References 69

    4 International human resource management strategies
    of Chinese firms in Africa 74
    Chinese FDI 75
    The strategic motives of Chinese FDI 75
    The characteristics of Chinese FDI in Africa 78
    Types of firm ownership 79
    Voices about Chinese FDI in Africa 81
    The impacts of traditional culture on HRM in China
    and Africa 84
    IHRM strategies of Chinese companies 85
    International staffing approach 86
    Chinese expatriates in subsidiaries 88
    Managing Chinese expatriates in Africa 90
    Contents ix
    Towards a conceptual framework of Chinese
    expatriation in Africa 93
    Research opportunities 94
    References 96

    5 Towards intercultural effectiveness in Sino-African
    organisations: exploring synergies and differences
    in communication culture 103
    China in Africa: the situation and the challenges 104
    A multi-view conceptual framework 105
    Exploring synergies and differences in Western, African
    and Chinese communication culture 108
    Values and guiding philosophies (1): comparison
    and implications for communication 111
    Self-perceptions (2): comparison and implications
    for communication 117
    Nature of communication (3): comparison and
    implications for communication 117
    Degree of interaction (4): comparison and implications
    for communication 118
    Objective of communication (5): comparison and
    implications for communication 119
    Process and style of communication (6): comparison
    and implications for communication 120
    Implications for management and theory
    development 120
    Conclusion 121
    References 122

    Countries and themes 129

    6 Cross-cultural communication and knowledge transfer
    in China–Africa joint ventures: anglophone versus
    francophone experiences 131
    Background: anglophone vs. francophone Africa 133
    What we were looking for in this research 136
    How we conducted the research 137
    x Contents
    What we found in our research 138
    Chinese people working in Africa 138
    Understanding Sino-Africa communication 139
    Study highlights 143
    Poor language as a significant obstacle to knowledge
    transfer 143
    Anglophones like teaching English, francophones like
    learning Mandarin 144
    Towards hybrid languages in Sino-African joint ventures:
    Chinglish and Frenchnese 146
    Conclusion 148
    References 149

    7 Chinese organisations and management in Zimbabwe:
    an analysis of press representation 152
    Introduction 152
    Chinese relations with Zimbabwe 152
    Chinese firms and the local community 154
    The impact of the Chinese on the local job market 156
    Chinese organisations and the management of
    Zimbabwe staff 157
    General issues, problems, positives and negatives 158
    The positives 158
    The negatives 160
    Conclusion 162
    References 163

    8 South African employees’ commitment to a Chinese
    organisation 166
    Concept of organisational commitment used in this
    study 166
    Factors influencing organisational commitment 167
    Open communication 168
    Leadership 168
    Supervisory support 168
    Job security 168
    Opportunities for training and development 169
    Compensation 169
    Promotional opportunities 169
    Contents xi
    What we were looking for in our research 169
    How we conducted this research 170
    What we found from our research 171
    Open communication 171
    Leadership 172
    Supervisory support 172
    Opportunities for training and development 173
    Compensation 173
    Job security 174
    Promotional opportunities 174
    Recognition (new factor) 175
    Trust (new factor) 175
    Levels of organisational commitment 176
    Conclusions and Implications 176
    References 179

    9 The influence of organisational culture on a
    high-commitment work system: the case of a
    Chinese multinational corporation in South Africa 184
    Organisational culture and HCWS in a Chinese
    MNC 184
    A narrative of organisational culture 185
    HCWS and employee commitment 186
    What we wanted to achieve in our research 186
    How we conducted this research 187
    Our findings from the research 187
    Organisational culture of the MNC (Objective 1) 188
    The nature of the Chinese MNC’s HCWS
    (Objective 2) 193
    Discussion and conclusions relating to our findings on
    culture and HCWS 196
    Managerial implications and recommendations 199
    Limitations and further research 200
    References 201

    10 Experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian cooperation
    in a Chinese organisation in Tanzania 204
    Contextual insights 204
    Managing Chinese organisations in African contexts 205
    xii Contents
    How we did the research 206
    How we analysed and interpreted our data 209
    What we found from our research 210
    Experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian employees
    within the organisation 210
    Strategy 211
    Structure, decision-making and participation 211
    Leadership styles 212
    Staff and managers 213
    Recruitment 214
    Qualifications and training 215
    Knowledge sharing 216
    Working conditions and atmosphere 216
    Motivation, benefits and rewards 217
    Conclusion on the experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian
    employees within the organisation 218
    Chinese and Tanzanian employees’ perceptions of their
    societal and organisational work environment 219
    Interaction with community and local organisations 219
    Interaction with government and trade unions 220
    Benefits for Africa and Tanzania 221
    Conclusion on the Chinese and Tanzanian views on the
    societal and organisational work environment 221
    Chinese and Tanzanian views on culture 222
    Chinese views on Chinese and African values 222
    Tanzanian views on Tanzanian and Chinese values 223
    Conclusions on the Chinese and Tanzanian views on
    cultural values 224
    Chinese and Tanzanian ideas of future
    collaboration 224
    Summary of Chinese and Tanzanian ideas towards
    future collaboration 226
    Reflections on our findings 227
    Concluding remarks and recommendations 229
    Acknowledgements 230
    References 230

    11 Chinese firms in Uganda: the important role of the
    mediator 234
    What we were looking for in this study 235
    How we conducted this research 236
    Contents xiii
    What we found from our research 237
    The mediator role 237
    Mediation between Chinese managers and African
    employees 240
    Mediation between Chinese managers and the hosting
    communities 242
    Mediation between Chinese managers and regulatory
    institutions 244
    Mediation between Chinese managers and clients/market
    stakeholders 244
    Integrated perspectives about the mediatory role 245
    Suggestions to enhance the mediatory role 246
    Conclusions 247
    Limitations of the study and implications for future
    research 248
    References 248

    Implications 253

    12 How can we help to develop Chinese and African
    managers? Building synergies through hybrid
    practice-based management partnerships 255
    The failings of management education in Africa 257
    Refusing to play the game: The case for a hybrid
    practice-based approach for African management 259
    Tapping into Chinese management approaches 261
    Modelling hybridization for Africa: a China–Africa
    hybrid practice-based management development
    (CAHPMD) framework 264
    Implications for African management education and
    research 267
    Conclusion 269
    References 269
    Index 275


    Terence Jackson is Emeritus Professor of Cross-Cultural Management,
    Middlesex University Business School, London, UK, and a visiting professor
    in the Department of Management, Rhodes University, Grahamstown,
    South Africa.
    Lynette Louw, appointed in the Raymond Ackerman Chair of Management,
    Department of Management, is the Deputy Dean, Faculty of Commerce at
    Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
    Dev K. (Roshan) Boojihawon is Associate Professor of Strategy at University
    of Birmingham, Business School, Department of Strategy and International