To read this content please select one of the options below:

Managerial challenges in South Africa

Claude‐Hélene Mayer (Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa)
Lynette Louw (Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate insights into cross‐cultural conflict, identity and values amongst selected managers within a South African management context. It aims to increase the understanding of these complexities from an academic managerial perspective, thereby providing in‐depth information which can lead to the development of managerial training tools for improving diversity and conflict management in the described context.


The authors selected qualitative data from a case study that was conducted in the international South African automotive industry. The case study was based on the post‐modernist premise by considering phenomenological and interpretative paradigms most relevant.


Findings show conflicts in managerial communication and treatment, position and competition, organisation, race and gender and are often defined as “cross‐racial” conflict fuelled by the society's past.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability is limited to this specific context and needs to be proven by follow‐up studies which expand the context and the methodological approach of the study.

Practical implications

Practical suggestions address the implementation of training tools, coaching and counselling in cross‐cultural conflict management. They are anticipated to create awareness on managing the present challenges and are aimed at managers and international organisations investing in South Africa.


The paper provides new insights into the discussion on human resource management in a specific South African management context by referring to the highly important topics of cross‐cultural conflict, values and identities.



Mayer, C. and Louw, L. (2011), "Managerial challenges in South Africa", European Business Review, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 572-591.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles