Contextualising non‐profit management in Sub‐Sahara Africa

Frederik Claeyé (Middlesex University Business School, London, UK and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Publication date: 14 September 2012



The purpose of this paper is to offer a framework for the analysis of the power dynamics shaping the emergence of hybrid management systems in sub‐Sahara Africa. It aims to achieve this by showing how insights from postcolonial theory can further enrich cross‐cultural management theory.


The mainstream perspectives in current cross‐cultural management literature are reviewed as a basis for the development of a theoretical framework that emphasises cross‐cultural interaction and a consideration of the power dynamics surrounding non‐profit organisations operating in a sub‐Saharan African context is integrated. Drawing on the metaphors of mimicry and hybridity, this paper argues that postcolonial theory offers an avenue for theorising cross‐cultural interaction and the power dynamics surrounding these cross‐cultural encounters. Examples chosen from the author's ongoing work in the NGO sector in the Eastern Cape, South Africa serve as illustrations of how the analytical framework might generate insights into the workings of power dynamics shaping the emergence of hybrid ways of managing and organising.


It is argued that through a focus on interaction and the surrounding power relations, this framework allows for a more contextualised understanding of the emergence of hybrid management systems in non‐profit organisations.


The paper shows that, f cross‐cultural management theory hopes to inform the practice of non‐profit management in sub‐Sahara Africa, it is imperative the power dynamics at work are clearly understood.



Claeyé, F. (2012), "Contextualising non‐profit management in Sub‐Sahara Africa", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 159-183.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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