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Chapter 9 Hybridisation in Non-Profit Organisations in Southern Africa: A Critical Cross-Cultural Reading

The Third Sector

ISBN: 978-1-78052-280-7, eISBN: 978-1-78052-281-4

ISSN: 2046-6072

Publication date: 8 November 2011


Purpose – This chapter contributes to the growing debate on the diffusion of managerialist modes of thinking across third-sector organisations. It offers an analysis into the power dynamics at play in the emergence of hybrid management systems (HMSs) by looking at the management practices in non-profit organisations (NPOs) active in combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach – In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with donor organisations and big non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in the Northern hemisphere, and with managers and team leaders in South African NGOs. Taking a postcolonial perspective, the HMSs resulting from the encounter at the ‘glocal’ interface are investigated.

Findings – The data indicate that the power dynamics shaping the process of hybridisation work through three intertwined circuits of power: the managerialist discourse, the ‘rules of practice’ emanating from that discourse and episodic power relations at the level of interactions.

Research limitations/implications – As is the case with most qualitative research, care must be taken in generalising the findings of this research beyond the organisations participating in this study. At a theoretical level, the implications of this chapter are its contributions to three sets of literature that rarely interact: NPO management, international and cross-cultural management (ICCM) and critical management studies (CMS). At the level of organisational praxis, the findings have potential impact in terms of developing innovative ways of managing NPOs.

Originality/value – The originality and value of this chapter lies in its application of postcolonial theory to understanding hybridisation processes shaping management ideas and practices in South African NPOs.



Claeyé, F. (2011), "Chapter 9 Hybridisation in Non-Profit Organisations in Southern Africa: A Critical Cross-Cultural Reading", Hull, R., Gibbon, J., Branzei, O. and Haugh, H. (Ed.) The Third Sector (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 235-258.



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