Original Research

An explorative-descriptive qualitative-constructivist study of three African leaders’ experiences and perceptions regarding the translation of shared African human values into leadership and business practice

Vusumuzi M. Vilakati, Willem J. Schurink
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1433 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1433 | © 2021 Vusumuzi M. Vilakati, Willem J. Schurink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2020 | Published: 29 April 2021

About the author(s)

Vusumuzi M. Vilakati, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Willem J. Schurink, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The study explores three African leaders’ experiences, contextual influences and perspectives on how shared African human values can be incorporated into business leadership practice.

Research purpose: The study has twofold purposes: (1) to unravel and describe the experiences and perceptions of three business leaders in Africa, (2) to integrate the leaders’ first-order conceptualisations with scholarly insights to construct a substantive framework for developing business leadership in Africa.

Motivation for the study: To explore contextual circumstances, which may enhance the formation of African shared human values in leaders and how these values may be translated into business leadership practice.

Research approach/design and method: This is an explorative-descriptive qualitative-constructivist study of three African leaders’ experiences and perceptions regarding the translation of shared African human values into leadership and business practice in the continent.

Main findings: The findings reveal that each of the three participants substantially embrace African shared human values in their daily actions and decision-making. Multiple themes covering the person, contextual and societal factors that influence the formation and use of these values are highlighted.

Practical/managerial implications: Business leaders, strategists and managers should explore strategies for employing shared African human values as a way of strengthening a values-driven business culture, employee performance, and stakeholder management.

Contributions/value-add: The findings suggest that incorporating shared African human values promises a more humane organisational culture and thereby improving businesses’ financial and social performance in the African setting.


Keywords

African humanism; African shared values; business practice; case study; grounded theory; leadership practice; life-history; qualitative-constructivist approach

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