Monday, October 30, 2006

Developments in African Leadership

I am chairing another panel presentation (this week at the International Leadership Assocation [ILA] Conference in Chicago) on African Models of Leadership entitled, "Developments in African Leadership: A Renaissance of Values-based Leadership Approaches", with Drs. Jeff Hale, Kathleen Patterson and Bruce Winston. Here follows an abstract of the presentation:

In this session, four papers present a survey of values-based approaches in contemporary African leadership. Bekker illustrates how the African practice of affective community and fundamental humanity in the Southern African social philosophy of ubuntu allows for the construction of a value–based approach of leadership in post-apartheid South Africa where leader and follower attain full humanity through a liberative, empowering relationship of mutuality. Hale proposes a theoretical model of cross-cultural leadership in West-Africa. The model proposed in this presentation unfolds from the literature relating to the current leadership crises in West Africa, West African culture, West African leadership, Servant Leadership Theory, and Transformational Leadership Theory. Generalized characteristics derived from the literature review described West African culture and leadership. An analysis of these general characteristics yields a composite list of West African leadership characteristics. These characteristics harmonize and integrate with the variable sets of servant leadership, transformational leadership, and principles of spiritually/divinely empowered leadership. Patterson’s presentation is a research report on servant leadership, specifically considering servant leadership theory in a Kenyan context with a focus on the Swahili concept of Harambee, meaning pulling together and embodies and reflects the value of mutual assistance, joint effort, mutual social responsibility, and community self-reliance. And, finally, Winston presents a case study of a South African fast-food company exploring the deliberate use of paternalistic/clan leadership style at the store level, a transactional leadership style at the store manager to regional manager level, and a transformational leadership style between the CEO and his direct reports at the head offices.