Chinese Organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa : New Dynamics, New Synergies book cover
1st Edition

Chinese Organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa
New Dynamics, New Synergies

ISBN 9780367623463
Published May 30, 2022 by Routledge
306 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Trade between China and Africa is increasing year on year, while the West
increasingly debates the nature and implications of China’s presence. Yet
little research exists at the organizational and community levels. While
western press reporting is overwhelmingly negative, African governments
mostly welcome the Chinese presence. But what happens at the
management level? How are Chinese organizations run? What are they
bringing to communities? What is their impact on the local job market?
How do they manage staff? How are they working with local firms?
   This book seeks to provide a theoretical framework for understanding
Chinese organizations and management in Africa and to explore how
their interventions are playing out at the organizational and community
levels in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on rigorous empirical research
exploring emerging themes in specific African countries, this book develops
implications for management knowledge, education and training
provision, and policy formulation. Importantly it seeks to inform future
scholarship on China’s management impact in the world generally, on
Africa’s future development, and on international and cross-cultural
management scholarship.
   Primarily aimed at scholars of international management, with an
interest in China and/or in China in Africa, this important book will also
be of great interest to those working in the area of development studies,
international politics, and international relations.

Table of Contents

The context 1

1 Current research on Chinese organizations in Africa:
what do we know, and what do we need to do? 3
International management research on China in Africa
in its geopolitical context 5
The nature of Chinese organizations in Africa 8
Chinese engagement with African communities 12
What do we still need to know about China’s
engagement at the organizational level? 16
Understanding the theoretical implications for
international management studies 17
Appropriate research methodologies 17
From motivation to action 18
Chinese firms and their contribution to Africa’s
development 19
References 19

2 Why is the Chinese presence in Africa important
to management scholars? 23
Motives of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI)
in Africa 26
viii Contents
Critical development theories: relevance for international
and cross-cultural management studies 29
Cultural synergy and divergence: implications for
management scholars 33
Factors influencing the transfer of technology and
knowledge: implications for management practices 35
Influence of Chinese and African cultural philosophies
and practices on Chinese HRM practices 40
Summary 43
References 46

3 Potential symbiotic Sino-African relations and
policymaking: underexplored, under-researched
or clearly misunderstood? 53
Existing scholarly work on Sino-African relations 55
China–Africa trade and investment policy review 56
Technological and innovative capacity building through
FDI 58
Chinese investments in Africa and the potential
symbiotic benefits 60
Emerging literature and a new research framework 63
Conclusion 67
Acknowledgement 69
References 69

4 International human resource management strategies
of Chinese firms in Africa 74
Chinese FDI 75
The strategic motives of Chinese FDI 75
The characteristics of Chinese FDI in Africa 78
Types of firm ownership 79
Voices about Chinese FDI in Africa 81
The impacts of traditional culture on HRM in China
and Africa 84
IHRM strategies of Chinese companies 85
International staffing approach 86
Chinese expatriates in subsidiaries 88
Managing Chinese expatriates in Africa 90
Contents ix
Towards a conceptual framework of Chinese
expatriation in Africa 93
Research opportunities 94
References 96

5 Towards intercultural effectiveness in Sino-African
organisations: exploring synergies and differences
in communication culture 103
China in Africa: the situation and the challenges 104
A multi-view conceptual framework 105
Exploring synergies and differences in Western, African
and Chinese communication culture 108
Values and guiding philosophies (1): comparison
and implications for communication 111
Self-perceptions (2): comparison and implications
for communication 117
Nature of communication (3): comparison and
implications for communication 117
Degree of interaction (4): comparison and implications
for communication 118
Objective of communication (5): comparison and
implications for communication 119
Process and style of communication (6): comparison
and implications for communication 120
Implications for management and theory
development 120
Conclusion 121
References 122

Countries and themes 129

6 Cross-cultural communication and knowledge transfer
in China–Africa joint ventures: anglophone versus
francophone experiences 131
Background: anglophone vs. francophone Africa 133
What we were looking for in this research 136
How we conducted the research 137
x Contents
What we found in our research 138
Chinese people working in Africa 138
Understanding Sino-Africa communication 139
Study highlights 143
Poor language as a significant obstacle to knowledge
transfer 143
Anglophones like teaching English, francophones like
learning Mandarin 144
Towards hybrid languages in Sino-African joint ventures:
Chinglish and Frenchnese 146
Conclusion 148
References 149

7 Chinese organisations and management in Zimbabwe:
an analysis of press representation 152
Introduction 152
Chinese relations with Zimbabwe 152
Chinese firms and the local community 154
The impact of the Chinese on the local job market 156
Chinese organisations and the management of
Zimbabwe staff 157
General issues, problems, positives and negatives 158
The positives 158
The negatives 160
Conclusion 162
References 163

8 South African employees’ commitment to a Chinese
organisation 166
Concept of organisational commitment used in this
study 166
Factors influencing organisational commitment 167
Open communication 168
Leadership 168
Supervisory support 168
Job security 168
Opportunities for training and development 169
Compensation 169
Promotional opportunities 169
Contents xi
What we were looking for in our research 169
How we conducted this research 170
What we found from our research 171
Open communication 171
Leadership 172
Supervisory support 172
Opportunities for training and development 173
Compensation 173
Job security 174
Promotional opportunities 174
Recognition (new factor) 175
Trust (new factor) 175
Levels of organisational commitment 176
Conclusions and Implications 176
References 179

9 The influence of organisational culture on a
high-commitment work system: the case of a
Chinese multinational corporation in South Africa 184
Organisational culture and HCWS in a Chinese
MNC 184
A narrative of organisational culture 185
HCWS and employee commitment 186
What we wanted to achieve in our research 186
How we conducted this research 187
Our findings from the research 187
Organisational culture of the MNC (Objective 1) 188
The nature of the Chinese MNC’s HCWS
(Objective 2) 193
Discussion and conclusions relating to our findings on
culture and HCWS 196
Managerial implications and recommendations 199
Limitations and further research 200
References 201

10 Experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian cooperation
in a Chinese organisation in Tanzania 204
Contextual insights 204
Managing Chinese organisations in African contexts 205
xii Contents
How we did the research 206
How we analysed and interpreted our data 209
What we found from our research 210
Experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian employees
within the organisation 210
Strategy 211
Structure, decision-making and participation 211
Leadership styles 212
Staff and managers 213
Recruitment 214
Qualifications and training 215
Knowledge sharing 216
Working conditions and atmosphere 216
Motivation, benefits and rewards 217
Conclusion on the experiences of Chinese and Tanzanian
employees within the organisation 218
Chinese and Tanzanian employees’ perceptions of their
societal and organisational work environment 219
Interaction with community and local organisations 219
Interaction with government and trade unions 220
Benefits for Africa and Tanzania 221
Conclusion on the Chinese and Tanzanian views on the
societal and organisational work environment 221
Chinese and Tanzanian views on culture 222
Chinese views on Chinese and African values 222
Tanzanian views on Tanzanian and Chinese values 223
Conclusions on the Chinese and Tanzanian views on
cultural values 224
Chinese and Tanzanian ideas of future
collaboration 224
Summary of Chinese and Tanzanian ideas towards
future collaboration 226
Reflections on our findings 227
Concluding remarks and recommendations 229
Acknowledgements 230
References 230

11 Chinese firms in Uganda: the important role of the
mediator 234
What we were looking for in this study 235
How we conducted this research 236
Contents xiii
What we found from our research 237
The mediator role 237
Mediation between Chinese managers and African
employees 240
Mediation between Chinese managers and the hosting
communities 242
Mediation between Chinese managers and regulatory
institutions 244
Mediation between Chinese managers and clients/market
stakeholders 244
Integrated perspectives about the mediatory role 245
Suggestions to enhance the mediatory role 246
Conclusions 247
Limitations of the study and implications for future
research 248
References 248

Implications 253

12 How can we help to develop Chinese and African
managers? Building synergies through hybrid
practice-based management partnerships 255
The failings of management education in Africa 257
Refusing to play the game: The case for a hybrid
practice-based approach for African management 259
Tapping into Chinese management approaches 261
Modelling hybridization for Africa: a China–Africa
hybrid practice-based management development
(CAHPMD) framework 264
Implications for African management education and
research 267
Conclusion 269
References 269
Index 275

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Terence Jackson is Emeritus Professor of Cross-Cultural Management,
Middlesex University Business School, London, UK, and a visiting professor
in the Department of Management, Rhodes University, Grahamstown,
South Africa.
Lynette Louw, appointed in the Raymond Ackerman Chair of Management,
Department of Management, is the Deputy Dean, Faculty of Commerce at
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
Dev K. (Roshan) Boojihawon is Associate Professor of Strategy at University
of Birmingham, Business School, Department of Strategy and International