Untangling African indigenous management: Multiple influences on the success of SMEs in Kenya

Jackson, Terence; Amaeshi, Kenneth; Yavuz, Serap
October 2008
Journal of World Business;Oct2008, Vol. 43 Issue 4, p400
Academic Journal
Abstract: This article examines the nature of indigenous management in relation to the success of SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, taking Kenya and six SMEs under the management of Kenyan Africans, Kenyan Asians and Kenyan British as examples. It proposes that management systems, styles and practices, when appropriate to the local cultural contexts, will give rise to successful organizations. By formulating tentative hypotheses about this relation after reviewing the literature, the data from these case studies are interrogated first by using a �template� derived from theories of management control to investigate the inter-continental cultural influences on local management, and then inductively to modify and develop the original hypotheses in view of possible intra-country influences. Paternalism, emerges as a common theme in the way cultural influences are combined, suggesting different types of paternalism for in-group and out-group organizational members. This is a possible success factor for local SMEs. Implications for future research in these areas and management practice are discussed.


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