Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal

Grisar-Kassé K (2005)
Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University.

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Bielefeld Dissertation | English
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Supervisor
Evers, Hans-Dieter (Prof. em. Dr.)
Abstract
In the present case study, I attempt to reconstruct the process of indigenization and management changes in a multinational cooperation, a phosphate mining company in Senegal, over four decades (1952 - 1996). The analysis relies mainly on the qualitative methodology of grounded theory developed by Anselm Strauss and Barney Glaser. The data material stems from various sources that is interviews, questionnaires, archive and company documents, participant observation, and context knowledge. In the analysis, I focus on communication and interaction patterns between managers and subordinates in changing economic, political, and social structures. Within the 1950s and 60s, the company management and personnel policy functioned on a clear-cut ethnical staff division of French superiors and Senegalese subordinates. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, this situation gradually changed into indigenous management and personnel only (with few exceptions). When I started my field research in 1995, the majority of the company staff was not happy with the actual situation in the work place and glorified old times under French management. I then decided to go on the search for evidence on personnel and industrial management policy under French expatriates and the gradual changes under Senegalese management. What had actually changed and how had it changed? While economic facts did not prove that management under French expatriates was any better than under Senegalese senior executives, the majority of Senegalese employees was imperishably convinced that the French should come back. Senegalese employees had a strong tendency to judge positively whatever French expatriates did or said and ignored or denied important management mistakes. At the same time, they observed Senegalese managers with scrutiny and skepticism and perceived negatively whatever Senegalese managers did or said. When indigenization gradually went on, Senegalese employees had extreme difficulties to accept their own compatriots in management positions. On the other hand, Senegalese superiors had difficulties to show appreciation for good work of Senegalese subordinates. Mutual respect was practically absent. By contrast, the social atmosphere was poisoned by mutual disdain and distrust. Employees' identification with the company objectives, an important condition for economic success, was very strong under French management and vanished rapidly under Senegalese management. The great majority of Senegalese employees remained tacitly loyal to their departed French bosses. In the particular case of the mining company, I attempt to show that the Senegalese employees' glorification of French character and capacities and the mutual disapproval between Senegalese managers and employees cannot be explained by the industrial performance of both ethnic groups. I content instead, that behavior and perception within the industrial community was shaped by established roles of French superiority and Senegalese inferiority in the past, that is the colonial period. Empirical research on management in African industries is scarce. Furthermore, researchers tend to draw only a momentary picture of certain management aspects found during a limited time of field research. Most likely this picture is negative. Seldom, research bothers with the question how and why things developed the way they did. Historical processes and the impact of colonial ideologies on African as well as European beliefs is hardly ever taken into account. With this case study, I attempt to meet this necessity and to present a more holistic view of an African enterprise.
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Grisar-Kassé K. Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal. Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University; 2005.
Grisar-Kassé, K. (2005). Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal. Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University.
Grisar-Kassé, K. (2005). Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal. Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University.
Grisar-Kassé, K., 2005. Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal, Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University.
K. Grisar-Kassé, Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal, Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University, 2005.
Grisar-Kassé, K.: Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal. Bielefeld University, Bielefeld (Germany) (2005).
Grisar-Kassé, Karen. Indigenization of industrial management in postcolonial Africa : a case study from Senegal. Bielefeld (Germany): Bielefeld University, 2005.
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