Managerial challenges in South Africa

Claude Hélene Mayer, Lynette Louw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate insights into cross-cultural conflict, identity and values amongst selected managers within a South African management context. It aims to increase the understanding of these complexities from an academic managerial perspective, thereby providing in-depth information which can lead to the development of managerial training tools for improving diversity and conflict management in the described context. Design/methodology/approach: The authors selected qualitative data from a case study that was conducted in the international South African automotive industry. The case study was based on the post-modernist premise by considering phenomenological and interpretative paradigms most relevant. Findings: Findings show conflicts in managerial communication and treatment, position and competition, organisation, race and gender and are often defined as "cross-racial" conflict fuelled by the society's past. Research limitations/implications: The generalisability is limited to this specific context and needs to be proven by follow-up studies which expand the context and the methodological approach of the study. Practical implications: Practical suggestions address the implementation of training tools, coaching and counselling in cross-cultural conflict management. They are anticipated to create awareness on managing the present challenges and are aimed at managers and international organisations investing in South Africa. Originality/value: The paper provides new insights into the discussion on human resource management in a specific South African management context by referring to the highly important topics of cross-cultural conflict, values and identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-591
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Business Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Automotive industry
  • Cross-cultural conflict
  • Cross-cultural management
  • Diversity
  • Identity
  • Managers
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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