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Developing Global Leaders, 1st ed. 2019 Insights from African Case Studies Palgrave Studies in African Leadership Series

Langue : Anglais

Auteurs :

Couverture de l’ouvrage Developing Global Leaders
This book is a timely guide on what constitutes effective leadership in Africa. It explores how today?s leaders in Africa perceive their role, the challenges they experience, and how they operate effectively as leaders. In the era of globalization, there is an increasing need to offer guidance on how leaders can adjust their leadership style to suit situational contexts . This book illustrates to scholars and leaders how leadership can be developed and will contribute to the development of a new community of leaders integrating cutting-edge knowledge on leadership development in Africa.
1.      Introduction: Eva Jordans, Bettina Ng’weno & Helen Spencer Oatey


Africa’s economy and productive age population has been rapidly increasing since 2000, providing new opportunities for diversity of jobs, economic and creative activities, and political systems as well as levels of complexity in organizations and institutions. These developing areas are also demanding new kinds of leadership as well as new leaders. In view of Africa’s youth bulge (65% of people are under 29), a large majority of Africa’s workforce and leaders are, and will be, young people in the years to come. The increasing numbers of young and well-educated professionals who wish to develop as ‘new-style’ leaders, have extremely limited information on different leadership styles, minimal role models, and little opportunity to learn HOW leaders in Africa could change from the commonly used leadership styles.

This book therefore will:

·         Illustrate different kinds of leadership styles in specific contexts;

·         Use case study examples to illustrate how leadership can be developed;

·         Incorporate practical suggestions and tools for current and forthcoming leaders in Africa, as well as across the world, who wish to become ‘global leaders’; in other words, people who can adjust their leadership style to suit different cultural and situational contexts.

This book is inspired by our own experiences and those that others shared with us. Many chapters are co-authored with experienced leaders in Africa. It is based on the most important insights gathered over years of experience, including:

  • Practical experiences: The editors and authors have themselves worked in and lead teams in various countries, and experienced the challenges of leadership across different cultures, expectations, generations and behavior;
  • Academic insights: The editors and authors have studied and researched aspects of culture and leadership in various settings;
  • Training and education experience: Years of experience in training and teaching others in developing their (intercultural) leadership competencies has yielded insights in what can most effectively support the learning process.


The fascination for the process of developing leadership has led us to develop this book that combines theory with practice and can act as a practical self-help guide. We want to share case studies, practical insights and tools that could be helpful, including not only research data but also true stories and anecdotes that illustrate key learnings. The thinking and insights emerge from practice, for practice. Most importantly, the leaders in this book can serve as role models for young leaders across Africa and across the world.

This is a book with a mission: Inspiring people and increasing understanding in order ultimately to foster effective leadership which will support development in Africa.


Part 1: Conceptual Chapters (3)


2.      Understanding leadership and culture in Africa: Helen Spencer Oatey, Bettina Ng’weno & Eva Jordans

This chapter analyses the documented academic insights on culture and leadership, especially in Africa. Culture and leadership are explored within the framework of practices, products and perspectives (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 2015).


Practices—are patterns of social interactions, behaviors representing the knowledge of “what to do when and where” and how to interact within a particular culture. The chapter also draws on Molinsky’s work which focuses on the content and style of behavior expected in a situation, including distinguishing what he calls the “zone of appropriateness” – the culturally acceptable ‘range’ of content and style permissible in a particular cultural script. Landman explains this as follows in relation to Africa:  “It is unfortunate that leadership in Africa is far too often presented to the world in the form of dysfunctional and derailed leadership. Africa has an abundance of sound and responsible leaders on all levels and dimensions of society. These leaders need to emerge and become visible. Leadership development is a key leverage point in the development and transformation of our beautiful continent.” Frik Landman. CEO, University of Stellenbosch Executive Development Ltd. [1]. Furthermore, changing leadership practices, both as a result of generation differences and foreign influences are documented.

Products—are the tangible or intangible creations of a particular culture. Of particular interest are the numerous stories that are told in Africa reflecting perspectives on leadership, such as documented in Lead Like a Lion: Leadership Lessons from East-African Animal Stories – 2013 by Abdi Osman Jama et al.

Perspectives—the philosophical perspectives, meanings, attitudes, values, beliefs, ideas that underlie the cultural practices and products of a society. They represent a culture’s view of the world. A few studies of perspectives have included African countries in global comparative studies such as the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research which covers the following countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Northern Africa, and the LEAD study. The GLOBE study records the importance of values of modesty and humane oriented as contributing to effective leadership. The Sub Saharan Africa cluster ranks among the highest cultures with respect to this dimension, and is among the lowest with respect to Autonomous leadership(GLOBE, 2004). Publications on Leadership in Southern Africa document philosophies like Ubuntu (humanness), an Nguni/Zulu word often translated as “I am because we are”. This is a philosophy of coexistence, whereby a person can only be conceived of in relation to others (Louw, 1998, Van Der Colff, 2002). 

3.      Understanding leadership development across cultures: Eva Jordans & Estelle-Marie Heussen-Montgomery

Management is about people, its essence is dealing with human nature. In this book, the Leadership Circumplex[2] is used as a comprehensive leadership framework for understanding the full range of leadership styles. Developed by researchers at the University of Amsterdam, The Leadership Circumplex is an up to date framework for understanding a leader’s interpersonal behavior.

)="" is="" control="" dominance="" –="" or="" agency="" and="" the="" other="" (horizontal)="" people="" oriented="" (or:="" affiliation="" love="" communion),="" resulting="" 8="" span="" circular.

The framework is also useful for understanding the “bright and dark sides” of leadership. What can be considered bright and dark has by Redeker et al. been determined based on research in Netherlands and Belgium. This has thus not yet been tested across different cultures. In this book the suitability of the eight styles for the current challenges facing leaders in Africa is assessed, both in the on-line questionnaires and in the in-depth interviews.

The chapter further discusses different approaches to leadership development, across different countries. It provides lessons learnt on what have proven to be effective approaches for developing leaders, and factors that contribute to its success.

4.      Understanding historical/political context of leadership in Africa [conceptual chapter]:  Bettina Ng’weno

This chapter summarizes the historical and political context into which leadership in Africa takes place, including cultural patterns of leadership, historical and post-colonial political developments (e.g. the initial establishment of socialist system in Tanzania after independence) as well as more recent global trends (e.g. globalization of trade and economic development, growing involvement of China).

Part 2: Case Studies (5)


5.      Methodology: Eva Jordans & Helen Spencer Oatey

This chapter introduces the methodology underlying the case studies. Data was collected via an online questionnaire, and through in-depth qualitative interviews with both leaders and followers. The interview guide is presented in Annex A of this section of the proposal.

Each case study is specific for a country, sphere of leadership and focus of the interviews. However, to ensure cohesion, each case is prepared based on the following framework:

Sphere of leadership: Context and background of leaders involved in the case study

Focus: Specific questions and interest

Overview of perceptions: Review of country specific data and perspectives from on-line questionnaire

In-depth qualitative stories and views: Presentation of anecdotes, perceptions and experiences with a focus on behavior, emotions and views.

Insights and lessons learnt: Overall conclusions, new insights and practical suggestions for today’s leaders who like to improve or change their leadership style.

Each case study is co-authored by a practitioner: an African leader who is involved in developing and supporting leaders.

6.      Leaders in government transformation (possibly Ghana): Dr. Estelle-Marie Heussen and Eva Jordans

Co-author: Dr. Estelle-Marie Heussen, is Founder, Principal and Chief Executive of GlobalEyez LLC and COO of the Washington based GB Group which currently focuses on innovative and sustainable solutions in the energy, environment and health sectors in Africa. She has a doctorate in Neuropsychology from Washington University St. Louis, Missouri USA. Through personal and professional experiences she has an international perspective that spans the African, European, North American & Asian continents.

Sphere of leadership: Leaders involved in this case study are public managers, including ministerial level leaders, particularly involved in government transformation.

Focus: This chapter analyses the forces in Africa towards more responsible governments and greater transparency. What is the rationale for the change? And how this is impacting governance structures and especially expectations towards public management leaders.

Overview of perceptions: Review of Ghanacountry specific data (possibly Ghana)  and perspectives from on-line questionnaire.

In-depth qualitative stories and views: Presentation of anecdotes, perceptions and experiences with a focus on behavior, emotions and views. This offers insights into which leadership styles offer the best fit for leading this change process. Also provides understanding of how public management leaders themselves view these changes, the opportunities and constraints. It also details how they see their role in this change process. How have they prepared themselves for this role, who or what inspired them?

Insights and lessons learnt: Overall conclusions, new insights and practical suggestions for leaders who like to improve or change their leadership style, especially while managing change.





7.      Project Leadership in business in Nigeria.  Ike Nwankwo and Eva Jordans

Co-author: Ike Nwankwo:  A senior executive with 30 years track record in leadership and business transformation and implementation through the application of project management in both the UK and Nigeria, and also the Africa Region Mentor at the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Sphere of leadership: Business & Entrepreneurship, Leaders active in Project Management in Nigeria across various commercial sectors (e.g. construction, finance, oil & gas sectors)

Focus: What kind of leadership style has proven to be effective to address challenges at the moment evident in project management in Nigeria, from the perspective of project leaders and of project team members?

Overview of perceptions<: Review of Nigeria specific data and perspectives from on-line questionnaire

In-depth qualitative stories and views: Presentation of anecdotes, perceptions and experiences with a focus on behavior, emotions and views.Project leaders need to be able to balance the traditional ‘technical’ project management competencies (managing time, cost and quality) with new dimensions of social, commercial, organizational, relationship and emotional capabilities. Leading a project in Nigeria can be a challenge: Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic stated[3]<:

Insights and lessons learnt: Overall conclusions, and new insights on the way project leaders in Nigeria perceive their role and how they operate as a leader of a project team in order to achieve results in business. Practical suggestions for today’s project leaders who like to improve or change their leadership style.


8.      Senior vs. young leaders: The case of changing perceptions on leadership in Tanzania:  Mwatima Juma & Eva Jordans

Co-author: Dr. Mwatima Juma: Senior Country Program Manager, International Fund for Agricultural Development, United Nations, with a track record of over 30 years in public management in rural development in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Sphere of leadership: Leaders involved in this case study are working predominantly in public management, such as program managers in government agencies

Focus: This chapter describes the way senior vs. young leaders perceive their role and how they operate as a leader in order to achieve results. This is also discussed from the perspective of team members.

Overview of perceptions: Review of Tanzania specific data and perspectives from on-line questionnaire

In-depth qualitative stories and views: Presentation of anecdotes, perceptions and experiences with a focus on behavior, emotions and views. This section presents findings on what kind of leadership style has proven to be effective to address the challenges that are at the moment evident in Tanzania. It focuses on the impact of discrepancies caused by a “dual system of practices and perspectives”: on the one hand western education and influences and on the other hand the African context with its beliefs and traditions.

Insights and lessons learnt: Overall the chapter draws conclusions regarding the case of changing perceptions on leadership, particularly if comparing young and senior leaders. It provides  new insights on the way leaders in Tanzania perceive their role and how they achieve results. The chapter concludes with practical suggestions for today’s leaders who like to improve or change their leadership style.

9.      Developing leadership talent in Kenya and East Africa trough training and coaching [Kenya data chapter] Bettina Ng’weno and Eva Jordans

Sphere of leadership: Leaders involved in this case study are mostly from business & entrepreneur sphere and civic leaders.

Focus: The case study focuses on changing perceptions on leadership and leadership styles.It further describes different ways in which leadership skills are being developed, and assesses their effectiveness.

Overview of perceptions: Review of Kenya specific data and perspectives from on-line questionnaire

In-depth qualitative stories and views: This chapter describes the way leaders in Kenya perceive their changing, role and how they operate as a leader. It is based on the perspective of leaders, and the perspective of subordinates, regarding what kind of leadership style would be effective to address the challenges that are at the moment evident in commercial and non-profit organizations in Kenya. For example: Transition from a more traditional one-man show to a management team: An executive/General Manager of a company in Mombasa in Kenya was used to running the company on his own, holding all responsibilities. Under new management after an international merger it was decided to change the organizational structure and bring in a high level management team. Therefore the GM had to delegate responsibilities to experienced professionals who were recruited from outside the company. The GM was open to this, for him novel, approach and went along with the required changes. It took a while for him to get used to making decisions as a team and learning how to think with others. It turned out that he actually appreciated the support of the experienced colleagues and the sharing of responsibilities – and he said “Before, it was lonely at the top”. The case study further reviews leadership development programs in Kenya and across the region. A case study of the leadership development program at Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is analyzed in detail. In addition, it analyses the coaching approach adopted by Sarah Forde-Owuor used to develop young leaders’ leadership talent, leading Civil Societies who are implementing Ford Foundation grant projects. Next, other interesting initiatives in Kenya in terms of developing leaders are described, with both national and regional outreach such as for example the YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) program and programs facilitated by Human Resources Boosters.

Insights and lessons learnt: Overall conclusions, new insights and practical suggestions for today’s leaders who like to improve or change their leadership style.


10.  Civic leadership in Africa: the case of Farmer Organizations in Rwanda: Joseph K. Nsabimana, and Eva Jordans

Co-author: Eng. Joseph K. Nsabimana, Farmer Organization Specialist with a degree in agricultural sciences and a ten years track record in capacity building and strengthening of Farmer Organizations in rural development programs implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda. Experienced group leader and effective trainer.


Sphere of leadership: This case study describes experiences with developing civic leadership,  in particular in Farmer Organizations (FOs) in Rwanda.

Focus: It analyses the functioning of FOs, both its internal functioning as well as the linkages to the external factors and institutions that they interact with. As a result of a FO training program, Irrigation Water User Organizations (IWUOs) received training in order to strengthen them ="" 15="" kilometers="" long.="" leadership="" organized="" with="" president,="" in="" addition="" there="" different="" committees,="" such="" an="" executive="" committee,="" audit="" committee="" conflict="" management="" committee.="" training="" not="" only="" involved="" leaders="" participating="" farmers,="" but="" also="" outside="" stakeholders="" central="" its="" success,="" particularly="" local="" government="" staff="" at="" various="" level="" supporting="" these="" farmer="" organisations.=""  and="" farmers.="" more="" than="" one="" year="" after="" coaching="" was="" concluded,="" status="" organizations="" assessed="" on="" basis="" monitoring="" criteria="" set="" start.="" what="" extent="" they="" successful,="" extend="" due="" effective="" leadership?

Overview of perceptions: The on-line questionnaire provides the background of changing perceptions on leadership in Rwanda.

In-depth qualitative stories and views: Key success and constraining factors for internal functioning are identified. For example what makes a President (or Secretary/Treasurer) effective in his/her role: what kind of behavior makes him/her succeed and trusted, how does he/she perform the role, i.e. to convince members, to resolve conflicts, to create transparency, etc.  What type of leadership style is effective? And if effective, how did the leaders develop this style? Also it is analyzed why certain members are resisting the leadership, what is their perception? External factors are analyzed: How is the functioning affected by factors outside the organization? How do the leaders interact with and influence outside actors and institutions, particularly government staff?

Insights and lessons learnt: Overall conclusions, new insights and lessons learnt on effective leadership aimed at sustainability of change initiatives in rural development, and draws conclusions on changing leadership perceptions in Rwanda.

Conclusions and Tool Box


11.  Understanding leadership and its development in Africa (pulling together the ideas that have emerged from the case studies).

The central leadership issues emerging from the case studies will be identified and a survey conducted to validate these. The results of an on-line survey across a range of African countries, both English and French speaking, will be presented. This survey aims to include amongst other, participants of YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) program and African Leadership University (ALU) network, and PMI members across Africa.


We propose using a gap analysis design for the survey, based on the importance-actual experience design used in the University of Warwick’s Global Education Profiler.  We would hope to develop an equivalent dashboard (see the Demo section of the Global Education Profiler website) where people can interrogate the dataset, exploring it according to variables such as country, gender, age, and so on. This will help demonstrate the variability and complexity of the picture, as well as allow people to explore it in ways they are personally interested in. This gap analysis design also provides pointers for prioritising and addressing the needs that emerge and will guide the development of the resources for the Toolbox.


This chapter will thus (a) describe the design of the survey tool, (b) report the survey results, (c) draw out key learning from both the case studies and the survey findings, and (d) relate the findings to the broader leadership literature.



Eva Jordan's academic background is in both International Land and water Management (MSc) and Intercultural Communication (MA). She has over 25 years’ experience in delivering results through supporting leadership and institutional development in Asia, Africa and Europe. She is a strategic program manager with a track record in roles such as international project manager, trainer in global leadership development programs and executive director in commercial companies. She currently works as an independent management consultant, predominantly supporting rural development programs across Africa and Asia.

Bettina Ng’weno is Associate Professor of African American and African Studies at the University of California, Davis, USA. Trained as an anthropologist she works on issues of space, property, race and ethnicity, social justice, citizenship and states within Latin America and Africa. She authored the book Turf Wars: Territory and Citizenship in the Contemporary State.

Helen Spencer-Oatey is Professor at the University of Warwick, UK. Her books, both monographs and edited collections, include Culturally Speaking (2000/2008); Handbook of Intercultural Communication (2008, with Helga Kotthoff); and Intercultural Interaction (2009, with Peter Franklin). 
Illustrates different kinds of leadership styles in specific contexts

Uses case study examples to illustrate how leadership can be developed

Incorporates practical suggestions and tools for current and forthcoming leaders in Africa

Addresses a growing need to internationalize the scholarship and to incorporate case studies from a wide variety of regions and contexts

Presents a comprehensive leadership framework for understanding the full range of leadership styles

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