Work packages (in English)
Summary WP1: Understanding the different theories of managing organizations in different cultural contexts and analysing the contexts of doing business and managing organizations in African and Arab countries
Work package 1 (WP1) will address the first research objective of the ManaGlobal research project, which is: To analyse and compare the theories of managing organizations in different cultural and business contexts from socio-economic, legal, political and organizational perspectives. It will build the platform and sets the scene for the empirical research that will be carried out in WP 2 and WP3. The work that will be undertaken in this work package is not just a review of the extent literature but also a process of understanding the gaps and evaluating the theoretical underpinnings of the current management practices in different countries. Therefore, the findings from work package one (WP1) is critical to the development of the theoretical framework which will be the basis for the methodological approach adopted in work package two (WP2) to understand the causes of business success and failure in Africa and the Arab countries.
The University of Abertayin Dundee (UAD), Scotland, will lead the activities of this WP1 and coordinate the tasks that will be assigned to teams of junior and senior researchers. The work will be carried out by teams of researchers mainly from the South coming to the North, as part of capacity building through participation in teaching and research activities and also because of access to library facilities and research centres, under the supervision of experienced researchers. Starting from M3 to M18, each of the universities of the North will host a team of 2-5 researchers to carry out specific tasks under the supervision of a local senior researcher, depending on their expertise in a particular discipline. The team at UR2 will collect and review the relevant literature on the socio-economic, legal and political contexts of doing business and managing organizations. The team at the UAD will collect and review the relevant literature on the major theories of business and management and their applications in different socio-cultural contexts. The team at the UniMAN will collect and review the relevant literature on the studies of development, economic growth and organizational change with a focus on Africa and Arab countries.
Each of the teams stated above will be expected to review and analyse relevant secondary data from published and unpublished sources in order to: 1) understand the theories that were developed mainly in the Western context but to also review and understand the theories that are relevant to cross-cultural contexts; 2) identify significant gaps in the theorizing of business and management practices in non-western countries; and 3) analyse the socio-economic contexts in which business organizations operate in the global and local environment in order to make some research propositions and develop appropriate research methodologies for the study of business and management practices in selected companies in African and Arab countries.
At the end of their secondments, each team will be expected to produce at theoretical papers that exhibit a theoretical framework of analysis with a set of research questions or research propositions that will serve as the basis for the fieldwork research in WP2. The papers will be presented and debated at the first research seminar/conference in Manchester in December 2019.
Summary WP2: Profiling and learning from the careers of business leaders and managers in selected African and Arab Countries and linking them to national socio-economic particularities
ManaGlobal research project seeks to understand the management practices of local and international enterprises in Africa and Arab countries. Work package 2 (WP2) of the research project addresses the second research objective of the project. The work package (WP2) investigates the business practices of selected enterprises and the leadership styles and vision of selected firms in the SME sector in five countries; namely, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco and UAE. Using ethnographic approach, the study charts the profile and journey of the business enterprises and their leaders. Central to this investigation and the methodological approach adopted is to understand the causes of business success and failure in Africa and the Arab countries.
The work package (W2) forms the foundation for other work packages (WP3, WP4, WP5). The business practices and the leadership style and vision of the leaders will shed light on how their education and training contribute to the success or failure of the business enterprises in the countries under investigation (WP3). Similarly, one of the objectives of the project is to develop a theoretical framework that will help to understand business and management practices in the countries of the South. Therefore, the findings from work package two (WP2) are critical to the development of the theoretical framework which will be the basis of designing training programmes and advising policy makers which is the key research objective of work package five (WP5).
As part of the methodology, this work package (WP2) will examine and analyse profiles of business enterprises and the leadership journeys of their leaders in the selected countries. Company reports, websites, local newspapers and various document sources will be used to establish a full picture of the business enterprises under investigation. Similarly, interviews with the leaders and key stakeholders in the business environment will be conducted to fully understand the kinds of business leaders and their impact on business enterprises. The analyses of the policies and policy environment that impact on the performance of business enterprises and their leaders will also be investigated. The findings of this investigation should shed light on the gaps between the rhetoric and reality of doing business in Africa and Arab countries. The results of this project should further our understanding of the degree of hybridization of management practices within the context of globalization. The study will also try to establish if there is something unique to African and Arab management in a globalized world which can further our understanding of management generally.
Summary WP3: Producing Ethnographic Business Studies: Methods, Theory and Practice.
This Work package aims to produce a series of monographs of companies created in the UAE, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, and Cameroon that contribute to the development of the country because of their strong growth and their ripple effect on the rest of the economy.
By « monograph », we mean a quantitative and qualitative study based on various sources: financial and accounting data, press reviews, interviews at all levels of the hierarchy from CIO to workers, observations at the workplace, interviews with partners such as consultants, auditors, bankers, customers, suppliers, and investors. Written documents may be supplemented by photographs and video recordings.
The monograph will present the company’s history, its financial performance, the factors that explain its growth, a comparison with its competitors (particularly subsidiaries of western multinationals), the wealth acquired by the founding entrepreneur; and the analysis of the company’s contributions to the country’s development.
In each of the countries studied, it is planned to produce at least five monographs, namely a commercial company, an industrial company, a financial company, an agri-food company and a tourism company.
The monographs will result in the publication of a collective work and in comparative and synthesis papers. They can be used in educational programmes to illustrate the way of doing business in African and Arab countries. S
Summary WP 4: Training, professional development and capacity building
We intend to develop a coherent offer of training, professional development and capacity building to the benefit of all participants but especially young scholars, new managers and entrepreneurs. Combining skills and sharing competencies in doing research is one of our main priorities. Researchers will be involved regularly in graduate teaching, co-supervision of PhDs and scientific activities within the university structures.
Summer schools, workshops and training sessions will be organized throughout the duration of the project. They cover methodological training, professional academic training, teaching experiences and experience in fieldwork research as well as the supervision of research students (Master and PhD). They will allow knowledge exchange and career development of all project members.
Summer/winter schools (in Manchester, Accra, Dakar, Rabat and Bielefeld) and seminars are open to members of the consortium as well as PhD and Master students, and business leaders. A senior researcher will facilitate these courses with relevant experience in this specific activity. Each researcher will present his/her own work in a plenary session and will present papers in the thematic panels. These papers will circulate in advance. Both the senior researchers and the PhD students will perform the role of discussants of these papers.
Professional academic training is planned which involves the interaction of managers, business leaders and officials with academics on sharing knowledge, experience and expertise on the socio-economic, political, and legal contexts and their effects on business and management in the countries involved in the project.
Teaching: Experienced researchers and scholars from France, Germany and the UK will contribute to teaching subjects from their areas of expertise to undergraduate and postgraduate students during their international mobility in the partner institutions.
Visits to European enterprises by researchers from the Third Countries and vice versa, with the objective of learning from different experiences, conducting fieldwork research and of encouraging similar dynamics in the participants’ own countries.
Supervision of research students (Master and PhD) will be organized during their mobility to the North for reviewing the literature and benefiting from the library facilities in France, Germany and the UK and preparation of teaching material and publications based on case studies and during the mobility from the North to the South by experienced researchers and scholars to the partner institutions.
We will develop a curriculum for digital life-long learning at University Rennes 2 and eventually a master programme. We will prepare teaching material and videos for the utilization of Business Schools in the South.
We will develop courses for the digital teaching in University Rennes 2.
Summary WP 5: Communication and dissemination of research outcomes
We believe that international staff mobility, research, training and the development of teaching and learning material will support an innovative and inter-disciplinary dialogue between those of the North and those of the South. Networking is implicit in all the activities of the other work packages but will also be enhanced by international mobility to attend more workshops and seminars outside the ones scheduled above, to collaborate with other academics in writing papers and presenting them at national and international seminars and conferences, and to contribute to the conferences organized within this project.
Project results will be disseminated and communicated within national academic (scientific publications) and non-academic networks in each case study country, using the information published in scientific journals. All members of the project will participate in national and international conferences.
The ManaGlobal website will inform about the research and events of the project. Communication materials (project leaflets, flyers) will be accessible at the website.
Due to the current state of ManaGlobal communication between the academic and non-academic participants and to a wider audience will entail workshops, summer-/winter schools and trainings, scientific publications, and manuals.
The workshops address the participating researchers and business partners. They will cover topics like “Business and Management Scenarios in the Local Context in Arab and African countries South of the Sahara and the Challenges of Global Factors” or “Understanding, dealing with and exploring local business and management approaches in African and Arab countries”. The workshops are aiming at presenting and reflecting the research. They should give the floor to discuss the practical implications of the research. Five summer-/winter schools will be organized within the ManaGlobal network, taking place in Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, UK and Germany. Topics of the schools include “The state of the art of glocal management and governance in Africa and the Arab world and business research methods” or “Ethnographic research and methods of data analysis”. The audience will be the participating researchers and business partner
Scientific papers, edited volumes and research monographs will disseminate the results of the project to a wider scientific audience via peer-reviewed publications. In particular, young scholars and post-docs from the partner universities are encouraged to author the publications.
Manuals, policy papers, and handbooks with practical recommendations for business leaders will be developed in order to address the needs of the non-academic partners. They are supposed to be disseminated in the local context by the involved business associations.