Newsletter ManaGlobal: Spring 2024

ManaGlobal project newsletter

Number 7 | February 2024


Over the past five years, the ManaGlobal programme has focused on the study of management theories and practices in African and Arab companies.

It has been particularly interested in the processes of interaction, interdependence and articulation between local management practices and those of the globalised economy. It has thus sought to understand the extent to which hybridisation between these modes of management is possible and is organised in practice.

The programme is now in its final year, which has been marked by a number of secondments from consortium members, as well as the organisation of major events, including the Liège conference held from 11 to 12 December 2023.

We look forward to seeing you in May, when the project will conclude with the final conference, to be held in Rennes from 15 to 17 May 2024.

A look back at the Winter School in Liège

As part of the European Union’s ManaGlobal project, a Winter School on “Socio-economic conditions and performance of entrepreneurial ecosystems” was held at HEC-Liège, providing an opportunity for fruitful exchanges between participants.

These two days, organised in a hybrid format, brought together no fewer than forty participants, professors and doctoral researchers from various countries (including Belgium, Cameroon, Scotland, France, the United Kingdom and Senegal).

As a reminder, here are the topics discussed:

ManaGlobal’s Winter School focused primarily on the conditions for setting up entrepreneurial ecosystems. According to Stam (2015, p. 5), an entrepreneurial ecosystem can be defined as “a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship in a given territory”. Interesting collaborations can thus be established with schools and universities, research centres, large companies, public authorities, professional associations, etc. on a local scale, often as part of transnational institutional partnerships. Such local roots are a guarantee of the sustainability of the entrepreneurial adventure.

Here are a few examples of the issues explored at the Winter School:

  • What forms of physical and social proximity between local players encourage entrepreneurial innovation in the South and the North?
  • What role do public authorities and academic institutions play in these regional dynamics?
  • What role do large companies play in these regional dynamics?
  • What forms of governance are efficient in entrepreneurial ecosystems?
  • Are these efficient forms of governance different in the South and the North?
  • What are the critical elements likely to undermine the efficiency of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the South as in the North?
  • To what extent can the entrepreneurial ecosystem help an economic activity to move from the local to the global scale?
  • Is integration into an entrepreneurial ecosystem a prerequisite for entrepreneurial activity?
  • How do current and future entrepreneurs perceive their integration into the local entrepreneurial ecosystem?
  • What are the prospects for women’s entrepreneurship, both in the so-called “informal economy” and in the so-called “formal economy”?

The Winter School was an excellent opportunity to compare experiences and initiatives from the North and South (Cao & Shi, 2021) and to gain a better understanding of the dynamics at work. We compared the contributions of researchers – both doctoral students and senior professors – and professional testimonies on the conditions for the success of entrepreneurial ecosystems, and also explored the role and responsibilities of universities in this respect (Matmati et al., 2019).

A special thank you to France Bierbaum, the driving force behind the event, who ensured that it was held under exemplary conditions!

In the eyes of all the participants, these two days of seminars were a resounding success!

Here are a number of documents and information relating to the Winter School:

A PowerPoint presentation of the event is available here: 

The concluding remarks from the seminar, written by Prof. Michel Villette, can be consulted at the following link: 

All the abstracts of the presentations can be accessed via the following link: 

Review of the event by HEC-Liège: 

Back to the program: 

Work Packages 3 & 4 news

Production and resources within the network


By Dadié, Kouame Jacob, Doctoral student in sociology at Rennes 2 University

Extract: Two results emerge from the analysis of the data collected. Firstly, it emerges from the data that strong and weak ties constitute a recourse for entrepreneurs to gain access to formalisation and support for SMEs in Senegal. In fact, the formalisation and support systems are embedded in the social network of business players. In this respect, business leaders mobilise family, ethnic, professional, friendly and above all symbolic ties. Secondly, the data show that social capital is also mobilised as a resource for formalising and supporting SMEs in Senegal. Generally speaking, by social capital we mean all the resources or assets available in an individual’s social network. We therefore note cultural resources and symbolic resources.

See the project website: 

  • Is globalisation giving way to de-globalisation?

By Alexis Meslin, Sciences Po Rennes, and Ulrike Schuerkens, Université Rennes 2, LiRIS

Summary : On the basis of a literature and press review, this study attempts to answer the question of a possible shift from globalisation to de-globalisation. Although the various de-globalisation ideologies continue to provide alternatives to globalisation, they have not led to an effective, global challenge to the processes of globalisation. Despite the opportunities afforded by the global crises of the last fifteen years, globalisation is slowing down but not faltering. Similarly, while governments are massively re-mobilising protectionist policies, these seem to be the expression of a strategic and opportunistic integration into international trade, rather than a rejection of it. It still seems too early to speak of a slowdown in globalisation. Finally, new studies are needed to analyse the challenges to political and cultural globalisation.

See the project website: 

  • Faire des Affaires au Nigéria, book review: Marjolaine PARIS, Le business franco-nigérian à l’heure de l’Afrique émergente, Paris, Éditions Karthala, 2013, 370 p.

By Michel Villette

Extract: On reading this dense book, it becomes clear that entrepreneurs, whether Nigerian or foreign, are both attracted by the prospect of exceptional profits and frightened by the risks generated by a particularly dangerous environment. Faced with this situation, they do not remain passive, quite the contrary. They implement all sorts of risk-reduction measures based on more or less formal arrangements and relational work. Citing Villette and Vuillermot [3], the author takes up the idea that risk is not an exogenous factor, as measured by the rating agencies responsible for assessing country risk. Entrepreneurs can take control of risk. They can work on the context of which they are stakeholders and which they help to shape through their actions, even if this means maintaining practices of clientelism and corruption, which they also deplore and condemn.

Project site: 


By Françoise Atissi, doctoral student in management at the University of Douala

Extract: Our doctoral thesis project in management at the University of Douala (ESSEC) is a comparative study of private and public sector companies in the Cameroonian context using a constructive approach. In line with the ManaGlobal project, our research aims to determine whether or not there is a typical ideal profile of the African leader likely to create HR value, whatever the sector of the company in Africa.

See the project website: 


  1. “ENTREPRISES AFRICAINES, Twenty projects to emerge from neo-colonialism and under-development”.

By Michel Villette, Mohamed Branine and Mohamed El Bachir Wade (Dir.)

Summary: In the 21st century, Africa is a continent in the throes of transformation, where local entrepreneurs are developing businesses along singular paths that are still little known to the academic world. The result of the work of a group of African and European researchers, this book analyses the careers of 20 companies born in Africa. Some have become national champions or even pan-African multinationals, others have been bought up by European multinationals, and still others have collapsed after a brief period of glory. By applying the same methods of analysis as those used to study European and North American companies, the authors show both strong similarities in the way businessmen accumulate capital, and the singularities of African contexts. Major differences emerge, such as the dependence of large African companies on their international business partners, and the role of family, political and religious influences. In these countries, economic activity is even less separate from other aspects of social life than elsewhere. This book is an invaluable tool for gaining a better understanding of businesses on the African continent. 



By Ulrike Schuerkens (ed.)

Summary: What is the importance of African cultures in the economic systems of sub-Saharan Africa, and Senegal in particular? The first part of this study analyses the economy of Senegal and the measures taken to improve this situation and the integration of the population into the modern economic system. The second part brings together case studies based on an analysis of the professional and personal careers of a number of entrepreneurs. They show how these entrepreneurs have been able to make their businesses profitable: certain sectors, neglected by the major groups, are those in which a generation of people in their forties and fifties is investing. The professional future of a large part of the population therefore depends on businesses that we need to support and sustain in order to create jobs, generate growth, encourage innovation and initiate a transformation.


Review of the book by Moustapha Tamba, full professor at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar (Senegal):

Miscellaneous news

Mobility: personal accounts

  1. Secondment to the University of Liège (HEC-Liège) by Paul Mamba Diédhiou.

Extract from the testimonial: “In accordance with my secondment to Liège (Belgium) from 28 May to 25 August 2023, thanks to the ManaGlobal project, I went on a training-research visit. This was perfectly in line with my thesis entitled: “The multinational ‘Auchan’ in Senegal: between controversies and logics of appropriation”, which consisted of analysing the globalisation of its commercial and cultural practices by questioning its socio-economic management and marketing in an interconnected world. 

I dare say that my stay went well, and I made a lot of discoveries: from Liège to Brussels and the surrounding area, via Lisbon and Paris. In addition to these discoveries, this training/research stay also enabled me to find quite a lot of documentation on issues relating to the theme of my thesis: supply logics, management systems, socio-economic marketing, economic patriotism and social controversies around companies. Familiarity with this literature, which although it exists in Senegal (UCAD), is very rare and sometimes difficult to access (expensive, lack of visibility and publications, grey literature, etc.), made it possible, thanks to the advice and guidance of Professor François Pichault, to finalise two chapters of my thesis: ‘Ethnographie des mobilisations “contre” et “en faveur” d’Auchan’ and ‘Pratiques managériales et concurrentielles “glocales” d’Auchan’. […]

This trip was also an opportunity for me to take part, with the support of my thesis supervisor, Ulrike Schuerkens, in the EADI conference in Lisbon from 10 to 13 July 2023, at which I presented a paper extracted from my thesis entitled: “The ‘Auchan’ brand in Senegal. A source of supply for women stallholders: Case study of stall sellers in Mbour (Thiès).

You can read the full story at the following link: 

Presentations by network experts

“Natural hair/Napy movement: a return to cultural identity or simply self-acceptance? ( by Dr. Christella Kwizera, Sociologist and Professor at the University of Burundi

Upcoming events

The final conference of the ManaGlobal programme will be held on 15 and 16 May 2024 at the University of Rennes 2.

Colleagues wishing to present their work are invited to send in their proposal(s) by 15 March.

You can find the call for papers here: 

Reminder of the project and credits

The ManaGlobal project explores local management practices in certain African and Arab countries. The aim is to show how companies and subsidiaries become profitable and develop. The aim is to highlight the differences between the management norms and standards of globalisation and local ways of doing business. The process by which these norms and management methods merge is known as glocalisation or hybridisation. The aim of ManaGlobal is to contribute to research into glocal management through surveys conducted by a pioneering team of 16 African, Arab and European partners from eight countries, including researchers, business leaders and institutional decision-makers. See


ManaGlobal: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) – Staff exchanges in the field of research and innovation – RISE.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 823744.

Citer ce billet
Ulrike Schuerkens (2024, 8 mai). Newsletter ManaGlobal: Spring 2024. ManaGlobal : Globalized Governance Norms and Local Business Practices. Consulté le 17 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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