Business leaders often put most of their attention on finding ways to make profit the issues of culture are seldom looked into with respect to the relationship between cultural practices and how they impact leadership. In Africa the most cultural practice that has proven to have a significant influence on business is botho. In this light business leaders must know that the issue of both organizational culture and culture in general is of significance. A cultural concept like setshwarwa ke ntsa pedi ga se thata suggests impeccable business practices like partnerships which are falling short in present day enterprises (especially in Botswana).
The main intent of this document is to explore the relationship between culture and leadership in the context of business and to derive if it is a positive relationship. The report will be based on Hofstede’s theory of evolution.
- Conceptual ClarificationBotho- It is a deep recognition of another’s humanity and interconnectedness of all our lives.
- Culture- The way of life of groups of people, meaning the way they do things.
- Entrepreneurship- The capacity and willingness to develop organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make profit.
- Leadership- It is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
For over centuries, Botho is one of the most held on and practiced principles in Africa .How people live and relate with one another is very important and it should complement one’s culture. It can be very challenging to be a leader to people of different background, ethnic and culture but how a leader deals with it is vital. A leader should lead with a ‘umuntu ngimuntu ngabantu’ aim meaning that you are who you are because of how you relate with other people.However, does that mean that a leader should risk his company in the name of tolerating his/her employees background and culture?Botho is prevalent in everyday society and as the national pillar.Botho practiced mostly in Africa and every society has their way of showing it meaning that it differs with people’s race, ethnic, culture and background. Botho is the reason Botswana has not gone the path of most African countries and fallen into the resource curses same as in originations and businesses.
Every organization has its own culture and its employee is aware of it and expected to display it in their everyday life at work, with organizational culture comes along Botho and tolerance within the employees. Culture is the behavior that results when a group arrives at a set of generally unspoken and unwritten rules for working together. However, culture is not something that one can see ,except through its physical manifestation in the work place and one can argue that it is vital because when the employees are treated right the company’s image,wealth,progress is taken care of.Happiness can only be discovered as a gift of harmony between the whole and each single component. Even science”and you know it better than I do”points to an understanding of reality as a place where every element connects and interacts with everything else.”Pope Francis
Leadership is process of social influence to achieve goals (Yuni 2010). Leadership is a broad term and touches base on different aspects such as leadership in entrepreneurship. It has a leader influence members of the group through their characteristics in order to achieve goals. Every group, organization and company needs a leader to steer them in the right direction. Leadership is a social phenomenon and has a purpose. In the past years new leadership styles have evolved and amongst them is entrepreneurial leadership. Entrepreneurship is the act of taking a risk to start up a business with aim of making profit. It involves bringing together factors of production such as land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship to create goods and services. Leadership is a broad term and touches base on different aspects such as leadership in entrepreneurship.
When entrepreneurship is mentioned often what comes to mind is the aspect of making profit and the issue of culture impact is least considered. None the less that is not the case as culture has proven to have a significant impact on the enterprise specifically botho. It has a leader influence members of the group through their characteristics in order to achieve goals Ubuntu is a term derived from the Bantu Nguni languages of Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, and Ndebele (Van Binsbergen, 2001). Ubuntu is about understanding what it means to be connected to one another. Most traditional African cultures are formed at the core of Ubuntu. This study will explore the relationship between culture, entrepreneurship and leadership, discuss the leadership challenges face by leaders face in dealing with individuals from different backgrounds and finally assess how Botho is a key to leadership failure or success. It is worth mentioning that leadership is culturally contingent. That is views of the importance and values of leadership vary across cultures (Dorfman, Javidan, Hanges, Dastmalchian & House, 2012)
Explore the relationship between culture, entrepreneurship and leadership.Culture represents the shared values and norms that bind members of a society or organization together as a homogenous entity (Kuada, 2010). Employee’s behavior in an organization is led by culture. Kuada states that culture provides a frame of reference and guide for behavior of employees in work organizations. Culture does not only influence the behavior of employees in an organization but also the leaders in an organization. Cultural values influence leader behavior indirectly (Stephan and Phathak, 2016). Cultural values are shared ideals and long term goals of societies (Stephan and Phathak, 2016). Leadership is a process of social influence to achieve goals (Yukl, 2010). Entrepreneurship, culture and leadership share a common goal. They all have the ability to influence a certain group of people. According to Stephan and Phathak, (2016) entrepreneurs need to influence others around them including investors, customers, suppliers and employees to launch and sustain their business successfully.
Entrepreneurship is typically understood as new entity, i.e., the creation of a new venture (Gartner, 1989). An entrepreneur is someone who starts his or her own business. Entrepreneurs have too been characterized as an important type of leader, i.e. leaders of emerging organizations (Stephan and Phathak, 2016). In other words entrepreneurs are leaders hence entrepreneurs should be influential as leaders are very influential people. Culture influence both entrepreneurship and leadership. Cultural values influence leader behavior indirectly (Stephan and Phathak, 2016).What challenges does contemporary leadership face considering that they have to deal with individuals from different backgrounds with diverse cultural dynamics.According to English Oxford Living Dictionaries a leader is a person who leads or commands a group, organization or country.
Are leaders born or made? Leaders are made. Being born into leadership or royalty does not mean that one is a leader but gives them the opportunity to lead. A person may be born into royalty but not have the qualities of a leader. Leaders are therefore made as one has to have certain qualities to be called a leader and to say that a person is born a leader is somehow wrong as some qualities of leadership a person acquire as they grow up. A person who takes the route of being a leader faces different challenges in their journey of leadership. Both men and women leaders experience challenges while leading as they have to deal with people from different upbringings. Since people come from different cultures a leader’s leadership style will always be questioned as different people have different ways of doing things.In other cultures women are denied the opportunity to lead as they believe that a woman cannot become a leader.
According to Eagly and Carli (2007) asserted that there is a gender bias that exists such that men are associated with being leaders because they more commonly demonstrate assertive masculine traits that connote leadership, such as dominance, whereas women are less apt to be perceived as leaders because they are more likely to demonstrate communal qualities such as compassion. Women in leadership are therefore discriminated simple because they are women and that hinders their leading capabilities as they will always be oppressed by those who believe that they are superior.
The popular culture and the media perpetuate stereotypes of women of color that can make it difcult for them to be perceived as effective leaders- Can Botho (Ubuntu) our own cultural construct be a key to leadership success or failure?According to Prinsloo (2000) Ubuntu embodies a tradition of consultation and decision making by the individual and groups. Ubuntu has principles such as unconditional African collective contribution, solidarity, acceptance, nobleness, stewardship, compassion care and legitimacy. The virtue stresses much on inclusivity, reciprocity, inclusivity and promotes reconciliation in conflict situations. Ubuntu (Botho) can be applied in different areas such as politics, business, corporate governance and justice. In business Ubuntu can be applied through collective learning, team work, acceptableness, and at a local community focus.Ubuntu as a cultural construct can be a key to leadership success because Ubuntu carries the philosophy of life which goes hand in hand with the philosophy of leadership. Ubuntu leadership encourages participation.
The relationship between botho and leadershipDue to the different cultural backgrounds of people in an organization in order for one to be dubbed an exceptional leader they have to be well equipped with the cultural background of people in the organization. One of the cultural aspect to be considered a great deal locally (Botswana) is botho. Botho is so vital in leadership such that it impacts the aspect of corporate social responsibility. Another leadership principle derived from the concept of Ubuntu is the notion of collectivism and solidarity (Ncube, 2010). Botho encourages a leader to include different aspects like collectivism especially being supported by the phrase no man is an island, empowerment. Many scholars have shown that there is a desperate need for indigenous and innovative leadership approaches.
Ubuntu is a social philosophy of humanness. It promotes communicative action that can express itself, whether in entrepreneurship, a business, or other organizations. Ubuntu’s purpose is to redefine social relations so they become more egalitarian, transparent and democratic (Ncube, 2010).Culturally endorsed theory (CTL) predicts leadership behavior that is leaders behave in ways that are consistent with the desired leadership found in the focal culture, because leaders are likely to believe that a particular leadership style is effective in their culture and likewise act in accordance with their belief. Leaders who behave according to expectations are perceived to be effective in terms of developing team solidarity as well as generating strong commitment (..).This explicitly shows that indeed culture has an impact on leadership. The way a person leads should be in accordance with the way the cultural background or setting of a business. A leader is dubbed most effective based on the cultural perspective of the environment in which they lead.
It is clear that culture has an impact on leadership including leadership in the context of entrepreneurship. The most prominent cultural aspect is botho thus this piece of document serves to clearly stipulate the extent to which botho impacts leadership .To justify that culture indeed has impact on leadership the team interviewed Mr. Milton Johane as our local entrepreneur. The main purpose of this interview was to find out his view on leadership and botho. Mr. Johane mentioned that every company has certain culture which is known as organizational culture (a way of running of the company) and it is very important for every organization to have a culture that is separate from all the employees’ background that helps it jell into one.
The entrepreneur mentioned some pointers on the relation of botho as setho’ and that it cannot be ignored when dealing and running a business; however an organization should have one that connects them. The aspect of botho comes naturally and respect that resonates with personal experiences with regards to the university life where we attend and do assignments with people from different backgrounds ,culture ethnic but that is not really a barrier because we all have a common goal that we have to achieve despite our differences.Other values that Mr.johane upholds other than botho are work ethic which he explained is falling short in Botswana, relating this to personal experience it is true as many organization’s employees portray poor ethic and this contradicts the concept of botho. For example, Batswana have the mindset of
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Cite this essay
African Culture in the Context of Entrepreneurship. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/african-culture-in-the-context-of-entrepreneurship-essay