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Share your research with the Africa Journal of Management

Abstract Deadline: 22 February 2019

Special Issue

Multilevel Perspective on Leadership in the African Context

A number of leadership theories (e.g., transformational (Burns, 1978; Bass & Avolio, 1994), transactional (Bass, 1990), servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1970; Van Dierendonck, 2011)) have been developed in Western countries and constantly utilized to describe leaders’ behaviors and their effectiveness. These theories predominately received support in Western (e.g., Hiller, DeChurch, Murase, & Doty, 2011) and, increasingly, in Eastern countries particularly, China (e.g., Fahr, Early, & Lin, 1997; Kirkman, Chen, Farh, Chen, & Lowe, 2009; Pellegrini & Scandura, 2008). Until recently, there has been limited research in regards to leadership in Africa. In the last decade, however, there has been a growing interest in leadership in Africa at various levels (see a review by Fourie, van der Merwe, & van der Merwe, 2017; Muchiri, 2011; Zoogah & Nkomo, 2013). Despite these efforts, research on leadership in Africa is still in its infancy. Reflecting the dire need for research in leadership (and management, in general), Nkomo (2017) called for generating theories and practices for Africa.

In this special issue, we seek studies that address leadership in Africa at multiple levels, including micro-, entrepreneurial, and macro-levels. From the micro-level perspective, we seek manuscripts that address leaders’ roles in shaping employees’ attitudes and behaviors. From the entrepreneurial perspective, we seek studies that are focused on the role of entrepreneurial leadership in promoting and creating new ventures. From the strategic leadership perspective, we seek for manuscripts that deal with the role of strategic leaders in formulating and implementing firm strategies and achieving strategic advantage. Both conceptual and empirical studies (utilizing qualitative or quantitative research methods) are welcome. Some potential topics may include, but not limited to:

  • What does “leadership” mean in Africa—conceptualization of the leadership construct in the African context.
  • Are there indigenous leadership approaches in Africa? If so, to what extent do they resemble or differ from established, Western leadership perspectives?
  • Are current Western leadership theories applicable to African context? What are the conditions under which those theories may or may not apply?
  • Is there an African “identity” that is important for leadership research?
  • How do African values, culture, and systems influence leadership and leadership emergence?
  • How does the interaction between the leaders and followers shape employees, unit, and firm performance?
  • What are the distinctive attributes (if any) of African entrepreneurial leaders? How do these entrepreneurial leaders navigate the increasingly uncertain, complex and informal institutional environment around them?
  • What role does the informal sector play in shaping the emergence of entrepreneurial leaders? How does the institutional and socio-political environment influence entrepreneurial leadership in Africa?
  • What are the processes through which leaders emerge in the context of small, informal entrepreneurial firms in Africa?
  • What are some of the barriers/challenges entrepreneurial leaders face in Africa?
  • How and to what extent do individual, organizational, and contextual factors (separately or jointly) account for differences in quality of strategic leadership of organizations in Africa?
  • What roles do strategic leaders play in creating shared value for their organizations and communities in Africa?
  • What are the strategic leadership capabilities needed for coping with the contradictions, paradoxes and tensions within the African context?
  • How do extreme contexts (i.e. ones characterized as risky, emergency, or disrupted; Hallgren, Rouleau, & De Rond, 2018) shape the emergence, viability and sustainability of strategic leadership in Africa?
  • What is the role of strategic leadership in building and sustaining cross-sector (or public-private) partnerships in Africa?

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts due: February 22, 2019
Full length manuscript: April 30, 2019
Final manuscript: November 15, 2019
Publication (online): March 15, 2020
Publication (in print): Issue 6.2 April/May, 2020

We will use a double-blind review process. Please submit your abstract through our submission portal. For further information, please contact Dr. Michael Abebe, Dr. Augustine Lado, or Dr. Amanuel Tekleab.

Africa Journal of Management

Table of Contents for Africa Journal of Management. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

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Bass, B. M. (1990). From Transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, 18, 19-31.
Bass, B.M.& Avolio, B.J. (Eds.). (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
Burns, J.M, (1978), Leadership, N.Y, Harper and Row.
Fahr, J.-L., Earley, P. C., & Lin, S.-C. (1997). Impetus for action: A cultural analysis of justice and organizational citizenship behavior in Chinese society. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42: 421–444.
Fourie, W., van der Merwe, S. C., van der Merwe, B. (2017). Sixty years of research on leadership in Africa: A review of the literature. Leadership, 13, 222-251.
Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness. Paulist Press, New York, NY.
Hallgren, M., Rouleau, L., & De Rond, M. (2018). A matter of life or death: How extreme context research matters for management and organization studies. Academy of Management Annals, 12(1): 111-153.
Hiller, N., DeChurch, L.A., Murase, T. & Doty, D. (2011). Searching for outcomes of leadership: A 25-year review. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1137-1177.
Kirkman, B. L., Chen, G., Farh, J.-L., Chen, Z. X., & Lowe, K. B. 2009. Individual power distance orientation and follower reactions to transformational leaders: A cross-level, cross-cultural examination. Academy of Management Journal, 52(4): 744–764.
Muchiri, M. K. (2011). Leadership in context: A review and research agenda for sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 84, 440-452.
Nkomo, S. M. (2017). Time to Look in the Mirror: ProducingManagement Theory and Knowledge for Africa. Africa Journal of Management, 3: 7-16.
Pellegrini, E., & Scandura, T. A. 2008. Paternalistic leadership: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Management, 34: 566–593.
Van Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1228-1261.
Zoogah, D.B., & Nkomo, S. (2013). Management research in Africa: Past, present and future. In
T.R. Lituchy, B.J. Punnett, & B.B. Puplampu (Eds.), Management in Africa: Macro and micro perspectives (pp. 9–31). London: Routledge.