Integrating Chinese and African Culture into Human Resource Management Practice to Enhance Employee Job Satisfaction
Foreign enterprises find themselves working in multicultural environments. This is the case that most foreign organizations find themselves in when investing in African countries that calls for integrating different cultural values into the management of human resources in order to enhance job satisfaction consequently business performance. Since her establishment China has had good relationship with Africa both economically and politically in her endeavour to foster international relationships. China’s presence in Africa has been significant in terms of investments, transferring management practices and creating new integration of different cultural values. Research has shown that there are similarities between Africa’s Ubuntu culture and the Chinese Confucius philosophy that might form a strong pillar for Chinese investments in this part of the world. However, it is envisioned that there are inherent challenges faced by both Chinese and African practitioners that might call for revolutionary actions to untangle the barriers in other cultural dimensions such as work attitudes, trust, the place of work in one’s life and what employees’ value in work in this complex management transfer process. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and Hofstede and Bond (1988) Confucian Dynamism values that have been widely used in studying culture’s influence in cross cultural management across the world and Asia respectively are used as a basis for comparing African and Chinese culture to reveal areas of convergence or divergence. It is generally recognized that culturally insensitive attitudes and behaviours stemming from ignorance or from misguided beliefs not only are inappropriate but also often cause international business failures. Therefore, it is argued that an awareness of cultural differences is essential for HR managers at headquarters as well as in the host location. Chinese firms operating in Africa could be more successful when they integrate Chinese and African cultures in managing HR activities like hiring, promoting, rewarding, and dismissal in order to influence employee job satisfaction in a host country in Africa. This paper examines the transfer of Chinese management practices, integration of Chinese and African cultures in fostering a climate of job satisfaction among employees to enhance organization performance. This paper is aimed at setting a research agenda for further research in Sino-Africa business relationships.
Key Words: China, Africa, Culture, Investment, job satisfaction, performance, value orientations