• Claude-Hélène Mayer
Part of the Palgrave Studies in African Leadership book series (PSAL)


This introductory chapter provides an insight into intercultural and international communication between employees from African countries and China. It highlights that communication and cooperation practices across cultures can be improved through intercultural competences to manage the contemporary challenges in Chinese-African business interactions successfully. This chapter gives the reader an insight into which intercultural competences are needed in international management in the specific contexts. It also presents and explains the aim and purpose of the book and its content.


Intercultural communication Chinese-African interaction International success Intercultural competences Managing intercultural business challenges 


  1. African Economic Outlook. (2014). Trade Policies and Regional Integration in Africa. Retrieved from
  2. Barak, M. E. M. (2013). Managing Diversity. Towards a Globally Inclusive Workplace (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. BBC News. (2015, December 9). Zuma Says China-Africa Co-operation ‘Win-Win’. Retrieved from
  4. Berardo, K., & Deardorff, D. K. (2012). Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Activities and Models. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Bird, A., & Fang, T. (2009). Cross Cultural Management in the Age of Globalization. (Editorial). International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 9(2), 139–143.Google Scholar
  6. Bräutigam, D. (2009). The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bräutigam, D., & Tan, X. (2011). African Shenzhen: China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa. Journal of Modern African Studies, 49(1), 27–35.Google Scholar
  8. Brewster, C., Carey, L., Grobler, P., Holland, P., & Wärnich, S. (2008). Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage (3rd ed.). Cape Town: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Deardorff, D. K. (Ed.). (2009). The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.Google Scholar
  10. Glasl, F. (1994). Das Unternehmen der Zukunft: Moralische Intuiion in der Gestaltung von Organisationen. Stuttgart: Haupt Verlag.Google Scholar
  11. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  12. Goleman, D., Boyatzkis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal Leadership. Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.Google Scholar
  13. Gudykunst, W. B. (Ed.). (1986). Intergroup Communication. Baltimore: E. Arnold.Google Scholar
  14. Gudykunst, W. B. (2005). Theorizing about Intercultural Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Gudykunst, W. B., & Kim, Y. Y. (1997). Communicating with Strangers: An Approach to Intercultural Communication. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond Culture. Garden City, NJ: Anchor.Google Scholar
  17. Hammer, M. R. (2015). The Developmental Paradigm for Intercultural Competence Research. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 48, 12–13.Google Scholar
  18. Handley, R. C., & Louw, M. J. (2016, September). The Similarities and Differences between South African and Chinese Definitions and Descriptions of Leadership Style: A Mining Joint Venture Case Study. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Southern African Institute of Management Scientists. Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar
  19. Hellriegel, D., Jackson, S. E., Slocum, J., Staude, G., Amos, T., Klopper, H. H., et al. (2007). Management (2nd ed.). Cape Town: Oxford Southern Africa.Google Scholar
  20. Hofstede, G. (1995). The Business of International Business Is Culture. In T. Jackson (Ed.), Cross-cultural Management. Boston: Butterworth Heinemann.Google Scholar
  21. International Council for Science (ICSU). (2002). Resilience and Sustainable Development. Science Background Paper Commissioned by the Environmental Advisory Council of Swedish Government in Preparation for WSSD. Series on Science for Sustainable Development. No.3. Retrieved from
  22. Jackson, T., Louw, L., & Zhao, S. (2013). China in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for HRM Policy and Practice at Organizational Level. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(13), 2512–2533.Google Scholar
  23. Jordan, P. J., Ashkanasy, N. M., & Härtel, C. E. J. (2002). Emotional Intelligence in Work Teams: Construct Definition and Measurement. Paper presented at the 2nd Biennial Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  24. Kamoche, K., Chizema, A., Mellahi, K., & Newenham-Kahindi, A. (2012). New Directions in the Management of Human Resources in Africa. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(14), 2825–2834.Google Scholar
  25. Kaplinsky, R., & Morris, M. (2009). Chinese FDI in Sub-Saharan Africa: Engaging with Large Dragons. European Journal of Development Research, 21(4), 551–569.Google Scholar
  26. Leiba-O’Sullivan, S. (1999). The Distinction between Stable and Dynamic Cross-cultural Competencies: Implications for Expatriate Trainability. Journal of International Business Studies, 30(4), 709–725.Google Scholar
  27. Leung, K., Ang, S., & Tan, M. L. (2014). Intercultural Competence. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behaviour, 1, 489–519.Google Scholar
  28. Lloyd, S., & Härtel, E. J. (2003, March). The Intercultural Competencies Required for Inclusive and Effective Culturally Diverse Work Teams (Working paper). Melbourne: Monash University.Google Scholar
  29. Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2015). Reconsidering Intercultural (Communication) Competence in the Workplace: A Dialectical Approach. Language and Intercultural Communication, 15(1), 13–28.Google Scholar
  30. Mayer, C.-H. (2008a). Managing Conflict Across Cultures, Values and Identities: A Case Study in the South African Automotive Industry. Stuttgart: Tectum.Google Scholar
  31. Mayer, C.-H. (2008b). Trainingshandbuch interkulturelle Mediation und Konlfiktbearbeitung. 2. Auflage. Münster: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  32. Mayer, C.-H. (2011). The Meaning of Sense of Coherence in Transcultural Management (Internationale Hochschulschriften Series). Münster: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  33. Mayer, C.-H., Boness, C. M., & Louw, L. (2017). Perceptions of Chinese and Tanzanian Employees Regarding Intercultural Collaboration. South African Journal of Human Resource Management, 15, a921. Retrieved from Scholar
  34. Mayer, C.-H., Boness, C. M., Louw, L., & Louw, M. J. (2016, September). Intra- and Inter-group Perceptions of Chinese and Tanzanian Employees in Intercultural Cooperation. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Southern African Institute of Management Scientists. Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar
  35. Mayer, C.-H., & Krause, C. (2011). Promoting Mental Health and Salutogenesis in Transcultural Organisational and Work Contexts. International Review of Psychiatry, 23(6), 495–500.Google Scholar
  36. Mayer, C.-H., & Louw, L. (2012). Managing Cross-cultural Conflicts in Organizations. (Editorial). International Journals of Cross Cultural Management, 12(1), 3–8.Google Scholar
  37. Mayer, C.-H., Tonelli, L., Oosthuizen, R. M., & Surtee, S. (2018). You Have to Keep Your Head on Your Shoulders’: A Systems Psychodynamic Perspective on Women Leaders. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 44(0), a1424. Retrieved from Scholar
  38. Mayer, J., & Salovey, P. (1994). The Intelligence of Emotional Intelligence. Intelligence, 17(4), 433–442.Google Scholar
  39. Michelle, L., Bateman, A., Gerrity, R., & Myint, H. H. (2017). Bridging Transitions Through Cultural Understanding and Identity. Pedagogies of Educational Transitions, 16, 29–42.Google Scholar
  40. Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2016). Managing Cultural Differences (9th ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Moreland, R. L., Levine, J. M., & Wingert, M. L. (2013). Creating the Ideal Group: Composition Effects at Work. In E. Witte & J. H. Davis (Eds.), Understanding Group Behaviour. Small Group Processes and Interpersonal Relations (Vol. 2, pp. 11–36). New York: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  42. Ni, N. (2015). Gaining Momentum: Johannesburg Summit to Consolidate China-Africa Partnership. FOCAC Johannesburg Summit. [Special issue], 20–23.Google Scholar
  43. Okech, J. E. A., Pimpleton-Gray, A. M., Vannatta, E., & Champe, J. (2016). Intercultural Conflict in Groups. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 41(4), 350–369.Google Scholar
  44. Park, Y. J., & Alden, C. (2013). ‘Upstairs’ and ‘Downstairs’ Dimensions of China and the Chinese in South Africa. In The South African Human Rights Commission’s Publication. State of the Nation. Retrieved from,and,Chinese,in,SA_YJParkCAlden.doc
  45. Pellowski, A. (2016). The Importance of Storytelling in Developing Cultural Understanding. In A. Y. Goldsmith, T. Heras, & S. Corapo (Eds.), Reading the World’s Stories. An Annotated Biography of Intercultural Literature (pp. 7–8). London: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  46. Rosen, R., Digh, P., Singer, M., & Phillips, C. (2000). Global Literacies: Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  47. Sabee, C. M. (2015). Interpersonal Communication Skill/Competence. The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication. Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  48. Samovar, L., Porter, R., McDaniel, E., & Roy, C. (2014). Intercultural Communication: A reader. Boston: Cengage.Google Scholar
  49. Schnabel, D., Kelava, A., van de Vijver, F. J. R., & Seifert, L. (2015). Examining Psychometric Properties, Measurement Invariance, and Construct Validity of a Short Version of the Test to Measure Intercultural Competence (TMIC-S) in Germany and Brazil. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 49, 137–155. Scholar
  50. Schwartz, T. (1992). Anthropology and Psychology. An Unrequired Relationship. In T. Schwartz, G. White, & G. Lutz (Eds.), New Directions in Psychological Anthropology. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Spencer-Rodgers, J., & McGovern, T. (2002). Attitudes toward the Culturally Different: The Role of Intercultural Communication Barriers, Affective Responses, Consensual Stereotypes, and Perceived Threat. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 26, 609–631.Google Scholar
  52. Spitzberg, B. H. (2007). CSRS: The Conversational Skills Rating Scale: An Instructional Assessment of Interpersonal Competence. NCA Diagnostic Series (2nd ed.). Annandale, VA: National Communication Association.Google Scholar
  53. Ting-Toomey, S. (2007). Researching Intercultural Conflict Competence. Journal of International Communication, 13, 7–30.Google Scholar
  54. UNESCO. (2009). World Report No. 2: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from
  55. UNESCO. (2013). Intercultural Competences. Conceptional and Operational Framework. Paris, France: UNESCO. Retrieved from Scholar
  56. Wang, D., Freeman, S., & Zhu, C. J. (2013). Personality Traits and Cross-cultural Competence of Chinese Expatriate Managers: A Socio-analytic and Institutional Perspective. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(20), 1–9.Google Scholar
  57. Xing, Y., Liu, Y., Tarba, S. Y., & Cooper, C. L. (2016). Intercultural Influences on Managing African Employees of Chinese Firms in Africa: Chinese Managers’ HRM Practices. International Business Review, 25(1 Part A), 28–41. Scholar
  58. Yum, J. O. (1982). Communication Diversity and Information Acquisition among Korean Immigrants in Hawaii. Human Communication Research, 8, 154–169.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude-Hélène Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations