Case 3: Dealing with Organisational Structures, Decision-Making and Participation in the Zambian Textile Industry

  • Christian Martin Boness
  • Naiming Wei
  • Claude-Hélène Mayer
Part of the Palgrave Studies in African Leadership book series (PSAL)


Zambia, a landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa, has many natural resources and industries, including a flourishing textile industry. Zambia-China Mulungushi Textiles Limited is a joint venture company based in Kabwe, Zambia, which manufactures and markets textiles. After a decade of standstill, the organisation was reopened in 2016. However, during the past few years, some issues have arisen regarding decision-making and participation of local employees. Many Zambian employees feel disrespected by their Chinese managers. Mrs Kabelo, a qualified design maker who is in middle management, is promoting new African-style textile designs, which could attract more customers and protect the organisation from a second shutdown. How should she approach the Chinese management? At a meeting of the Zambian employees aiming to reach an agreement, they discuss how to access the Chinese management and decide to write an official letter using language that is interculturally sound. Is it appropriate to use Chinese idioms to open the ears of Chinese management to hear the Zambian issues on participating in decision-making to promote modern African design patterns and colours?


Decision-making Chinese idioms Meaning of colours Ubuntu Share value concept Balanced Scorecard 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Martin Boness
    • 1
  • Naiming Wei
    • 2
  • Claude-Hélène Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of Applied ScienceNurembergGermany

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