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Towards a Collective-Values Framework of Ubuntu: Implications for Workplace Commitment



Objective: This research offers an extension of current research on commitment across cultures. It incorporates the concept of Ubuntu as an integrating model that can be paired up with other perspectives for directing employee workplace commitment.
Research Design & Methods: A literature review entailing concepts related to cross-cultures and their relationship to Ubuntu and commitment was considered. The review spanning 50 years covered online-databases of global and African research.
Findings: We argue here that the conceptualisation of Ubuntu is important in adapting currently accepted cultural frameworks as operationalised by individualism, collectivism and power distance dimensions for regional management application. Ubuntu collective values (compassion, survival, group solidarity, respect and dignity), which relate affirmatively with a sense of workplace collectivism, was identified as a unique element of cultural management philosophy for directing personal interactions, workplace commitment and performance management improvements.
Implications & Recommendations: Ubuntu should be facilitated by managers
as a motivational force that facilitates workplace commitment ensuring organisational team performance. The implications of Ubuntu in the context of extending existing theories of individualism-collectivism and power distance cannot be overstated.
Contribution & Value Added: A model based on relationships between Ubuntu collective values and EWC, applicable with contextual managerial frameworks.


performance management, South Africa, workplace commitment

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Author Biography

Thembisile Molose


Cape Town Hotel School

Faculty of Business and Management Science

Cape Peninsula University of Technology


Geoff Goldman

Head of Department: Department of Business Management                              
Managing Editor: Acta Commercii                                                                          
Johannesburg Business School, College of Business and Economics
University of Johannesburg
Office: D-Ring 521A (Auckland Park), Tel: +27 11 559 3172
Johannesburg, 2006

Peta Thomas


Department of Business Management, Johannesburg Business School, College of Business and Economics



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