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Globalised governance norms and local management and business practices in Africa and on the Arab peninsula

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MANAGLOBAL (Globalised governance norms and local management and business practices in Africa and on the Arab peninsula)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-12-31

"ManaGlobal stands for “Globalised governance norms and local management and business practices in Africa and on the Arab peninsula” and is a research project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 823744.
ManaGlobal is an innovative and empirical research project that explores the different types of local management approaches in selected African and Arab countries and analyses the gap between globalized norms and standards of management and doing business with those practiced locally. The project investigates how local practices that are often depicted with “poor governance and bad management” can be transformed into economic opportunities by the development of hybrid and innovative management approaches through fieldwork research and staff exchanges, in addition to summer/winter schools, workshops and conferences that facilitate knowledge sharing between the partners. This is being realized by a collaborative consortium of 16 African, Arab and European partners, from 8 countries, involving researchers, business leaders, and institutional decision-makers.
The main aim of the ManaGlobal project is to study and understand the hybridization of business and management practices in African and Arab countries, and to develop a theoretical framework that may help future business leaders and managers to successfully act locally and think globally. This project is important because it will provide a clearer diagnosis and a better understanding of the practice of business and management in African and Arab countries that would contribute to the improvement of local economies, the development of better transnational investments between European, African and Arab companies, the creation of more employment opportunities, and the reduction of migration to the European continent.
The overall objectives of ManaGlobal project are: 1) To conduct collaborative empirical research involving experienced and early career researchers from all the partner institutions; 2) To exchange knowledge and skills on conducting cross-cultural research and build research capacity through research placements, workshops, seminars, conferences and fieldwork; 3) To produce case studies based on concrete management experiences in ""real life"" from ethnographic study and the profiling of education, training and business backgrounds of African/Arab successful company managers; 4) To develop a research-based theoretical framework for the understanding of business and management practices in African/Arab companies; and 5) To make recommendations to policy and decision-makers and to design training programmes on “business and management of organizations” in African and Arab countries to future local and international leaders and managers.

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project (For the final period, include the conclusions of the action)"
ManaGlobal will focus on achieving the following tasks:
1. To conduct collaborative empirical research by applying similar research approaches in all participating countries involving experienced and early career researchers from all the partner institutions.
2. To exchange knowledge and skills on conducting cross-cultural research and on how business is conducted and organizations are locally and globally managed. A key element of this collaborative project is capacity building through research placements, workshops, seminars, conferences and fieldwork.
3. To establish the background, the education and the career of business leaders and managers of industrial and commercial enterprises of selected countries.
4. To collect ethnographic data and produce business related and organization-based case studies from which it will be possible to develop a theoretical framework on how business is conducted and organizations are managed in African and Arab countries.
5. To propose a cutting edge theoretical framework that is empirically evidenced on business and management practices in African and Arab countries.
ManaGlobal will become a prime producer of knowledge on business and management in Africa and the Arab countries and as such will have a lasting impact on the wider research and innovation community beyond the region. Research will progress through the development of field training and networking activities; the results of ManaGlobal will represent a landmark of intellectual and social achievement and a future model for successful collaborative projects. In addition, the development of teaching modules on business, management, research methods and corporate governance in Africa and the Arab world has the potential to impact on national and international curricula, and to transform the way we look at cross-cultural management and corporate governance.
The societal impact will thus be significant as it will help to understand the vast economic sector of the South that has been influenced by neoliberal globalization and corporate networks created in Africa and on the Arab peninsula. An understanding of the hybrid nature of Southern businesses and of intercultural exchange will contribute to a better functioning of these entities, a better contribution to the economy of the country and a strategy of avoidance of conflicts between different categories of enterprises, characterized by types of globalized governance and various local business practices. Direct contacts with local schools of business and management will make our results known to the business world in the regions included in the project and local entrepreneurs. Professional networks of alumni of business schools that the members of the consortium will be able to access, will increase the visibility of the project and its impact on local businesses and enterprises. Access to local business and management schools will provide opportunities for implementation in areas that are not yet explored, and the consolidation of knowledge and skills generated by ManaGlobal.
The dissemination activities will have an impact on the economic success of business leaders and enterprises in the countries participating in the project but also in further countries of the region and worldwide. The results of the project will be disseminated widely to enterprises, universities, business institutes, and policy-making organizations. It is expected that ManaGlobal will open up new paths of research and teaching mainly in Business schools that will have to think over their links to northern universities and Western research outcomes. Professional associations of young businessmen and businesswomen will be interested in the research outcomes of the ManaGlobal project and the online courses developed by UR2. The close links of university institutes in the South with political and economic leaders (employer organizations) will permit to create new programmes for young people who want to create a business, thus influencing economic policies in the countries of the region.
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