Africa Journal of Management Special Issue Call for Papers

Building High-Performing Organizations in Africa

Africa Journal of Management

Recent reports on Africa indicate that the continent is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, second to East Asia. To sustain this performance, it is important that African organizations, for-profit and non-profit, compete not only in Africa but also globally. This special issue explores the theme of building high-performing organizations in Africa, the theme of the 4th biennial conference of the Africa Academy of Management (AFAM) held in Addis Ababa in January 2018.  African organizations can be categorized as: i) subsidiaries of multinational corporations, ii) organizations owned by foreign nationals, and iv) organizations owned and operated by Africans themselves.  How well these organizations perform is significant not only for industrial growth but also for national development across countries in Africa.  

The Africa Journal of Management (AJOM) invites submissions of high quality papers that address the special issue theme of building high-performing organizations in Africa.  We welcome original and unpublished empirical and conceptual papers that draw inspirations from different theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. The submissions are not limited to those presented at the AFAM conference, and must not be under consideration for publication anywhere else.

High-performing organizations are often defined as organizations that obtain superior performance over an extended period of time (Nelson & Mathews, 1991; Rodgers & Bamford, 2002; de Waal, 2005; Gulati & Kletter, 2005; Lawler, 2005). For example, de Waal (2005), contends that a high-performing organization is one that achieves financial and non-financial results that are exceedingly better than those of its peer group over a period of five years or more by focusing in a disciplined way on that which really matters to the organization. There are five success factors of high-performance organizations identified in the literature: quality of management, openness and action orientation, long-term orientation, continuous improvement, and quality of employees. To compete with their counterparts from the West and other parts of the world, African companies and organizations must perform well on these indicators.  This call for papers encourages scholars and practitioners to explore the nature of, and the process of creating, high performing organizations in Africa.

Possible Topics to Explore

This special issue is particularly interesting in exploring the following questions:

  • What is the meaning of high-performing organizations in the context of Africa?  
  • What institutional factors facilitate or impede the creation of high-performing organizations in Africa?
  • What leadership and/or management styles are required to develop high-performing organizations in Africa?
  • How can ethical and sustainable management ideals and practices facilitate the creation of high-performing organizations in the context of institutional voids?
  • To what extent can informal institutional factors, such as culture, the role of the extended family, and cosmic justice facilitate or impede the creation of high-performing organizations in Africa?
  • What human resources management practices can facilitate the creation of high-performing organizations?
  • What are the management structures of African organizations and how do they impact the creation of high-performing organizations?
  • What factors could facilitate (or impede) the emergence of African multinationals?
  • To what extent can management philosophies such as Ubuntu or indigenous knowledge systems contribute to the development of high-performing organizations?

This list is not exhaustive but authors must address the topic of high-performing organizations in the context of Africa.

Submission Guidelines & Process

All submitted manuscripts should be prepared according to the publication guidelines of the Africa Journal of Management. Authors must specify the Special Issue on High-Performing Organizations when submitting their papers in their notes to the Editor.

All the manuscripts should be submitted via the AJOM submission portal before the submission deadline on August 31, 2018

All inquiries regarding this special issue should be addressed to the Guest Editors. 


De Waal, A. 2007. The characteristics of high-performing organizations. Business Strategy Series, 18(3), 179-185.

Gulati, R., & Kletter, D. 2005. Shrinking core, expanding periphery: The relational architecture of high-performing organizations. California Management Review, 47(3), 77-104.

Nelson, R. E., & Mathews, K. M. 1991. Network characteristics of high-performing organizations. International Journal of Business Communication, 28(4), 367-386.

Lawler, III, E. E. 2005. Creating high-performing organizations. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43(1), 10-17.

Rodgers, P. R., & Bamford, C. E. 2002. Information planning process and strategic orientation: The importance of fit in high-performing organizations. Journal of Business Research, 55(3), 205-215.

Editorial information