African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4083

Full Length Research Paper

South African values: A reflection on its ‘Western’ base

  Werner Soontiens1* and Johan W. De Jager2  
  1International Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology, Australia. 2Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 1218BD717442
  • Vol.2(12), pp. 222-229 , December 2008
  •  Accepted: 28 November 2008
  •  Published: 31 December 2008



The historical socio-political development of South Africa renders a unique environment in respect of the influence of ‘Western’ cultural values impacting on ‘African’ values. This papers sets out to reflect on the values held by African youth based on a pre-existing ‘Western’ scale. In the first instance the nature of values is considered with a particular focus on group and organisational interaction. This is followed by the consideration of ‘African’ realities and their impact on trends towards convergence and divergence of values. The third part of the paper reflects on data collected from 182 young Africans by considering the nature and validity of value clusters. Overall the data provide mixed results in that clusters show different levels of cohesiveness (reliability) and importance. The most cohesive ‘environment’ cluster is deemed least important while the least reliable clusters of ‘family life’ and ‘lifestyle’ are deemed significantly more important. Although more reliable as clusters, the ‘job and work’ and ‘social and community’ clusters are deemed more important.


Key words: Culture, values, westernization.