African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4062

Full Length Research Paper

Diversity management discourse: An African perspective

Loliya Akobo
  • Loliya Akobo
  • Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom.
  • Google Scholar
Osikwemhe Damisah
  • Osikwemhe Damisah
  • School of Business and Enterprise, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton Campus, UK
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 12 April 2017
  •  Accepted: 26 February 2018
  •  Published: 14 July 2018


This paper reviews the concept of diversity across selected sub-Saharan Africa countries. It focuses on the impact of social relations that depict cultural and social identities of individuals within these African countries. This is with the aim to help corporations develop diversity management strategies for their workforce. Consequently, this narrative paper adopts a qualitative approach, a literature survey that assesses views on diversity in Africa by critically exploring discussions on the formation of social identities, dominant diversity dimensions and approaches to managing diversity in the region. The paper reveals challenges in managing the existing socio-cultural formations in African states and further reveals the role of state institutions in managing these diversity concerns from a national perspective which ultimately feeds into corporations. The paper highlights the impact of the lack of diversity management strategies on national development planning and how this results in limited access to social services and lack of opportunities in the workplace, especially in relations to gender equality; thereby, slowing the progress towards achieving equality and capacity development. This paper significantly contributes to understanding and developing diversity management approaches relevant to sub-Saharan African States and acts as a catalyst for more in-depth research in managing diversity within African States.

Key words: Diversity management, Africa, development, management.