Why it would be bad for a project manager to believe that Africa is all about low standards and low quality
Chamamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her video talks about dangers of a single story and how it directly relates to the achievement gap. She cites that only knowing one story make someone have a narrow mind and/or perspective about a situation.
She states that some people she interacted with only knew Africa as a dark continent, a case which is not correct.
The following are the reasons why it is bad for a project manager to believe that Africa was all about low standards and low quality:
1. Bad Leadership
The project manager needs to provide leadership to the project team and hence if he/or she believes one story that Africa is all about low quality and standards without proper research, he/or she may miss out on the strengths and opportunities to be gained from the continent as a whole.
Therefore a good project manager need to needs to have an open mind to embrace diverse views in order for the project to succeed.
2. Culture or Ethical Misalignment
Culture concerns itself with the ideological aspects of technology, comprising values, ideas and creativity, all of which are organizing factors of culture. Making decisions based on the notion that Africa was all about low standards and low quality would reduce culture into one aspect which is usually that of negative aspect.
The authors further suggest that a cultural analysis should be undertaken to facilitate the planning and implementation of organizational change. (Mallinger et al, 1999).
Therefore the project manager needs to carry-out a cultural analysis which involves the following:
(i) Identify & describe facts;
(ii) Define the conflict or dilemma & identify the higher values involved (e.g. protection vs. Privacy);
(iii) Identify their potential consequences of not carrying a cultural analysis
Context includes factors which can be barriers to communication and these can in turn include the relationships between the parties/stakeholders involved in the project. If for example the Project Manager comes from the western world supervising a team from Africa, a conflict may occur because of the perception by the Project Manager. Therefore a Project Manager needs to be open minded and not stereotype.