A theoretical and empirical analysis of gender differences within the African business environment
Van Vrede, Felicity
Visagie, Jan C.
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The objective of this exploratory study was to determine whether there are any differences in the use of conflict-handling (management) styles between men and women among entrepreneurs of small businesses in South Africa, and to compare the results against the conflict-handling styles used by male and female executives in organisations in Nigeria. The empirical research was done by applying the Rahim Organizational Inventory (roc ii) model. The results revealed that, although slight, a variance in conflict-handling styles exists between males and females, respectively. In South Africa, females tend to make use of the integrating style on a more frequent basis than males do to manage conflict with subordinates. Males registered a strong negative correlation between integrating, dominating and compromising styles. The study also compared results of a similar study done on executives in Nigeria. The results of the Nigerian sample are similar to that of the South African sample, in that both males and females tend to use the integrating style more frequently. Also, there is a slight indication that Nigerians have marginally lower concern for self than South Africans do.