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Western humanism, African humanism and work organisations

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Author(s): H J Pietersen

Journal: South African Journal of Industrial Psychology
ISSN 0258-5200

Volume: 31;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Western humanism | African humanism | Work organizations

ABSTRACT
Comparison of Western (WH) and African humanism (AH) shows overlapping and complementary approaches to human nature in work organisations. The extant literature is conceptually, empirically and methodologically inadequate, and fails to consider 21st century employment realities. Shortcomings of WH and AH are presented. A dynamic and mutualistic approach to human nature, that includes both self-assertive (individualist) and self transcending (collectivist) tendencies, is briefly outlined. It provides a more comprehensive approach to humanism, for better understanding of human behaviour at work. There is currently too much rhetoric in the field. More research, especially the use of qualitative and narrative interpretive methodologies is required. Opsomming Vergelyking van Westerse (WH) met Afrika (AH) opvattings oor humanisme in werkorganisasies toon, verskille ten spyt, dat oorvleueling en aanvullende benaderingsmoontlikhede bestaan. Die betrokke literatuur is tans konseptueel, empiries en metodologies onvoldoende. Moderne indiensnemingsrealiteite word ook nie verreken nie. Tekortkominge in beide Westerse en Afrika humanisme word aangetoon. Navolging van ’n dinamiese en resiprokale benadering wat beide self-gelding (individualisties) en self-transendering (kollektiwisties) in menslike natuur insluit, word voorgehou as ’n meer omvattende beskouing wat ’n beter begrip van gedrag in werkorganisasies bied. Daar is heelwat retoriek in aansprake betreffende Afrika humanisme. Verdere navorsing, veral begronde en interpreterende studies, is noodsaaklik.
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