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Call for Papers - SAJBM Women in Business in Africa

Submitted by AFAM on Thu, 02/06/2020 - 1:14am

Invitation from the South African Journal of Business Management to contribute to the Special Edition: Women in business in Africa

Submission due date: 30 June 2020

Guest editors:

Prof Anita Bosch, USB Chair: Women at work, University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa. Email:

Prof Lize Booysen, Graduate School of Leadership and Change, Antioch University, USA; Adjunct Faculty, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC, USA; Professor Extraordinaire, University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa. Email:

Background to the special issue:
The South African Journal of Business Management (SAJBM) has been disseminating research that has real significance for management and leadership theory and practice. The focus of the journal falls into two categories within the business environment, namely managerial and leadership theory and management and leadership practice.

A review of the articles published in the SAJBM, specifically relating to women employees, managers, leaders and entrepreneurs, revealed that twelve articles were published over a 40 year period, with the first, authored by Sandra van der Merwe and titled “A portrait of the South African woman manager”, appearing in 1979, ten years after the initiation of the SAJBM. During the eighties, titles of two studies published indicate the tentative positioning of topics advocating women’s rights, with the late Rita Kellerman asking whether working women and organisations were compatible, and Truida Prekel penning an article titled “Why a special look at women?” The late Ronel Erwee wrote two important articles, the first proposing entrepreneurship as a career option for women (1987), given the fact that women were not necessarily welcomed in the corporate world at the time. Her second article (1992) addressed the issue of organisational variables that influence female advancement in South Africa. The last contribution by Ronel heralded a period of drought for articles about women at work which was only broken in 2005 with an article by Akinola on gender and structure in the cocoa industry in Nigeria. More recent gender articles in the SAJBM, amongst others, problematised women through the queen bee syndrome (Johnson & Mathur-Helm, 2013), investigated work-family conflict (Bagriam & Harrison, 2013), reported on gender differences in workplace spirituality (Nasurdin, Nejati & Mei, 2013), explored women’s leadership competencies (Samuel & Mokoaleli, 2017), related cultural influences on innovation among female entrepreneurs (Idris, 2010), and on women’s entrepreneurial cognitive ambidexterity (de Villiers Scheepers, Boschoff & Oostenbrink, 2017). Three more articles published in the SAJBM considered differences between men and women, outside the work context, as users of technology (Kotze, Anderson & Summerfield, 2016; Nel & Raleting, 2012) and other household goods (Nel & Raleting, 2012; Priilaid & Horwitz, 2016). Furthermore, the above contributions predominantly focused on South African women and workplaces, and there is a dearth of research on the lived experiences of women at work in the rest of Africa. Whilst scholarship on women in the workplace, focusing on African populations, have been published in other South African and international journals, it still constitutes a negligible slice of the global women at work research agenda (Akanle & Nwaobiala, 2019; Booysen & Nkomo, 2006, 2010, 2014; Bosch, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017; Carrim, 2018; Grover, 2019; Jaga, Arabandi, Bagraim & Mdlongwa, 2018; Lauwo, 2018; Palmer & Bosch, 2017; Ribeiro, Bosch & Becker, 2016).

Consequently, this limited count and diffuse topics relating to women at work in the SAJBM, and in scholarly research in general, coupled with the lack of focus on women at work in the broader African context, signals a need for a special issue focusing on Women in Business in Africa. This issue wishes to extend knowledge on how the entry of large numbers of women into paid work in workplaces, business management and leadership and business ownership in Africa has been marked by changes in legislation, economic, behavioural and relational patterns, and mind-shift changes regarding gender stereotypes, gendered work and workplaces. More specifically, the special issue will invite publication of research that highlights positive developments in women’s business and organisational participation in Africa, as well as expanding our understanding of how women overcome and circumvent limitations or how women reconfigure and adjust existing social patterns when leading and managing business organisations. In this special issue we wish to move beyond theorising barriers or limitations that women experience, and instead explore the agency that women hold, develop and employ when navigating spaces that were previously predominantly occupied by men.

See the attached document for details: