Paradigms to Shape the Holistic Development of Globally-Oriented and Innovative Leaders across Sectors Engaging Pluralist Landscapes in Africa and Beyond

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Indigenous reflections on African leadership and its development often reiterate the prevalence of incongruent worldviews, paradigms, training approaches and meaning-making methods. Some foreign and local perspectives conversely attribute African leadership challenges to elements in the latter's indigenous culture. In reviews of indigenous literature across varied African regions and sectors, African scholars consistently echo how inherited and diffused foreign leadership paradigms, educational models, curricula and values do not holistically nor broadly equip African leadership in varied sectors to concretely address and reform dynamically changing African realities in an integrated and contextualized manner.

Accordingly, the appreciative inquiry approach was engaged within representative leadership training institutions in Africa to mutually evaluate indigenously meaningful leadership and its development whilst concurrently determining outstanding gaps and opportunities across contexts. This inquiry broadly engaged indigenous participants across linguistic, national, vocational, organizational and denominational boundaries. In light of Africa's placement and functions globally, collective African evaluations were subsequently reviewed alongside evaluations of prevalent leadership development paradigms and approaches in a broader global context embodying complementary ethnic insights and experiences from diverse fields and sectors.

Converging African evaluations across literature reviews and field research delineated indigenously meaningful leadership paradigms and formational approaches. Simultaneously, broader global and multidisciplinary evaluations of leadership and its development poignantly echoed convergent African evaluations in several respects. These include (amongst others) evaluations concerning ethnocentric paradigms, sacred-secular dichotomies, parochial specializations emphasizing particularities, pluralism, globalization, institutionally-oriented individual-competency approaches, holistic transformation and proactively innovative leadership in dynamically evolving local and global environments.

Fusing converging global and interdisciplinary insights with indigenously meaningful evaluations of leadership development, a vision for change encourages alternative mindsets, attitudes, values and processes to shape a renewed learning culture facilitating the holistic development of globally-oriented and innovative leadership across sectors engaging pluralist landscapes in Africa and beyond.

Mentor: Elizabeth L. Glanville

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Glanville, Elizabeth L.

Document Type





Christian leadership, Indigenous church administration, Women religious leaders, Christian leadership, Africa


Missions and World Christianity


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