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Leaders' and participants' perceptions of the management of the Life Science Project in Namibia

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  • L Education (General)
  • Lg Individual Institutions (Asia. Africa)
  • Education
  • Political Science


After Independence in 1991, Namibia embarked on implementing a new and different educational system. This system was seen as a radical departure from the old apartheid system. The Namibian government approached Ibis, a Danish NGO, to support the change process by establishing and developing a new subject, life science, in Junior Secondary schools in Namibia through the Life Science Project (LSP). In a project of this nature, where a foreign (Danish) educational intervention in a relatively young and new democracy is the issue, cross-cultural aspects are likely to emerge, and these are the focus of this study. This half-thesis is an attempt to illuminate, not to evaluate, managerial as well as cross-cultural features of the project based on perceptions of selected Danish managers and Namibian advisory teachers from the former LSP expressed in the goal of the research: - To explore selected leaders’ and participants’ perception of the management of the Life Science Project. In line with this goal, I elected to conduct the research in the interpretive paradigm, using unstructured interviews as my chief source of data. The findings illuminate what would appear to be an inconsistency in the management of the project. The project seemed to be able to accommodate regional and even personal differences and to be flexible to internal changes. At the same time it appears that in its relationship to the external or task environment it did not show the same openness and flexibility to accommodate diversity. It is suggested that this could be a result of the apparent failure on the part of the project to clarify its own underlying values. The study also reveals interesting and unexpected perceptions of leadership, which may also be interpreted in terms of cultural values and beliefs. These two features of managerial issues could lead one to reflect upon the importance of recognising values in organisations which work across cultures.

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