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Acta Commercii

versão On-line ISSN 1684-1999
versão impressa ISSN 2413-1903


MASIKANE, Champion M.; HEWITT, Magda L.  e  TOENDEPI, Joyce. Dynamics informing xenophobia and leadership response in South Africa. Acta Commer. [online]. 2020, vol.20, n.1, pp.1-11. ISSN 1684-1999.

ORIENTATION: The research addressed the issue of leadership response to xenophobia in South Africa that has a unique characteristic of being 'black on black'. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The research purpose was to assess the dynamics informing xenophobia in South Africa, leadership responses and systemic lessons thereon. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The first black president, the late Nelson Mandela, put in place a Constitution that has an intent to protect all stakeholders in a non-racist, non-sexist and without discrimination based on colour or creed. This pleasantness and warm welcome attracted a large influx of immigrants from across the continent and South Asia who come as international students, skilled professionals and economic refugees. This migratory pattern has led to protracted conflict between immigrants from Africa and indigenous black South Africans. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A qualitative, exploratory research that drew data from the semi-structured interviews was carried out. Seven participants were purposefully sampled based on their involvement with the xenophobic affairs in their line of work. Content analysis augmented the primary data. MAIN FINDINGS: The findings of this research showed that xenophobia is a consequence of the socio-economic environment in South Africa and that the leadership response shaped the public opinion on the phenomenon. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The research informed all South Africans, policy-makers and leadership in government on the consequences of xenophobia on the growth and image of the country. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: This article contributed to the current efforts by leadership in both government and civil society towards addressing the socio-economic issues that fuel xenophobia.

Palavras-chave : xenophobia; leadership; social complexity; immigrants; emerging economies.

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