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Zim’s turn to the East uninformed



THE Zimbabwean regime has turned East and is now inward looking. Its press has turned East too. Is it really proper or desirable for us to copy the Asian model of success hook, line and sinker? <
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There are environmental, historical and economic differences between us and the Asian region.


Is this an attempt to move away from the unipolar world axis? Why push for the adoption of the Asian model? What are some of the underlying assumptions in the Asian model of economic success, growth and development? What are the justifications and implications of pushing for the Asian model? What does it hope to achieve?


The Asian miracle should not be looked at in isolation. The Asian countries got support from the big powers. Will we be so fortunate as well? Why frustrate the knowledge-based economy by attempting to regulate, monitor and peep into people’s e-mails? Why close down the progressive press? It’s astonishing and unbelievable!


It’s beyond imagination that a university professor wants to create a society without a press.


Without a free press there will be free abuse. It is about time we are ruled by law and not some executive’s whims and tantrums.


What really is the underlying ideology behind the success story of the Tiger economies and the Asian region?


Organisational culture differs from country to country. If we try to blindly transplant the Asian model and graft it onto our own cultural system we may witness a tissue rejection.


There are geographic, national, economic, historical and cultural differences between us and the East.


Author Hofstede, writing in Management Review of April 1980 speaks of dimensions to distinguish the most important national differences in corporate approach.


He lists three dimensions – power distance, uncertainty-avoidance individualism, and masculine/feminine dimensions.


The Asian countries tend to lean heavily towards low individualism.

He goes on to say: “We are culturally conditioned, to a great extent we see the world in the way we have learned to see it… theories reflect the cultural environment in which they were written.”


On technology transfer Hofstede says: “But in order to work at all, these technologies presuppose values that often run counter to local traditions.”

It would be very difficult if not impossible to transfer, transplant and graft the Asian miracle of success onto our own local culture and conditions.


Milton Njuzu Mandaza,

Bulawayo

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