The Malaitan Mind and Teamship: Implications of Indigenous Knowledge for Team Development and Performance

By Kabini Sanga and Keith Walker.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We begin this paper by assuming that there is an openness to culturally diverse ways of knowing about the management of organizations and accommodating indigenous experience, expertise and wisdom for navigating the new economy. In a more globalized knowledge economy, certain contextually-astute thinkers within universities, NGOs, together with those managing public and sector management portfolios are asking: To what extent are the framings of our organizational research, our development for the common good and civil society projects, and our engagement of human and material capital cognizant of indigenous people’s ways of being, knowing, doing, and daring? To what extent might insights, grounded in understandings of traditions, cultures, and mixed realities, serve our defining of current circumstances, subjects of study and responses to future challenges and opportunities? The article frames these questions and other questions from the perspective of “the Malaitan mind,” from ontological, cosmological, anthropological, epistemological, metaphysical, and axiological angles, to offer critical reflections on current research. In practical terms, the paper considers team development and performance using insights from both Western and Malaitan perspectives with the suggestion that these are complementary set of understanding.

Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge & Research, Indigenous Team Development, Indigenous Team Performance, Malaitan Mind, Pacific Peoples

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp.223-236. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 828.458KB).

Dr. Kabini Sanga

Associate Professor, Te Kura Maori, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Prior to joining Victoria University in 2000, Professor Sanga was the former Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education; the premier state tertiary institution in the country. Dr. Sanga has also held leadership positions in teacher education (Head of School), Ministry of Education (Chief Education Officer-Director) and secondary schools (as Principal and Deputy Principal) in Solomon Islands. He has been a consultant for Solomon Islands government and international aid agencies over a number of years. His interests include: Executive leadership and management; social policy; international education; development education; governance of higher education; and indigenous research. Kabini is past co-director of He Parekereke, Pacific Nations Programme Advisor, Convenor of a number of international projects, and several pan-Pacific leadership networks. He is author of a number of texts and has mentored numerous new generation leaders, across all sectors.

Prof. Keith Walker

Professor, Educational Administration & Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Professor Walker brings over thirty years of experience as a manager, teacher, minister, leader, scholar, and educational administrator in public and social sectors. His formal education has been in the disciplines of physical education, sports administration, theology, education, educational administration, and philosophy. Keith Walker has earned national and international awards for his research work. In addition to his research work with senior leaders in the public sector, he has worked a great deal in the areas of building the learning community and the institutionalization of change. Professor Walker is currently working on a number of manuscripts dealing with subjects such as leadership perspectives on hope, building trust, cause-based leadership, board governance, university presidents’ responses to the new economy, palliative and diligent/ethical leadership. Professor Walker has co-authored a book on leadership for Pacific Islanders with Dr. Kabini Sanga. Dr. Walker is on sabbatical leave in 2010–2011, as honorary fellow/visiting professor at Centre for Leadership Studies at Exeter Business School and at Victoria University at Wellington in New Zealand.


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