Edited by Eric H. Kessler and Diana J. Wong-MingJi
Chapter 3: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in the Caribbean Islands
Betty Jane Punnett and Dion Greenidge INTRODUCTION This chapter examines mythology and leadership in the islands of the Caribbean. The focus is largely on the Commonwealth Caribbean; that is, the former British colonies, where English is the usual language. Although the focus is on the English-speaking islands, much of the discussion is relevant to the French, Dutch and Spanish islands as well, as all the islands share a similar history. In order to understand the Caribbean today, and to understand its mythology and leadership, one needs to reflect on the history of the Caribbean. This chapter begins with a brief historical overview of the Caribbean. Then, the chapter looks at two aspects of mythology in the region – first, the mix of African magical beliefs with traditional Christian beliefs, and second the African Ananci stories that have metamorphosed into a Caribbean tradition. Later sections of the chapter consider what we know about management and leadership in the Caribbean, and how management and leadership in the Caribbean relate to the history and mythology, as well as how this information can provide practical insights for managers, especially in today’s global business environment. The Caribbean is a region of variety and contrast, and there is substantial variation across the countries of the region. Many people would argue, on the basis of casual observations, that patterns of behavior differ from one island to another, and that cultures differ. At the same time, the islands share many of the factors that are believed to shape cultures...
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