27 Jul 2012

Our Special Issue on Caribbean Metaphors

A Guest Blog by Betty Jane (BJ) Punnett, University of the West Indies

Editing this special issue of IJCCM was lots of fun for us. Reading our authors’ insights on the Caribbean was fascinating for us (and we thought we knew the Caribbean!). We hope you will enjoy these metaphors that help understand management in the Caribbean. Please visit us in the Caribbean and help further research in the region – we are here to help anytime – contact BJ at eureka@caribsurf.com.

Nyzinga Onifa (Joint Special Editor)

Betty Jane Punnett, left & Akhentoolove Corbin, right (Philmore Alleyne, middle) at book launch of Management: A Developing Country Perspective (Routledge, 2012)

IJCCM is a journal that intrigues many people because of its innovative approaches that have practical consequences. The articles in the journal are clearly organized, easy to read and provide fresh, illuminating powerful, thought-provoking and informative ideas. The Special Issue on Cultural Metaphors in the Caribbean is a good example of IJCCM’s approach.

Many social scientists have devoted themselves to the study of culture.  In this special issue there is a thought –provoking and informative set of articles on “using cultural metaphors to understand management in the Caribbean”. The papers are based on exploring Caribbean cultural metaphors and how they relate to management. There is a lack of management research on the Caribbean and this special issue begins to fill this gap.

Cultural metaphors, based on Gannon’s (1994, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010) seminal work in the field, offer an approach that encourages probing into a society’s culture, while anchoring national characteristics within dimensional frameworks where possible.  This approach is useful for providing broad, cross-cultural comparisons of value systems, attitudes and behaviours among cultures.

It is our hope to spark enthusiastic discussion, self introspection and awareness and change of management styles of our own cultural roots and to deepen cross-cultural understanding.  Cross-national managers and leaders in the world and throughout the Caribbean can utilize this information to come to a more profound understanding as to what motivates their business partners and how best to forge effective leadership and personal ties with them. 

The aim here is to encourage managers to have a “geo-centric” perspective of how he or she will search for the best approaches, management styles, motivational techniques, strategies and solutions independent of where these ideas originate.  Whether we are talking about No ball – ethical management and social capital in the West Indian society, Calypso in the Caribbean – a musical metaphor for Barbados, Caribbean liming a metaphor for building social capital, Carry mi ackee go a Jamaican market – using ackee as metaphor for the organization and environment of Jamaican business or Yoruba proverbs as cultural metaphor for understanding management in the Caribbean, our purpose is to show how international managers can work with employees and managers from other cultures to help them understand why in a particular case, doing things with a new approach and a different way makes sense. 

We hope you will enjoy reading IJCCM and our special issue with its unique insights into the Caribbean. BJ Punnett, University of the West Indies, Barbados

The Special Issues: Using Cultural Metaphors to Understand Management in the Caribbean  - IJCCM 12(3) December 2012

Special Editors: Akhentoolove Corbin, Betty Jane Punnett, Nyzinga Onifa

  • Editorial : Akhentoolove Corbin, Betty Jane Punnett, Nyzinga Onifa
  • Carry mi ackee go a Jamaican market: Ackee as a metaphor for the organization and environment of Jamaican business,  Margaret E Phillips, Andrea D Scott, Claire E Sutherland, Marisa P Gerla and Annette M Gilzene
  • Caribbean Liming: A Metaphor for Building Social Capital, Reccia N. Charles & Ruth Clarke
  • Calypso in the Caribbean: A musical metaphor for Barbados, Asha Rao and Yvonne Sedlaczek
  • Yoruba proverbs as cultural metaphor for understanding management in the Caribbean, April Bernard and Adonis Diaz Fernandez
  • No ball! Ethical management and social capital in West Indian society, Hercules Grant


  1. I want to endorse what BJ has said about this forthcoming issue, which for us is a very exciting and innovative one. Little scholarly work has been published on cross-cultural management in relation to the Caribbean, and we hope that it will stimulate much needed research. This issue isn't coming out until December 2012, but you will be able to access the articles online before that date. Please let us know what you think, and do leave your comments on this blog.

  2. Very nice and informative blog.I'm glad that i go through this wonderful post.
    Volunteer Costa Rica