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Training methods must be congruent with employee learning styles. Malawians learn best in “process-oriented” educational settings. Consequently, training methods that use small-group techniques and other “supportive learning” techniques should be used in lieu of those that focus on lectures and rote learning.

Malawi was once a British colony. Thus it inherited a British administrative tradition, which is very Western and very bureaucratic. However, traditional Malawi cultural values, which emphasize family membership and attention to status, are also superimposed on to business administrative systems, mostly imported from Europe and the US.
The Malawian culture
. Workers in Malawi view employers as an extension of their families. They expect to be provided with a broad array of benefits from their employer, such as housing and transportation. Malawi society places great importance on status differences. The relationship between managers and subordinates is viewed as authoritative: workers give deference and expect managers to act paternally. Malawians view proper protocols very important. Managers often resist accepting individual blame for their own mistakes and do not directly criticize their subordinates. Malawian managers rarely delegate authority because the culture believes that delegation strips managers of their authority and thus lowers their status in the eyes of their subordinates.
Development of training programs by MNEs in Malawi
. MNEs setting up local operations in Malawi must consider the following three realities when developing training programs:

American models of innovation, motivation, leadership, etc., will not work well in Malawi. For example, most US management experts believe that proper leader behavior depends on the situation: there is no one right way to lead. However, the Malawian culture believes that leaders should always be authoritative. Consequently, HR professionals must first learn how these issues apply in Malawian culture and then train the Malawian workers accordingly.

Status-conscious Malawian managers will resent being ordered to attend at raining program. They will interpret this gesture as an indication that they are considered “below average” performers. A company must thus carefully prepare a strategy to solicit trainee attendance in a way that will not cause managers to “lose face” with their peers or subordinates.

Training methods must be congruent with employee learning styles. Malawians learn best in “process-oriented” educational settings. Consequently, training methods that use small-group techniques and other “supportive learning” techniques should be used in lieu of those that focus on lectures and rote learning.

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