Africanization in British Multinationals in Ghana and Nigeria, 1945-1970

Stephanie Decker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multinationals experienced significant legitimacy challenges in less-developed countries between 1945 and 1970. Corporate responses to these challenges cover three distinct periods. Unsuccessful postwar attempts focusing on colonial welfare concerns were followed by pragmatic endeavors intended to repair corporate reputations by Africanizing senior management. By the 1960s, this had become a common approach to legitimization. The challenges of Africanizing ethnocentric multinationals led to organizational changes: Internationally diversified multinationals were better able to decentralize subsidiary management, while the late 1960s saw regionally focused multinationals absorbed by more diversified multinationals. Organizational survival was directly linked to legitimacy advantages derived from Africanization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-718
Number of pages28
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number4
Early online date20 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available via Cambridge Journals Online at


  • Africanization
  • Ghana
  • history
  • legitimacy
  • multinationals
  • Nigeria


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