Postcolonial transitions in Africa: decolonization in West Africa and present day South Africa

Stephanie Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Black Economic Empowerment is a highly debated issue in contemporary South Africa. Yet few South Africans realize that they are following a postcolonial trajectory already experienced by other countries. This paper presents a case study of British firms during decolonization in Ghana and Nigeria in the 1950s and 1960s, which saw a parallel development in business and society to that which occurred in South Africa in the 1990s and 2000s. Despite fundamental differences between these states, all have had to empower a majority of black citizens who had previously suffered discrimination on the basis of race. The paper employs concepts from social capital theory to show that the process of postcolonial transition in African economies has been more politically and socially disruptive than empowerment in Western countries. Historical research contributes to our understanding of the nature of institutional shocks in emerging economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-813
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Volume47
Issue number5
Early online date9 Feb 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Decker, S 2010, 'Postcolonial transitions in Africa: decolonization in West Africa and present day South Africa', Journal of management studies, vol 47, no. 5, pp. 791-813, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2010.00924.x/abstract

Keywords

  • Black Economic Empowerment
  • South Africa
  • decolonization
  • British firms
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria

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  • Prizes

    Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in Business History

    Stephanie Decker (Recipient), 1 Jul 2007

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

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