Postcolonial Transitions in Africa: Decolonization in West Africa and Present Day South Africa

Stephanie Decker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


abstractBlack 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
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Postcolonial Transitions in Africa: Decolonization in West Africa and Present Day South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this