Strategy in sub-saharan Africa: defining a research agenda for Mauritius.
In: British Academy of Management Annual Conference, 9-11 Sep 2008, Harrogate, UK.
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Do African firms differ in their approach to strategy making? Are they any different to firms from other emerging or developed economies? Despite the proliferations of strategy and international business textbooks over the last decade, there has been very little on Africa.
The answer probably lies in the predominant perception of Africa as a difficult place to do business. The region is often seen as a corporate graveyard of small, impossibly difficult markets, where war, famine, AIDS and disaster are part of a series of other intractable problems. Such image has not only widened existing divide between Africa and the rest of the world, but also tarnished much of the scope and potential of African businesses globally; and also hindered much progress in the study and understanding of strategic management practices of African business organisations.
This paper proposes an agenda for strategy research in that context. Extending on the generic theoretical framework for ‘strategy in emerging economies’ proposed by Hoskisson et al (2000) and Wright et al. (2005), this agenda raises a number of questions and challenges relevant to theory and practice of strategy in the context of Mauritius. It is believed that there is growing scope for exploratory and empirical research that addresses the needs of businesses relevant to that part of the world. Indeed, the rapid pace of development of some parts of Africa is providing new testing and refining grounds of extant strategy theories, even with possibilities to develop new ones.
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