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Critical perspectives on ‘manufactured’ risks arising from Eurocentric business practices in Africa

Adams, Kweku, Nayak, Bhabani Shankar and Koukpaki, A.S.F. (2017) Critical perspectives on ‘manufactured’ risks arising from Eurocentric business practices in Africa. Critical perspectives on international business.

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Abstract

This paper considers the Eurocentric conceptualisation of risk, which reinforces language, culture and business practices that are in conflict with Africa’s own traditional business methodologies”. It attempts to identify the rent-seeking methods and resource-seeking strategies that sustain the hegemony of global corporations in Africa.
The paper explores nonlinear historical narrative around the concept and construction of the idea and language of risk. It follows discourse analysis to identify how the Eurocentric concept of risk was exported and incorporated within the language of international business in non-Western business traditions. The fundamental research question driving this paper is: to what extent does the conceptualisation of risk perpetuate the African continent as risk-ridden?

The rent and resource-seeking strategies employed by multinational corporations (MNCs) are central to ‘manufactured’ risks, and this negatively creates impact for post-independent Africa. Whilst the state is inconsistent in its approach to dealing with this crisis, global corporations continue to do business, extract resources and expand their capital and market base in Africa.

The philosophical basis of risk and its historical foundations in the African context are presented. Neo-colonial business methods, languages, cultures and strategies are explored and consideration is given as to how African governments could address the issue of co-option, as well as how to respond to the risks arising by MNCs’ business practices. The paper adds to the theoretical narratives by arguing that when considering entry into the marketplace, MNCs must ensure they integrate African perspectives (native categories) into their operational strategies. Moreover, management practitioners might consider addressing the essential topics of language, culture, business systems and business practices using ethnomethodological lenses.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-11-2016-0058
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
School/Department: York Business School
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2627

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