Globalization and the Cultures of Business in Africa

Globalization and the Cultures of Business in Africa

From Patrimonialism to Profit
Scott D. Taylor
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/05/2012
Format: Paperback 1 graph
ISBN: 978-0-253-00573-1
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Can Africa develop businesses beyond the extractive or agricultural sectors? What would it take for Africa to play a major role in global business? By focusing on recent changes, Scott D. Taylor demonstrates how Africa’s business culture is marked by an unprecedented receptivity to private enterprise. Challenging persistent stereotypes about crony capitalism and the lack of development, Taylor reveals a long and dynamic history of business in Africa. He shows how a hospitable climate for business has been spurred by institutional change, globalization, and political and economic reform. Taylor encourages a broader understanding of the mosaic of African business and the diversity of influences and cultures that shape it.

Author Bio

Scott D. Taylor is Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is author of Business and the State in Southern Africa and Politics in Southern Africa: State and Society in Transition.


“By focusing on recent changes and challenging persistent stereotypes, Scott D. Taylor demonstrates how Africa’s business culture is marked by an unprecedented receptivity to private enterprise.”

“Many African countries have experienced basic shifts in the 'culture of business,' allowing for diversification, expansion, and more outward-looking strategies by firms. This is a provocative argument that challenges conventional wisdom in academic and policy circles.”
 — Peter Lewis, Johns Hopkins University

“Spanning many disciplines and referenced with endnotes and bibliography, this volume should be in any library with collections on African studies. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

“Taylor’s key arguments can briefly be expressed as follows: there is more than one kind of African business culture, and African businesses are both more various and healthier than we may have imagined. He provides a clear-eyed review of the current state of business on the course, steering a careful course between a hopeless and over-determined Afropessimism, and a giddy, reckless boisterism about its prospects. Nonetheless, his tone remains refreshingly upbeat and pragmatic.”
 — Journal of Modern African Studies

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction and Background
1. African Business and Capitalism in Historical Perspective
Part II. Globalization and Political and Economic Transformation
2. Institutional Change in the 1990s: Economic and Political Reform
3. Business, the African State and Globalization in the New Millennium: Transnational Influences and Domestic Responses
Part III. The Diversity of African Business: Problems and Prospects
4. Foreign Investment Beyond Compradorism & Primary Commodities: The Role of the Global South
5. From Patrimonialism to Profit? The Transformation of Crony Capitalists and Bureaucratic Bourgeoisies
6. Going Continental, Going Global: Africa’s Corporate Giants
Conclusion: The Prospects for African Business
Suggestions for Further Reading

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