Developing African Management Theories: Problems and Solutions

M.O.M. Akpor-Robaro, Ph.D & O.S. Omoyele, Ph.D


The paper examined the problem of developing indigenous management theories in Africa and the solutions. It employed the narrative analysis approach using the inductive analytic process. The data for the analysis were qualitative data generated from a review of the relevant literature and a survey of opinion of scholars in management studies.  The paper identified two categories of the problem, viz, inherent socio-cultural problems and externally induced problems. It noted that although there is now some awareness about the need for African Indigenous management theories, and some effort has been made over the years by some African scholars to introduce African philosophies into management of organizations in Africa, these efforts have not yielded any visibly concrete result; there is yet to be any formalized African oriented management theory. The paper concluded that for African societies to make progress in industry, they must tailor their management approach according to their own needs and behavioural peculiarities. It recommended that concerted efforts must be made to overcome the challenges bedeviling the development of African indigenous management theories by committing to positive ways of thinking about African philosophies and evaluating them through  research for management theories development; and re-engineering the existing paradigms of African educational systems to include local contents that would lay the foundation for research leading to development of indigenous theories. It emphasizes that theory builders must visit the African traditional cultures and harvest the positive values for the development of African theories of management.

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