AMR Idea Development Workshop (IDW) on Developing Theories Grounded in African Experience

This paper draft development workshop (PDDW) is aimed at exploring the opportunities and processes for developing theories of management and organization that are indigenous to Africa.


This IDW is aimed to help authors develop ideas for submission to the Academy of Management Review (AMR). The workshop focuses on the development of theories of management and organization that are indigenous to Africa. The aim is to develop indigenous theories not necessarily with a capital “I” (i.e. to be purely African, devoid of all external influences, as if it is at all possible), but indigenous with a small “i” (i.e. to be primarily drawing on and accounting for African experiences). Thus, it is not a forum for discussing Africa as yet another context for testing and elaborating on the existing Western theories (e.g. George et al., 2016); rather, it is a forum for discussing how the diverse, rich lifeworlds of African people can inform our understanding of management and organization, and enable us to develop new theories (e.g. Barnard, 2020; Hamann, et al., 2020; Shadnam, in press; Zoogah, Peng, & Woldu, 2015). This is a challenging endeavor as it requires knowledge of both established tools of theory development as well as African ways of constructing knowledge. Without this dual capacity, there is the danger that writers of African accounts of organizational life and those writing from Western traditions will talk past each other (Hamminga, 2005; Nkomo, 2017). For researchers who aspire to develop their dual capacity toward developing theories of management and organization grounded in African experience, this PDW will provide disciplined guidance and constructive feedback from seasoned scholars who are serving on the editorial team of AMR.

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