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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neveen Abdelrehim
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
This paper uses the lens of postcolonial theory to determine the extent to which colonial features persisted in the organizational culture of the Burmah Oil Company (BOC) after decolonisation in South Asia. It does this through an examination of the evolving staffing strategies of the BOC and its South Asian (especially Indian) subsidiaries before and after 1947. Through an analysis of archival material and company literature, we demonstrate that the BOC switched from an ethnocentric to a polycentric staffing strategy very gradually, with senior managerial positions being occupied by British managers into the 1970s, well after other British MNEs operating in India had already made this transition. We suggest that this persistence of colonial modes of organisation contributed to the BOC’s tense relations with the Indian government, and the latter’s decision to nationalise the firm .
Author(s): Abdelrehim N, Ramnath A, Smith A, Popp A
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Business History
Online publication date: 15/05/2018
Acceptance date: 28/02/2018
Date deposited: 12/03/2018
ISSN (print): 0007-6791
ISSN (electronic): 1743-7938
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