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Assets of foreignness: Colonial mentality and Western private equity managers in the ex-Western colonies

Ben-Mohamed, Abdel-Kader
This dissertation provides the first exploration of the effects of colonial mentality within a business field by examining how indigenous entrepreneurs and business managers interact with Western private equity managers as deal partners in the ex-Western colonies. It does so through the use of an exploratory pilot survey and a quantitative dataset to study the effects of colonial mentality as a source of competitive advantage for Western private equity managers in deal sourcing and investment performance in the ex-Western colonies. It argues that westernness in the ex-Western colonies is a special case of foreignness that can be an asset instead of a liability because of the colonial mentality-engendered attitudes in these markets. The private equity professionals who participated in the pilot survey did indicate that colonial mentality is quite prevalent and does manifest itself in the activities of deal sourcing, fundraising, and is ultimately reflected in the investment performance. However, the archival dataset did not support the hypotheses presented in this research, potentially due to certain private equity data limitations that are discussed in this dissertation.