Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Social issues

Publication Details

Development Discourse and Practice: Alternatives and New Directions from Postcolonial Perspectives. Book chapter in In N. Lupton and M. Pirson (eds) Humanistic Perspectives on International Business and Management, ISBN 978-1-137-47162-8 pp. 55–67. New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan.


Development and aid programs, such as those aimed at promoting economic growth and prosperity in ‘Third World’ nations and transition economies, often arise out of Western and neo-liberal policy ideologies and practices. These programs may, in some cases, provide useful guidelines for restructuring institutional structures and governance mechanisms in nations that have long struggled with poverty, economic instability, health crises, and social and political turmoil. However, a growing number of critical voices are raising concerns over the guiding assumptions and inclusiveness of these policies and programs in their aims to promote economic development and social well-being in non-Western nations. We join these critical perspectives by way of postcolonial frameworks to highlight some of the problematic assumptions and oversights of development programs, while offering new alternatives and directions. By doing so, we contribute to organizational theorizing in a global context, as postcolonial insights provide much needed engagement with international aid policies and programs, as well as development organizations and institutions. To accomplish this, we offer a historical perspective on development, present a critique of the policies and practices guiding many aid programs, and conclude with suggestions emanating from postcoloniality.