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Old habits die hard: A tale of two failed companies and unwanted inheritance


  • Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph


This article examines whether state-owned enterprises inherit the problems and stigmas resulting from the actions and inactions of their predecessor firms. In this direction, we advance two main theories of inherited background: the “wanted inheritance” and “sins of the father” perspective. We shed light on this issue using the cautionary tale of two failed companies: Ghana Airways (GA) and Ghana International Airlines (GIA). Our data indicate that GIA acquired some wanted inheritance such as former employees and their expertise, but this was accompanied by unwanted inheritance such as tainted ‘image’ and years of dissatisfaction of their customers from Ghana Airways, which affected its operations and precipitated its untimely demise. We conclude by outlining the implications of our findings for management and governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2014. "Old habits die hard: A tale of two failed companies and unwanted inheritance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(9), pages 1894-1903.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:67:y:2014:i:9:p:1894-1903
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.11.053

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Ufuah, Allan N & Utterback, James M, 1997. "Responding to Structural Industry Changes: A Technological Evolution Perspective," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 183-202.
    8. Julian Birkinshaw & Mary Yoko Brannen & Rosalie L Tung, 2011. "From a distance and generalizable to up close and grounded: Reclaiming a place for qualitative methods in international business research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(5), pages 573-581, June.
    9. Simone Ferriani & Elizabeth Garnsey & Gianni Lorenzoni, 2012. "Continuity and change in a spin-off venture: the process of reimprinting," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 1011-1048, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2016. "An integrative process model of organisational failure," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3388-3397.
    2. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2014. "Explanations for strategic persistence in the wake of others’ failures," MPRA Paper 63409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph & Zhang, Hongxu, 2014. "What can we learn from failed international companies?," MPRA Paper 63591, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    4. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2014. "An integrative framework of attributions after a business failure," MPRA Paper 63384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2017. "Cultivating greater self-confidence in African management research," MPRA Paper 79751, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2017.
    6. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2017. "Global consolidation of industries and business failures: insights from brick-and-mortar and online outlets," MPRA Paper 82509, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph & Zhang, Hongxu, 2015. "Business failure research," MPRA Paper 67848, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2016. "Emerging economies, emerging challenges: Mobilising and capturing value from big data," MPRA Paper 85625, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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