Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Business failures In institutionally weak environments: an examination of Virgin Atlantic’s failed adventure in Sub-Saharan Africa

Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, Debrah, Yaw. A., Acquaah, Moses (2023) Business failures In institutionally weak environments: an examination of Virgin Atlantic’s failed adventure in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Business Review, 32 (5). Article Number 102146. ISSN 0969-5931. (doi:10.1016/j.ibusrev.2023.102146) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:101281)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until May 2026.

Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of 2024IBR_May2023_accepted.pdf]
Official URL:


In view of the paucity of scholarly work on how conditions in weak institutional environments at organizational founding can persist leading to eventual international joint ventures (IJVs), this paper utilizes the case of Virgin Nigeria Airways to illuminate our understanding of the subject. Based on semi-structured interviews, we developed a four-phase model that demonstrates the persistent interactions of internal and external factors. The four phases are as follows: pre-formation resource mobilization, formation and embryonic challenges, decoupling and rebranding, and phasing out. Phase 1 highlights political and non-political activities geared towards venture formation and resource mobilization. Phase 2 focuses on the decoupling of functional activities and the loss of legitimacy in response to changing political and economic conditions in the country. Phase 3 sheds light on triggers for corporate rebranding activities resulting from loss of identity and legitimacy. In Phase 4, we highlight the dispute with the government that typified and culminated in the airline's demise. We identify and examine the implications of these findings.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2023.102146
Uncontrolled keywords: Africa; West Africa; Nigeria; Ghana; business failure; Virgin Atlantic Airline
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Joseph Amankwah-Amoah
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 06:42 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 14:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.