This qualitative study which is a contribution to literature on postcolonialism in Africa emphasizes the work of leaders in African student organizations in the US. The study seeks to investigate if the agenda in African student organizations align with those of postcolonial leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, and Julius Nyerere. There were four male and three female leaders interviewed for the study. The leaders, who came from universities in the Midwest, Northwest and the South, talked about their leadership styles, organizational vision, and knowledge of African colonial history in the context of postcolonial leadership on the continent. The study employed techniques in grounded theory and thematic analysis to analyze participants' sensemaking of their own leadership. The study found that all seven participants engage in postcolonial leadership strategies as evidenced by their leadership styles and qualities, organizational vision, and their knowledge of African colonial history. Most of the leaders had an organizational vision centered on ideological and cultural liberation. An implication of the study includes the fact that the process of sensemaking is a natural human process which applies to organizational members regardless of context. Another implication is that mimicry and hybridity significantly complicate the discourse of organizational sensemaking for colonial/neocolonial subjects.


Christopher B. Brown

Committee Member

Sachi Sekimoto

Committee Member

Deepa Oommen

Committee Member

Elizabeth J. Sandell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Included in

Communication Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright