Revision with unchanged content. Currently, most African countries play a marginal role on the world market. The economic situation has even aggravated since their political independence in the 1960s and 1970s. Attempts to explain this phenomenon have shifted from the identification of specific deficits of African managers to a culturalist search for an ‘African’ style of management based on alleged African values that cannot be met by ‘Western’ management techniques. Karen Grisar-Kassé provides evidence contradicting both these approaches. Her long-term study of a mining company in Senegal traces the decline of economic effectiveness and the degradation of loyalty between staff and management after Senegalization. Her empirical results support the argument that the decline was due to a colonial pattern of perception that resulted in a lasting consensus on presumed French superiority and Senegalese inferiority. This consensus turned French paternalism in the 60s and 70s efficient in this company, but left little chance for Senegalese managers to rise to the role of the superior. The study provides essential insights for economists, sociologists and practitioners committed to the problems of African companies.