Desmond Ayentimi

UTAS Home Dr Desmond Tutu Ayentimi

Desmond Tutu Ayentimi


Room 424, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 2627 (phone)

Creating a win-win situation with multinationals

It’s a balancing act.

“My drive is to make an impact on society. To leave something meaningful behind, so that even if I’m not there, I will be remembered for my role in supporting research in Africa,” says Dr Desmond Ayentimi from the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.

The big question Dr Ayentimi is looking to answer is how policy-makers in the West African nation of Ghana can strike a balance between attracting multinational companies and developing their local economy.

“In a place like Ghana, where you have natural resources, but don’t necessarily have the technology and skills to exploit those resources, you need multinational companies to come in and assist,” he explains.

“We’re looking at how you develop policies that will provide support to the local content (local workers, companies, goods and services) not just in terms of the capital that multinationals are bringing, but in terms of the knowledge and skills they can transfer to local companies in Ghana.”

By sharing his insights with local policy-makers in Ghana, Dr Ayentimi is hoping to ensure that multinational companies are engaging positively with the local economy as they expand their operations into the African nation.

Local content policy requires multinational companies to contribute to the local economy by employing local people and conducting business with local firms to create opportunities for skills and knowledge transfer.

“I did some research around using local content policy to support human capital development in Africa, and it’s influenced local content policy regulation for multinational companies in the oil and gas industry in Ghana,” says Dr Ayentimi.

“We now have a local content policy regulation in place. They’ve drawn on my study, and it’s one of the most important achievements I’ve made.”

While the policy has been approved, the next step, he adds, is ensuring that it’s properly implemented – without encroaching on Ghana’s ability to attract multinational interest.

“The challenge in Africa is about policy implementation, because if you strictly enforce local content policy, you scare away multinational companies,” he explains.

To address these concerns, Dr Ayentimi has developed a strategic balance framework to assist governments in West Africa in attracting multinational companies while also enforcing local content policy.

The answer, he says, is for government policy to be flexible.

“If you strictly enforce local content policy, you scare away multinational companies, but if you don’t enforce local content policy, multinational companies attempt to source material and technical and managerial skills from the developed world at the expense of the local economy,” Dr Ayentimi explains.

“If you’re able to strike a balance between the two, then you’re able to promote domestic economic activities while also supporting the transfer of skills to the domestic economy.”

Dr Ayentimi now hopes to discuss this with government officials who will be monitoring the implementation of the local content policy in Ghana.

“I’m hoping that by the end of the year, I will get an opportunity to travel back to Ghana to have a face-to-face discussion with them to share my research findings,” he says.

If successful in convincing government officials to adopt his recommendations, Dr Ayentimi expects big changes for Ghana’s economy.

“We expect to see growth in local companies, and also an improvement in the technical skills of local employees,” he says.

“This will support economic growth and development, and the expansion of their domestic economic activities.”

Research that makes a difference

Dr. Ayentimi joined the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics as a Lecturer of management after completing his PhD studies in management from Curtin University, Western Australia. He has worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the School of Management where he completed his PhD studies. His research interest focuses on identifying institutional and cultural constraints and opportunities in Multinational Corporations HRM practice transfer to less developed and developing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also interested in issues around Local Content Policy Regulations, Gender, Inclusion and Workforce Diversity.


Dr. Ayentimi started his academic career as a Teaching Assistant from the Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre in 2008. He was promoted to Assistant Lecturer position before relocating to Australia to pursue his doctoral studies in Management.

Career summary


DegreeUniversityCountryDate of award
PhDCurtin UniversityAustralia2017
MBAKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyGhana2012
BSc.Catholic University College of Ghana, FiapreGhana2008


Professional practice

  • Member of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management
  • Member of the British Academy of Management
  • Member of the Association of Industrial Relation Academics of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member of the International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS)


Management, Human Resource Management, Strategic Management, International HRM

Teaching expertise

Dr. Ayentimi has over ten years of teaching experience. He has taught Human Resource Management, Employee Relations, Introduction to Management and International HRM at the undergraduate level and currently teaches Management at the postgraduate level.

View more on Dr Desmond Ayentimi in WARP

Research Themes

The sheer complexity and cultural diversity found in Sub-Sahara Africa can make the HRM process one of the more puzzling decisions that managers may have to undertake when doing business in Africa. The solutions to real-HRM problems in Africa typically require an understanding of the sheer complexity, cultural diversity and geopolitical dynamics in peoples’ management. Thus, my research strives to combine studies of culture, history, economic systems and how they influence peoples’ management. Although my research spans the continuum from basic to applied HRM questions, it focuses mostly on formal and informal institutional configurations, culture, history and economic systems and providing a strong scientific basis for HRM decisions. His most recent research projects include: HRM practice transfer from advanced economies to developing economies; Workforce diversity, equality and inclusion in Ghana; Employment relations in sub-Sahara Africa; Human Resource Development and Policy development towards the fourth Industrial Revolution in Sub-Sahara Africa. His research aligns with the University of Tasmania research theme of Creativity, Culture and Society.


  • Vic Taylor Best Paper Award 2017 at the Association of Industrial Relation Academics of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference.
  • Best Reviewer Award, international management segment, 2017 European Academy of Management Conference, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Three (3) time recipient of Curtin Business School Higher Degree by Research Student Quality Publication Award.
  • Recipient of 2017 Research Performance Fund from Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.

Current projects

  • HRM practice transfer from advanced economies to developing economies
  • Workforce diversity, equality and inclusion in Ghana;
  • Employment relations in sub-Sahara Africa;
  • Policy development towards the fourth Industrial Revolution in Sub-Sahara Africa;
  • Gig work in developing economies in Africa

Fields of Research

  • Human Resources Management (150305)
  • International Business (150308)
  • Industrial Relations (150306)
  • Food and Hospitality Services (150401)
  • Economic Development and Growth (140202)
  • Macroeconomic Theory (140102)
  • Labour Law (180118)
  • Political Science (160699)
  • Studies in Human Society (169999)
  • Public Policy (160510)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services (970115)
  • Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society (970116)
  • Employment Patterns and Change (940501)
  • Management (910402)
  • Economic Growth (910103)
  • Trade Assistance and Protection (910302)
  • Education and Training Systems Policies and Development (930501)
  • Savings and Investments (910109)
  • Economic Issues in Tourism (900301)
  • Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis (940204)
  • Political Systems (940203)


Total publications


Journal Article

(11 outputs)
2019Akolgo EA, Ayentimi DT, 'Community-level mechanisms and strategies for managing sustainable water supply systems: Lessons from Bongo district of northern Ghana', Environment, Development and Sustainability pp. 1-18. ISSN 1387-585X (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10668-019-00324-5 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2019Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Dayaram K, 'Union suppression and union substitution strategies of multinational enterprises in Ghana', Industrial Relations Journal, 50 pp. 379-398. ISSN 0019-8692 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/irj.12264 [eCite] [Details]


2019Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, 'Is the fourth industrial revolution relevant to sub-Sahara Africa?', Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 31, (6) pp. 641-652. ISSN 0953-7325 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/09537325.2018.1542129 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 6


2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Brown K, 'A conceptual framework for international human resource management research in developing economies', Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 56, (2) pp. 216-237. ISSN 1038-4111 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1744-7941.12132 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 6


2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Brown K, 'HRM practices of MNEs and domestic firms in Ghana: divergence or convergence?', Personnel Review, 47, (1) pp. 2-21. ISSN 0048-3486 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1108/PR-05-2016-0116 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 2


2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Brown K, 'HRM development in post-colonial societies: The challenges of advancing HRM practices in Ghana', International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 18, (2) pp. 125-147. ISSN 1470-5958 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/1470595818765863 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2


2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Dayaram K, 'Macro‐institutional conditions in Ghana and the challenges to HRM program development and implementation', Thunderbird International Business Review, 61, (2) pp. 143-156. ISSN 1096-4762 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/tie.21983 [eCite] [Details]


2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Dayaram K, 'Skilled labour shortage: a qualitative study of Ghana's training and apprenticeship system', Human Resource Development International, 21, (5) pp. 406-424. ISSN 1367-8868 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2018.1447881 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Dayaram K, 'Does the historical and institutional re-construction of Ghana support the transfer of HRM practices?', Journal of Management History, 24, (4) pp. 414-434. ISSN 1751-1348 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1108/JMH-03-2018-0021 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 1


2017Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Dayaram K, 'Do multinational subsidiaries demonstrate a convergence across their HRM practices in a less developed host-country?: evidence from Ghana', Employee Relations, 39, (7) pp. 1066-1082. ISSN 0142-5455 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1108/ER-10-2016-0203 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2


2016Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Brown K, 'Developing effective local content regulations in sub-Sahara Africa: the need for more effective policy alignment', Multinational Business Review, 24, (4) pp. 354-374. ISSN 1525-383X (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1108/MBR-08-2015-0040 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7



(1 outputs)
2018Ayentimi DT, 'Multinationals' HRM policies and practices: Do national institutions in less developed countries really matter?', Rainer Hampp Verlag, Augsburg, Munchen, pp. 163. ISBN 978-3-95710-206-5 (2018) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]


Conference Publication

(7 outputs)
2018Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, 'Is the 4IR Relevant to Sub-Sahara Africa?', The Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Future of Work and Implications for Managers Conference, 12-13 April 2018, Malaysia (2018) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Ayentimi DT, 'Are Multinational Enterprises in less developed host countries charting the contours of union suppression or union substitution? Evidence from Ghana', Association of Industrial Relation Academics of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, 8-10 February 2017, Canberra, ACT, pp. 17. (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2017Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Dayaram K, 'Reviewing the Literature on Local Isomorphism and Multi-National Enterprises' Human Resource Management Practices', Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, 5-8 December 2017, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1. (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2017Cameron R, Burgess J, Dhakal S, Fitzgerald S, Ayentimi DT, 'Key Skills and Workforce Development Challenges for Western Australia', 3rd International Skills Colloquium: Employability, employment, training and skills in the global era, 16-17 February 2017, Malaysia, pp. 1. (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2016Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Brown K, 'Do subsidiaries of MNEs demonstrate a convergence across their HRM practices in a less developed host-country? Evidence from Ghana', 2016 Irish Academy of Management Annual Conference, 31 August - 2 September 2016, Dublin, pp. 16. (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2016Dayaram K, Soontiens W, Bahtic M, Ayentimi DT, Larkin R, et al., 'Proximity and Knowledge Sharing in a Wine Tourism Cluster', The 2016 Irish Academy of Management Annual Conference, 31 August - 2 September 2016, Dublin, pp. 1. (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]


2015Ayentimi DT, Burgess J, Brown K, 'Attracting MNCs and enforcing local content laws: the double breasting dilemma in less developed countries in sub-Sahara Africa', CRIMT 2015 International Conference: Institutional Change and Experimentation: Shaping the future of Work and Employment, 21-23 May 2015, Montreal, pp. 14. (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2018: Push or pull? Drivers of the low rates of female employment participation in Ghana’s higher education sector. Funded by Centre For Work And Organisational Performance (CWOP). AU$ 3960.

Research Supervision

Current student supervision

  • (co-supervisor) PhD: Entrepreneurial Project Management for Social Enterprise Sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa




PhDDeveloping an Entrepreneurial Project Management Model2018