Are there prismatic societies in Africa? That such a question can now be asked is as much a measure of changes in the study of administration as it is a recognition of new patterns of government emerging from African independence. During both the colonial and the current period, students of African bureaucracy have contributed little to administrative theory. Before independence, scholars concentrated on formal studies designed to raise efficiency. Since independence the field has been dominated by studies of political parties, trade unions, and voluntary associations, because these organizations carried on the independence struggle, often over the opposition of the bureaucracy. Behavioral studies of colonial administration and independent Afrir can civil services are badly needed.