High Performance in African Public Services: Can Ubuntu Leadership save the day?
Emerging from indigenous communities in South Africa, the philosophy of Ubuntu has been heralded as a context-resonant leadership model befitting the African context. Ubuntu privileges moral and humanistic approaches to leadership premised on collective endeavour and people-oriented preferences. However, the concept remains unexplored in West and Central Africa. If Ubuntu is African and thus, culturally and contextually-resonant to the African socio-economic and psycho-social work environment, why do African organizations continue to underperform. To address this dilemma, this study explores how Ubuntu leadership is practiced in a public service organization. Using interviewing and group discussion and exploring discursively from a constructionist perspective, the study analyses data from 12 council authorities in Cameroon and Nigeria. Contradiction, ambiguity and paradox is highlighted, thus, interrogating and challenging the stereotypical, simplistic and unitary theoretical framing of Ubuntu. A seven dimension model of Ubuntu leadership embedding deviant practices and vital omissions for high performance is proposed.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Eyong, J.E. (2019) High Performance in African Public Services: Can Ubuntu Leadership save the day? Africa Journal of Management, [online first]
ISSN : 2332-2373
Research Institute : People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes