Leadership for high performance in local councils in Cameroon and Nigeria: Examining deviant and concordant practices to the philosophy of Ubuntu
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.
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Citation : Eyong, J.E. (2019) Leadership for high performance in local councils in Cameroon and Nigeria: Examining deviant and concordant practices to the philosophy of Ubuntu. Africa Journal of Management, 5 (2), pp. 138-161
ISSN : 2332-2373
Research Institute : People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes