Leadership within a ghanaian context


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Presenting new perspectives on leadership. Challenging established theories.

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Leadership within a ghanaian context

  1. 1. Leadership within a Ghanaian context Local entrepreneurs’ perspective :: Claudia Antwi ::
  2. 2. Objective Present new perspective on and meaning of leadership  Provide a different approach to becoming an good leader; the skills a good leader should possess and how (s)he should behave
  3. 3. Methodology Qualitative methods - capture participants’ own perspectives and how they make sense of and add meanings to their lives  Micro-storia - focus on people and their incoherent everyday life that are often excluded and neglected by other research methods Secondary research - Extensive research through books, articles, journals and archives of Ghana to acquire knowledge of the culture, politics, economy and history
  4. 4. Study objects Business owners of SME’s => 3-40 employees A mix of age (28-52 yrs), gender, entrepreneurial areas (Grochery, electronics, construction company, retail) Less likely to be biased by existing Western leadership theories
  5. 5. Study context Political freedom in 1957, struggled with malfunctioned political leaders Known for its cocoa, gold, democracy, peacefulness, and being the birthplace of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan 28.5% in 2005/2006 of the Ghanaian population defined as poor (U.S. Department of state, 2008) Diversity: over 36 different tribes; Akan the largest, approx. 60% Christians, approx. 100 ethno-linguistic groups -> subdivided into numerous cultural and linguistic units
  6. 6. continue… Family a primary social unit => values determined by the orientation around the maintenance, continuity and the functioning of the family group  Success of Individual member is nothing if not shared with the family  The family per-se limits, influences, and in some cases determines the individual’s activities in society Remittance flow important part of the Ghanaian economy and Ghanaian households  International remittances to Ghana was $4.25 billion (2007) => largest source of foreign exchange for Ghana (The Bank of Ghana)
  7. 7. Naomi - a local grocery store owner “It takes money to open a business, it takes hard work to get money, if you are lazy then there is no chance of making it. But if you work hard you can have a chance to hold your head above water and make it in the world”.
  8. 8. 3 Prominent leadership theories Transactional leadership  a system of rewards and punishments to achieve desired performance Transformational leadership  shape and share visions which provide direction, meaning, focus and motivation to achieve desired performance Trait approaches  inherit qualities and traits that make people better suited to leadership
  9. 9. Limitations Most leadership theories are North American in origin Short-sighted and inappropriate in cultures which differ significantly from the American and European culture  Differences in societal and economical conditions a problem when African organizations/businesses are confronted with Western values on what constitutes an effective organization and leadership
  10. 10. Yaw - a local electronic repair shop owner “One thing about Ghanaian leadership is that it depends on how you are as a person...your past experiences, It is sometimes a person’s habit, not what they are born with that determines how they lead”.
  11. 11. Ghanaian context I Societal conditions Organisational practices Collectivistic  Particularistic behaviour Meaning through social => kinship ties relationships  Organisation an extention of Strong family bonds - extended family extended family  People have value in their Obligated to helping the own right not a means to an group which they belong end
  12. 12. Ghanaian context IIEconomical conditions Organisational practices Developing economy  Survival Colonial legacy => Flexibility, creativity Poverty  Entrepreneurial spirit Low education  Hardship/Hardwork  “All in the same boat” , “We Democracy are all equal” mentality SME’s  Drive to bring forward a Remittance flow creation
  13. 13. Leadership context (Macro) Economical Cultural conditions conditions Social Enviromental conditions conditions Leadership perception
  14. 14. Kojo – Local handcraftshop owner “Listening to advice is important because you learn from other people’s mistakes and successes. It gives a sense of direction in life. Without a direction it’s like a car with no stirring wheel, you sit in it and don’t have any way of getting to the place you want to go. In life you need control like a stirring wheel”.
  15. 15. Leadership context (Micro) Humane/ compassion Hardship/ triumphs Leadership Family Life Experiences
  16. 16. Characteristics I Trait leadership theory  Inherent traits personal innate characteristics, leaders are born and not made
  17. 17. Ghanaian locals’ viewpoint No people with unambiguous inborn traits which automatically excel them to good leaders Keyword: Compassionate = encompasses other important qualities such as being an advisor and friendlike  These do not come as intrinsic personal traits, but ascends from experience of hardship The compassionate characteristc => acquired through experiencing what other people have gone through  Without these experiences of adversity a person will neither be capable of understanding the true essense of people and life nor understand how to deal with people, a leader is therefore not born, but formed over time
  18. 18. Characteristics II Transformational leadership theory A leader, an advisor and motivator for their followers in order to stimulate and inspire followers to achieve outstanding results  increasing organisational productivness through “happy” employees, hence people become means to an end in an organization
  19. 19. Ghanaian locals’ viewpoint Keyword: An advisor = somebody who will use their experiences in life to give guidance to help people out of their hardships, this is vital for a good leader or manager  This is however not limited to organisations and not a means to achieve a higher organisational performance People have value in their on right and are more than a business and wealth
  20. 20. Characteristics III Transactional leadership theory People motivated by reward and punishment, a transaction  The prime purpose of a subordinate is to do what their manager tells them to do
  21. 21. Ghanaian locals’ viewpoint A good leader puts people before a business and uses his/her position of power to better the lives of others A good leader: knowledge gained through life is not meant for him/her alone, but for all who will find use in it  It is a leaders duty to embrace this reality and recognize their responsibility first of all as a human being.
  22. 22. Samuel - a local shop owner “You have to be nice to your workers and have a nice relationship with them. There has to be a good foundation for the relationship because the foundation is the seed and it grows from there.”
  23. 23. Sum up
  24. 24. Key leadership skills in a Ghanaian context Clear Openness Respectful ofHigh morals and Advisor , Peopleoriented Build communi- and honesty Sharing family ties, humane mentor and – people before «Friendlike» cation of – no hidden knowledge values and attitude rolemodel wealth relationships tasks and agendas obligations goals
  25. 25. Behaviour of a good leader in a Ghanaian context Take care of employees’ need Provide guidance and direction Leader regarded as extention of extended family Consider employees personal lives and have understanding of their life situation Practice good values and ethics Open and honest attitude Strong family values and people skills
  26. 26. Master thesis :: 2008Presenting new perspective on leadership