First Inter-College Lecture Series for 2017/18 Academic Year - Prof. J.N. Bawole

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 16:30
Great Hall


Members of the University Community are hereby invited to the first Inter-College Lecture for the 2017/18 academic year to be delivered by Prof. Justice Nyigmah Bawole (Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School).


Topic: Corruption as a ‘Wicked Problem’ In Africa: Culture, Values and the Paradox of the ‘Collective’

Date: Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Time: 4:30 pm

Venue: Great Hall

Chairman: Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities


All are cordially invited.



The African Ubuntu philosophy classifies Africa as a collectivist society. Collectivism embodied in this philosophy drives many deep-seated values and cultural elements in many parts of Africa and traditionally shapes attitudes to common pool resources.  However, many a country in Africa has suffered from the intractable ‘wicked problem’ of corruption, driven by self-interest and the innate desire to take away from the ‘collective’. But how can we describe taking from the collective as corruption? The debate about the level of ‘collective’ to which the African belongs has often been misconstrued to be his ‘country’, which has often resulted in calls for national loyalty. In this lecture, I seek to explain that the true ‘collective’ in the mind of the African may not just be his country – the ‘collective’ is fluidly conceived to include his country, his ethnicity, his clan and his family; and that his loyalty to each of these peals of ‘collectives’ is defined by his milieu. It is my proposition that the definition of country as the ‘collective’ to which the African belongs is rather less influential in shaping his behavior. Consequently, corruption which involves taking away from the common resources for personal (and family) use will persist until the sanction regime is ‘spiritualised’ and depersonalized and a much stronger binding glue is found to make ‘country’ truly ‘collective’.


Profile of Professor Justice Nyigmah Bawole

Prof. Justice Nyigmah Bawole is an Associate Professor and Head of Department of the Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School, Legon. He joined the University of Ghana as a lecturer in 2008, got promoted to Senior lecturer in 2013 and Associate Professor in 2016.  He obtained a PhD in Development Policy and Management from the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK in 2013. He holds MPhil, BSc. Administration and Diploma (Public Administration) degrees from the University of Ghana. He has previously taught in Primary, JHS and SHS before joining an NGO where he worked as Research and Projects Manager. His research interest include ethics in public administration, public sector performance management, climate change and sustainable development and NGO management. Prof. Bawole has published extensively in renowned peer-reviewed journals including the International Review of Administrative Sciences, International Journal of Public Administration, Environmental Management, Administrative Theory & Praxis, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, International Journal of Public Sector Management and currently has over 50 publications. His passion is teaching and mentoring young academics. His recent publications include:

Bawole, J. N., Hossain, F., Ghalib, A., Rees, C. J., & Mamman, A., (editors) (2017). Development Management: Theory and Practice. Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge.

Bawole, J. N. (2017)). Pro-poor decentralization in Ghana: Examining the facilitators and the limitations. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 39(2), 122-139. Taylor & Francis Publishers.

Mensah, J. K. & Bawole, J. N., (2017) Person-Job Fit Matters in Parastatal Institutions: Testing the Mediating Effect of Person-Job Fit in the Relationship between Talent Management and Employee Outcomes. International Review of Administrative Sciences, [forthcoming].

Ibrahim, M, Bawole, J. N., Kumasey A. S. (2017).  The Legal Regime and the Compliance Façade in Public Procurement in Ghana, International Journal of Public Sector Management. 30(4): 370-390.

Bawole, J. N. & Lagnel, Z. (2016). Downward Accountability of NGOs in Community Project Planning In Ghana. Development in Practice, 26(7), 920 – 932. Taylor & Francis Publishers.

Yeboah-Assiamah, E., Asamoah K. Bawole J. N. & Musah-Surugu J. I. (2016). A socio-cultural approach to public sector corruption in Africa: key pointers for reflection, Journal of Public Affairs, 16(3), 279–293. John Wiley Publishers.