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A model of virtuous leadership in Africa: case study of a Nigerian firm

Adewale, A. ORCID: (2020) A model of virtuous leadership in Africa: case study of a Nigerian firm. Journal of Business Ethics, 161 (4). pp. 749-762. ISSN 1573-0697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10551-019-04340-3


The nature and extent of Africa’s leadership challenge has been explored from multi-theoretical perspectives finding that amongst other issues, it is ethical in nature. This study therefore aimed to investigate and present a model of virtuous leadership within an indigenous African firm’s context drawing from the African virtue ethics of Afro-communitarianism. Using a qualitative case study design, it explored a model of virtuous leadership within a leading Nigerian pharmaceutical brand. Data was collected from multiple primary sources including semi-structured interviews and informal conversations as well as secondary sources. This study found a virtuous leadership model underpinned by four African primary virtues – Truthfulness, Courage, Humility and Humanity within a context of communitarianism. It also found that the nature and practice of these four virtues by the leaders within the context positively shaped employees’ moral characters through visible modeling but not without its flaws. It concluded that virtuous leadership models are essential within the African leadership context to rise above existing status quo to build communities of practices that are not business as usual but seeking the ultimate end of facilitating the flourishing of immediate and wider communities alike.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:87169


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