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Ethical leadership: African lessons for international management

Story, Joana S P; Guimarães-Costa, Nuno; Pina E Cunha, Miguel; Kamoche, Ken; Rego, Arménio

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Joana S P Story

Nuno Guimarães-Costa

Miguel Pina E Cunha

Professor of Human Resource Management

Arménio Rego


Scholarship on ethical leadership is vast. However, scholarship at the interface of ethics, leadership and organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is still scarce. We draw from literature about leadership in Africa to (a) identify three research streams (functional, cultural, and critical) and (b) use these streams to make sense of research on ethics, organizations and leadership in SSA, as well as to analyze opportunities for future research. We do so by proposing four interpretative modes or approaches that allow the advancement of research in the field of ethical leadership in SSA. We argue that more paradigmatically diverse research on SSA is extremely important as it can allow for the development of textured theories on the context as well as open possibilities for revitalizing organization theory. The study of leadership and ethics in SSA may be an interesting arena to explore a number of tensions and paradoxes that are pervasive in organization theory. If paradox theory is crystallizing prematurely around a number of tensions, the SSA context may contribute to the release of the study of paradox from the straightjacket of convergence and reveal a number of tensions permeating the practice of international management.


Story, J. S. P., Guimarães-Costa, N., Pina E Cunha, M., Kamoche, K., & Rego, A. (2022). Ethical leadership: African lessons for international management. Management International, 26(3), 140-158.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 6, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jun 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 7, 2023
Journal Management International
Print ISSN 1206-1697
Electronic ISSN 1918-9222
Publisher HEC Montréal
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 3
Pages 140-158
Keywords Ethics, leadership, Sub-Saharan Africa, Cultural values, Post-colonial theory
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