An Assessment of the Impediments to the Implementation of Codes of Conduct in Anglophone West African Countries: The Importance of Leadership

Emmanuel Kojo Sakyi, Justice Nyigmah Bawole


This article reports on a focus group study of senior and middle-level public managers’ perceptions about barriers to the implementation of code of conduct in the public sector in five Anglophone West African countries. The article adopts a qualitative research strategy using focus group interviews for 35 serving senior, middle and junior level managers drawn from the five Anglophone West African Countries of Ghana (8), Nigeria (9), Gambia (7), Liberia (6) and Sierra Leone (5). The study reveals that all the countries are making frantic efforts at improving the ethical conduct of public sector managers through the introduction of various reforms measures including code of conduct as key components. However, the practical application of the code of conduct in public administration remains limited. The reasons for this state of affairs include among others deficiencies in code implementation, lack of exemplary leadership, ineffective reward and punishment system and unsupportive public service organisational culture. Among others, a strong leadership, rigorous application of a reward and punishment system and supporting organizational culture were the noteworthy remedial actions suggested by discussants.

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