Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu

Towards an Organisational Revolution in Africa – calibrated culture, engaged leadership and structured health – musings of an organizational psychologist

Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu



Organisations are purposive entities. They go where they are directed, steered and structured to go. They do not get there on their own. The state of an organisation/s is at any point in time (how they perform, whether they (are) meet(ing) the objects of those who birthed them or not, whether they are functional or dysfunctional) is a direct or indirect consequence of human behavioural action or inaction.

I contend that for us in Africa, the rather predominant proclivity towards attributing organizational success or failure to forces external to the organisation and a near schizophrenic refusal (or inability) to look inward at specific, identifiable behaviours of specific identifiable persons or groups of persons is a demonstration of emotional unintelligence at the corporate level and head-in-the-sand ostrich mindset at the national and continental levels. It is time for revolutionary introspection.

In this lecture, I offer some thoughts using three key within-organisation variables: leadership, culture and structured health as tools of revolution. I draw on my research and collaborative endeavours with other scholars to show why and how using these organizational behavior imperatives, organisations in Africa may be invented, reinvented and enabled to survive and achieve their objects into the far future.

I shall draw particularly on the matter of building research culture within African Universties and end with a call on African management and business academics to be more engaged with the reality of the continent. While suggesting a revolution, I counter myself and say, it really is not a matter of revolution. It’s a case of managed behavioural evolution.