Research Article

Return to Africa to Mine an African Understanding of Employee Motivation in Africa: Sankofa

Published in: Africa Journal of Management
Volume 3, issue 3-4, 2017 , pages: 213–235
DOI: 10.1080/23322373.2017.1375811
Author(s): Bill Buenar PuplampuCentral Business School, Ghana


Over the last 80 years commendable advances have been made in the field of employee motivation by scholars who have carried out research, developed theory and put forward tools for application. This paper argues that given the importance of work motivation to economic growth, the wide range of African realities (economic, social, historical, political and philosophical) and the sheer diversity of the continent, scholars must look to start an employee motivation discourse for Africa which derives from the African context. To this end, a four-pointed argument is used to propose a re-framing of the scholarly motivation discourse in Africa. In addition, grounded theory generation – rather than theory testing – is suggested as key to unearthing applicable understandings of the phenomenon within the varied African context.

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