Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Omoluwabi and management practice

There's an interesting post on Okebadan's blog about retrieving a sense of business ethics from Yoruba mores here. Scroll down to the post dated Wednesday May 3rd. The project is an interesting one: recapturing a traditional value system for the purposes of creating an ethical framework for business interactions. Rather than relying on imported theological concepts to drive a collective sense of ethics, why not conduct an archeology of values to create a more rigorous and adaptive ethical framework?


St Antonym 2:36 pm  

I've often wondered the same thing myself. Why are we (Yorubas, Nigerians) so ethically sophisticated in the private sphere, but such a thieving horde in public?

Is it because we don't see the public space as a proper venue for our philosophical best? Is there a notion that, after all, most of us are not "from" Lagos, that we don't identify emotionally with "Nigeria" the same way we do with our ethnic groups?

The generosity, calmness, orderliness and humility that characterises a lot of familial interaction in the Yoruba lore would be a boon to business practice. But will it ever happen?

Business, as understood in the capitalist model, is all about the bottom dollar, at any cost. It's quite literally all about the money.

This clashes quite seriously with the Yoruba concept of "aje" (profit/business) which is first and foremost situated within a framework of communal ethics, what you might call "iwa omoluwabi."

Anonymous,  9:10 pm  

I am not Yoruba, but am familiar with the concept of "rare" (fast guy, sly fox) and "ode" (fool). Rare often engages in crooked practices, short cuts - but always escapes because he is "fast". Whereas ode gets caught.

I fear it may be far-fetched to be talking about deep ethics when it is plain to see that the "rares", who use their offices to make wealth, are the winners in Nigerian society. Whilst the "odes" that earn an honest salary and wait for pension, die in poverty.

This alone is a message, more powerful than any ethical treatise.

Emeka Okafor 4:15 pm  

Maybe the question that needs to asked is how do we rebuild the public spheres to reflect our private domains,yoruba,hausa,ibo,efik,ibibio etc. etc? The grassroots approach could be one of those options...explored here for example.

the flying monkeys 6:12 pm  

Jeremy thanks for posting this, with special regards to Wale Ajadi.

This is only the beginning.

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP