Original Research

Public Service Innovations and Changing Ethos in Africa

Chukwuemeka Okafor, Jacob Olufemi Fatile, Ganiyu Layi Ejalonibu
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 2, No 4 | a67 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v2i4.67 | © 2014 Chukwuemeka Okafor, Jacob Olufemi Fatile, Ganiyu Layi Ejalonibu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 November 2016 | Published: 01 December 2014

About the author(s)

Chukwuemeka Okafor, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Jacob Olufemi Fatile, Lagos State University, Nigeria
Ganiyu Layi Ejalonibu, Lagos State University, Nigeria

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One of the widely held beliefs in public management is that strict commitment to an ideology of public service values, which is a critical factor in the delivery of public services. However, with the introduction of market-oriented reforms-innovations, most of these values face severe and serious challenges. This study, using a comparative and analytical method, examines the principles which underpin the African governments’ program of innovation in public service delivery and in particular the traditional public service ethos. The article reveals that over the years, African public services and those who work in them fall short of the ideal leading to the attempt to innovate by introducing the market values which have equally raised questions about possible threats to the ethos. After identifying some challenges that innovation may pose, the article suggests that traditional public sector ethos should be redefined to allow for innovative ideas in service delivery. Finally, the study concludes that a new “synthesized” ethos that draws on the core elements of bureaucratic principles as well as market based values, would deliver superior public services.


Public Service; Public Service Delivery; Innovation; Public Service Ethos; Market values


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