Relevance Of The Code Conduct And Work Ethics To The Ghana Civil Service


 Over the last ten (10) years the Ghana Civil Service has been implementing a new Civil Service Code of Conduct and Work Ethics policy. It was introduced in 1999 by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service (OHCS) with the ultimate goal of improving the work culture, enhancing the overall professional efficiency and image of the Civil Service. This study into the relevance of the new policy to the Civil Service of Ghana was done from the stand point of the top level management personnel of the Service, who were responsible for its successful implementation. The study was conducted between October 2012 and April 2013 within a random sample of 8 out of 24 Ministries and 3 purposively selected ministerial organizations located within the Ministerial Area in Accra. The study population of 135 personnel comprised of 27 Chief Directors and 108 four-line Directors. The triangulated approach was employed in the gathering of both qualitative and quantitative data. Primary data was gathered through questionnaires administered by the investigator to the respondents, interviews and the observation method, whilst secondary data was obtained from official records and library sources. At the end of the data gathering period, out of 56 questionnaires administered 45 (80.4%) responses were obtained. Since the groups in the study population are fairly homogeneous, the total responses obtained for the study could be said to be statistically representative. The general objective of the study is to provide an understanding of how the policy has been implemented for the past decade, how far the goals have been achieved and the challenges. The four specific objectives of the study are to: Examine the rationale for and key elements of the new Civil Service Code of Conduct and Work Ethics policy; Assess the relevance of the new Code of Conduct and Work Ethics to the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of the implementers; Examine the adequacy of strategy for the successful v implementation of the new policy; and find out the challenges and make policy recommendations. The two hypotheses tested are: That top level managers of the Civil Service did NOT show a low level perception of the Civil Service Code of Conduct/Work Ethics; and, That there is NO significant difference in the strategy adopted by the Chief Directors and the approved HRM strategy for the implementation of the Code of Conduct/Work Ethics policy. Having in mind the objectives of the study, the theoretical frameworks used are the Systems Theory, the dominant culture-cum-sub-culture models, the Ethics Management Theory and the related ―Ethics Benchmarking‖ model and the modern Human Resource Management approach. The major findings of the research are that, the implementers have not done enough to achieve the policy goals. First, though majority of respondents had considerably high level perception and understanding of the key principles of the policy, the implementation was poorly managed. Secondly, we noted that the preponderance of such non-rational factors as political interference, personal concern for career progression and job security, doing favours for family and friends and to an extent, office romance among respondents meant that they play major roles in decision-making by ‗big men‘ or top level management of the Civil Service. The implementers have thus permitted desirable ethical principles and values of the Service such as objectivity, meritocracy, organizational loyalty, accountability and professionalism, to suffer when making ethical and official decisions. In sum, because the implementers have low level of understanding for the basic principles of the policy, ineffective systems and structures have been adopted for the implementation. Poor and mediocrity ethics leadership and management thus translate into the overall failure to achieve the short-to-medium term goals of the policy. Though respondents perceive the policy as a relevant mechanism for leveraging the image of their viorganizations, new developments within the local and global policy environment, including the passage of new laws and policies years after the adoption of the Code of Conduct policy in the Civil Service, respondents do not favour its revision soon. The study also pointed out that issues of sexual harassment and work place romance may be difficult to address or sanction. This may not only be due to cultural factors which compel the female victims to condone or tolerate these unethical conducts or prefer to ‗suffer in silence‘, but also because top level leadership lacks the commitment needed to make official policies bite. Regardless of the goals the new policy, the overall evidence from the study, makes it clear that the poor implementation the human rights of workers were not likely to be address adequately, nor will the desired local and international labour regulations reflect in the Civil Service administration in Ghana. The study therefore recommends that, the implementers should adopt modern human resource and ethics management strategies with committed leadership, accountability, systematic training, the application of rewards and sanctions and de-politicization of the Service, to help transform the overall professional efficiency, work culture and image of the Civil Service as envisaged. Finally, given that some of the initial theoretical assertions have been confirmed by the study and others refuted, the enhancement of our appreciation of how relevant the new Code of Conduct/Work Ethics policy is to the Civil Service cannot be underscored. In this regard, it is hoped that this study would be a wakeup call for the Public Policy fraternity that laudable as a policy may be, the envisaged goals would not be realized if those in charge is not fully committed to adopting appropriate mechanisms for implementation. The findings of this study could thus usefully form the basis for a more rigorous research in future to help build the evidence-based knowledge on the Code of Conduct and Work Ethics within the Ghana Civil Service.

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Frontiers, E. (2021). Relevance Of The Code Conduct And Work Ethics To The Ghana Civil Service. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Frontiers, Edu "Relevance Of The Code Conduct And Work Ethics To The Ghana Civil Service" Afribary. Afribary, 04 Apr. 2021, Accessed 22 May. 2024.


Frontiers, Edu . "Relevance Of The Code Conduct And Work Ethics To The Ghana Civil Service". Afribary, Afribary, 04 Apr. 2021. Web. 22 May. 2024. < >.


Frontiers, Edu . "Relevance Of The Code Conduct And Work Ethics To The Ghana Civil Service" Afribary (2021). Accessed May 22, 2024.

Document Details
Field: Sociology Type: Thesis 155 PAGES (39148 WORDS) (pdf)