The above topic is the proposed topic, but the writer could rewrite the topic to suit the research proposal, but with the keywords: Leadership & Management, Coronavirus, ECOWAS Commission.gather as many sources as possible for the literature review, particularly on ECOWAS, AU, and the UN.
Leadership and Management Practice during and Post COVID 19: The ECOWAS Commission
Table of Contents
The novel COVID 19 has rapidly changed and continues to transform leadership and management practices in many organizations. Over the last eight months, the pandemic–induced changes have caused a paradigm shift in the leadership styles, dynamics, and capabilities to facilitate suitable leadership and management practices. Following this, organizations must adopt and employ effective leadership and management practices to steer the organization in the right direction during these uncertain times. With the ongoing pandemic leadership and management practices during and post, COVID 19 has become a focal point for Government representatives, union leaders, non-governmental organizations in the ECOWAS bloc (ECOWAS, 2020; Seytre, 2020). This has exacerbated the need for distinctive and capable leadership and management practices to help the organization fulfill its vision. In as much as a leadership style is dependent on an organization’s objectives; the pandemic –induced changes have the potential and capacity to disrupt and revolutionize the leadership role as far as organizational success is concerned (Olagbaju, Awosusi & Shaib, 2020; Ozoh, 2020). Recent studies have shifted focus from the pandemic’s tremendous impact on how organizations are responding and aligning their leadership models to manage and combat COVID 19. Amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the ECOWAS Commission has outlined its fully-fledged leadership agenda to facilitate a capable government in line with the ECOWAS vision. The Commission is the administrative engine of the Authority. It steers the realization of a single, large trading bloc through economic integration during and post COVID-19. In this regard, the ECOWAS has established robust measures to facilitate economic restoration in the region amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This involves the formation of leadership frameworks that reflect the ‘organization’s vision during and post across all its Institutions. Therefore, in this paper, we look at the leadership and management practices adopted by the ECOWAS Commission, drawing insights from the effects of COVID-19 the 15-member states.
This research will focus on the leadership and management practices laid-out to avert the coronavirus pandemic’s effects in nations within the ECOWAS bloc. The study will illustrate how these leadership practices influence and affect regional economies, health education policies, COVID awareness, and their role in restoring the normalcy in the region
This study’s primary goal is to evaluate the most suitable leadership and management practices employed by the ECOWAS Commission and post-COVID. Moreover, this study will establish the leadership and management practices adopted by ECOWAS to mitigate the varying effects ofCOVID 19 (Erhabor, Adias, Okara & Etsky, 2020; Lokossou et al., 2020). Furthermore, the study highlights the pandemic’s adverse impacts and how the Commission is responding to facilitate a smooth transition at the leadership and management level. Nonetheless, the study is new and could strengthen the knowledge of the ECOWAS administrative unit on effective leadership and management practices.
This study’s main objective is to determine the effectiveness of leadership and management practices employed during and post COVID 19. This objective will be achieved by addressing the following specific goals in the context of the ECOWAS Commission.
- How do the leadership and management practices jointly ensure effective handling of the pandemic?
- Identify the strategies used during and post-COVID 19?
- Is the leadership style and management significantly related to handling the pandemic?
This research will use secondary data collection methods to examine existing literature and empirical data to ascertain the effectiveness of the Commission’s leadership, and management practices during and post COVID 19. This method involves collecting data from ECOWAS Commission publications, WAHO reports; ECOWAS member states publications, online articles on Coronavirus, media interviews with representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, or officials from member states, Websites on Coronavirus update, and Journals on Coronavirus. This data will be obtained from diverse databases such as Google Scholar, JSTOR, Research Gate, Emerald, official sites of the institutions, as mentioned earlier, and other credible online journals.
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This report serves as a foundation for an evaluation model that will aid organizations’ design and adopt a leadership style and practice that guarantees organizational success. Also, the findings offer takeaways for leaders, weathering a pandemic.
Leadership and Management, ECOWAS Commission, Coronavirus, West Africa Health Organization.
According to a recently published report by ECOWAS, there is a growing concern on the utilization of public funds pooled to offset the COVID 19 economic and social strain (OECD, 2020). This has been primarily exacerbated by the inflation of COVID-19 related products and services that has become a hot button topic in the ECOWAS bloc. Also, there is a growing concern following the continuous rise of fake tests in the region. The presence of inaccurate figures limits ECOWAScapacity to restore economic prosperity due to the strenuous allocation of resources to coronavirus capacity treatment and epidemiological testing. Although there is minimal research on the leadership practices in the Commission, it is evident that the leadership issues can only be solved by the presence of a stable and effective administration. Despite the vast experience gained in managing the previous pandemics, COVID-19 has presented substantial challenges due to its quick transmission and impact on all aspects of life. The difficulties experienced by the Commission have influenced the need for leadership structures and models that facilitate good governance.
The ECOWAS has pooled technical and financial resources to facilitate the realization of the leadership and management practices necessary in the Commission to deal with COVID 19 and ensure stability during and after the pandemic. From this practical perspective, leadership, and management practices, have become a focal point for Government representatives, social actors, economic critics, non-governmental organization leaders, as well as all arms of ECOWAS. Furthermore, International organizations such as the World Trade Organization are working closely with the ECOWAS Commission to facilitate a strategic work plan that alleviates the impacts of COVID 19 by building capacity for program implementation in areas such as education, culture, and science(Lakshmi Priyadarsini & Suresh, 2020). Such responses entail the leadership and management practices that the ECOWAS Commission has implemented to deal with COVID 19 and facilitate capacity development for all the ECOWAS member states after the pandemic.
Similarly, ECOWAS is conducting a collective post-pandemic recovery where member nations plan to gradually and strategically bridge the gaps in education, healthcare delivery, policy, and the economy that were significantly impacted by the pandemic (Olagbaju, Awosusi & Shaib, 2020; Ozoh, 2020). The Commission will build a capacity to support program implementation in the 15 member states. Besides, in a recent ECOWAS summit, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government agreed to create measures to reinforce the capacity for treatment, isolation, and contact tracing, increase the health workforce by using community health workers to sensitize the public, among other strategies to handle the pandemic (ECREEE, 2020). In essence, ECOWAS has adopted significant measures to manage the impacts of COVID 19 and plan for the post-COVID recovery. In this regard, the administrative element of the Authority will facilitate equitable and equal distribution of resources to aid the realization of the ECOWAS vision during and post COVID-19. The Commission has contributed to COVID 19 fund to reinforce the technical and financial resources to administer an able and competent government to lead the nations during instability and crisis. In a virtual meeting with the President of ECOWAS Commission, H.E Jean, Claude Kassi Brou, and the ECOWAS ministers of transport echoed the need for strategic and technical policies to build capacity for program implementation in the region to achieve the trade bloc goals. As of August 24, 2020, the ECOWAS bloc had recorded 154,305 cases where 27,404were under treatment, 124,585 have recovered while the total number of deaths was 2316 (WAHO, 2020). Following this, the West Africa Health Organization, in solidarity with the 15-member states, continued to impose stringent preventive measures such as social distancing, travel bans, and transport restrictions that limit trade and business transactions in the region. As a result, the ECOWAS Commission has collaborated with the trade and logistics Government representatives to enact policies and measures to strengthen the surveillance of infrastructure across the 300-entry point to West Africa to curb the virus spread while facilitating trade relations (Adam & Sombié, 2016). In efforts to revitalize the regional economies, the ECOWAS Commission has formed select COVID 19 response committees with representatives from every country in the ECOWAS bloc to develop a well-integrated organizational framework to navigate through these turbulent times with hopes of economic recovery in the second quarter of 2020 (Okolo,2020). The ECOWAS Commission has adopted smart business solutions such as web conferencing to facilitate teleworking as one of its strategic plans to endorse digitalization in the wake of COVID-19.
COVID 19 crisis has affected leadership and management practices in various organizations in numerous ways. During the pandemic, effective leadership is necessary for an organization and its employees and necessitates emotional, physical, and psychological endurance. Nonetheless, after the crisis, organizations will need distinctive leadership qualities to revive and restore the entire establishments. ECOWAS Commission has been on the forefront to adopt effective leadership and management practices to aid in the realization of the ECOWAS vision during and post COVID-19. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the ECOWAS Commission has strengthened its leadership and management practices for the development and sustainability of robust programs and activities in the region. Besides, the Commission has come up with several leadership strategies to aid member states in recovering from the economic devastations caused by the pandemic in the sub-region (Seytre, 2020). Using the founding protocols of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) in 1987, the ECOWAS Commission has increased its capacity and models to enact robust health policies to battle COVID 19. The core capacities and framework models involve the distribution and implementation of selected disease control mechanisms from ECOWAS, WAHO, and other specialist agencies in all ECOWAS member states. In collaboration with the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union, ECOWAS is allocating the disaster and relief budgetary reserves to the most affected countries in the region. The WAEMU has played an outsized role in the financing and counterbalancing the emerging effects of the pandemics.
Over the last decade, the ECOWAS Commission has extensively applied transformational leadership style in all its operations. Transformational administration is the style in which the leader can transform the organization by aligning the change with the desired goals. Transformational change plays an integral role in improving performance, which simultaneously boosts the unit per production. The transformational leadership style has the potential and capacity to change the programs, projects, and activities of an organization to match its strategic objectives. These management practices facilitate the achievement of operations in the Commission as well as ensure leadership roles at all levels are in line with the strategic objective. From this perspective, a transformational leader can notice the change, set practical goals, and guide the management through the transition (Ceptureanu, 2016). In this regard, the ECOWAS Commission has the potential and ability to apply capacity development strategies, strengthen health systems, and heighten political and economic governance in the region to combat COVID 19. The President of the ECOWAS Commission has been vocal on the need to build on more capacity development to drive out the emerging impacts of COVID 19. For instance, in a recent COVID 19 related meeting, the ECOWAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to maximize the team’s composition in fighting the novel Coronavirus (ECA, 2020).
Similarly, the ECOWAS Commission has implemented numerous management policies and practices to allow reliable and effective governance in the region. To be specific, the ECOWAS has incorporated the system approach theory to deal with the rapidly evolving pandemic. According to Amagoh (2008), the system approach theory integrates complex organizational activities, strategies, and objectives in an open system to provide optimal space for growth and development by interacting in the same ecosystem. This management theory is mainly based on evidence-based mitigation steps, processes, and capacity building (Erhabor et al., 2020). The 15-member states have fronted a universal approach that facilitates high-level regional coordination that translates to joint preparedness. The method is designed to integrate and incorporate the human capital, technical, and financial resources to fight the ongoing spread and transmission of COVID 19. With the help of the WAHO, ECOWAS has employed robust diagnostic and surveillance tools to better prepare for the pandemic induced changes. The ECOWAS Commission operates on diverse open social systems. The managerial and leadership aspect of the organization is modeled on the notion that social structures must interact in their immediate environment within an ecosystem such as international bodies who invest in local governments, Governments that regulate and form polices. In this regard, the ECOWAS bloc has identified economic recovery in the region as a distinct and immediate need to be addressed. The Commission will facilitate interaction and collaboration with health specialists, economists, and critical political figures in the ECOWAS bloc to generate viable information and strategies to bridge the substantial economic strain and any other COVID 19 impacts. This approach will not only combat COVID 19 but allow organizational survival by providing long-lasting solutions.
Furthermore, the system approach theory aligns with the sweeping leadership and management practices adopted in the ECOWAS Commission for the greater West African region. With the support of UNESCO and WAHO, ECOWAS has formed a joint response committee to reaffirm the precautionary measures taken to limit the infection rate. This is the first step towards coordinating and formulating a strategic regional framework to oversee the ongoing pandemic fight. Also, the ECOWAS has formed a financial oversight committee to allocate the available financial resources from its reserves (ECREEE, 2020). In collaboration with WAHO, ECOWAS has also created a competent team to collect data and gain more insights to boost the capacity of Government and private-owned laboratories to equip technical personnel with the required skills. Although the financial input of the ECOWAS is comparatively low, the Commission, in collaboration with WAHO, is conducting both external and internal resource mobilization to increase medical capacity treatment to monitor and combat this coronavirus crisis.
This study explores the leadership and management practices during and after COVID 19 in the context of the ECOWAS Commission. The research will focus on the leadership and managerial aspect of the secretariat division in facilitating operations with regards to the ECOWAS economic integration agenda. For this study, pandemic-induced changes will be referenced and interpreted as the primary cause of the current leadership and management practices in the ECOWAS Commission. Leadership strategies and styles will be referenced as the mainframe of the leadership principles, models, and policies executed by the ECOWAS Commission and how this, in return, shapes and defines the executive body in the organization.
There is limited literature on the topic of leadership and management practices in the ECOWAS Commission in West Africa. The few studies available are limited to the Interregional framework, which falls under the African Union. So far, this study assumes that the ECOWAS has a disaster program framework borrowed from the severe Ebola pandemic in 2014 (Jens, 2020). It relies heavily on the leadership practices imposed during the epidemic on the autonomous states in the region from ECOWAS and WAHO and other health specialist agencies.
Application and adoption of the leadership and management practices implemented during the severe Ebola epidemic into this new research impede the ‘researcher’s ability to derive further and independent information that is subject to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, effective leadership is necessary for an organization and its employees as it necessitates emotional, physical, and psychological endurance. Nonetheless, after the crisis, organizations will need distinctive leadership qualities to revive and restore the entire establishments. In this light, the ECOWAS Commission has increased capacity building to alleviate the effects of the pandemic. Initially, the Commission intensified its input in creating awareness of the coronavirus pandemic as well as supporting and reinforcing the ministry of precautionary health measures to limit the spread of the highly contagious disease (ECOWAS, 2020; Seytre, 2020). Recently, the ECOWAS Commission has unveiled its plan to bridge the emerging trade issues by enacting policies to boost the most affected businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises in the region, as part of the ECOWAS economic integration agenda.
The first case of COVID was reported in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019. Since then, the highly contagious disease has rapidly spread across all countries in the world. In the West African region, the highly infectious virus has taken diverse narratives. In some states, there is an exponential rise in the confirmed cases, while in others; the infection curve is coming down. As of now, most of the borders remain shut to avoid community-based transmission, which is currently at its peak (Iskandar, 2020). ECOWAS shows that there are emerging psychological issues due to the continuous job loss, food insecurity, salary cuts as well as lack of social interactions due to the imposed isolation and physical distancing measures (Obadia & Hannah, 2020). Despite these impacts varying between countries and regions based on the restrictive and protective policies employed, the ECOWAS has had to revise its leadership models to provide stable and sustainable governance in the area amidst a pandemic. Issues such as food security have caused a paradigm shift in the distribution of the available resources. The ECOWAS Heads of Authority has appointed a select committee to setup budgetary relief funds to provide basic needs to the vulnerable people in the region (Erhabor, 2020). Another emerging theme is the embezzlement and misappropriation of resources set aside to reinforce the capacity for treatment, isolation, contact tracing, increasing the health workforce, sensitizing the public, among other strategies to fight COVID 19. This has led to the increased need for transparent and honest leadership practices to mobilize equitable distribution and utilization of the COVID funds. As a result, the Commission enacted robust policies to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 funds.
Furthermore, the disposition of the COVID 19 precautionary measures has brought about the bias that is not based on democratic principles. For instance, in Nigeria, journalists have been assaulted while others lost their jobs because of reporting leaders who were flaunting the COVID 19 measures (Ibrahim, 2020). The discriminatory and violent acts surrounding the COVID 19 containment and precautionary measures have elicited the need for leadership practices that hold the law enforcement accountable in the region. In the wake of the heightened police brutality, extrajudicial killings due to flaunting curfew or lockdown measures, the ECOWAS Commission has called upon Government representatives to urge police and military institutions in the 15-member states to refrain from violating human rights (Amadasun, 2020).
The study follows a qualitative approach. The research is descriptive and will apply the case study strategy (our case study being the ECOWAS Commission). This process will follow a naturistic path. Studying things in their natural states makes it a practical method to collect and analyze secondary data from a legitimate and credible purview (Pole, 2007). The researcher y will conduct investigations by reviewing documents (books, reports, journals, ECOWAS, and government publications), archival analysis to ascertain the Commission’s leadership and management practices during the pandemic. The study will employ diverse research approaches to source information from credible databases such as Google scholar, Research Gate, JSTOR, and other relevant official websites to increase the volume of data collected.
The qualitative research aspect is imperative considering that this research addresses the critical leadership and management practices in ECOWAS Commission as influenced by perceptions, behaviors, and attitudes by experts from the Executive secretariat division, development agencies, and Member States representatives in the ECOWAS bloc. Compiling data centered on the distinct behavior, attitudes, and perceptions facilitate a proper understanding of the pandemic-induced changes on the economic, social, and political aspects and its implications in the Commission.
This study adopted a secondary data collection design and content analysis technique to gain in-depth information about the leadership and management practices during and post-COVID 19. For this research, a single case study is adopted to facilitate gathering insights from the ECOWAS Commission. Case studies allude to an extensive and intrusive approach by focusing on an individual, group, or organization. Although the information collected from case studies can be generalized over several units, case studies offer and facilitate exploration of real-life events through a detailed and in-depth collection of data. Focus on a single case study guides the researcher to unveil the core leadership and management practices upon which the Commission operates. The study draws insights from the experiences of key officials from the ECOWAS Commission by thoroughly reviewing media interviews, online articles from the ECOWAS Commission, etc. Through this, the researcher will gain a grasp of the primary leadership and management practices by analyzing the Commissions policy administration structure in’ response to the impacts of COVID19.
Data collection is a crucial step in the research process as it sets out tools and procedures to build new knowledge. This research will use the secondary data collection tools to ascertain the ECOWAS Commission’s leadership and management practices during the pandemic. Information building for this study is either obtained by interviewing main actors in the Organizations and or recently published reports, surveys, and the enormous amounts of data streaming daily about the impact of COVID 19 on the leadership styles, models, and dynamics. Therefore, this research fetched secondary data from published reports, online articles, journals, and ECOWAS publications to inform the study. The information which covers the three main areas of the study, namely: leadership and management practice, leadership styles, and strategies and management theories, paint a clear picture of the disruptive impact of COVID 19 on all aspects of leadership. Since its formation, the three leadership aspects have been a focal point for the ECOWAS Commission with a critical focus on the effectiveness and capacity to regain economic normalcy in the sub-region. Resultantly the leadership and management practice adopted by the ECOWAS Commission has been the primary driver of economic growth, eradication of poverty, ensuring peace and stability in the -sub-region as part of the ECOWAS vision during and post COVID-19. Focusing on secondary data helps the researcher utilize use current and reputable sources that offer specific and specialist information on the subject under study (Alsayed, Maguire-Wright, & Flickinger, 2016).
This study entails the engagement, interaction, and documentation of beliefs, attitudes of human subjects in the ECOWAS bloc. The study complied with all the ethics required when researching to maintain the work and data documentation standard and quality. Firstly, the researcher filled an ethics form (Research Ethics Application Form) from the university to clarify the research method, mode of delivery and expected results. Also, this study ensured that all the information gathered was used for academic purposes only.
This study will use secondary data to employ the content analysis technique drawing from the information.
During a pandemic, effective leadership and management practices are crucial to allow the organization’s smooth operation. The rationale for conducting this research is to analyze the effectiveness of leadership and management practices during and post COVID-19. While numerous studies are focusing on the leadership and management practices during and post-COVID 19, there is little literature about the impact of COVID 19 on the various organizations. This research contributes to the growing body of research concerning the effects of COVID 19 on the organization and the subsequent approaches in adopting effective leadership practices and leadership models that facilitate economic recovery. The study will also focus on the ECOWAS Commission, which contributes relevant insights on the transition of leadership and management practices and the subsequent restructuring of the leadership styles and models. In this light, it is critical that the research draws insights from credible sources and ensures that the data gathered covers different aspects necessary to develop comprehensive conclusions. This data is analyzed and summarized using the content analysis technique to derive detailed and illustrative reports on the leadership and management practices utilized by the ECOWAS organization through its Commission to combat the impacts of COVID 19. Finally, the findings are interpreted and reviewed, checked against the reviewed literature.
This research assumes that all the sources retrieved from online databases are credible and contain accurate information that reflects real-life phenomena. Although the researcher used deductive reasoning to triangulate and locate data in the databases, it is increasingly inaccurate to state that the data is accurate as it is mainly based on observations and examination of other authors.
These assumptions primarily limit analysis and summarization of data to derive new knowledge or build on existing literature. Following this, the methodological assumptions can diverge the primary goal of the study while validating the hypothesis.
This section compiles the research results as per the highlighted objectives. The research singularly focuses on the leadership and management practices employed in the ECOWAS Commission amidst the COVID 19 impact on organizations. Through an in-depth analysis, the study summarized, analyzed, and interpreted the data collected to generate valid information that will form a firm foundation for future research.
Leadership and management practices vary from one organization to another. The leadership model and strategies employed are dependent on the organization’s objective. The intensity and capacity of the goals drive the formation and adoption of a capable administration due to proper management strategies, smooth flow of information by polishing the performance of the subordinates across all levels in the organization. According to the data collected, the leadership strategies and models adopted are an appropriate tool that steers the organization in the right direction. The data shows a direct and positive relationship between effective leadership policies and a well-established organization’s objective. In this context, the ECOWAS Commission has effectively blended its leadership and management practices into a standard and well-integrated leadership model to fight the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic effectively. In this regard, the leadership and management practices employed amidst the global epidemic strongly align with the ECOWAS vision to create self-sufficient member states through a continuum series of economic cooperation.
The data retrieved from the existing secondary texts and literature shows the disruptive nature of the COVID on the leadership framework. Since the first case was reported in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus outbreak has had varied impacts on organizations. Changes in the leadership framework require a subsequent shift in policy administration, leadership styles to allow a smooth transition. The data collected concludes that the ECOWAS Commission facilitates capacity building to implement programs, projects that ensure the application of diagnostic and epidemiological tools to monitor the pandemic. According to the World Trade Organization forecast in West Africa, there has been a significant decrease in the trade volumes in the region. Therefore, the ECOWAS Commission has enacted high-level degree situational procedures to facilitate economic restoration (Olagbaju, Awosusi& Shaib, 2020).
Transformational leadership is the most suitable and sufficient leadership style in the ECOWAS Commission. The study gathered comprehensive data that shows a positive and significant relationship between the transformational leadership and system approach theory employed by the ECOWAS Commission. In essence, transformational leadership asserts the leaders’ role in the organization. Transformation administration shapes leadership management practices that notice the change and make the necessary steps to bridge the existing gaps or issues. In this light, ECOWAS Commissioners have harnessed the leadership techniques to give life to policies and administrative theories that aid the ECOWAS vision. On the managerial aspect of the organization, the ECOWAS Commission has extensively leveraged on the systems approach theory to provide a conducive and favourable environment for all the facets in the organization within the same ecosystem to interact and thrive seemingly. Through the systemic application of the transformational and systems approach theory, the ECOWAS Commission is at the forefront in the fight for a more integrated West Africa.
Leadership and management practices are primarily based on three crucial steps, namely, organizational success, work output per production, as well as the power and capacity to fulfil the corporate objectives. The research questions derive and formulate the research’s core foundation through the sequential review of existing data. The research questions act as a yardstick to explore and collect the pertinent literature to inform this research. The exquisite and interrogative nature of the research questions deepens the research focus, thus deriving relevant data on the existing and emerging issues related to the subject under study.
The research questions cross-examine the speed and scale to which the leadership and management practices drive capable and effective governance in the region. Furthermore, the well-structured descriptive questions helped the researcher narrow down to the most pertinent knowledge on the topic under study, such as the relationship between the subordinates and their leaders as well as leadership styles and organizational culture, thus steering the study in the right direction. Furthermore, the research questions imposed a limit to the scope of the study as it focused on ECOWAS Commission leadership and management practices in regards to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Following the study findings, this section provides conclusions and recommendations based on the leadership and management practices employed by the ECOWAS Commission to mitigate the impacts of COVID 19. The novel Coronavirus has significantly affected the leadership models in numerous organizations. Since the outbreak of the virus in the People’s Republic of China late last year in December, the highly contagious disease has changed the leadership and management field. Companies and organizations have been forced to close down in efforts to observe the social distancing guidelines to halt the spread of the virus. These drastic measures have caused a significant change in policy administration due to the continuous use of innovative digital products, which have simultaneously impeded transparency and openness in the Commission. As a result, there is a dire need for the ECOWAS Commission to adopt effective leadership and management practices. This is because it will provide the needed benefit that is the continuous access to the necessary services and reduce the need for the ECOWAS bloc members to suffer the adverse effects of the pandemic on its own.
As a subsidiary of the ECOWAS, the ECOWAS Commission has strategically pulled together technical resources and support from organization reserves, international bodies to form a strong foundation to combat COVID 19. The ECOWAS Commission has effectively institutionalized its leadership role in all the 15-member states to harness the fight against COVID 19. Moreover, the ECOWAS Commission has utilized the transformational leadership styles and the systems theory approach to form a well-integrated leadership model that allows proper execution of all centralized and decentralized organizational activities. While its primary goal is policy administration, the ECOWAS Commission plans to build capacity through the implementation of robust leadership and management practices to curb the emerging effects of Coronavirus. Although there is a high degree of uncertainties surrounding the lack of a vaccine, the Commission is optimistic that the policies in place will facilitate a partial economic recovery in the second quarter of 2020. The Commission leverages on the perennial impact of the COVID 19 pandemic to make changes that match up to good governance.
Leadership and management practice is affected by all external and internal factors, including the outbreak of diseases. Organizations that leverage and practice transformational leadership and apply system approach theory will drastically combat the ongoing COVID 19 impact and propel the organization to economic recovery by strengthening the organizations’ operation. Leadership and management practice is a crucial factor in offsetting the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. The nature in which the organization plans and outlines its leadership and management portfolio determines the level and nature of organizational success. However, this largely depends on the organization’s ability to withstand turbulent times as well as the propensity for change.
Setting up new leadership policies, strategies, and policies is the new norm for the ECOWAS Commission. There are systemic synergy and charisma accentuated by the convergence of existing models with new models to form a firm and steady foundation to serve the West African region during these corona times. This shows the increased reliance on effective governance, policy implementation, and extensive and intensive continuous leadership transformation to expand human capacity development. Also, a fair share of the leadership and management practice has been altered; however, the ECOWAS Commission stands firm in bringing economic restoration in the sub-region.
In conclusion, this research presents a huge inference in the dynamisms and the extent to which the adopted leadership and management practices will have on the ECOWAS Commission. On the one hand, the organization has realigned its leadership model and strategy to bring out the most suitable and competent leadership style. Through this, the ECOWAS Commission has been able to offer a highly stable environment when expertise is concentrated on the senior managers and system engineers. However, the transformational leadership style restructures the whole organization from the bottom up, including reshaping the organization’s culture. Subsequently, this will cause adverse results that will take a relatively long time to be yoked into the organization. The drastic leadership changes and transformation will cause employee confusion, which will simultaneously lead to low work output per production. Furthermore, this research implicates the evolution of a distinct variation between the ECOWAS Commission and other Institutions, specialized agencies, and regional bodies as they collaboratively work to facilitate development in the sub-region.
This research contributes to the emerging body of research on the leadership critical capabilities of the regional economic communities in Africa. Through cumulative analysis of the performance, leadership styles, and strategies, the study provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the current leadership styles with ample reference to key stakeholders and actors in the leadership and management field. This paper broadens and heightens the scope of further and broader research that is pertinent for the growth and development of regional economies, education policies, and health systems that strongly align with the Sustainable development goals (SDGs). The study narrowly analyzes and dissects the impact of the COVID 19 from the government perspective within the ECOWAS bloc, thus providing a ripe area for research. It narrowly examines the grappling economy, poor healthcare services, food insecurity, and low literacy levels on the populace.
Based on the severe recession currently being experienced in West Africa, the study showcases the pertinent leadership and management practices necessary in the ECOWAS bloc to facilitate policy administration, collaboration, and partnership with other regional unions to mitigate the rapidly growing impacts of COVID 19. Furthermore, this research taps into the ripe area of socialism and humanitarian aid due to emerging issues on corruption, police brutality, and infringement of human rights. With the ongoing rise of COVID 19 cases, leadership and management practices have been drastically altered and misaligned. In essence, COVID 19 adversely impacts the whole organizational structure, thus disrupting the organizational culture.
Although pandemics are uncertain events, this study forms a solid foundation for future researchers to show the intrusive and extensive nature COVID 19 has changed the leadership model to enable future leaders to utilize and employ the appropriate skills to remain afloat. Furthermore, this study renders substantial information to the representative member states on the unique governance models that boost the communication, distribution of resources, urgent budgetary allocation, and policy administration. The research informs and builds a firm foundation upon which the Commission will develop and implement well-integrated organizational policies that cut across all organization levels and roles.
Pandemics are uncertain events, and therefore, the presence of COVID 19 is a guide to enable leaders to shield and align their companies well. Human capacity development, corporate culture, and organizational performance, development of a strategic leadership framework, as well as relationships with stakeholders, are essential. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that leaders position their organizations and companies well to stay afloat and provide effective governance to their subordinates. Primarily this involves effective communication channels to ensure smooth flow of information from the top executive level to the junior employees, proper knowledge management systems, purchasing and supplies chain systems, virtual satellite offices, and work-life balances.
A leadership management framework is an integral aspect of an organization, especially with the ongoing impacts of COVID 19. It involves the modeling of strategic planning and inclusivity project plans to facilitate a smooth transition in case of any abrupt changes. The ECOWAS Commission handles extensive regional and interregional activities that require making critical decisions and plans on how to stay afloat for long. Therefore, the Commission has to ensure that it incorporates a structured leadership policy, privacy policies, particular procedures adopted in the handling of uncertain events, and other institutional assets such as supervision of staff during a pandemic. The Commission should develop a series of tools, documentation, and maintain compliance with the state regulations and laws as a requirement for effective performance.
Creating a capable management government includes the hospitality of the staff, psychosocial mechanisms, and aversion of any hazards at work that may remain detrimental to the team’s performance. The 15-member states are the key stakeholders in the ECOWAS Commission, and therefore, their welfare is an essential aspect in facilitating great functionality in the Commission. This study recommends an intensive assessment of the community laws, conventions, and protocols that govern the ECOWAS as seconded by the Supreme Courts of the 15-member states.
The design and maintenance of a leadership management framework involve leveraging the most relevant leadership and management practices to ease the mode of governance. This research recommends the ECOWAS Commission to develop a well-integrated leadership model that houses the core fundamental strategies.
COVID 19 is a highly contagious disease that has had numerous impacts on leadership and management practice. This emerging phenomenon has caused a paradigm shift in the organizational structure and culture that is disrupting the productivity and operability of the Commission. However, more research is needed to add research on this topic to add knowledge on the extent and magnitude of COVID 19 impact on the organization. Also, leadership and management practices are an instrument for knowledge management systems and corporate culture, cost-cutting, and social capital mobilization that need to be investigated.
This study had some limitations during its conduction. First, the research sourced data from current online credible and verified sources only. The application of the desktop study limited the collection and analysis of real-time behaviours, attitudes, and feelings. Also, data from the secondary sources could be biased or have errors that were overlooked in this study. Furthermore, the research followed a singular perspective focusing on the ECOWAS bloc. In contrast, the study would have analysed the leadership and management practices in other regional organizations in Africa or elsewhere.
The ECOWAS Organization Structure
ECOWAS is made of three arms governance, namely the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. The executive arm comprises the chairman of the Authority Heads of State and Government, heads of state, and the ECOWAS ministers from the 15 member states. In an aim to achieve its vision, the ECOWAS transformed its secretariat to a Commission (ECOWAS, 2020). At the helm of the Commission is the President assisted by the Vice President and 13commissioners. The Commission executes all decisions and policies in ECOWAS to facilitate capacity building for program implementation in all the 15 member states. However, the Commission has institutionalized a strategic leadership and management model to ensure the effective implementation of administrative policies and practices.
The administrative instrument was changed to the ECOWAS Commission to facilitate the realization of the ECOWAS vision, which strongly aligns with the Sustainable development Goals. As a regional economic community, ECOWAS has committed to achieving the SDGs as part of fulfilling the UN global agenda. Sustainable Development Goal is the ‘ ‘UN’s commitment to eradicate poverty, facilitate climate, and ensure economic prosperity for all countries across the world by 2030.
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