The relevance of Ghanaian Akan proverbs to explanations of contemporary human resource principles and corporate values

  • B.C. Agyemang
  • A.M. Asumeng
  • B Amponsah


In the Ghanaian Akan tradition, many proverbial sayings and phraseologies are knotty statements which are viewed as vehicle for communicating belief systems, values, prescribed and proscribed attitudes and behaviours of people at personal, groups or societal levels. Proverbs are mostly crafted from human experiences and insights and have been viewed over the years as a repository of social norms and values as well as an embodiment of culture and tradition which are potentially applicable in various settings in society. In the extant literature, however, not much, is known about the extent to which these proverbial sayings are applicable to corporate settings, although these proverbs appear to offer explanations for contemporary corporate human resource concepts, principles and practices. To address this gap, this paper: identifies some Ghanaian Akan proverbs and categorizes them into major themes; draws-out explanations from these proverbs and demonstrate their explanatory power for some key human resource (HR) principles and corporate values such as team work, training and development, retirement planning, organizational ethics and safety. The paper concludes with ardent appeal for the advancement of knowledge especially in Africa through “Academic Domestication”.

Keywords: Ghanaian Akan proverbs, corporate values, human resource principles, academic domestication, Ghana


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eISSN: 0148-2963