Benevolence and Negative Deviant Behavior in Africa: The Moderating Role of Centralization

  • David B. ZoogahEmail author
  • Richard Bawulenbeug Zoogah
Original Paper


The growing interest in Africa as well as concerns about negative deviant behaviors and ethnic structures necessitates examination of the effect of ethnic expectations on behavior of employees. In this study we leverage insight from ethnos oblige theory to propose that centralization of ethnic norms moderates the relationship between benevolence expectations and negative deviant behavior. Using a cross-sectional design and data from two countries (Ghana: n = 328 and Botswana: n = 100) as well as moderation and cross-cultural analytic techniques, we find support for three-way interactions where the relationship between benevolence and negative deviant behavior is moderated by centralization and culture. We discuss the implications of the findings which support the dynamic perspective of management in Africa.


Ethnic obligations Negative deviant behavior Ethnic commitment 


Job Ten.

Job tenure

Org. Ten.

Organizational tenure


Lack of self-control






Ethnic commitment


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Baniyelme David Zoogah, Richard Bawulenbeug Zoogah declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Williams College of BusinessXavier UniversityCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Johannesburg Business School, College of Business and EconomicsUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.University of Ghana Business SchoolUniversity of GhanaLegonGhana

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