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Nigerian Culture and its Influence on HRM Practices

Last Updated on November 27, 2023


Nigeria, known as the Giant of Africa, is a culturally diverse country with a population of over 200 million people.

Numerous ethnic groups shape the country, each preserving unique traditions, languages, and customs.

This diversity is reflected in the Nigerian culture, which is a blend of indigenous practices and influences from colonialism.

The importance of HRM practices in organizations cannot be overstated. Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the strategic approach used to manage an organization’s workforce.

HRM practices cover a wide range of activities, including recruitment, training, performance management, and employee retention.

These practices are crucial for creating a positive work environment and ensuring the success of an organization.

In Nigeria, HRM practices are influenced by the country’s cultural beliefs and values. For instance, respect for elders is an integral part of Nigerian culture.

This value is reflected in HRM practices, where employees are expected to show deference to their superiors.

Additionally, Nigerian culture places a strong emphasis on community and family ties.

HRM practices often promote camaraderie among employees through team-building activities, fostering a sense of unity.

Nigerian culture further values education and prioritizes academic qualifications in the hiring process, giving them significant importance.

HRM practices in Nigerian organizations often prioritize the hiring of qualified individuals with relevant degrees and certifications.

In fact, Nigerian culture greatly influences HRM practices in organizations.

Understanding and incorporating cultural values into HRM policies can lead to a better workplace environment, improved employee engagement, and organizational success.

It is important for organizations operating in Nigeria to be mindful of cultural sensitivities and adapt their HRM practices accordingly.

Read: The Evolution of HRM Education in Nigeria

Nigerian Cultural Aspects

Diversity in language, religion, and ethnicity

  1. Nigeria is a country known for its rich diversity in language, with over 500 ethnic groups.

  2. Each ethnic group has its own language, making Nigeria a linguistically diverse nation.

  3. Religion also plays a significant role in Nigerian culture, with Islam and Christianity being the dominant religions.

  4. There are also other indigenous religions practiced by various ethnic groups.

  5. The diverse ethnic makeup and religious beliefs contribute to a multicultural society in Nigeria.

Respect for elders and hierarchical structure

  1. In Nigerian culture, respect for elders is deeply ingrained and considered a core value.

  2. Elders are seen as a source of wisdom and experience, and their opinions hold great weight.

  3. The hierarchical structure is prevalent in Nigerian society, whether it be in families or organizations.

  4. Authority figures are given respect and obedience, and subordinates follow the chain of command.

  5. This hierarchical structure is also observed in the workplace, influencing HRM practices.

Importance of family and community

  1. Family is highly valued in Nigerian culture, and the extended family plays a crucial role.

  2. Family members provide emotional and financial support, and decisions are often made collectively.

  3. The concept of community is also significant, with a sense of togetherness and mutual support.

  4. Community members come together for celebrations, ceremonies, and resolving disputes.

  5. HRM practices prioritize employee needs, considering the significance of family and community in the decision-making process.

In short, Nigerian culture exhibits diversity in language, religion, and ethnicity. Respect for elders and adherence to hierarchical structures are fundamental aspects of the society.

Additionally, the importance of family and community influences HRM practices in Nigeria.

Read: Comparing Urban and Rural Economic Practices in Nigeria

Nigerian Culture and its Influence on HRM Practices

Influence of Nigerian Culture on HRM Practices

Nigerian culture exerts a significant influence on HRM practices, shaping various aspects of the employment cycle.

Recruitment and Selection

The Nigerian culture places a strong emphasis on local candidates, preferring to hire individuals from the same community, tribe, or region.

This preference stems from the belief that local candidates possess a better understanding of the culture, values, and traditions of the organization, leading to improved interpersonal relationships within the workplace.

Training and Development

In Nigerian culture, there is a preference for hands-on learning and apprenticeships.

Organizations in Nigeria focus on providing practical training opportunities to employees, allowing them to acquire skills through experiential learning.

Additionally, mentorship and guidance play a vital role in employee development, with experienced professionals passing their knowledge and skills down to younger employees.

Performance Management

Nigerian culture values collective responsibility and teamwork, fostering HRM practices that actively promote collaborative efforts to achieve organizational goals.

This emphasis on teamwork promotes a sense of unity and cooperation among employees.

Furthermore, Nigerian culture emphasizes respect for authority and obedience, resulting in hierarchies within organizations and adherence to rules and regulations.

Compensation and Benefits

Nigerian culture values and rewards seniority and experience through recognition, promotion, and improved compensation.

The organization rewards long-serving employees with higher positions, increased benefits, and improved compensation.

Additionally, Nigerian HRM practices prioritize employee well-being and support for family needs.

Organizations provide benefits such as healthcare, flexible working hours, and maternity/paternity leave to ensure the holistic well-being of their employees.

In the end, Nigerian culture significantly influences HRM practices.

Nigerian HR practices actively prioritize local candidates, stress interpersonal relationships, emphasize hands-on learning, promote mentorship, value collective responsibility, encourage teamwork, respect authority, recognize seniority, and support employee well-being.

Understanding and integrating these cultural influences can help organizations effectively manage their human resources and create a harmonious work environment.

Read: Challenges Facing HRM Students in Nigerian Universities

Challenges and Adaptations in HRM Practices

Balancing traditional cultural practices with modern organizational needs

  1. Many Nigerian organizations face the challenge of aligning traditional cultural practices with modern HRM needs.

  2. Traditional practices such as age-grade systems and hierarchy may clash with the concept of equal employment opportunities.

  3. HR managers must find a balance between respecting cultural traditions and implementing fair and inclusive HR policies.

  4. This may involve designing flexibility into HRM practices to accommodate cultural practices without discrimination.

  5. Organizations may need to provide cultural sensitivity training to HR personnel to navigate these complexities effectively.

Addressing gender inequalities and cultural biases

  1. Nigeria, like many other countries, faces significant gender inequalities and cultural biases in the workplace.

  2. HRM practices should prioritize eliminating gender-based discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all employees.

  3. Organizations need to develop policies that promote gender diversity and create a safe and supportive work environment.

  4. HR managers play a crucial role in implementing and enforcing these policies to bridge the gender gap.

  5. Additionally, cultural biases must be addressed through education and promoting a culture of inclusivity and fairness.

Encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace

  1. Nigeria is a diverse country with different ethnicities, religions, and languages.

  2. HRM practices should aim to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment that values and respects individual differences.

  3. Organizations can implement diversity training programs to promote understanding and acceptance among employees.

  4. HR managers should actively recruit employees from diverse backgrounds to enhance cultural intelligence within the organization.

  5. Embracing diversity can lead to increased creativity, innovation, and improved decision-making processes.

All in all, Nigerian organizations face various challenges in aligning HRM practices with the country’s cultural context.

Balancing traditional practices with modern needs, addressing gender inequalities, and encouraging diversity and inclusion are vital for effective HRM in Nigeria.

Read: The Role of Technology in Home & Rural Economics in Nigeria


Recap of Nigerian culture’s influence on HRM practices

Nigerian culture has a significant impact on HRM practices, as it emphasizes collectivism, respect for authority, and a strong hierarchical structure.

Importance of understanding and adapting to cultural nuances

It is crucial for HR professionals to comprehend and adapt to cultural nuances to create effective HRM strategies in Nigeria.

Potential for HRM practices to align with cultural values for better organizational outcomes

By aligning HRM practices with Nigerian cultural values, organizations can enhance employee satisfaction, engagement, and performance, leading to better organizational outcomes.

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