Globalisation and HR Practices in Africa: When culture refuses to make way for so-called universalistic perspectives

Hack-polay, Dieu, Opute, John and Rahman, Mahfuzur (2020) Globalisation and HR Practices in Africa: When culture refuses to make way for so-called universalistic perspectives. International Journal of Business and Globalisation . ISSN 1753-3627

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Globalisation and HR Practices in Africa: When culture refuses to make way for so-called universalistic perspectives
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Abstract

The paper examines how some factors embedded in the cultural and institutional framework in Sub-Saharan African organisations interact with global perspectives and the degree of resistance they present to changes in human resource management (HRM) processes. The paper considers aspects of the universalistic perspectives that have resonance for human resource practices in Africa. Furthermore, it evaluates the question of the tensions between the contributions derived from indigenous and historical factors, and the inputs from external sources, to human resource management in Africa. The research is based on a survey among 100 practicing African HRM professionals drawn from the major institutional actors in Nigeria.
The research found that, despite the impact of globalisation and the Westernisaion of training and development in Africa, HRM practices remain largely culture-bound. Many aspects of Sub-Saharan African cultures pervade organisational processes, e.g. collectivism and paternalism, that ‘refuse’ to make way for change. However, the paper concludes that some of these temerarious cultural aspects - often described as counter-productive in much of the literature - could be utilised for community and employee engagement.
The paper makes a significant contribution to the literature on HRM practices in Africa, an area under-researched. It provides an opportunity for African HR managers to be more pragmatic in identifying the contextual issues and begin to identify aspects of African culture that could be value-adding in a fast-changing management landscape. The paper demonstrates that HRM policies have specific cultural orientations and reflect the societal predispositions of the region; this exemplifies how cultural paradigms, the political sphere and organisational life are intertwined in an African context.

Keywords:Culture, Normative social influence, HR practices, Globalisation, Sub-Saharan Africa, Universalistic perspectives
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N120 International Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N600 Human Resource Management
L Social studies > L200 Politics
N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:39190
Deposited On:23 Dec 2019 15:01

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