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

Journal article


Opute, J., Hack-Polay, D. and Rahman, M. (2020). Globalisation and HR practices in Africa: When culture refuses to make way for so-called universalistic perspectives. International Journal of Business and Globalisation.
AuthorsOpute, J., Hack-Polay, D. and Rahman, M.
Abstract

The paper demonstrates and exemplifies how cultural paradigms and the political and socio-economic spheres and organisational life are intertwined in an African context.

The paper examines how some factors that are 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 the indigenous and historical factors, and the inputs from external sources, to human resource management in Africa. rnThe research is based on a survey of 100 practicing African human resources professionals. The respondents were drawn from the major institutional actors in Nigeria. rnThe 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 that are often described as counter-productive in much of the literature, could actually be utilised for community and employee engagement. rnThe paper makes a significant contribution to the literature on HRM practices in Africa, an area under-researched. It provides an opportunity to African HR managers to be more pragmatic in identifying the contextual issues and for beginning 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 on both the societal predispositions of the region; this exemplifies how cultural paradigms, the political sphere and organisational life are intertwined in an African context.

KeywordsCulture; HR Practices; Universalistic Perspectives; Sub Saharan Africa; Globalisation
Year2020
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Globalisation
PublisherInderscience
ISSN1753-3627
Publication dates
Print06 Jan 2020
Online06 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Dec 2019
Deposited10 Feb 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/88zz7

Accepted author manuscript

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