Title of Assignment:
HOW DO TRADITIONAL SOCIAL CULTURE AND VALUES IMPACT ON BUSINESS CULTURE IN NIGERIA?
EVALUATE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF YOUR OWN COMPANY CULTURE FOCUSSING ON LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOURS, ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE AND HR SYSTEMS. THEN DRAW UP AN ACTION PLAN FOR IMPROVEMENT IN ONE AREA
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PART 1 1.1. INTRODUCTION
This report is intended to give you a general understanding of the impact of traditional Nigerian social culture and values on the business culture in Nigeria.
We must necessarily begin by giving you background information on the country. The entity called Nigeria is a creation of the British Colonial Administration (1861 – 1960), which for administrative convenience amalgamated the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria in 1914.
Prior to the advent of the British and the subsequent amalgamation, the area now known as Nigeria was inhabited by over 250 ethnic groups each at different stages of development and each a distinct entity having its own culture, values and system of traditional government.
When the British arrived in 1861, they pitted these groups against each other and heightened ethnic consciousness in order to ensure effective colonization. The rift among the diverse groups was further widened by the relative scarcity of colonial jobs leading to the setting up of ethnic welfare associations in the urban centers to facilitate the securing of employment by members of each group who migrate from the rural to the urban centers in search of jobs. This further heightened ethnic consciousness in Nigeria.
Today, Nigeria is a country of an estimated 140 million people divided into 36 federating states and a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with a democratic system of elective government. There are principally three main religious groupings viz Christianity, Islam and traditional forms of worship. There are three major ethnic groups (defined as the ethnic nationality with the largest population) namely Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo. The English Language is the official national language while pidgin English (a broken form of English) is the non-official national language. 3|Page
As pointed out earlier, every single one of the over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria, have their different culture, social values, modes of worship and identity. This notwithstanding, there are aspects of culture and value systems common to Africa as a continent which are present in each of the diverse ethnic groups existing in Nigeria as an integral and necessary part of Africa. However, almost a century of living together under the umbrella of one nation and its attendant consequences – interacting on a social level, working together, cross-cultural marriages, social/economic mobility and co-habitation – has significantly blurred the differences in some aspects of our culture and value systems.
Over time, something of a national culture and value system has emerged. The most pervasive of these culture and values are listed below: • • • • • • • • Family bonds Respect for elders (seniority) Ethnic affiliations Honesty and integrity Superstition Punctuality (lateness to work, meetings or events better known as “African time”) Religion Knowledge sharing
1.2. THE IMPACT OF NIGERIAN CULTURE AND VALUES ON BUSINESS CULTURE We have identified some aspects of culture and values that are pervasive on a national level. We now turn our attention to examining how some of them have impacted the culture of businesses in Nigeria. 1.2.1. Family Bonds: Nigeria values family. This value has had both a positive and negative effect on our business culture. On the positive side, it has built a corporate...
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