International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Applicability of Management Theories in Nigeria: Exploring the Cultural Challenge
Mofope Adegboye

Purpose- The purpose of this paper is to examine the applicability of contemporary western management theories
within the context of the Nigerian national culture. It explores the evolution of modern management in Nigeria today and why the effective transfer of management practices from Europe and America is a challenge.

Design/Methodology/Approach- This study provides a descriptive exploration of the evolution of contemporary
management philosophies, the Nigerian culture, and the challenges the application of western contemporary management within a Nigerian culture has created for modern managers in Nigeria today.

Findings- The Nigerian culture does limit the usefulness of western management practices in the workplace. In reality, these conflicts can be minimized or avoided if the local cultural norms and practices are recognized and considered in the application of contemporary management principles.

Research Limitation & Implication- The effect of culture as a major influence in determining the relevance of
western management theories in Nigeria is discussed within the context of Geert Hofstedes five cultural dimensions, leveraging previous empirical studies on the country’s cultural conditioning. Though Nigeria was the focus of this research, it must be stated that Nigeria is a multi-cultural country and there is still a need to study in-depth the various cultural practices that prevail across the major tribes to be able to understand the conflicts that occur. The majority of those interviewed during the course of this study were from the Yoruba tribal groups though it can be safe to generalize to the extent that several cultural norms are shared across the major tribes.

Practical Implications- The five cultural dimensions proposed by Hofstede provides a framework for understanding the impact of cultural differences for management. However, an understanding of how the local Nigerian culture affects the mindset and way of life of managers and the people they manage is useful in assessing the suitability of western management practices and theories and explore ideas for adaptation. This is particularly useful for multinational corporations.

Originality/Value- This paper builds on scholarly contributions on culture and the extent to which it limits the effectiveness of the practice management theories and philosophies in Nigeria. It goes a step further to examine specific aspects of culture in practice that limits management practices in the workplace. Finally, it provides examples to support the assertion that there is a need to improve the robustness of international management theories that is useful in the African context.

Full Text: PDF