On western coast of Africa, a country lies which have varied geography and climate ranges from arid to humid, more than hundreds of languages spoken including English. Name is Nigeria, have natural resources in large quantities with more petroleum and natural gas. Country’s capital is Abuja which was created in 1976 and the former capital is top commercial and industrial city named Lagos, country is independent since October 1, 1960 (Ajayi, Falola, Udo and Kirk-Greene, 2018). Small description is of the country where Sunshine Incorporation negotiated with government for proposal of hawker center. Company plans to give a tough fight to other food services existing in country, by adhering proper standards from earlier business process and model (Case Study).
In this report focus will be upon what kind of organizational structure will be suitable for hawker center by understanding Nigeria’s people, operation systems, and practices of management which are followed so that culture is not affected. Culture comprises who everyone individual is as people, every culture possess unique values, beliefs, and opinions towards global world; further anticipated behavior of people defines cultural values. Not only personal interaction but, business actions and decisions are also affected by behavior, separately or mutually life can be viewed by culture, power distance is taken care of in every culture differently, dealing with uncertainty is also reflected through culture of any country as it helps in making decision related to business expansion (Bellows, 2016).
It is very essential while conducting business overseas to fetch cultural awareness as it helps in stabilizing business processes, underestimating role of culture while conducting business abroad can prove to be devastating (Harrison, 2015). Behavior varies in nations in terms of consumer and employees, expensive errors occur if not recognized while doing overseas business operations as cultural change creates numerous conflicts (Becker, 2013).
Culture of Nigeria
A country which distinguished her for centuries in field of arts due to diversified people and culture; a huge country consisting population of about 18.6 crores, over 250 ethnic groups inhabitant lands for centuries which depicts richness and diversification in sociological culture. Under-development and poverty prevails in few parts of country due to acute conditions, resulting in lack of infrastructural facilities. A good thing about Nigeria is that it provides enormous investment prospects at present because of favorable political stability, opening gates for foreign investments to take advantages in terms of profitable returns and sustainability of business (Nigeria Embassy, 2018).
Nigeria is a developing country with low income rates where more than half of the total population lives below poverty line irrespective being Africa’s leading oil producer. There are numerous local tribes, religions, and background which comprise norms, values, and behavior in diversified forms, though economic capacity is not much to fulfill basic needs of people as abnormal distribution of wealth persists in societies. Hierarchical society exists within and older people are given due respect, in social surroundings oldest are greeted and served first with complete honor and in return have decision making responsibility in regards with fruitful interest of the group (Ayodele and Ellis, 2015).
Society profile in context with norms, values, and traditions signifies national culture, three most dominant ethnic groups are Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo, other than these, few smaller groups prevails which all have independent histories. All these groups run away from the fact for believing themselves as part of the same culture which leads to fatal conflicts, civil war, and bloody hostilities depicts lack of nationalism. Estimates shows 50% Nigerians are Muslim, 40% are Christian, and remaining practices various confined religions, relations between both are anxious in many areas (Ayodele and Ellis, 2015).
Organizational culture is correlated to corporate performance in any business entity, it affects positively by boosting employees commitment towards corporate goals which are to be achieved. A study was conducted on Nigerian bankers taking them as sample, and results showed positive relationship between the organizational culture and corporate performance, respondents which were part of the study highly agreed upon the statement that correlation exists between organizational culture and performance of corporate (Ojo, 2014).
Cultural Analysis of Nigeria
After understanding Nigerian culture, cultural analysis is needed to determine appropriate structure, operation systems, and management practices for hawker center (Case Study). To begin with analysis first thing will be taking MBI (Mapping, Bridging, and Integrating) framework as a base for putting down attributes in context with culture of Nigeria which will be derived from studying two different models of cultural dimensions.
First model is Kulckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Dimensions of culture, and second is Hofstede six dimensional cultural model. Selected models possess potential to focus on Nigerian culture which is crucial in analyzing outcomes which are required, and MBI framework will outline the analysis in desired manner. Starting with MBI framework, first is mapping which means understanding differences by defining territory and assessing the terrain, second is bridging which means taking differences into justification as it helps in proper communication for preparing ground, and third is integrating which means bringing together differences to properly manage participation by resolving disagreements (Aycan, Kanungo and Mendonca, 2014).
Kulckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Dimensions of Culture
Defining culture of Nigeria with Kulckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model (1961), in this model six dimensions of culture are mentioned which helps in understanding Nigerian culture. Below are the dimensions along with reference to Nigeria:
- First is the nature of people i.e. what people percept about other people’s beliefs and nature, some are considered good in reference with social orientation or bad in reference to selfishness or combination of both (Vellnagel, 2010). In Nigeria, south-western part is oriented towards culture, ancestors, and god, south-eastern part displays warm, colourful vibes towards culture, and in northern parts there is similarity of culture between two ethnic groups and they depict as one, all this signifies positivity in nature and beliefs around whole country (Chigozie, 2018).
- Second dimension is the relationship with nature i.e. what mindset people have about nature, whether resources are used up or sustained (Vellnagel, 2010). Nigeria is a country which consist variety of natural resources, and statistically level of exploitation is very low in relation to deposits in the country (Embassy of Nigeria, 2018).
- Third dimension is the duty towards others i.e. supporting others or just focusing on self, basically it is about who chooses what is best for the group in any context (Vellnagel, 2010). In Nigeria, decision making in families or groups is done by eldest one, they can be parents in case of family decisions or can be the old people when it comes about group decisions (Cosin, Freeman and Hales, 2013).
- Fourth dimension is the mode of activity i.e. whether who an individual is important or what that individual do is important, status is from birth or by achievement of an individual (Vellnagel, 2010). In Nigeria, mostly it is believed who an individual is from birth matters despite being what is achieved by that individual, for instance men in the family stays at the top and women comes after them (Biccheri, 2016).
- Fifth dimension is the privacy of space i.e. individual space or privacy owned by whom, rights related with it and who has power over it (Vellnagel, 2010). Nigerian constitution guarantees religious freedom, and privacy of an individual depends upon the norms and customs followed by ethnic groups residing in the country (Commisceo Global, 2018).
- Sixth dimension is the temporal orientation i.e. which is more important in terms of past, present, or future as societies focus on past, ancestors, and traditionalism or on the pleasure-seeking of today or plan for future (Vellnagel, 2010). Nigeria is a country which believes on traditions and its ancestors teachings majorly, as far as traditional orientation is concerned ethnic groups focuses on ancestors and traditions (Browning, 2012).
Hofstede Six Dimensional Model
Geert Hofstede between the year 1967 and 1973 developed his original model by surveying employees of IBM world-wide, six dimensions are stated which cater in understanding Nigerian culture. Below mentioned are the dimensions from Hofstede model referring in context to Nigeria:
- First dimension is the power distance i.e. equality does not persist among individuals in the societies, which means power is distributed unequally. Nigerian people accept everybody has a place in hierarchy, and in Nigerian organizations centralization is popular, and subordinates expect orders from boss (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
- Second dimension is the individualism i.e. up-to what extent societies maintain interdependence among its members, they believe in “I” or “We”. Nigerian people prefer to live in collective societies where strong relationships and loyalty prevails (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
- Third dimension is the masculinity i.e. competition, achievement of success, and being best in the field prevails in societies and groups, this value system starts from schools and goes on throughout life. Nigeria is a masculine country where people perform and compete and resolves conflict by struggling throughout (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
- Fourth dimension is the uncertainty avoidance i.e. way societies believe that future is unknown and how they deal with this fact, whether they take certain measures or just continue with the flow and waits for it to happen. In Nigeria it is complex to determine whether societies believe upon working towards future or they just believe what is going to happen will happen (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
- Fifth dimension is the long term orientation i.e. while dealing with challenges that occur in the present or future how well societies maintain links with its past, if society is normative it prefers traditions and societal change is viewed suspiciously and if society is pragmatic, then encourage modern education for future preparations. Nigerian societies mark themselves as normative, as they respect traditions (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
- Sixth dimension is the indulgence i.e. up-to what extent people in the societies control desires and impulses, weak control is indulgence and strong control is restraint. In Nigeria it is seen that people realize impulses and desires which depicts they enjoy life and have fun by giving importance to leisure time and spend money relentlessly; this shows high indulgence in ethnic groups which are prevailing (Hofstede Insights, 2018).
Outcomes of Cultural Analysis
After understanding culture of Nigeria, observations can be integrated to create organizational structure for the hawker center in Nigeria.
Kulckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model
Outcomes from the both models
· Positivity towards cultural beliefs
· Hierarchical decision making
· Respect to mother nature
· Status from birth is taken into account
· Religious freedom according to group belonging
· High respect for traditions and ancestors.
· Unequal power distribution and autocratic approaches
· Collectivism is preferred in societies
· Competitiveness in societies
· Less future concerns
· Weak control over desires and impulses
· Strong cultural beliefs among ethnic groups
· Hierarchical and autocratic approaches
· Togetherness among groups but also competition
In this model hierarchical decision making is major difference to be bridged in respect to hawker center organizational structure.
In this model autocratic approach to be bridged in regards with hawker center organizational structure.
Both the models focuses on autocratic trend is given importance in Nigeria and less concern towards future.
Hawker center can be given a hierarchical structure in terms of management structure.
Hawker center employees can be tend towards for future savings by making pay scale policy in such manner.
Overall culture differences of Nigeria can be integrated while constructing organizational structure.
Identified Management Issues
After analyzing above models, management issues which have been interpreted are as follows:
- As decided by the company that for strong management control company will hire all the hawkers as employees (Case Study). The first issue which comes is what outline is to be implemented for stronger management control of employees whether it will be democratic, autocratic, centralized, or decentralized.
- Second issue related to management is balancing diversities between ethnic groups from which hawkers belong, although collectivism exists between identical groups but creating unity between them will be challenging for supervisors who will be assigned.
- Third issue is involvement of female hawkers from different groups as norms of society from which they belong will allow women to work individually or they will demand for their husbands to be involved, or they will completely deny for allowing women to work.
- Fourth issue is of balancing traditional and culture differences among various ethnic groups; there are Muslims and Christians majorly but also few of other local religions, so keeping in mind religious values of everyone as they all are conscious and dedicated towards their religious practices, the policies have to be formed which can blend with all.
The organizational structure for the hawker center based on analyzing Nigerian culture will be an autocratic one, so no difference prevails between the hawkers or feeling of biasness in anyone’s mind. Company planned that initial stage will be supervised by supervisors from the headquarters, company’s core values are to be given importance and health, safety, and community standards are to be maintained otherwise local government close down the hawker center (Case Study). Below is the appropriate initial organizational structure which company must adhere.
Above chart describes the appropriate organizational structure that should be adopted by Sunshine Incorporation in Nigeria at the initial stage. In this structure a manager is at top, which will be from headquarters of the company, below the manager; supervisors are assigned to different hawkers for instructing core values of company and ensuring that standards are maintained up-to the mark. Initially supervisors will be from the headquarters of the company only and the number can increase according to the number of hawkers that will be employed at the hawker center. Chart only reflects the organizational structure and not the exact number of supervisors and hawkers. Further, under every supervisor there will be hawkers or employees who will get basic instructions from respected supervisors and can go to them for any query or problem they face. This is the proposed organizational structure.
Operations and People Systems
The operations and people systems of the hawker center must be aligned in such manner that it sticks towards maintaining proper standards; however operations are to be planned that they direct towards hygienic working conditions, healthy environment, food safety, sticking with standards, quality consciousness, and different variety of food. Firstly, focusing upon hygienic conditions the hawkers which will work at food stalls must wear proper gloves, and caps on their heads so that fall of hair fragments in the food is avoided, utensils are to kept clean, displayed food must be wrapped in wrapping or disposable containers it is safe from flies and dust, and perishable items must be checked and washed properly before use (Roday, 2011).
Secondly, providing healthy environment involve cleanliness all around hawker center; dustbins at every stall, restrooms are kept clean, exhaust system for every food stall, and disposal of waste on basis of organic and non-organic (Beatley, Jones and Rainey, 2018). Thirdly, hawkers hired as employees should provide variety of food. Fourthly, timings are according to keeping Nigerian culture in mind and eating habits of people.
Management practices for hawker center will be as follows:
- Manager and supervisors will be responsible for keeping a check on maintenance of standards overall the hawker center.
- Equal respect towards every religion and proper behavior is expected from every employee along-with adhering to the policies set by the company.
- Activity which motivates any harm to any religion must be strictly avoided and if any conflict rises between employees should be solved calmly by understanding each other.
- Training activities are planned for the employees that will help in understanding exact purpose and process of hawker center and help them in motivating themselves to work for a longer period (Swadimath, Raja, and Joshi, 2014).
Issues which can occur in future that can affect hawker center can be related with weak governance, corruption, and persistent inter-communal conflicts as all these are the major problems in the country (USIP, 2018). Mentioned problems can create issues in future which can be dealt by ensuring employees that providing food to anyone in exchange of money is not a crime and employees working together belonging from different ethnicities portrays valuable example of unity that exists in the hearts of Nigerian people.
The report concludes about the culture in the country Nigeria, as it is the country in which Sunshine Incorporation, a privately owned European company planned to set-up a hawker center in a regional city. Report emphasizes on understanding culture which is followed by people of Nigeria so that company can operate well with keeping cultural values and boundaries in mind, cultural analysis is taken into consideration for understanding more deeply with the help of different cultural dimensions model, one which is given by Kulckhohn and Strodtbeck and other given by Hofstede. Further, outcomes from the analysis are derived by integrating both the models into a framework named MBI which helped in outlining the overall analysis.
Afterwards internal management issues have been identified which were interpreted on the basis of cultural dimension of the country, cultural analysis which is done earlier helps in providing insights to sketch the appropriate organizational structure which is based on keeping cultural values and company’s core values in mind to give best results. Then cultural analysis is used again to determine operations and people systems in regards with maintaining standards of the Sunshine Incorporation so that hawker center can stay ahead of other food services which are available in the country and maintain proper food safety, hygienic conditions, favorable environment, quality assurance all can be achieved.
Lastly report states the best management practices that are to be adhered at the hawker center by every employee, supervisor, and manager which gives a hand in maintain the standard of the hawker center, as well as the cultural standards and traditions of the people associated or working in it. Future issues which can come due to various problems prevailing in the country are discussed and also with this few remedies are been suggested with them which will help the hawker center in dealing with them properly.
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