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The culture and human resource management implications of advanced manufacturing technology innovation : the case of Nigeria and New Zealand

There is no doubt that technological innovation is an important element in today's business environment. The importance of new manufacturing technologies is increasing as the business environment is becoming more complex and competitively intense. The environments in which organisations are competing and operating are also increasingly cross-cultural due to the advent of globalisation. Achieving organisational objectives as a result of technological adoption is made more difficult when organisations set out to undertake innovations more suited to a different national environment. This might have posed a great challenge for organisations that are engaged in technology innovation, especially in developing countries like Nigeria. / It has been suggested that the innovation of new manufacturing technologies encourages the restructuring of human resource management strategies, especially employee empowerment and workforce composition, for example by the displacement of low skilled by highly skilled workers. The reason for this, it has been suggested, is based on the assumption that highly skilled and educated employees can be empowered more easily during the implementation of new innovations. However, it has been argued that the extent of employee restructuring will be different across-national boundaries due to differences in national cultural values. / Using an operational-level survey, this study investigates comparatively the implications of culture on human resource management strategies and practices during the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology innovation in Nigeria and New Zealand. Thus, the research questions are concerned with the extent to which differences in similar human resource management strategies practiced in the two distinct national environments: Nigeria and New Zealand, are attributable to differences in their national cultural values. / Data collected through questionnaire administration in over 150 manufacturing establishments and through interview enabled the examination of the relationship between culture and advanced manufacturing technology (including linked and integrated) and human resource management (employee empowerment and workforce composition) interactions in the two countries. / Three broad hypotheses of advanced manufacturing technology-human resource management interactions were developed on the premise of cultural value convergence and divergence. The results indicated that there is little or no convergence on Hofstede's cultural dimensions between the two counties (Nigeria and New Zealand). In other words, there are statistical significant differences in the two countries' values. The test of hypotheses showed that there are significant differences between the two countries in advanced manufacturing technology-human resource management interactions. / Specifically, the statistical analysis revealed that there is more employee empowerment and workforce re-composition in the New Zealand sample than the Nigerian one during the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology, including two categories - linked and integrated. For example, the overall workforce reduction and compositional shift in favour of skilled/educated workers is significantly greater in New Zealand when compared to Nigerian organisations. / Overall, compared to New Zealand, the results indicated that Nigeria has a lesser use of employee empowerment and workforce compositional strategies, which is consistent with their high power distance, high uncertainty avoidance, high collectivism, and short-term orientation position on the Hofstede dimensions. / Thesis (PhDBusinessandManagement)--University of South Australia, 2005
Date January 2005
CreatorsObi, Christian N
Source SetsAustraliasian Digital Theses Program
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightscopyright under review

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