Africa-Specific Factors Influencing the Decision to Adopt Work-Family Policies : Exploring the Field in Nigeria.
A few organizations in Nigeria have begun to show an interest in work-family policies; however, many others remain indifferent. This article seeks to identify environment-specific factors, not found in the Western literature, influencing organizational leaders in Nigeria to adopt work-family policies. This is important *because the family is a key cultural value in Africa threatened by current work intensification, and accelerating change requires an understanding of the variables affecting the change. Qualitative data on nine organizations in four economic sectors are examined to identify likely antecedents of and obstacles to work-family policies. A variable relevant to Nigeria but not found in existing Western literature is the link with a foreign or international partner with a work-family culture. This factor is powerful if it is coupled with a personal impulse from the chief executive and management team, failing which complaints of valued employees may move management to action – a proposition to be tested in further quantitative studies. On the other hand, the case studies support previous findings that organizational culture expressed in management practices and assumptions often constitutes a major obstacle to the adoption and take up of work-family policies.
Keywords: work-family policies; Nigeria; culture