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Journal of Research in National Development

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Introducing complexities into diversity management in the Nigerian workforce system: announcing the arrival of crude oil in the nation’s economy

Olusoji George, Kolawole Yusuff

Abstract


Nigerian economy from 1950’s (before the discovery of crude oil) was not as open to the influx of expatriates as it became after the discovery of crude oil. The study historically examines how the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria opened up the Nigerian border for the influx of businesses and people from different countries with diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. This break down in border for the purpose of improving the country’s economy gave rise to the phenomena of multinationalisation/internationalisation of businesses which led to convergence of people from different demographic backgrounds to work together in the various workplaces. Given the inherent heterogeneity of the country’s population, the advent of multinational companies has made it more difficult to manage the diverse workforce. This is as a result of some peculiar challenges emanating from the arrival of expatriate staff from countries across the world. The study historically reviews the impact of globalisation and multinationalisation/ internationalisation of businesses on the workers’ demographics, and how the employers and the country at large are affected. This paper, relying on comparative historiography, investigates the impact of the influx of foreign workers on the already diverse Nigerian workforce. The study employs empirical evidence available in extant studies to draw a comparison between the demographics of the Nigerian workforce before and after the discovery oil, that is, the period when the economy was driven by non-oil exports and when it was largely based on revenues from the export of the crude oil. The findings reveal that the Nigerian workforce system is significantly affected by the importation of expatriates by oil companies. Human resource managers must therefore be well-equipped with the right skills and experiences for managing the ever-changing workforce.

Keywords: Crude oil, diversity, internationalisation, multinationalisation




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