The purpose of this paper is to explore how the institutional context influences human resource management (HRM) policies in the public and private sector in Nigeria.
The convergent parallel mixed methods approach was adopted for this study. Survey data were collected from 122 HR managers across public and private sector organizations in Nigeria as well as 13 qualitative interviews. ANCOVA was used to analyse quantitative data while thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data in order to understand the influence of institutions on HRM in the public and private sector in Nigeria.
Findings indicate that while coercive, mimetic and normative institutional mechanisms influenced HRM in both the public and private sector, the influence of coercive mechanisms was significantly higher in the public sector, largely due to the poor enforcement of labour legislation and attempts by private sector organizations to adopt neo-liberal approaches to HRM.
The study provides an understanding of the institutional context of HRM in Nigeria by highlighting how varying degrees of pressures from the environment create internal diversity in HRM approaches in the public and private sector.
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