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Managing Diversity in Nigeria: Competing Logics of Workplace Diversity

Diversity within Diversity Management

ISBN: 978-1-78754-821-3, eISBN: 978-1-78754-820-6

Publication date: 10 April 2019



The literature on equality, diversity, and inclusion in organizational and societal contexts has grown in leaps and bounds over the last two decades or so. Our understanding of these phenomena in a global context is, however, limited, as attention has mostly been paid to the United States and other Western countries. This chapter aims to address this gap by exploring workplace diversity in Nigeria, an under-researched context, characterized by high diversity and low inclusion. Our goal is to understand the factors that shape diversity management operating in such a challenging context and to analyze the problems and prospects of building a highly diverse and inclusive environment.


Using a case study approach, the chapter analyzes four dimensions of equality and diversity (ethnic, religious, age, and HIV/AIDS) across four organizations.


This exploratory study highlights the challenges of building a diverse and inclusive workplace in a weak institutional environment. We identify competing logics of managing diversity in Nigeria: institutionalizing ethnic representation vs building a meritocracy (ethnic), maintaining religious neutrality vs promoting religious freedom (religion), keeping the elder tradition vs harnessing the power of youth (age), and managing safety and reputation vs providing employment security (HIV/AIDS).


This study sheds light on the importance of underlying thoughts on the effectiveness of diversity policies and argues that managers and organizations need to know how to balance competing logics and manage paradox effectively. It accentuates the importance of the national institutional environment in shaping diversity practices and provides insights for practitioners and policymakers.



Adeleye, I., Fawehinmi, A., Adisa, T., Utam, K. and Ikechukwu-Ifudu, V. (2019), "Managing Diversity in Nigeria: Competing Logics of Workplace Diversity", Diversity within Diversity Management (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 21-40.



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