ETHNICITY HIRING: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF EMPLOYEES’ PERCEPTION OF ETHNIC PRACTICES IN LAGOS NIGERIA
Nigeria is a nation of multi ethnic tribes, cultures, traditions, and diversity. Ethnicity based hiring remains a major concern of the citizenry. The purpose of our qualitative phenomenological study was to explore lower, and middle-level employees’ lived experiences and perceptions of ethnic hiring practices in the Lagos State housing industries. Relational leadership model, organizational development, and behavior theories with psycho-social concept of self-identification provided the theoretical framework for this study. Twenty employees representing 10 major ethnic groups working in three separate construction industries were interviewed. Using semi-structured audio taped face-to-face for interviews and NVivo for data analysis, six themes emerged from four categories: experience and perception of ethnicity and confidence level, experience and perception of ethnicity and personal goals, feelings of experience of ethnicity during hiring process, living experiences and perceptions of ethnic advantages, living experiences and perceptions of ethnic disadvantages, and advantages. Findings revealed that the ethnic discrimination, favoritism, and language commonality play dominant roles in hiring and are deeply embedded in the private sector practices. We recommend that organizations promote merit-based hiring, cross-cultural management, multi-cultural organizations, and professionalism, while discouraging ethnicity based decisions and discrimination in workplaces to encourage diversity management and corporate development.
Cross-cultural management, multi-culturalism, ethnicity, diversity, tribalism, merit, professionalism, experience, ethnic-based hiring.
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