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Human Resource Management Strategy in Non-Unionized Banking Institutions in Nigeria

November 22, 2012

Topic: Human Resource Management Strategy in Non-Unionized Banking Institutions in Nigeria

By: ATANDA, ADESUA ABIMBOLA (MRS)

Institution: University of Lagos

Faculty/Department: Business Administration

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify specific human resource management strategies, which have implications for organizational performance within an economic market and their non-union stance. The research analyses employee/employer relationship in non-unionized banks in Nigeria, and examines the use of the Human Resource Management Strategy (HRMS) as a union avoidance technique. Human Resource Management strategy on the one hand and the absence of trade unions in these banks on the other hand, and the cumulative effect of these on Industrial Relations in banks in Nigeria are outlined in this research work.
 
The universe for the study is the entire banking sector in Nigeria.
 
The population for the study was the entire non-unionised banking sector of the Nigerian economy. Unionised banks were also included in the study. This methodology was adopted in order to be able to carry out a comparative analysis.
The focus however is on the non-unionized sub sector. One therefore concentrated on the employees of the non-unionized banking institutions operating in Nigeria as at 31st of December 1996.
In view of the constraints of essential resources, it became imperative to obtain a sample of the population.
 
The sample for this research work was obtained from fifteen banking organizations against five organizations that were used in the preliminary study and discussed later on in Chapter Four of he research work. Ten of the sampled banks are not unionized, while five unionized banks were included in the study for comparative purpose. Efforts were made to make the sample as representative as possible in order to allow for generalization of the finding.
 
Data were also collected using the survey method. A questionnaire (Appendix B) was administered to measure demographic as well as the dependent variables of interest to the study. Data was also collected through the analysis of records in these banks and through union sources.
 
The research revealed that Management could aim to create a paternalistic environment that could be conductive for the existence of a non-unionized organization.
 
This is possible through the mode of administration of basic Human Resource Management functions, such as Recruitment, Selection and Placement, Compensation Management systems (pay and benefit policies and administration, profit sharing plan), Grievance procedure, performance Management that is performance appraisal, promotion policies, procedures and guidelines and Exit policy or Separation.
 
The concept of Human Resource Management Strategy (HRMS) has gradually gained momentum since its conception by Freedman in 1979. Existing literature on HRMS is as varied as the number of authors that have written on it with each author bringing a new perspective to bear on the concept. Its proponents have evolved an approach out of existing Human Resource activities in creating work environment that does not foster association with any group outside the immediate work place.
 
The evolution of the Human Resources Management strategy (HRMS) was however not primarily aimed at achieving a non-unionized employee disposition. It is a crystallization aimed at repositioning organizations for effective market utilization. It was found that the use of HRMS for the non union stance would therefore depend on factors such as:-
 
1. Philosophy of the founders/owners of these banks – viz whether or not they are pro or anti union;
 
2. Competitiveness and economics of the banking business; that is the desire to be equal to or pay better than their competitors.
In chapter four of this research work, the hypothesis that human resource management strategy (HRMS) removes the urge to unionize was tested. The result is that all the key human resource management activities correlated negatively with the urge to unionize. Put differently, when pay and benefit policy of the simple banks are well administered, and competitive, where there operates an effective grievance procedure, open door communication, equitable promotions, and lay-off policy, the urge to unionize is removed. The logic is that unionization arises out of working conditions that are not conductive and acceptable to employees.
 
The findings suggest that the non-unionized status of the sample banks is as a result of the following factors:
 
1) The concentration of the ownership of the sample banks in the hands of few individuals. This is made obvious by the fact that the publicly quoted banks with diverse shareholders have unionized staff.
 
2) The union orientations of these owners were either pro or anti. This was revealed during the interview conducted with top management of these banks.
 
3) The emphasis on activities categorized as tools of Human Resource Management Strategy (HRMS) thereby evolving as a union avoidance technique by some of these banks.
 
4) The high white-collar composition of our sample non-unionized banks.

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