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The cultural context of business: A study of firms in a northern Nigerian society
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
1997 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study is about entrepreneurial adaptations to modem manufacturing activities in a semi-industrial society of Northern Nigeria. It embodies both general and micro-institutional perspectives of business behaviour and seeks to examine the multidimensional influences ofcultural values on business patterns. Of particular interests are the entrepreneurial perceptionsabout risk, profit, business success and the various resource control strategies used by themin different firms. The study seeks to provide understanding on contemporary business behaviour, by tracing the history of commerce and the links between the informal and formalsectors of the Nigerian economy. In analysing the social processes of formal organizations,emphases are placed on the "open system's perspective." Although business organizationshave their distinct cultures, they are often penetrated by societal values.

In this study, the cross-cultural and developmental theoretical approaches are combined toprovide a strong underpinning for empirical analyses. The interpretive analyses deployed inthe study are aimed at uncovering the links among culture, religion, and economic behaviour.

Three firms of varying size engaged in plastic manufacturing activities are empiricallyanalysed. These include an indigenous Hausa, a Lebanese and a Chinese firm. The study,which is inter and intra-organizational in scope, draws data from primary and secondarysources.

The study argues that entrepreneurial investment patterns are not entirely a function ofeconomic factors but are influenced by societal forms of rationality, in which for instance,trust as a cultural value is a significant factor. It contends that, not only does economicdevelopment introduces new concepts and ideas that often clash with existing values, but thedialectical synthesis that usually emerges is culturally specific. Hausa and Islamic culturalvalues are not treated as obstacles in this study, but viewed as influences on business behaviour in Kano. The study concludes that a society's cultural adaptability and regenerativecapacity determine the speed with which it may pursue its goals towards economic development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1997. , 227 p.
Studia Sociologica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0585-5551 ; 43
Keyword [en]
Sociology, Culture, Values, Norms, Behaviour, Rationality, Cross-cultural, Islam, Modernization, Entrepreneur, Manager, Trust, Risk, Organization, Control, Strategy, Perception, Business, Profit, Success, Development
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-125ISBN: 91-554-4089-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-125DiVA: diva2:160810
Public defence
1997-12-16, Room IX, University Building, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1997-11-25 Created: 1997-11-25Bibliographically approved

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