Exploring the relationships between HCNs and Italian expatriates in Nigeria: a social exchange perspective.

Bala Kuki, M.A., 2019. Exploring the relationships between HCNs and Italian expatriates in Nigeria: a social exchange perspective. DBA, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

This study explores the relationships of host country nationals (HCNs) working with Italian expatriates in Nigeria from a social exchange perspective and is informed by Social Exchange Theory (SET). The study investigates the nature of the relationships between HCNs and Italian expatriates within B&S and B&P Construction Companies based in Nigeria and its consequent impact on the HCNs. The aim of this study is to identify the forms of exchanges that take place between HCNs and Italian expatriates, including the benefits derived and the challenges encountered by the HCNs as they interrelate with Italian expatriates in Nigeria.

The study is approached from a hermeneutic (interpretivist) phenomenology with a view to understanding and interpreting the meanings ascribed by the HCNs to their lived experiences of working with Italian expatriates in Nigeria. Accordingly, qualitative research data were gathered using semi-structured interviews.

The in-depth analysis of the findings reveals that the relationship between the HCNs and the Italian expatriates ranged from what the researcher referred to as a restricted to a cordial relations. The cordial relationships resulted in multiple and exclusive reciprocal exchanges of ideas, information, advice, technology, money, performance goods, and services. On the other hand, the restricted relationships resulted in unequal exchanges of ideas between the two parties researched. The resources exchanged resulted in enhanced skills and positive attitudes towards work for the HCNs. These findings offer a novel contribution to theory by expanding the current understanding of the key constructs of SET. More specifically, the findings show how the actors (the HCNs and Italian expatriates) engage in these two new types of exchange relationships which are labelled cordial and restricted exchange relationships. Through these relationships they exchange multiple intangible resources; information, advice, ideas, technology, and exclusive tangible resources; goods and services, money and performance. The outcomes of the exchange (enhanced skills and positive attitudes towards work) are highlighted, as are the implications for HCN-expatriate relations in a cross-cultural context.

With respect to contributing to professional practice, the findings of this study show that the outcome of the exchange impacts the HCNs in their careers due to the multiple exchanges that take place, which result in increased knowledge that enhances the skills of the HCNs and improved their attitudes towards work. Hence the researcher argues that the HCNs have benefitted professionally from the relationship and this generally contributes to enhancing the talent of the HCNs in the construction industry in Nigeria. However, it was found that HCNs face challenges in the area of communication and personal development. To address these difficulties, three recommendations are offered to human resource management (HRM) practitioners in both companies (B&S and B&P) that will improve communication and the development of the HCNs and, in turn, foster a positive working relationship and exchanges of resources between the HCNs and the Italian expatriates. These include: an increase in formal training and development interventions for HCNs, to further enhance knowledge and skills. Ensuring that staffing and the promotion criteria are equitable and fair, thus enabling more HCNs to progress into managerial positions. Finally, it is recommended that a forum is created and facilitated by human resource (HR) departments where HCNs can participate and discuss their relationships with the expatriates, in order to learn from each other in relation to fostering positive and enduring relationships.

Based on the findings of the study, the researcher developed a conceptual model that depicts the dynamics of the relationship and social exchanges between the HCNs and expatriates in the work environment. By identifying the nature of the relationships between HCNs and expatriates, a more nuanced understanding is offered of the way in which the use of expatriate labour impacts on employees based in the host country. These insights fill a gap in the current body of research, thus offering a further contribution to academic knowledge in the field of international human resource management (IHRM).

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Bala Kuki, M.A.
Date: August 2019
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 31 Jul 2020 16:13
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 16:13
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40296

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