Background to the Study
Culture is one of the vital factors with which any organization interacts. It is the way of life of people; the sum total of learned beliefs, values, motivations, leadership and customs or artifacts that serve to direct individual behaviour of members of a particular society, (Peretomode, 2012). Hofstede, (1991) observes that culture exists in different dimensions, such as foreign, national, local, and organizational. Organizational culture has been discovered to have the potentials to enhance workers, performance, generally, and societal values, organizational commitment, creativity, job satisfaction, and interpersonal relationships among workers, in particular, (Cotter, 2012). Thus, it is the wish of the management of any organization to have her employees identify with the values, norms and artifacts of such establishment, (Olu, 2009).
Even though organizational culture and workers’ performance are clearly related, (Kopelmon, Brief and Guzzo, 1990), the evidence regarding the exact nature and degree of this culture-performance relationship has not been consistent over time, (Denism, 1990: and Sorenson, 2002). Researchers such as Daniels (2004), and Piercy, Low and Cravens (2004) have recognized that culture is a main source of difference in performance in organizations. Many studies have been conducted on culture-performance relationship in developed countries of the world with little done in developing ones. For instance, Farashahi Hafso and Molz (2005) have discovered that 95 percent and 5 percent of such studies are in favour of developed and developing nations, respectively, inspite of the highly dynamic environments. Thus, a number of scholars have questioned this unfortunate situation and have called to investigate this phenomenon in different cultural contexts.
At the national level, (In Nigeria for instance) the same challenge of lack of empirical records or studies exist among the minority ethnic groups such as Idoma of Benue state. Many of such studies have focused on the three major ethnic groups which include: the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. Ewurum (1991) identifies the existence of over two hundred ethnic groups in Nigeria from the 1951/52 census. Aluko (2003) opines that, sociological speaking; Nigeria is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and pluralistic nation that does not have a homogeneous or national culture. Therefore, the definition of Nigerian culture based on the three major ethnic cultures of the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba at the expense of the local or minority ethnic culture would be wrong (Ibid, 2003). To overcome this challenge, Ewurum (1991) advises Nigerians to divert focus from a national level search to one that seeks to explain the specific cultural characteristics of different cultural areas in Nigeria, as the first step towards homogeneous circle in Nigeria, which system could be rationalized for national level application.
Faced with the above challenges, the objectives of this study, therefore, is to investigate the effect of Idoma cultural influence on academic staff performance in Higher Institutions in Idoma Land, or among the minority ethnic groups in Nigeria. The findings and subsequent recommendations will no doubt enrich the knowledge of policy makers of the possible reactions, if their policy formulation and implementation affect people’s culture. In addition, the search for national culture for Nigeria would be realized, because, window of opportunity for the study of the cultures of other minority ethnic groups will be opened.
Statement of the Problem