Culture and Human Resource Management Case

Case Assignment Instructions

Arik Air is one of Nigeria’s largest airlines and one of the largest airlines in all of Africa. Their employment situation is a bit unique in that close to 10 percent of their employees are expatriates. Recruiting and retaining expatriates to work as pilots or other positions in Nigeria can require higher salaries than are typically paid to local workers. However, disparities in wages between expatriates and local employees can lead to resentment. Overall, the human resource situation for a company that operates globally and hires globally such as Arik Air can be quite complicated.

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Do some research on Arik Air and the human resource situation in Nigeria. Below are a few articles to get you started:

Arik Air customer base soars (Jan. 31, 2014). Washington, DC. [ProQuest. Note: If an article doesn’t show up in the main library search engine, go directly to the ProQuest search engine. Go to “Additional Library Resources” in the lower right hand corner of the main library portal to find a link to the ProQuest search engine.]

Nigeria loses N500 billion annually to expatriate pilots. (Jan. 24, 2014). Washington, DC. [ProQuest]

Fajana, S., Owoyemi, O., Elegbede, T., & Gbajumo-Sheriff, M. (2011). Human resource management practices in Nigeria. Journal of Management and Strategy, 2(2), 57. [ProQuest]

Now suppose that Arik Airlines has been purchased by an American company, which now has to develop a plan to address the issue of hiring and maintaining a well qualified pilot staff and making all of Arik’s employees feel welcome under the new American parent company. Also, suppose that you have been tasked with coming up with a solid human resource plan for the new American owners of Arik Air. You need to make major decisions such as how much to rely on local staff, how much to rely on employees from the U.S. or other countries, and how to deal with the sensitive issue of how an American company manages local employees who may be resentful of their new owner. In order to do this, you will need to use what you’ve learned in the background materials in this module as well as what you’ve learned in the previous modules about assessing the local environment of a country.

In a four to five page paper, present a strategic human resource plan considering the following issues:

  1. Go to Hofstede’s webpage (

and look up the cultural values for both Nigeria and the U.S. Look up the scores of individualism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance. What major differences do you see between the two cultures? What kind of implications will this have for how the American airline company manages their Nigerian employees?

  1. Overall what kind of human resource strategy do you think the American company should take to manage Arik Airlines? A geocentric approach, polycentric, or ethnocentric approach? Explain your reasoning, and cite Dlabey, L. & Scott, J. (2006) or Dias (2012) as part of your answer.
  2. What kind of mix between Nigerian employees (host-country nationals), American employees (home country nationals), or third country nationals do you think should be hired? What challenges do you see for hiring each type of employee? Explain your reasoning, and cite Dlabey, L. & Scott, J. (2006) or Dias (2012) as part of your answer.

Remember that your paper should reflect an integration of both what you learned in the background materials about the key general aspects of international human resource management, and what you’ve specifically learned about the unique issues involved in managing human resources in an airline in Nigeria. Your task it to apply the background materials to the specific issues that would be faced by an American company if they were to purchase Arik Air.

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