Transferability of management innovation to Africa: A study of two multinational companies' performance management system in Nigeria
International and Comparative Management, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom; School of E-Business and Quality Management, ETQM College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; KPMG Professio
Horwitz et al. (2006: 807) have argued that the debate regarding convergence/divergence perspectives in the cross-cultural diffusion of human resource management (HRM) practices is a somewhat simplistic one.™ The authors are of the view that because convergent similarity of HRM practice exists at a nominal level, the notions of hybridization and crossvergence are better in explaining HRM practices and their diffusion across countries. While the authors focused on exploring explanations of the differences in HRM practices, the article provocatively challenges researchers and experts to explore the question of whether Multinational Companies (MNCs) should adapt Human Resource Management Innovation (HRMI) and if so, why? And how? The main aim of this article is to investigate the following questions: (a) Given that MNCs transfer HRMI to developing countries, which policy should guide the transfer (polycentric or ethnocentric?); and (b) Given that host-country nationals (HCNs) are not passive recipients of HRMI, what are the implications of the policy (polycentric or ethnocentric) for MNCs? The result of our investigation and the review of literature suggest that the MNCs™ performance management (PM) policies are partially ethnocentric, but the practice, as perceived by some HCNs (employees), is polycentric. For example, some HCNs perceive some degree of nepotism and patronage in the system. Also, many felt that their line managers were biased against them. Similarly, a significant number of HCNs felt that their views are not taken into account during PM review and they do not receive feedback from their managers. The implications of the findings are then discussed.