1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The environment in which financial transactions are carried out in the 21st century is an intertwined force of complex socio-cultural, economic, political and technological factors creating intricate challenges for financial institutions all over the world (Tesfayohannes, 2012). This growing complexity has created challenges for Nigerian financial institutions as a study by KPMG (2012), titled ‘Confronting Complexity’ identified common factors in the Nigerian financial institutions among which are the increased cost of business; greater number of risks; difficulty in making financial decisions; delay in deals and transactions. George (2011), succinctly captured the importance of socio-cultural realities on the practices of financial institutions and revealed that considerable socio-cultural difference exist between Nigeria and Great Britain making it difficult to transfer practices in financial institutions from one area to another given the trend in globalization, multi-nationalisation and internationalization of financial transactions.
Socio-cultural realities remain an important component of the practices in Nigeria financial institutions as they influence transactions, technology and performance, (Odekunle, 1989; Olaoye, 2003; Aghalino, 1998; Odetola & Ademola 1986).
However, rapid changes in the global banking landscape such as technology, transport, trade, commerce, communication, are currently affecting financial institution generally in Africa, who are intrinsically attitudinal, and sedentary (Ekeledo & Bewayo, 2009).
Likewise, Aldrich and Zimmer (1986) specify the importance of socio-cultural realities in the practices of financial institutions in their transactions which they contend is entrenched in social perspective. The socio-cultural aspect deals with the institutions, norms, roles and values as they exist outside the individual financial institutions and the latter captures the subjective aspect of culture as demonstrated by individual‘s perception of the components of the cultural system.
Cultural system can be likened to an iceberg. The external or conscious as well as the internal or subconscious aspect: where the former is the visible aspect that can be seen, such as behaviour and some beliefs, while the subconscious aspect include that part that is not seen, such as values and norms (Hall, 1976). Similarly, Hofstede (2001) noted that human behaviours especially that of financial institution managers and employee which is been focused in this study are influenced by socio-cultural practice and some actions cannot be divorced from their socio-cultural context (Bloodgood et al., 1995). Research and past studies (Longenecker et al., 1989; Vitell et al., 2000) has revealed that most financial institutions are embedded in unique circumstance and prone to social and ethical issues.
Wetherly (2011) described the socio-cultural variables as consisting of everything that is not contained within the economy or political system. According to him, socio-cultural setting is made up of collection of activities, and the relationships people engage in their personal and official duties which include population features, age, ethnicity, religion, values, attitude, lifestyles and associates. These environmentally relevant patterns of behaviour lead to the creation of different cultural values in different societies, some of which influence the decision in financial institution. Therefore, culture, as distinct from political, social, technological or economic contexts, has relevance for economic behaviour and organizational performance (Shane, 1993; Shapero & Sokol, 1982).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to previous studies, organizational performance and growth in terms of profitability is not homogeneous across the world since certain geographical area are more prone to business growth than the other. This argument is the major reason why some financial institutions have the opportunity to grow than the other. The most cited reason for higher organizational growth in some regions or among specific ethnic group is luck of receiving early colonial education (Olomi, 2009). Education has gone a long way in influencing socio cultural believes of individual causing changes in their attitude to banking services. Financial institution must therefore streamline their practices to conform with these socio-cultural variables to ensure optimum performance. However, the researcher is investigating the relationship between socio-cultural variables and the practices of Nigerian financial institutions.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the relationship between socio-cultural variables and the practices of Nigerian financial institutions
2. To identify the socio-cultural variables that can influence the practices of Nigerian financial institutions.
3. To examine other factors influencing the practices of Nigerian financial institutions.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the relationship between socio-cultural variables and the practices of Nigerian financial institutions?
2. What are the socio-cultural variables that can influence the practices of Nigerian financial institutions?
3. What are the other factors influencing the practices of Nigerian financial institutions?
HO: There is no significant relationship between socio-cultural variables and the practices of Nigerian financial institutions
HA: There is significant relationship between socio-cultural variables and the practices of Nigerian financial institutions
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. Outcome of this study will be a useful guide for management of financial institutions and the Nigerian general public on the influence of certain socio-cultural variables on the practices of financial institutions in Nigeria.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
These study will cover the practices of financial institutions in Nigeria with a view of identifying the effects of socio-cultural variables on the services of the financial institutions.
Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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