Exploration and Evaluation of the Macro-environmental factors influencing Firm Competitiveness in the Nigerian Manufacturing Industry

Ifeanyi, Eziashi Michael Exploration and Evaluation of the Macro-environmental factors influencing Firm Competitiveness in the Nigerian Manufacturing Industry. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

Multinational corporations (MNCs) are facing challenges relating to the fast changing and dynamic 21st Century global business environment. These challenges raise critical concerns relating to the strategic role of successive Nigerian governments in creating a favourable macro-environment that enhances industry competitiveness in attracting and sustaining foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows - considering the fact that since independence in 1960, there has been a significant decline in the Nigerian manufacturing industry output and contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). These developments underpin the motivation and rationale for this thesis, which aims to provide better understanding of the dynamic nature of macro-environmental factors influencing the levels of firm competitiveness in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. To achieve this aim, the thesis adopts a pragmatists paradigm underpinned by a mix of Questionnaire Survey involving 84 MNCs operating in the Nigerian manufacturing industry, and a sample size of 925 respondents comprising of 288 Top managers, 460 Staff, and 177 Clients, and Semi-structured interviews of 5 CEOs. The data from the questionnaires and interviews were subjected to factor analysis, multiple regression analysis and content analysis using SPSS and NVivo respectively.
The hypotheses tests (H1, H1a-H1e) reveal that increased perceived threats from macro-environmental factors significantly reduces the levels of firm competitiveness in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. This is supported by the evidence that, on aggregate, respondents’ perceived levels of threats from politico-legal, economic and financial, sociocultural, technological and ecological environmental factors have a statistically significant negative effect on firms’ competitiveness in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. Using Beta values, politico-legal, economic and financial, and sociocultural factors are identified as the key inhibitors; and in contrast, ecological and technological factors are identifies as the key drivers, of the levels of firm competitiveness. More specifically, on aggregate: (1) Politico-legal factors has statistically significant negative effect, (2) Economic and financial factors has a negative effect but statistically not significant, (3) Sociocultural factors has a negative effect but statistically not significant. In contrast, both (4) Technological factors, and (5) Ecological environmental factors were statistically significant with positive effects, on the levels of firm competitiveness. In addition, the results for both ‘Top Managers’ and ‘Staff’ were statistically significant, while, that for ‘Clients’ were statistically not significant.
For the content analysis, a process of pre-coding, unitisation and relationship between themes was adopted.The thematic findings reveals that there is an urgent need for Top managers in manufacturing firms to continuously sense and seize market opportunities, in order to sustain firm competitiveness and to attract increased FDI inflows to the manufacturing industry. The implication of these findings from a decision-making point of view, is that in the short- medium term, strategizing managers need to focus more on the factors which have significant negative or positive effects on firm competitiveness - while in the long-term, they need to evaluate the potential future impact of the factors which at the moment do not have a significant effect on firm competitiveness. Considering the fact that the holistic framework developed in this study was not tested, future research would test the framework using a mix of quantitative and qualitative data from a case study of 3-5 Manufacturing firms in Nigeria.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Business and Management > International Business
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2017 15:49
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2017 15:49
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/8303

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