National culture, cultural diversity, and behavior affect project outcome and group performance (Alesina & La Ferrara, 2004; Cox, Lobel, & McLeod, 1991), group productivity, effectiveness, creativity, cohesiveness, among others (Barinaga, 2007; Maznevski & Chudoba, 2000; Thomas, 1999). Whereas several studies (e.g., Ricart, 2004; Cunningham, 2004; Cox & Blake, 1991) have reported positive outcomes from group diversity; on the contrary, a few others (e.g., Thomas & Ely, 1996) have reported of negative outcomes. Ethnic/cultural diversity in Nigeria, rather than being a source of strength, seems to have impeded its national and infrastructural development (Ukiwo, 2005). Years of institutionalized mismanagement, corruption, and sectional politics by successive ethnically-minded governments since its independence have resulted in severe infrastructural deficit in Nigeria’s rural communities. Few attempts at providing rural infrastructure and amenities have been very slow, uneven, and often ended with abandoned, uncompleted, ill-managed and non-maintained projects. Many studies have blamed this high level of infrastructural deficit on Nigeria’s ethnic/cultural diversity, beneficiary communities’ apathy, ownership, and management/maintenance attitudes toward government-sponsored development projects. In light of the current World Bank-assisted rural development projects (including, electricity, water, healthcare-related, road projects), one wonders how Nigeria’s ethnic/cultural diversity will affect the success of these projects. The main purpose of this study was to find answers to the following questions: (a) Are there any differences in the challenges encountered across the Nigeria’s major ethnic/cultural groups during the implementation of the World Bank-assisted rural electrification projects? (b) Are there differences across Nigeria’s major ethnic/cultural groups in their perception, and ownership attitude towards government-sponsored rural development projects? (c) Are there differences in plans across Nigeria’s major ethnic groups on how to manage and maintain the World Bank-assisted rural electrification projects after their handover to the beneficiary communities? Using the mixed method research design the researcher collected survey data from 330 participants from three states, chosen on ethno-geographical basis. Analysis of the study data indicated a mixed result across Nigeria’s major ethnic groups with respect to the challenges encountered during the implementation of the World Bank-assisted rural electrification projects; and the beneficiary communities’ perception, ownership, management and maintenance attitudes towards government-sponsored rural development projects. Whereas the study found statistically significant differences in some variables, there are no statistically significant differences in some others across Nigeria’s major ethnic/cultural groups.
|Adviser||Raj K. Singh|
|Subjects||Business administration; Management|
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