Ethics and social responsibility in the Nigerian insurance industry: a multi-methods approach
The concern about how business should behave as one of the dominant institutions in society, widely referred to as corporate social responsibility, has been a subject of interest among academics and practitioners all over the world. The increasing global outlook of business activities and the need to understand environments in most parts of the globe have also made this concept relevant for all time. This thesis therefore relates to a study, which assesses the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility for organisational effectiveness in a developing and African country. It was argued that ethics and social responsibility must first be perceived to be important for business success, before managers’ behaviour can become ethical and reflect greater social responsibility. Using a mainly qualitative approach and aided by some quantitative analysis, the study explored the perceived importance of this construct (ethics and social responsibility) for organisational effectiveness among insurance managers in the Nigerian insurance industry. This exploration and the analysis are based on the theoretical assumptions that personal and situational factors do influence managers’ perception of the importance of ethics and social responsibility and its business assumption. These, therefore, constitute major outcomes of the study. Given that the study is the first of its kind in the insurance industry, and Nigeria, a developing economy, its outcomes further aids our understanding of how managers in an African socio-economic context perceive the construct and their readiness to translate it into business practice. Above all, the thesis demonstrates that the perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility for organisational effectiveness is a function of industry and product nature, individual moral values, corporate ethical values and organisational commitment. The findings suggest that meeting customers’ expectations reinforce trust-relationship, which in turn is moderated by some other personal-situational factors. The findings also indicate that highly idealistic managers were more sympathetic towards the welfare of others, and have higher perception of the important role of ethics and social responsibility for business success.
- PhD