1.1 Background to the Study

In this period of globalization, the capacity of managers to implement successful human resource strategies for workers is critical to the success and sustainability of every organization. The success of a company or organization is directly proportional to the output of its employees. Workplace failures can lead to underachievement. As a result, any company should have plans that are appropriate for its employees. Organizations must choose individuals who possess the qualities required for continued success in this dynamic global village. The only way to achieve this success is to use the best human resource practices possible to ensure positive employee results. Many companies, on the other hand, have failed to implement effective human resource strategies that maximize employee outcomes.

Employee outcomes have received attention in Asia as a result of studies and inquiries, to the degree that problems and challenges related to employee outcomes have been identified. Employee results are given close attention by researchers and organizational representatives in countries such as China, India, and Thailand as very important measures of the positive or negative contribution of employees to the retail organizations (Chowdhury & Begum, 2012). Employees in these countries' retail firms have not been rewarded for establishing a good competitive climate, and their poor attitude has caused them to disengage partially or completely from the retail firms (Bailey, Albassami, & Al-Meshal, 2016). This is one of the most important factors for retail firms to achieve high levels of productivity. Extrinsic incentives such as raises in salary, promotions, and bonuses motivate certain workers, while intrinsic rewards such as respect, praise, and recognition motivate others (Bana & Kessy, 2007). In the face of rifts and disputes between management and employees, most employees in Bangladesh's retail sector struggle to exhibit the right and optimistic attitude and behavior, according to Rahman and Taniya (2017). This suggests a lack of work dedication and involvement. Employee engagement in Nepal's retail sector has also been on the decline, owing to a lack of understanding and management of employees' qualities, capacities, and skills, as measured by their success (Mohita, Ram & Resham, 2017).

Various studies have been conducted in Africa on the subject of employee results, which show a lack of employee involvement, job satisfaction, engagement, and negative citizenship behaviour in the retail firms. In today's world, the performance of employees in organizations is a critical problem. Technological backwardness, a lack of human resource expertise, weak management processes, a lack of entrepreneurial capacities, a lack of adequate and timely knowledge, inadequate use of information technology, and a poor remuneration and compensation system are all challenges that retail organizations face. As a result, job results are at an all-time low (Makanga & Paul, 2017). South Africa, for example, has experienced recurrent labour unrest, with many workers, especially in the financial sector, expressing frustration with their employment (Vander & Mlandi, 2015). Employees are often frustrated and demoralized as a result of job instability, inadequate remuneration, and low levels of satisfaction and engagement, all of which have a detrimental impact on efficiency and the achievement of organizational objectives (Brohi, Jantan, Mehmood, Khuhro, & Akhtar, 2019). In South Africa, low levels of work satisfaction and dedication are the most important determinants of poor service delivery (Brohi, Jantan, Sobia, & Pathan, 2018).

According to Achi and Sleilati (2016), no company in the world is completely free of difficulties when it comes to choosing the best human resource strategies. However, there is increasing concern among academics and practitioners that the current business environment has generated a number of issues related to human resource management, which have acted as a barrier to global development. According to a study conducted by Festing (2012) in Germany, the majority of managers in the car industry cite human resource management as one of their top six operational challenges. Human resource executives in the automotive sector in Sweden have also identified successful human resource methods as a major challenge (Johnason, 2009). Also in Asian Tiger countries like Japan, one out of every four Fortune 500 CEOs cites human resource management as their greatest obstacle (Obedgiu, 2017). In Australia, 63 percent of managers of Small and Medium Businesses agreed in a survey that choosing the best human resource management approach is the most difficult obstacle to achieving sustainability (Conaty & Charan, 2011). The United Kingdom has faced its fair share of human resource management problems, with one of the most pressing concerns in the technology field being the implementation of successful recruitment and selection processes (Wright, 2011).

Human resource management challenges are not limited to international entities; Africa has also suffered economically as a result of human resource management challenges. For example, in Zambia's clothing and textile industry, human resource managers have noted that the new business climate has posed training and development challenges, and as a result, most companies in the industry are unable to invest significantly in adequate training and development schemes (DeGraaf, 2010). Furthermore, business managers in the South African ride-hailing industry have said that the new gig economy has made it difficult to provide workers with satisfying compensation arrangements that enable them to fully participate in their work (Johnson &Guetal, 2012). Furthermore, human resource managers in the service sector in Equatorial Guinea have described the country's rising millennial and zillennial employee population and how it has posed challenges in terms of employee satisfaction (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2020). Employees in Equatorial Guinea are gradually seeking greater autonomy in their daily operations, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2020). Most human resource managers in the country are also able to exercise some influence over their workers as a result of this.

Human resource management problems have also surfaced in Nigeria, especially in the retail industry. The retail industry in Nigeria, according to Olutuyi (2018), is fraught with personnel and human resource management problems due to the industry's hectic existence. It is a manpower-intensive industry that needs to be competitive and perform well in order to satisfy customers. Many human resource managers in the sector, on the other hand, have failed to implement adequate human resource plans, which has harmed the success and results that their workers will achieve.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria's retail industry is a major part of the country's economy. It contributes significantly to Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product and has an industry that has employed thousands of Nigerians directly or indirectly. However, the industry as a whole has recently experienced setbacks in terms of profitability. Retail sales in Nigeria fell by as much as 16 percent in the first three quarters of 2020, according to a McKinsey survey (2020). This demonstrates that the success of retail organizations in Nigeria has deteriorated noticeably. According to Olutuyi (2018), a major explanation for the downturn in the success of retail organizations in Nigeria is their failure to get positive results from workers as a result of the use of ineffective human resource management techniques.

Furthermore, Olutuyi (2018) stated that many retail companies have largely ignored their recruiting and selection processes, as a result of which they have recruited the wrong workers who are not dedicated to the organization. Furthermore, according to Ogwe (2016), the training and development programs used by organizations in the Nigerian retail industry are obsolete and unsuccessful in creating a pleasant working atmosphere for their employees. Furthermore, according to Ajayi (2019), many retail organizations in Nigeria pay pitiful wages and benefits packages that are not comparable to those in other industries. As a result, many workers are unable to go above and beyond while performing their daily tasks. This has created numerous problems with regards to the employee outcomes being delivered in the retail industry in Nigeria. Therefore, in a bid to solve these problems the study will look to examine human resource strategies and employee outcome in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of the study is to examine human resource strategies and employee outcome in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:

1)      Identify the effect of Employee Empowerment on Employee Commitment in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

2)      Determine the effect of Training & Development on Employee Productivity in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

3)      Evaluate the effect of Recruitment and Selection on Job Satisfaction of employees in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

4)      Examine the effect of Compensation on Organizational Citizenship Behaviour in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will seek to answer the following questions:

1)      To what extent does Employee Empowerment affect Employee Commitment in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria?

2)      How does Training & Development affect Employee Productivity in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria?

3)      To what extent does Recruitment & Selection affect Job Satisfaction of the selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria?

4)      How does Compensation affect Organizational Citizenship Behavior in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses will be tested during the course of this research:

H01:      Employee Empowerment does not significantly affect Employee Commitment in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

H02:      Training & Development has no significant effect on Employee Productivity in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

H03:      Recruitment and Selection does not significantly affect Job Satisfaction of employees      in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

H04:      Compensation has no significant effect on Organizational Citizenship Behavior in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria.

1.6 Operationalization of Research variables

The variables adopted by this study are: Human Resource Strategies and Employee Outcomes. The study will seek to investigate the relationship between Human Resource Strategies; the independent variable, and the dependent variable; Employee Outcomes.

The variables for this research are consequently operationalized as follows: 

Y= Dependent variable = Employee Outcomes

X= Independent variable = Human Resource Strategies

X= (x1, x2, x3, x4)

X1 = Employee Empowerment

X2 = Training and Development

X3 = Recruitment and Selection

X4 = Compensation

Y = (y1, y2, y3, y4)

Y1 = Employee Commitment

Y2= Employee Productivity

Y3 = Job Satisfaction

Y4= Organizational Citizenship Behaviour

The functional relationships are:

y1= f(x1) __________________ (i)

y2 = f(x2) __________________ (ii)

y3 = f(x3) __________________ (iii)

y4= f(x4) __________________ (v)

The regression equations to explain the effects of the Independent variables on the dependent variables are as follows:

y1 = α0 + β1x1 + μ…. (i)

y2= α0 + β2x2 + μ…. (ii)

y3 = α0 + β3x3 + μ…. (iii)

y4 = α0 + β4x4 + μ…. (iv)

Where, α is the constant of the equation, β1 is the coefficient of x1 which represents Recruitment and Selection, β2 is the coefficient of x2 which represents Training and Development, β3 is the coefficient of x3 which represents Employee Empowerment and β4 is the coefficient of x4 which represents Compensation, μ is stochastic error term.

1.7 Scope of the study

The study will focus on the relationship between Human Resource Strategies and Employee Outcomes in selected supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria. For the purpose of this study, the selected supermarkets will be Sahad Stores, H-medix pharmacy and Spar supermarket in Abuja. The population of the study will the employees of Sahad Stores, H-medix pharmacy and Spar supermarket in Abuja who are 180 in number. The geographical location of the study will be Abuja FCT, Nigeria. Furthermore, the study will be carried out between November 2020 and April 2021 (6 months).

1.8 Significance of the Study

The present study is significant in the following ways;

The management of the selected supermarkets would find the outcome of this study highly relevant in explaining and emphasizing the importance of adopting effective Human Resource Management strategies. The information would be highly useful in managing employees especially to perform well and keep up such performance.

This study will provide information that will benefit the Retail Industry since the retail sector is one of the highest contributing sectors to the Nigerian economy. Thus the industry through this information will be able to understand the Human Resource Management methods that are effective in the Retail Industry.

This study will also inform other researchers studying human resource management and give them a solid platform for future studies on human resource factors and organizational outcomes in the retail industry and other sectors of the nation.


1.9 Definition of Operational Terms

Human Resource Management: Human Resource Management is the strategic approach to the effective management of people in a company or organization such that they help their business gain a competitive advantage (Johannsson, 2009).

Employee Outcomes: In this study, Employee Outcomes refers to the resulting output gotten from the implementation and practice of Human Resource factors selected in this study.

Training & Career Development: Training is defined as the organized way in which organizations provide development and enhance the quality of new and existing employees and development is seen as activities leading to the acquisition of new knowledge or skills for purposes of growing further stating that organizations provide employees with development programmes in order to enhance their capabilities (Nda & Fard, 2013).

Employee Productivity: Productivity is defined as the ratio of output or production capacity of the workers in an organization (Nabi, Monirul, Tanvir & Abdullah, 2017)


1.10 Historical Background Of Human Resource Management

The name Human resource management has changed severally throughout history. This was mainly due to the change in social and economic activities throughout history. Industrial welfare was the first form of human resource management (HRM). In 1833 the factories act stated that there should be male factory inspectors. In 1878 legislation was passed to regulate the hours of work for children and women by having a 60 hour week. During this time trade unions started to be formed. In 1868 the 1st trade union conference was held. This was the start of collective bargaining.

In the 1st world war personnel development increased due to government initiatives to encourage the best use of people. In 1916 it became compulsory to have a welfare worker in explosive factories and was encouraged in munitions factories. A lot of work was done in this field by the army forces. The armed forces focused on how to test abilities and IQ along with other research in human factors at work. In 1921 the national institute of psychologists established and published results of studies on selection tests, interviewing techniques and training methods.

During the 2nd world war the focus was on recruitment and selection and later on training; improving morale and motivation; discipline; health and safety; joint consultation and wage policies. This meant that a personnel department had to be established with trained staff.

The need for specialists to deal with industrial relations was recognized so that the personnel manager became as spokesman for the organization when discussions where held with trade unions/shop stewards. In the 1970's industrial relations was very important. The heated climate during this period reinforced the importance of a specialist role in industrial relations negotiation. The personnel manager had the authority to negotiate deals about pay and other collective issues.

Flexibility and Diversity In the 1990's a major trend emerged where employers were seeking increasing flexible arrangements in the hours worked by employees due to an increase in number of part-time and temporary contracts and the invention of distance working. The workforce and patterns of work are becoming diverse in which traditional recruitment practices are useless. In the year 2000, growth in the use of internet meant a move to a 24/7 society. This created new jobs in e-commerce while jobs were lost in traditional areas like shops. This meant an increased potential for employees to work from home. Organizations need to think strategically about the issues these developments raise. The role of HRM managers will change as changes occur. ("The Historical Background Of Human Resource Management", 2021)