Following continued search for reasons on the inability of African nations to realize appreciable economic development through education, the researcher investigated the influence of cultural environment on management in industry. Because input/output measures of productivity are not easily measured in education, the industry was used, hoping that the results would safely apply to education since education has appreciable similarities to the profit-oriented industry. The researcher therefore studied employee/management values in two steel production companies in Nigeria. For comparison, a similar study was simultaneously done in a steel company in Italy. Because confidentiality was promised at data collection, the three companies were referred to in this study as P, Q, and R respectively. Italy, besides having the same steel production process like Nigeria, was chosen to eliminate influences on culture by British colonialism. A major aim was whether the results can help explain the disappointing economic development of African countries, with particular focus on Nigeria. Eight research questions guided the investigation. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire and analyzed using percentages. Results revealed almost same performance in X and Y (Nigeria) but comparison with Z (Italy) showed profound differences due to differences in cultural values especially with regard to motivation, satisfaction, and employee-management communication. Conclusion was that Western individualist and participative management models are unsuitable for African nations, and therefore, time for Africans to evolve suitable African management models which encompass African culture for use in Africa. The same can, by implication, apply to practices in education.
Key words: Management culture, Africa, Nigeria, industry, education, development.
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