Strategic Road Map to Achieving Growth through Commitment on Workers’ Welfare: A Case Study of Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Nigerian Breweries Plc is a pioneer brewing company in Nigeria and its wide-ranged products are currently exported to about 15 other countries in different continents – Africa, America, Asia and Europe. However, the company’s goal of satisfying its global consumers, customers and employees in socially and environmentally responsible ways has been a great challenge to management for lack of indebt knowledge on organizational behaviour. This study examines how the brewer can achieve higher productivity through improved management strategies.
Organizations cannot achieve productivity where the interaction between management and employees, or between consumers are producers, are not systematically synchronized for managers to understand, plan and predict human behaviour, which is an essential part of meeting set objectives. In furtherance, the capacity of production in any company largely depends on its ability to tackle behavioural issues from its workers, and to achieve this, the various aspects of human needs must be met to a satisfactory extent. This productivity process in complex organizations like Nigerian Breweries Plc is divided into personnel management, production, finance and marketing.
Currently offering 19 brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc has successfully leaped from a stage of importing raw materials and employing more expatriate workers, to sourcing both material and human resources locally. The company’s 2020 Vision aims at extracting 60% of its raw materials from indigenous sources. This expansion requires inept management acumen on the part of managers as well as motivation, spurred by the company’s commitment for employees’ welfare.
1.3 Background of the Study
Modern day scholars have repeatedly criticized traditional budgeting as an effective means of management control despite its popularity by Johnson and Kaplan in the mid-80s. However, current business trends and proven inadequacies of outdated management theories demand an urgent switch to a more responsive and rigid approach. Nigerian Breweries Plc needs an appropriate system of administration, with emphasis on budgeting and employees’ welfare, to remain competitive in a rapidly changing manufacturing industry which demands high-performing, experienced and motivated indigenous workers (Helmy., 2012). To achieve this purpose, a line must be drawn on the difference between actual and planned performance, including timely information reporting to integrate strategic management and budgeting for value creation that not only spurts profits but offers competitive advantage and sustainable growth.
The aim of this research is therefore to answer these questions:
- What is the correlation between budgeting and management processes, and how will an integration of both factors offer growth?
- How can a company achieve employee satisfaction?
1.4 Company Brief
Nigerian Breweries Plc is the largest brewer in Nigeria, with a production capacity of over a million hectolitres per year. Established in 1946 with headquarters in Lagos, the company rolled out its first bottle of STAR Lager beer in June 1949. Other breweries in Aba, Kaduna (Kakuri) and Ibadan were registered in 1957, 1963 and 1982 respectively. The company’s fifth brewery located in Enugu was commissioned in September 1993 while its other site at Ama, Enugu, was confirmed to be operational in October 2003. Other locations are Awo-Omamma, Ijebu Ode, Makurdi, Onitsha and Kudenda in Kaduna state.
Nigerian Breweries are makers of Maltina, Gulder, Heineken, Fayrouz, Amstel, Legend Extra Stout etc. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, MD & Director is Jordi Borrut Bel.
1.5 Current Performance, Productivity and Competitive Position
In 2017, NB Plc earned huge profits valued at N37b billion with favourable business projections for the years 2018 to 2020.
Table 1: Nigerian Breweries Financials 2018 to 2019 (Source: Nigerian Breweries Plc.)
Table 2: Nigerian Breweries Financials 2018 to 2019 (Source: Nigerian Breweries Plc.)
Nigerian Breweries currently has a total of 3,328 employees. It documented a total dividend of N4.13 per share for the 2017 business year, a record amount since the company was established. In addition, NB Plc financials confirm a total of N33 billion as profit after tax (PAT) for 2017, accruing from a revenue of N344 billion. This represents a 16% increase in profit after tax from the N28.4 billion it recorded in 2016 as well as a 10% turnover growth from N313 billion in the same period.
The company’s biggest competitor Guinness Nigeria Plc was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1985 and now trades in over 180 global markets. Both companies employ merger and acquisitions as their top business strategies. NB Plc in October 2011 bought majority equity interests from Sona Systems and Life Breweries (makers of Malta Gold, Life Continental and Goldberg lager) from Heineken N. V. followed by a 2015 merger with Consolidated Breweries Plc. Guinness Nigeria, on the other hand, purchased rights as sole distributor of McDowell’s (a top spirits brand from United Spirits Ltd, Nigeria) and Diageo Plc’s famous brands such as Vodka, Moringa Citrus Blend, Gordon’s Dry Gin etc. NB Plc holds about two-third share of Nigerian beer market whereas Guinness Nigeria owns nearly 25 percent. NB boasts of 13.7 Mhl production rate at 55 percent of the nation’s total while Guinness has 7.7 Mhl capacity and a 33 percent share of the market. NB has a wider geographical spread in Nigeria and has spent the last 30 years building farms and strong relationships with independent farmers to maintain a tight grasp on its supply chain, according to the government’s development initiatives in the 1980s.
1.6 The Meta Model
Every organization has three obstacles to adaptability: incompetent management, bureaucratic bottlenecks, and under-utilization of available human and material resources. These factors hinder growth where inner dynamics and grammar deserve change or when there’s an impact from outer dynamics on both. This report aims at helping Nigerian Breweries CEO understand how the company can increase productivity in a declining market through a shift from its current corporate culture to an innovative business approach. The metal model, as a higher order model, looks into all factors affecting the structural functioning of organizations and will be used to analyse NB Plc (Beinhocker., 2016; Mathew., 2017).
Matthews’ meta model, as appears below, clarifies how outer dynamics are divided into two factors: the competitive (co-competitive) dynamics and macro dynamic factors. From a political point of view, the macro dynamics factors refer to challenges posed by governmental regulations on indigenous raw material sources, huge capital requirements, social and environmental responsibilities, legal costs, and recruitment of expatriate workers, including technological factors created by online marketing, research and development (R&D) and importation of manufacturing equipment, which are yet to be produced locally.
Image 1: The Meta Model (Source: Matthews Robin)
On the other hand, competitive/co-competitive dynamics factors address issues on the company’s customers, consumers and stakeholders. These outer dynamics with impact on Nigerian Breweries’ sales margin can as well be summarised with PEST analysis, which evaluates the company’s business environment to identify its strength and weakness-inducing factors. View image 2 below:
Image 2: Pest Analysis (Source: Aguilar)
Value based management (2016) opines that the competitors utilize outer dynamic forces, which are pivotal in determining a company’s competitive advantage and profitability by influencing prices and investment strategies (Porter., 1985). See Porter’s 5 Forces below for more explanations:
Image 3: Five Forces Model (Source: Porter M. E.)
As shown in Porter’s 5 forces analysis, Nigerian Breweries is facing competition against equal and better placed contenders that maximise resources and capabilities such as investment in technology, product differentiation, change of marketing strategies and social responsibility to create value and sustainable profits.
Image 4: SWOT Analysis (Source: Porter M. E.)
Poor road infrastructure and intermittent power supply in Nigeria present NB with logistic problems since machinery require steady and independent sources that cost huge amount of money. In addition to the need for expertise, location of power plants has to be accessible and close to population centres. This is not always the case and land or rents may prove more expensive. In furtherance, NB leverages on its image, size and innovative capacities against competitors such as SABMiller and Guinness but this fierce competition reduces its profit margins and stunts growth (Shafiu., 2011).
However, the lack of pricing power among top Nigerian brewers has significant effects on operating cash-flow, which is worsened by currency devaluation. Also, the declining demand and credits offered to distributors are responsible for prolonged cash-conversion cycle, which NB has favourably exploited against Guinness. While NB has minimal debts, Guinness Nigeria’s borrowing increased 3x between financial years 2014 and 2015.
Table 3: NB and GN summary valuation and financials (Source: Company Data, Renaissance Capital Estimates)
This refers to benefits or losses offered by a company as well as contributions made toward improving quality of lives through social/civic responsibility, high-quality products or services and increased wages, among others. These can be categorized into quantitative and qualitative (Creswell., 1994).
Both NB and Guinness have invested time and money in growing their businesses, and these are evident in formidable barriers raised against new entrants such as SABMiller. With returns on equity (ROE%) valued over 40% plus a record EPS growth, both NB and GN have long-term market fundaments that makes it difficult for small market players to bypass industry barriers but attracts huge investment capital from stakeholders.
Nigerian Breweries employs segmentation (geographical, demographic, behavioural and psychographic) in its business practices as a strategy to impact on people of all classes and ages. Drinkers see beer consumption as a socialization medium and affordable pricing makes it available to lower, middle and high-class earners. Aggressive and appealing advertising strategies applied by NB Plc over the years have carved a niche for the brewer and added a boost to its markets.
The company boasts of a wide distribution channel. It employs services from external companies to ease transportation issues and ensure goods are delivered nationwide to distributors. This, however, limits direct interaction between producers and consumers and consequentially hinders time-saving feedback from end users (Uwosomah., 2010).
The Strategy Road Map Methodology
It has been rightly argued and acknowledged that an organization’s commitment to employee welfare is the most essential of all management activities. This strategic road map examines the determinants between workers’ needs and organizational goals as well as how these factors relate to overall productivity. According to Beinhocker (2006) organizational commitment and employee productivity is an emerging area of study and remains the most pressing aspect of workforce management challenges experienced by managers of the past, present and future. A company’s growth or failure largely depends on how employee satisfaction is managed, and this obligation falls on the CEOs, management board, human resource managers, supervisors, project leaders and team captains, who have the responsibility of workers recruitment, placement, assessment, training and motivation. These can be achieved through different strategies with varied outcomes (Kreisman., 1998).
Planning, organising, directing, budgeting and reporting are some of the integral parts of the management process in every company, and these factors are significant determinants of how a bureaucratic organization achieves its goals or is forced out of business by competitors. A visionary management often sees employees as its backbone and encourages teamwork, purposefulness, shared responsibilities, career development and individual recognition. Job security and commitment to workers’ private lives also provide motivation and boost loyalty, both of which have significant impact on productivity (Chesbrough H. and Rosenbloom R., 2002).
Proponents of strategy define it as a clearly thought-out design which offers competitive advantage to organizations when properly used. The management tool is often dynamic and tailored to suit any company’s values and missions, and this required users to continually appraise performance to determine its productiveness (Luecke., 2005).
However, Kaplan and Norton (2004) considered strategy as a line of action adopted by an organization to create value for customers, investors and society at large. The tool includes a period-based design of creativities with intended outcomes which are aligned to the goals, business position, and roadmap of an organization.
Howard and Cameron (2006) diverted from other purposes to which a strategy exists and argued that clarity of the management structure and practices as well as perfect understanding on the part of employees, are the basics of effective management. The performance of a strategy is therefore dependent on its outline or map and how managers impart the knowledge to its workers. This solves the problem of how value is to be created and to whom. Nonetheless, Kaplan and Norton admit, performance measurements are required to ascertain the effectiveness of a strategy implementation process for decisions on whether such activities should be adjusted or trashed.
The Balance Score Card (BSC) together with a strategy map offers an insight into links shared by an organization’s tangible and intangible resources. These tools are also useful in knowing what workers think of the existing management methods, rating the contributions from HR, and measuring consumer happiness for short and long-term financial planning.
Image 5: The Strategy Map Framework (Source: Kaplan and Norton)
The strategy map not only evaluates connections between tangible and intangible assets but focuses on how these can be utilized to create value through methods that guarantee sustainable growth. The strategy map and BSC can be understood through these standards:
- It makes adjustments to the opposing forces of temporary monetary goals for price reduction and expanded profit.
- It provides value via inner business process.
- It functions with distinguished client offer since it considers satisfaction of customer needs as the core aspect of value creation.
- Strategies are used to define value of an organization’s intangible resources, which are segmented into information, learning and growth perspective and human capital.
Image 6: Five Stages of the Roadmap (Source: Eden and Ackerman)
Benefits of Strategy Roadmap
According to Eden and Ackerman (2011), a strategic roadmap guarantees employee productivity and ensures meaningful contributions to team assignments as well as enforce collaboration between management and staff. Other benefits are as follows:
- It strengthens many objectives which include business placement and specialized methodologies.
- It enhances communication between and among groups within and outside organizations.
- It focuses on important aspects of management such as assets like time, ability and money, and often exploit these to achieve organizational goals.
- It is useful in evaluating performance in line with the company’s business philosophy.
Image 7: Rockwater’s Strategic Objectives (Source: Meryer and Allen)
Building Strategies and Strategy Maps
The BSC and strategy map separate organizations from competitors and it has to show the links among a company’s inward activities as well as all intangible assets which provide competitive advantage.
Implementing and Updating the Strategy Map
A company’s strategic design explains what activities are to be performed and why, where or when. Results from the beginning drive workers through the implementation process, and since the planned activities are constant, the strategic road map is always adjusted for better results (Martins., 2013).
According to Paladino (2010), there is need for organizational activities and processes to be continuously reviewed and updated, where necessary, to achieve growth and sustainability. This is what the roadmap aims at. It shapes the outlines of a proposal for future activities and does not partake in basic decision-making or offers no understanding.
Limitations of the Strategy Roadmaps
Martin adds that the strategy map does not offer categorical explanation about what activities an organization chooses to undertake and why. It does not ask questions on assumptions.
The Balanced Score Card (BSC) Methodology
Organizations function with distinct management, placement and communication procedures but their BSC remains a workable path which defines value-creation methodologies. In their performance assessment study, Kaplan R. S. and David Norton (2005) opined that successful firms don’t just examine operations with monetary measurements but use other assessment tools such as clients, internal processes, together with learning and development. The researchers suggested four measurement tools made up of finance, customers, the internal business activities as well as development and learning. Furthermore, the purpose and yardstick of any measurement framework are found in the organizations missions and strategies whereas performance is evaluated with vision. The application of this technique in contemporary societies has triggered concentration on companies’ intangible properties, necessitating thorough reviews on the value of its intangible asset to weigh its contributions, identify shortcomings and apply remedies (Del W. and Kennedy N., 1982).
Image 8: Balanced Score Card (Source: Kaplan and Norton)
BSC as a measurement tool looks into the company’s activities as far as ideas and current approaches, to provide management with an insight of business performance; it also encourages organizations to clarify their strategy and vision and transform them into profits (Bremser & Wagner., 2013). BSC is considered by Kaplan and Norton (1996) as a descent model that provides stability amongst strategies and procedures.
BSC concentrates is strategy-oriented; with regards to its performance assessment function, BSC proffer flawless solutions to organizational problems and questions. Developing this analytical tool requires careful use of company strategies and a far-reaching structure which covers all activities for better assessment of performance.
BSC as a Management System
Most companies used performance assessment tools that incorporate monetary and nonfinancial criteria, but BSC is beyond all previously common estimation framework. According to Simons (1988), innovative companies apply the scorecard as a central system for sieving administration processes. While organizations are encouraged to choose initial BSC with few realistic goals to promote clarity of vision, inspire commonness of purpose, present unified focus on strategy, and ensure that the goals are regularly explained to all workers, Kaplan and Norton said companies experience the real strength of BSC only when it is transformed from a measurement structure to a management framework.
Why do Companies need a BSC?
The impact of an organization’s assessment system on individuals within and outside its business environment cannot be overlooked in this 21st century. There is need to utilize effective management and assessment frameworks selected from client-based strategies as well as the company’s core abilities while inspiring and evaluating performance using only monetary yardsticks.
BSC applies monetary valuations in its initial rundown of performance from both management and business activities although it utilizes a broader and integrated measurement structure that links existing customers, internal process, workers and system performance for long-term monetary achievement.
Scorecards prove meaningful in identifying unproductive strategies, including those that need to be adjusted, and the key-achieving measures that should be added into the framework (Stewart., 1991; 1994).
Proposals for Nigerian Breweries Plc
Despite the competition between Nigeria’s two major brewers – NB and GN, there are no price wars since their products are differentiated with insignificant price differences. NB is a dominant player in the market but faces stiff non-priced based challenges from GN, which competes strongly with product innovations through equally appealing packaging, ads and branding. However, to maintain its position as a market leader, NB should:
- Invest more funds in mergers and acquisitions as well as establish far-reaching distribution networks and more power plants to broaden its competitive advantage.
- Employ services from business consultants or researchers who are conversant with more effective business models that guarantee productivity and increase earnings.
- Identify with consumers through efficient communication channels, bonuses, charity programs, social activities etc.
- Show support for responsible political leaders and promote good governance which is a prerequisite for influx of foreign investors in the beer manufacturing industry.
- Ensure that employees’ welfare is continuously reviewed to ascertain needs for personal improvement, emotional and psychological well-being as well as motivation, which inspires loyalty.
- Maximise huge potentials from print and media advertising by knowing what ads are suitable and productive to which audience and at what time.
Consequences of Failure to Apply the Proposals
NB and its rival GN are currently under-utilizing the available potentials in Nigeria’s brewing industry, but analysts advise drinkers to invest in a more profitable company Nigerian Breweries, which trades at PE 42.23 times and above, against Guinness Nigeria’s negative PE ratio (Leigh., 2017).
While there is ample room for NB Plc to capture value in the beer and non-alcoholic drinks market, its failure to implement the proposals will result in:
- Loss of brand loyalty which the company has worked hard to earn in over 60 years of operation.
- Unproductiveness on the part of employees, including marketers and distributors who will be affected by downsizing or reduction of benefits.
- Huge financial losses from the percentage of customers and consumers who will most likely switch to other brands and particularly Guinness, which remains the major contender.
- Monopoly of supplies by Guinness, and a consequential increase in product prices which, in turn, destroys innovation and reduces consumer satisfaction.
- Business closure for NB Plc since a competitive market environment requires innovation and use of effective business models or submission to unfavourable market trends.
POTENTIAL DBA PERSPPECTIVES FOR CLIENT BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
In his work on poor management, Kreisman categorized managers between those who are loyal and productive and others who are unmotivated and disengaged. In furtherance, productive workers are synonymous with high turnover and are most likely promoted, retained and motivated whereas those employees who fall in the group of “confused or distracted workers” are eventually downsized when and if the company expands. An employee needs to possess organizational trust, which is dependent on the awareness that goals exists to benefit workers. When this is lacking, employees react with limited support for management. The researcher defined motivation as a basic psychological process, adding that it arouses, energizes, directs and sustains employee behaviour and performance (Kreisman., Ibid).
To transform business and sustain growth in the future, Nigerian Breweries need to consider:
- Salaries, Wages and Work Condition: Workers’ remuneration has to be equal to the position held in a company and the quality of service rendered. This includes special allowances, conducive work environment devoid of threats or discrimination, job security, opportunity for growth, and other fringe benefits such as paid holidays, pensions etc.
- Money: In Akinloye’s assessment of employee motivation, money remains the most effective form of strategy, dating back to Frederick Taylor’s scientific management. Money represents power, success, prestige and instils a feeling of accomplishment in people; this possess a significant motivating power and serves as a reason most employees show chose particular jobs and show commitment to retain their positions or grow in ranks (Akinloye., 2000; Sinclair et al., 2005). Money can also be used to punish unproductive workers through premature retirement, deductions from salaries or lack of promotion (Banjoko., 1996).
- Staff Training: The workforce remains an indispensable part of organizational activities no matter how automated. Staff training is there an essential part of motivation and productivity, especially in modern theories and practices, use of new machines, and personal development. Organizing good training programs will ensure that employees are prepared to meet their daily, weekly or year goals.
- Communication and Availability of Information: Providing employees with clear instructions and having an open-door policy for reporting is one good way any manager can achieve organizational objectives. Workers are bound to make meaningful contributions when they understand the company’s core values, beliefs and vision (Ulrich., 1997).
- Share Ownership: Another way of achieving productivity is by motivating workers through ownership of company shares. When workers feel their stake in the company’s profits depends largely on inputs, they tend to become more efficient.
- Clear Vision by Management: The management needs visionary leaders for quality, productive decisions and should ensure that plan of activities or goals are understood by each worker. This ensures uniformity, teamwork, division of labour and overall growth.
- Management by Objectives (MBO): This refers to the inclusion of employees in the decision-making process as an important management practice. This leads to commitment on the part of workers and brings management closer to the rank and file within the organization. Olajide (op cit.) added that trust in senior leadership, competitive rewards for participation as well as the company’s integrity in its business conduct are required to harness this benefit (Creswell J., 1994).
2.1 Critical Thinking and Core Capacities Needed to Achieve this Consultancy Task
Handling this task as a consultant demanded objectivity on my part, and I found it inspiring to test myself against the variety of capacities which professional Consultants need to effectively execute assignments of such nature. To evaluate operations of Nigerian Breweries with regards to employee satisfaction required good understanding of its policies, legal provisions, regulatory framework, and management institutions that govern the company operations as well as the capacity to identify and analyse both primary and support activities which are also crucial in the adoption of cost advantage strategies (Popoola., 1977).
In my objective assessment, I found that it is common for manufacturing companies to achieve continuous marketing and further assessments revealed Nigerian Breweries can achieve competitive advantage by embracing employee-oriented values in its management activities.
Although this task proved challenging as a detour from my familiar academic engagements, it has helped me to understand my potentials and slips as well as widen my academic capabilities.
2.2 Current Knowledge, Skills and Competencies and an Assessment of my Ability for Completing this Consultancy Task
I have no prior knowledge about Value Creation for Businesses so this subject matter was new to me at the beginning but now I’m equipped with good knowledge of business models such as the value chain analysis, value network and competitive advantage since holding several discussions with tutors and fellow students.
The use of Resources Based View in identifying key tangible or intangible resources and capacities of an organization was strange at first but being able to use it and some of the best analytical tools, and successfully acquiring knowledge of the inner and outer dynamics of a business have been inspiring.
My capacity to identify key activities that can be improved or eliminated to create value for Nigerian Breweries has greatly improved. The use of Strategy Maps and Balanced Score Card has deepened my knowledge and skills that result in the identification of competitive advantage activities and eventual value creation strategies for the company.
2.3 Review of the Related Leadership Skills Required for Future Personal Development and Career Accession
It is important for managers to have good vision; this is my conviction after gleaning through how responsible leadership influences a company’s design and implementation of strategies that create value for all stakeholders in both short and long terms. One of the leadership skill required is the ability to communicate with workers and see that they are included in management activities. Offering training programs and good remuneration packages, as well as a company’s honesty in business are some of the management responsibilities that inspire loyalty in workers and consequentially improve profits (Meryer J. P and Allen, N. J., 1991).
In addition, the road mapping strategy is the foundation of business in both long and short-term basis, and I believe there is need for me to hone my skills in this area through regular execution of such assignments and other class presentations. This will, without doubts, build my confidence and competence on the global stage. Examining different organizations and comparing them demand leadership qualities of meticulousness, objectivity, and concentration on details – some of the management skills I need to improve on.
However, I’ve learned through this consultancy assignment that marketing is only an aspect of manufacturing business, and value is only created when strategies are clarified and realistic.
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