International Human Resource Management of Unilever in Africa

Topic: HR Management
Words: 591 Pages: 2


Unilever is a Dutch-British company, one of the foods and household chemicals market leaders. The trademark was founded in 1930 as a result of the merger of two companies: the Dutch margarine manufacturer Margarine Unie and the British company Lever Brothers (Starcevic, 2021). The company strengthened its positions in different territories rationally using suitable for particular areas management strategies. The company’s expansion was successful in various countries, including Africa. Such success is impossible without a well-developed approach to dealing with global human resources-related problems. The current word is devoted to analyzing Unilever’s human resource management in Africa.

Human Resource Management: Ethical Principles

The company is famous for its human right centered international human resource management. In 2014, the company’s CEO promoted the speaking-up initiative for all international employees, including Africans (Muhammad, n.d.). Through the number of subsequent sessions, the managers gathered data about the preferences and requests of the employees of different regions (Punith, 2018). Another essential approach to influencing international human resource management is the creation of a social impact hub (Muhammad, n.d.). It was devoted to connecting the employees with social activities. This concept was especially significant in Africa due to the many regions where people from low-income families needed help. Through such an approach, the company showed its commitment to Africa’s problems, improving the motivation of the African workers, and establishing a high level of business integrity. Thus, in other words, the main principle of the Unilever company’s human resource management is the well-structured realization of ethical standards.

International Management in Africa

The company focuses on establishing priorities based on the particular region’s needs. From the late 1940s, the development of new mass markets for consumer goods, including Africa and Asia, provided expansion opportunities (Starcevic, 2021). The Unilever United Africa Company is overgrowing, manufacturing goods for sale in the newly created independent African countries, helping to develop new local production. The company strives to ensure the growth of the possibilities for people living in Africa by addressing the region’s poverty, plastic pollution, and other problems (Magagan and Ngugi, 2021). The human resource management of the Unilever in Africa is primarily related to improving the motivation of the employees by helping to solve recent problems in Africa (Magagan and Ngugi, 2021). For example, the company introduced the Unilever Living Plan to develop the sanitation conditions in Africa (Punith, 2018). This decision impacted the African employees’ motivation significantly. According to the qualitative data, the total work-satisfaction was increased almost twice after this project (Sivakumar, 2021). People see that the company is concerned with the needs of the African people.

The company’s ethical standards centered on the development of opportunities for countries and employees serve as the perfect motivation instrument. This approach is called international business integrity, focusing on people’s needs (Business integrity, n.d.). It allows understanding of the minor and global needs of the employees in a particular country. Through the coordinative work of the different managemental bodies, the company establishes high ethical human resource management standards.


Unilever company’s human resource management in Africa is centered on the general ethical principles established within the company. The executives strive to connect the human resources management approaches with the global needs of the country. By doing so, Unilever shows respect and commitment to the problems of a particular county, which undoubtfully increases the employees’ motivation to support such a company. Moreover, Unilever also pays special attention to the personal needs of the employees through different platforms and programs. Unilever provides practical examples and experiences of how management can be ethical.

Reference List

Business integrity (n.d.) Web.

Magagan, K. and Ngugi, L. (2021) ‘Influence of project management Practices on performance of projects in Unilever Kenya ltd’, International Academic Journal of Information Sciences and Project Management, 3(6), pp. 392–418.

Muhammad, B. (n.d.) Human resource management and employee motivation at Unilever. Web.

Punith, M. (2018) Unilever in Africa. Web.

Sivakumar, S. (2021) ‘Study of internationalization process of Unilever’. Web.

Starcevic, S. (2021) ‘The history and evolution of branding in Africa’, in: Appau, S. (eds) Marketing brands in Africa. Palgrave studies of marketing in emerging economies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 13-36.

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