Among the regions of the world, Africa has seen the least management research activity. However, the literature has swelled over the last decade, indicating that interest in the continent is burgeoning. However, in the area of HRM, only 6 per cent has focused on strategic HRM despite its theorized importance to the competitiveness of firms and the fact that Africa ranks amongst the least in global competitiveness as defined by the Global Competitiveness Report. For the most part, the HRM in Africa literature has been inundated with culture-shaded discourses. In the light of the limitations of this approach and the need to broaden the spectrum of African HRM research, this chapter looks to the institutional context of work and employment, focusing on Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, to explain its impact on the (non-)adoption of SHRM practices. Implications for management practice and fruitful areas for HRM research in Africa are discussed.