Purpose: Whilst significant evidence of western work-life balance (WLB) challenges exists, studies that explore Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are scarce. The purpose of this paper is to explore how organisational culture in Nigerian medical organisations influences doctors’ WLB and examine the implications of supportive and unsupportive cultures on doctors’ WLB. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses qualitative data gleaned from semi-structured interviews of 60 medical doctors across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria in order to elicit WLB challenges within the context of organisational culture. Findings: The findings show that organisational culture strongly influences employees’ abilities to use WLB policies. Unsupportive culture resulting from a lack of support from managers, supervisors, and colleagues together with long working hours influenced by shift work patterns, a required physical presence in the workplace, and organisational time expectations exacerbate the challenges that Nigerian medical doctors face in coping with work demands and non-work-related responsibilities. The findings emphasise how ICT and institutions also influence WLB. Originality/value: The paper addresses the underresearched SSA context of WLB and emphasises how human resource management policies and practices are influenced by the complex interaction of organisational, cultural, and institutional settings.