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Motivation Across Cultures

The Nature of Motivation


Motivation

A psychological process through which unsatisfied wants or needs lead to drives that are aimed at goals or incentives.

Unsatisfied need

Drive toward goal to satisfy need

Attainment of goal (need satisfaction)


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The Nature of Motivation


The Universalist Assumption
The first assumption is that the motivation process is universal, that all people are motivated to pursue goals they valuewhat the work-motivation theorists call goals with high valence or preference

The process is universal


Culture influences the specific content of this process and the goals that are pursued

The Nature of Motivation


The Assumption of Content and Process Content Theories of Motivation Theories that explain work motivation in terms of what arouses, energizes, or initiates employee behavior. Process Theories of Motivation Theories that explain work motivation by how employee behavior is initiated and directed.

The Hierarchy-of-Needs Theory


The Maslow Theory
Maslows theory rests on a number of basic assumptions: Lower-level needs must be satisfied before higher-level needs become motivators A need that is satisfied no longer serves as a motivator
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Maslows Need Hierarchy


Self-Actualization Self-Actualization Needs Needs Esteem Esteem Needs Needs Social Social Needs Needs Safety Safety Needs Needs Physiological Physiological Needs Needs
Desires to reach ones full potential, to become every thing one is capable of becoming as a human being. Needs for power and status. Desires to interact and affiliate with others and to feel wanted by others. Desires for security, stability, and the absence of pain. Basic physical needs for water, food, clothing, and shelter.
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The Hierarchy-of-Needs Theory


International Findings on Maslows Theory
Some researchers have suggested modifying Maslows Western-oriented hierarchy by re-ranking the needs Asian cultures emphasize the needs of society -Chinese hierarchy of needs might have four levels ranked from lowest to highest: Belonging (social) Physiological Safety Self-actualization (in the service of society)
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Achievement Motivation Theory


The Background of Achievement Motivation Theory
Characteristic profile of high achievers: They like situations in which they take personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems. Tend to be moderate risk-takers rather than high or low risk-takers. Want concrete feedback on their performance. Often tend to be loners, and not team players.

Achievement Motivation Theory


International Findings on Achievement Motivation Theory

Achievement motivation theory must be modified to meet the specific needs of the local culture: The culture of many countries does not support high achievement Anglo cultures and those that reward entrepreneurial effort do support achievement motivation and their human resources should probably be managed accordingly
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Select Process Theories


Equity Theory When people perceive they are being treated equitably it will have a positive effect on their job satisfaction If they believe they are not being treated fairly (especially in relation to relevant others) they will be dissatisfied which will have a negative effect on their job performance and they will strive to restore equity.
There is considerable research to support the fundamental equity principle in Western work groups. When the theory is examined on an international basis, the results are mixed.
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Select Process Theories


Equity Theory Employees in Asia and the Middle East often readily accept inequitable treatment in order to preserve group harmony Men and women in Japan and Korea (and Latin America) typically receive different pay for doing the same work due to years of cultural conditioning women may not feel they are treated inequitably
These results indicate equity theory is not universally applicable in explaining motivation and job satisfaction
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Select Process Theories


Goal-Setting Theory A process theory that focuses on how individuals go about setting goals and responding to them and the overall impact of this process on motivation Specific areas that are given attention in goal-setting theory include: The level of participation in setting goals Goal difficulty Goal specificity The importance of objective Timely feedback to progress toward goals
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Select Process Theories


Goal-Setting Theory Unlike many theories of motivation, the goal-setting theory has been continually refined and developed There is considerable research evidence showing that employees perform extremely well when they are assigned specific and challenging goals that they have had a hand in setting Most of these studies have been conducted in the United States few have been carried out in other cultures
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Select Process Theories


Expectancy Theory A process theory that postulates that motivation is influenced by a persons belief that Effort will lead to performance Performance will lead to specific outcomes, and The outcomes will be of value to the individual.
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Select Process Theories


Expectancy Theory

Expectancy theory could be culture-bound, as it is based on the assumption that employees have

considerable control over their environment


a condition that does not exist in many cultures)
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Motivation Applied Job Design, Work Centrality, and Rewards


Sociotechnical Job Designs The objective of these designs is to integrate new technology into the workplace so that workers accept and use it to increase overall productivity
New technology often requires people learn new methods and in some cases work faster Employee resistance is common Effective sociotechnical design can overcome these problems
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Motivation Applied Job Design, Work Centrality, and Rewards


Work Centrality The importance of work in an individuals life can provide important insights into how to motivate human resources in different cultures Japan has the highest level of work centrality Israel has moderately high levels The United States and Belgium have average levels The Netherlands and Germany have moderately low levels Britain has low levels
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Motivation Applied Job Design, Work Centrality, and Rewards


Reward Systems Managers everywhere use rewards to motivate their personnel Some rewards are financial in nature such as salary raises, bonuses, and stock options Others are non-financial such as feedback and recognition Significant differences exist between reward systems that work best in one country and those that are most effective in another
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Motivation Applied Job Design, Work Centrality, and Rewards


Incentives and Culture Workers in many countries are highly motivated by things other than financial rewards The most important rewards in locations at 40 countries of an electrical equipment MNC involved recognition and achievement Second in importance were improvements in the work environment and employment conditions including pay and work hours
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Motivation Applied Job Design, Work Centrality, and Rewards


Incentives and Culture French and Italian employees valued job security highly while American and British workers held it of little importance Scandinavian workers placed high value on concern for others on the job and for personal freedom and autonomy but did not rate getting ahead very important German workers ranked security, fringe benefits, and getting ahead as very important Japanese employees put good working conditions and a congenial work environment high on their list but ranked personal advancement quite low

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Motivation Applied Job Design, Work Centrality, and Rewards


Incentives and Culture

The types of incentives that are deemed important appear to be culturally influenced Culture can even affect the overall cost of an incentive system Japanese efforts to introduce Western-style merit pay systems typically lead to an increase in overall labor costs Companies fear that reducing the pay of less productive workers may cause them to lose face and disturb group harmony Hence, everyones salary increases as a result of 21