motivation in different cultures

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Victor Vroom Pages: 21 (5079 words) Published: October 26, 2013
There has been general upsurge in cultures and managerial research in the last decade or so. Despite this fact, empirical studies on culture dimensions to management practices across cultures have been limited in numbers and scope. In few countries, very limited knowledge about its cultural values and the consequences it poses for motivation is known. A major question is whether the drawback of universal theories could explain for the disappointing economic development of various countries. A few reports suggest that there is difference in application of motivational theories in different parts of the world. In view of these differences, untrimmed Western management models may not be very appropriate for adoption all over the world, in general without recourse to the prevailing local cultural values. The suggestion is made to look for appropriate and suitable management models for different cultures by studying the relatively more successful local companies and institutions.

Key words: Motivation, Management, Cultures, Values

Motivation has kept people in crises going throughout centuries; it has been the cause of increased standards of living, success, fortune, and satisfaction. Most leaders throughout history have used varying techniques of motivation and persuasion. The same is true for successful managers. According to many, the role of motivation in the work environment has great value. Many studies have evolved around various motivational techniques for directing employees towards desired goals. However, “the challenge to management is to recognize and understand the impact of various motivational systems on individual and group behavior within an organised work endeavor. The success or failure of motivation rests not only on the technique but also on management's ability to match the needs of people with appropriate rewards” –Todes, 1977. Motives are needs, which force people to move towards goals, or point they define. Studies of motivation have tried to respond to the ‘why’ of the human behavior, which is directed towards a goal and the need for that goal. Hersey and Blanchard (1977) noted that motives can be defined as needs, wants, drives, or impulses within the individual which are directed towards goals which may be conscious or subconscious. Freud long ago discovered the importance of subconscious motivation; in order words, people are not always aware of everything they want (Hersey and Blanchard, 1977). Dickson (1973) stated that employees are not motivated solely by money but by other factors, which is linked to their behaviour and attitudes. Many theories of motivation have been developed with the understanding of how employees’ behaviours can be energized positively and how they can better be directed to achieve desired objectives. The relevance of cultures to management with the sole purpose of contributing to a culturally feasible motivation theory building across cultures is to be known. Motivation practice in different societies requires identification of the 'growth-positive' and 'growth-negative' culture based-factors.

Defining motivation:
According to Stephen (2000), motivation is the willingness to exert a persistent and high level of effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the effort's ability to satisfy some individual needs. Motivation theories are classified into two groups: ‘content theories’ and ‘process theories’. Content theories explore what motivate people: that is, arouses and energize the behavior. The most famous content theories are Maslow's need hierarchy, Herzberg's two-factor theory, and McClelland's three-factor theory. Process theories researched the specifics of the motivation process. Vroom's expectancy theory and Adam's equity theory are well known process theories. As the concept of motivation is reviewed, we should keep in mind that level of motivation varies both among individuals and within individuals at...

References: Organizational behaviour – Stephen Robbins
Managing organizations – RK Sharma, Sahashi K Gupta
Management of Organizational Behaviour- Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
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