Cross Cultural Management In Motivational Goals

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

What makes or motivates workers? The question is enormous in scope. Some people might say that a worker is one who is successful in achieving its goals or the goals set out by the organisation. The key to their success has turned out to be what psychologists call the need for achievement or the desire to do something better or more efficiently that it has been done before. This is where motivation and its strategies come into play. Ongoing cross-cultural research using existing motivation theories such as the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Hertzberg's Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic-Factor Theory and Vroom's Expectancy Theory, find that those theories are very much culture-bound. That is, the theories fit best within the culture in which they were developed, or similar cultures.


Elizur et al. (1991) stated that in analyzing the work values domain systematically, defining its essential facets is important. Two basic facets were distinguished: modality of outcome and system performance contingency.

Elizur et al. (1991) views, Facet A - Modality of outcome different work outcomes nature are material. Some of them can be directly applied (such as pay); others have direct practical consequences (such as benefits, work conditions, hours of work, etc.) This class of outcomes can be defined as instrumental or material, in a sense that they are of practical use. The term instrumental is applied here in a sense common to definitions of attitudes (Elizur 1970; Elizur and Guttman, 1976; Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975). The instrumentality of result refers here to the external nature of this class of outcomes rather than the internal nature of the other modalities.

Facet B- System-performance contingency, this second classification concerns system performance contingency, and it can be considered to cut across that of modality. Managements of organizations know the essence of motivating individuals to join the organization and to focus on work. For that purpose they provide various incentives which are usually given before task performance and are not conditional upon its outcome. They include work conditions, benefit plans, various services, such as transportation, subsidized meals, as well as other resources provided by the organizations.


Habteyes (1985) states that when motivation is viewed as a trait, it tends to be overlooked in groups that characteristically establish different kinds of tasks as goals, or pursue goals in distinctive ways. Furthermore, McClelland (1961) also viewed motivation as a steady personality trait. He focused on an "inner state" despite the fact that deemphasizing the cause of state and context on the motive to achieve.


Abraham Maslow (1954) attempted to synthesize some research associated to human motivation. Prior to Maslow, researchers generally focused separately on such factors as biology, achievement, or power to explain what energizes, directs, and sustains human behaviour. Maslow stated that a hierarchy of human needs based on two groupings: growth needs and deficiency needs. Within the deficiency needs, each lower need must be met before going to the next higher level. Once each of these needs has been satisfied, if at some future time a deficiency is detected, the individual will act to remove the deficiency. The first four levels are:

1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc;

2) Safety/security: out of danger;

3) Belongingness and Love: link with others, be accepted; and

4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.

According to Maslow, a person is ready to act upon the growth needs if the deficiency needs are met. Maslow's initial conceptualization included only one growth need-self-actualization. Self-actualized people are characterized by:

1) Being problem-focused;

2) Incorporating an ongoing innovation of admiration of life;

3) A concern about personal growth; and

4) The capability to have peak experiences. Maslow later distinguish the growth need of self-actualization, specifically naming two lower-level growth needs prior to general level of self-actualization (Maslow & Lowery, 1998) and one beyond that level (Maslow, 1971). They are:

5) Cognitive: to understand and explore;

6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty;

7) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfilment and realize one's potential; and

8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfilment and realize their potential.

Kanfer's (1987) model states that individuals assign personal resources (e.g., effort) to a particular task or job based on views of this three functions: the "perceived" effort-performance function ( Figure la), the performance-utility function (Figure 2), and the effort-utility function ( Figure 3). The effort performance function explains the form of the relationship that an individual views through a range of effort levels and the likely performance outcome associated with levels of effort. Thus, the perceived effort-performance function can differ from an objective effort performance function (Figure l) that describes the requirements of the job or task. Inaccurate perceived effort-performance functions can happen, for instance, when the individual has an erroneous self-concept (i.e., either believing that higher or lower performance will happen for a particular level of effort) or when the individual is lacking information about the impact of his or her effort on the level of performance. Performance-utility and effort utility functions describe the individual's perceptions of the type of the relationship between the attractiveness of different levels of effort and performance, respectively.

Source: Aging, Adult Development, and Work Motivation (2004)

Another Theory stated by McClelland (1975) proposes that the practice of empowering subordinates is a principal component of managerial and organizational effectiveness. For example, individuals are assumed to have a need for power McClelland (1975) where power connotes an internal need to control and influence other people. McClelland's (1975) research shows that, empowerment also is viewed as an enabling, rather than a delegating process. Enabling implies creating conditions for enhancing motivation for job accomplishment through the development of a strong sense of personal usefulness.

Further Theories studied are:

"Goal Setting: Adopting a control theory framework provides explanations for important aspects of goal setting, including the origins of personal goals, the importance of goal commitment, and the ways that goal characteristics (e.g., specificity, difficulty) affect behaviour (Campion & Lord, 1982). Control theory also ad-dresses goal-setting issues that, although identified as important, have been virtually unexplored (Locke et al., 1981). These include the existence and interplay of sub goals, multiple competing goals, goal hierarchies, task strategies, and the modification of goals over time. These processes also highlight control theory's conceptualization of goals as dynamic antecedents of behaviour" (Campion & Lord, 1982).

Control theory is commonly used to describe how the value of some "controlled" parameter can be kept within well-defined limits in spite of variability in the relevant environment (Powers, 1973a). Control systems are usually assumed to contain five distinct components:

(a) a sensor the at collect or determine information important to the system; (b) a model or goal that the system attempts to retain or reach; (c) a comparator or a discriminator which compares the sensed information to the standard; (d) a result mechanism by which the system decides what action to take in order to reduce any difference between the sensed information and the model; and (e) an effectors or reaction mechanism that enables the system to interact with its environment.


From motivational theories, motivational strategies are built. There are various strategies that a worker can use to achieve his immediate goals,

Mitchell (1982) states that there are various strategies such as team building or other interventions intended to enhance commitment and motivation need to be considered as motivational models. Thus the understanding of these interventions is needed for motivational behaviours and how these behaviours contribute to performance. Also

Building Trust can be a core strategy for motivating workers, Lewis (2006) viewed building trust as one of the most convincing ways of motivating workers which lead to early trust, particularly among multi-active and reactive managers, employees, customers. When considering building trust in an international bunch, national traits must be kept in mind. To ensure workers have motivation teams which are based on mutual trust, a set of basic trust- building strategies, when kinds that is outlined in numerous management manuals:

Set transparent, clear aims and goals

Prepare understandable directives

Communicate them effectively

Insist on information-sharing guidelines

Provide user- friendly and practical tools

Set- up time-efficient processes

Recognize contributions on workers

Back up the"team"

Act on the team's recommendation

Work toward intelligibility.

Furthermore, in motivational workers to achieve their goals, performance can be tied to rewards Ross (1977), shows the effects of Performance-Reward Tie with Job design influences which influences workers' perception of the performance-incentive reward tie (P-l) in several ways. First, workers performing enriched jobs can see a direct relationship between task completion and feelings of success, recognition, and growth. If they perform successfully, they will be immediately reinforced by task accomplishment without going through supervisory evaluation. However he also noted that less productive workers will merely be frustrated when they cannot accomplish their assigned demanding jobs. Thus, job enrichment is highly motivational for productive work groups but it can be a liability the unproductive group. Figure 4 shows the relationship between individual readiness and task difficulty, individual difference which shows job satisfaction and productivity.

Source: Differences in Motivational Properties between Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment (1977)

Figure 4

Another major motivational strategy highlighted by Vecchio (1982) to motivate workers (i.e., organizational intervention approaches) can be viewed as being aligned with each of the proposed influence processes stated below. Although the success of the various intervention approaches is potentially controlled by worker and situational contingencies, the possibility exists that the concurrent use of multiple approaches which may result in relatively greater effectiveness (relative to employing a single motivational approach). These processes are termed compliance, identification, and internalization. Kelman (1961) terms are extended to vecchio (1982) work settings, stated that compliance is when a worker accepts an influence attempt because of a need to obtain a favourable result or to avoid an unfavourable result. Identification refers to a worker who shows behaviours derived from another or others because these behaviours add to a person's self-image. The third type of influence process, internalization, refers to whether a worker agree to an influence attempt because the encouraged actions are congruent with a personal value system and/or are intrinsically rewarding to the individual.

In indentifying influences, French and Raven's (1959) analysis of social power suggests five major sources of influence: legitimate, referent, reward, coercive, and expert. "Each of these five may be viewed as being relatively more closely aligned with one of the three processes proposed by Kelman" kelman(1961). Figure 5 below shows the expanded motivation framework of both organisation and workers with influence process and the resulting antecedent/ individual variables and possible outcomes.

Source: A Social Influence Interpretation of Worker Motivation (1982)

Figure 5

In explaining how workers achieve their goals through motivational strategies, Motivation theories would be used to explain the various factors affecting the implementation of motivational strategies for workers.

The success of different expanded motivational strategies that involves processes such as compliance, identification, and internalization and the influence on behaviours of individuals such as: legitimate, referent, reward, coercive, and expert. Shows that there can be multiple approach which can result into greater efficiency (relative to employing a single motivational approach) can be expanded using Kanfer's model which states that individuals assign personal resources to a particular task or job based on views of this three functions: the "perceived" effort-performance function the performance-utility function and the effort-utility function. This can be related showing that with different models of kanfer, it can also explain the various processes of these motivation strategies with a view of showing the multiple approaches that would result to greater effectiveness of the workers achieving its goals.

Also in building trust as another motivational strategy, ensuring workers have motivation teams which are based on mutual trust, a set of basic trust- building strategies, which could include various achievements of goals. We can back this argument up with control theory framework provides explanations for important aspects of goal setting, including the origins of personal goals, the importance of goal commitment, and the ways that goal characteristics (e.g., specificity, difficulty) affect behaviour (Campion & Lord, 1982).


In view of the motivation theories in relation to motivational strategies that would aid workers in achieving their goals in various contexts. We would notice that various motivational strategies can be applied to achievement of goal of a worker in the organisation. But it should also be worth noticing that different motivational strategies across cultures can be different and have different rewards that drive people. Job security and lifelong employment versus a more interesting and challenging job, the quality of life versus achievements and productivity, and individualistic ego versus social needs and self actualisation can vary a great deal across cultures. A worker who deals with a new culture would do best to first observe which needs and rewards appear important to the him, the team, or the organisation within that culture and not assume that existing culture-bound theories, and prior knowledge and experience with other cultures is simply transferable. This can be a back clash for motivational strategies to be implemented by the worker.