Understanding Management And Leadership Across Cultures Commerce Essay

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The main objective of this project is to critically evaluate theories of leadership and motivation across different cultures. Certain motivation theories such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs model, Aldefer's modified need hierarchy model, Herzberg's two-factor theory and McClelland's achievement motivation theory are rebutted. These theories gave different kind of motivation that management may adopt to motivate their work force as there are different range of people with so many varied motivational needs. Also, in this modern era, due to globalization, various opportunities have arise for companies to expand international. This has brought about formation of multi racial workforce with different cultural, customs and background. This can sometimes bring about frustration and can drive production down as they seem not to understand each other and work together as a team. In creating international companies many firm simply transported their home-based values and customs and processes to other foreign locations in an attempt to impose it on them. (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002). In addition this work also shows some of the motivated factors adopted by Tesco's to motivated it staff.

The date used in this work was collected from books, journals, academic articles in the field of leadership and motivation and official websites. Significant evaluation of theories was conducted fairly. The project was mainly desk top conducted in the Trinity college, Manchester library. Also, the research was based on empirical study was based on 'deductive approach rather than an 'inductive approach' as it was based on analysis and logical interpretation than observation and available information.

This project is divided into chapters. Chapter 1 covers introduction to the study such as objective and methodology. Chapter 2 concerns itself with reviewing of theories in relation to leadership and motivation. Chapter takes a look and reviews further theories relating to whether cultural differences do have effects on leadership and motivation qualities. Chapter 4 was based on case of study leadership and motivation. Finally, chapter 5 provides critical analysis and evaluation of the theories debated in the above chapters lays out the findings in the study and draw final conclusion to the project.

Chapter 2: Reviewing theories of leadership and motivation

Every leader in respect of the organization should strongly shows highly leadership qualities and constantly motivates he works or the people he leads to drive then towards the aim or set goals of the organisation. This is so because motivated workforce does not feel harassed or threatened by their leader but have the sense of belonging and put in their whole to attain the set goals. Perhaps achieving the set goals may not come with any reward for the workforce but due to good motivation, the joy of achieving the set standard alone is enough to move them. This clear justification that motivation is very essential quality r tool a leader must demonstrate. Mullins Simple puts it, leadership and management although are seen as identical but do differ because, not every manager is a leader and not every leader is a manager. (Mullins, L. J. 2002, p. 254) Mullins further explain that to be a good leader, some lever of interaction between your subordinates and superior alive in very necessary as a leader depends of the vital support of these people to attain the set goals. To obtain maximum support from a workforce, obviously motivation and understanding them is the vital tool.

However, since every workforce consists of humans but not a programmable machine, there is not a known singular way of motivating them; hence the dilemma is how do a manager motivate his staff? Hunsaker P.L argues that, a manager needs to know different theories of motivation to enable him or her provide the necessary motivation for his workforce (Hunsaker, P. L. 2005, p.446). It is highly important for s leader to know different motivation theories to enable him or her chose the right form of motivation for a particular team. Some of the theories of motivation are: Firstly, Maslow's hierarchy of needs model. Between 1940 and 1950, Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs model to enable managers and superiors understanding human motivation, management training and personal development. He described his theory in a form of pyramid showing different levels of human needs with the basic motivational needs at the bottom and the other needs which become necessary after satisfying the basic needs (Janet A. Simons et al, 1987). Physiological needs which is the at the bottom of the pyramid comprises of the general most common needs of every human being which are without doubt the essential and vital survival ingredients of life itself. These needs are highly imperative irrespective of race, color, sex, background and are basically biological needs. They comprise oxygen, food, water, sleep, shelter among others (Janet A. Simons et al, 1987). Maslow was perfectly right as these are what every human first and foremost need to survive before other satisfactions. Second ascending the pyramid is the 'safety needs', these entails protection, security and stability (Janet A. Simons et al, 1987). When the most survival needs are satisfied, person awareness for the needs for security increases in other to be assured of the sustainability of the basic needs already acquired. When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being of a person are satisfied, the next levels of needs that required motivation or naturally emerge are love, affection, belongingness and workgroup. Maslow argued that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. (Janet A. Simons et al, 1987). The need for esteem becomes very dominant when the first 3 levels of needs are fulfilled (Maslow, A. 1970). These involve the zeal for reputation, achievements and responsibility. On the top of the pyramid sits 'self actualization' which consists of personal growth and development. Self actualization needs become activated when all the aforementioned needs are satisfied. Maslow further states that, self actualization is actually what helps a person to do what they are born for (Maslow, A. 1970). The diagram at appendix 1 shows the Maslow's hierarchy of needs model.

The second theory of motivation to analyse is the Aldefer's modified need hierarchy model. Relative to that of Maslow, Alderfer was concerned with testing and developing an alternative to Maslow's theory which he saw as necessary satisfaction to strength of desires. He based his theory on a threefold conceptualization of human needs: Existence, relatedness, and growth. (Clayton P. Alderfer, 1968). This theory does not categorize the needs into lower and higher levels. Further, it does not see the lower level need as a precondition for the emergence of higher order needs proposed by Maslow. Alderfer's theory was conducted by a questionnaire survey conducted with 110 employees at different levels of positions and job description from a bank. The results tended to be in favour of Alderfer's theory which is existence, relatedness, and growth. (Clayton P. Alderfer, 1968) It can be rebutted that, a survey consisting of 110 people is not enough to disproof Maslow's theory. He only grouped the hierarchy into his s concept of motivation and disagree that one need is not a foundation to another. Alderfer grouped the lower order needs of Maslow which is the physiological and Safety into the Existence category. He then blended Maslow's love, affection belonging and esteem needs into his relatedness category and finally, his growth class consisted of Maslow's self actualization and self esteem needs. (Clayton P. Alderfer, 1968)

Another motivation theory that will be looked at is the 'Herzberg's Two Factor Theory' Fredrick Herzberg, a Psychologist in the 1950s and 60s set out to determine what people want from their work and what can be done to employee to obtain the maximum output from them? In his survey and interviews among employees across various type of work about what they felt was good and bad at their work places, he discovered that, people who felt good about conditions and treatment at their jobs gave very different responses from the people who felt bad about situations surrounding their work place (King, N. 1970).These were the foundation material of Herzberg's motivation hygiene theory which is also sometimes called Herzberg's 'Two Factor Theory' (King, N. 1970). Herzberg concluded that certain characteristics of a job such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth are consistently related to job satisfaction, while different factors such as company policies, supervision, relationship with Supervisor and peers, work conditions, salary, status and security are associated with job dissatisfaction (Mind Tools website, 2010). This is summarised in table 1 below.

Table 1: Herzberg's theory Factors of Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

Factors for Satisfaction

Factors for Dissatisfaction



The work itself




Company Policies


Relationship with Supervisor and Peers

Work conditions




Source: Mind Tools, 2010, Herzberg's Motivators and Hygiene Factors, http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_74.htm (Last Visited 17 November 2010)

He further pointed out in his conclusion that the opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction (Mind Tools website, 2010). The reason being that Factors leading to job satisfaction are 'separate and distinct from those that lead to job dissatisfaction.' (Mind Tools website, 2010). Hence if one eliminate dissatisfying job factors it may create peace, but not necessarily enhance performance. This placates your workforce instead of actually motivating them to improve performance. (Mind Tools website, 2010). When characteristics associated with job dissatisfaction are adequately met, people will not be dissatisfied nor will they be satisfied. If you want to motivate your team, you then have to focus on satisfaction factors like achievement, recognition, and responsibility (Mind Tools website, 2010). On the other side, it can be argued that the fact that people are happy in their job that not necessary mean that they will give their all to the team to increase productivity. This means job satisfaction does not accurately mean motivation for increase productivity.

Herzberg proposed that to motivate people at work, the management must eliminate job dissatisfaction factors called 'hygiene factors' before trying to motivate them. If these factors are not removed motivation is unnecessary (Mind Tools website, 2010). This can be done by amending poor and obstructive company policies provide effective, supportive and non-intrusive supervision, Create and support a culture of respect and dignity for all team members irrespective of race, sex and culture, ensure that wages are competitive among others. (Mind Tools website, 2010).

Finally, the last motivation theory that will be discussed is the McClelland's achievement motivation theory. McClelland's theory is mainly noted for grouping motivational needs into three types named below (Businessball.com, 2010). The first group consists of people who are motivated by achievements. The need for achievement (n-ach) person is achievement motivated and therefore seeks or works towards goals. Such a person always has the zeal to attainment not only realistic but challenging goals, and usually wishes for progress in his job (McClelland, D. 1961). It is very important Management should always make sure he or she does receive strong feedback on the achievement or progress, and very importantly a need for a sense of accomplishment (McClelland, D. 1961). The second group are the need for authority and power (n-pow) driven people who are authority motivated (Businessball.com, 2010). This group of people wants to be influential, effective and to make an impact. There is a strong need to lead and wish for their ideas to prevail. There is also motivation and need towards increasing personal status and prestige (Businessball.com, 2010). The last and the third category is the need for affiliation (n-affil) group, who are motivated by affiliation and has a need for friendly relationships and are motivated towards interaction with work mates or supervisors. The affiliation driver produces motivation and need to be liked and held in popular regard. According to McClelland, these groups of people are team players (McClelland, D. 1961).

McClelland was of the view that most people possess and exhibit a combination of the above charaters. Some people exhibit a strong bias to a particular motivational need, and these mix motivational needs does affect their behaviour or working manner (Businessball.com, 2010). He also argued that people with strong affiliation motivational needs does undermines a manager's objectivity, due to their need to be liked and this can possibly affect a manager's decision making (Businessball.com, 2010). Further, A strong authority motivated person usually produce a very good work ethic and are highly dedicated to their job where as power motivated people are attracted to the leadership position. However, they may not possess the required flexibility and people centred skills (Businessball.com, 2010). In addition, McClelland argues that people with stronger achievement motivational needs when are leaders can have the tendency to demand too much from their staff as they tend to think all people are similar like them and are achievement focused and results driven, which in most cases is not true.(Businessball.com, 2010).

McClelland did focus or drew a lot of conclusion which based on his survey believed were without doubt conclusive evidence about achieved motivated people. For example, he contrasted achievement-motivated people with gamblers, and strongly disagreed with the common notion that that achievement motivated people are big risk takers (Businessball.com, 2010). Rather, he firmly confirmed that a typical achievement motivated individual always set goals which he or she can influence with their effort and ability as such they believe goals are achievable. This determined results driven characteristics he believe is almost invariably present in the makeup of all successful business people and entrepreneurs (Businessball.com, 2010). More to the above distinctiveness achievement motivated individuals McClelland suggested other characteristics below among others as posse by achievement motivated people (Businessball.com, 2010). Achievement motivated people see achievement to be more essential than material or financial reward, achieving the set goals gives than greater personal satisfaction than receiving praise or recognition and they constantly seek improvements and new skills or procedures of maximizing output (Businessball.com, 2010).

Chapter 3: Reviewing theories relating to cultural diversity

Oxford dictionary and thesaurus (2001) define Culture as art, customs and institutions of a nation, people or group. In other words, culture 'it is a way a group of people live'. It further described diversity as 'the state of being varied or a range of different things' (Oxford Dictionary and thesaurus, 2001). Joining both words, cultural diversity in the context of this essay could be defines as they way a group of people from different ethnic group or race work together as a team. Every individual in one way or the other belong to a team such as a family, friends, religious group, political group, school and a community among others.

Douglas McGregor clearly gave some characteristics of an efficient management team listed below. Understanding, mutual agreement, and identification with respect to the primary task, open communications mutual trust mutual support, management of human differences, selective use of the team, Appropriate member skills and leadership to manage the above qualities appropriately (Douglas McGregor cited in Heil, 2000).

The strength of a team can be measured by the strength of individual members of the team. In respect of these, it has been argued that efficient productive teams comprises of individuals who know how teams work and how to contribute their quota to make the team work. If individuals members of the team do not have the necessary skills and techniques to be an effective team player, then productivity of the team is compromised (Katzenbach, 1998). It is very essential to recognised that the development of successful working relationships among any workforce is a gradual process which requires a significant among of time. Francis stated that, this theory can discourage members of a team but the purpose to help to help any working staff that efficient, motivated and target driven teams are not formed overnight (Francis, 1979 p.261).

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers, 1962) is a theory that human behavior is actually logical and orderly and this theory establishes a framework that every individual is different from the other. This theory confirms or justify why good working relationship between individual members of a team develops over time. The theory further confirms that every individual behavior verifies since everyone has a preferred path to excellence, and must be stressed that all individual preferences are equally valuable. These variations of preferences are even numerous when the individual members of that team are from different race origins due to customs, culture and moral differences by which each member was raised from childhood. It is very essential most especially where a workforce is from different ethnic background for each member to realise the benefits of having a commitment and working together as a team. Without such dedication, loyalty and selfless commitment towards each other, further team development will be less likely to occur. If a situation occurs where there is no team playing, then conflict, a natural part of the development process, will overpower or dominate the situation, preventing the team from ever reaching its full potential (Belbin, 1993). One of the most remarkable facts about the human race is the division of the human species into distinct ethnic race, behaviours, characters and diverse culture. In theory this makes it hard for human to work together since obviously they will have different motivational needs.

However, because of cultural flexibility and technology, humans are able to work together and occupy extremely wide range of environments, and do adopt extremely well (Maffi, L. 2005). In addition, certain human groups are able to become highly specialised in ways of utilizing and using the same environment in different ways through cultural changes. (Maffi, L. 2005). This has led many ecological anthropologists to argue that each human population or culture has its own distinctive niche (Maffi, L. 2005). However, since the human race only has different culture but not different species they can interbreed, borrow traits and merge into single population (Maffi, L. 2005).

The issue of culture has gained much interest during recent decades. This can partly be traced back to the unprecedented growth in the amount of international trade and exchange since the end of World War II. Earlier periods in human history witnessed internationalization, but never with as rapid a development as during the 20th century. Today, the lives of people in all corners of the world are influenced by a global business environment (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002). Globalization has brought about various opportunities for companies, as they work to respond for a need to incorporate international expansion. In doing so, many firm simply transported their home-based values and processes to other locations in an effort to internationalize (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002).

According to Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002, the habit of transporting home base values abroad has brought about failure in some companies as they have been unable to understand the values, perspectives and mindsets of their foreign counterparts and as such have failed to effectively operate across borders. The evidence is clearly seen in the growing costs of running international operations. International sales and operations are widely accepted in each country to be more cumbersome and inefficient than those of domestic ones. Cultural variations clearly show up in styles of negotiation, communication, expectations, structure and communication. Further, global organizations find difficulty in managing global, diverse teams. It is clear that the potentials inherent in weaving together diverse values, outlooks and workforces remain largely untapped. Working across cultures implies ability to bridge different worldviews Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002).

In a multi cultural working environment, it is sometimes necessary for person to shift his or her viewpoint so as to appreciate and perhaps even understand the other's viewpoint. Failure in this is can underlined team work can has the potential to cause frustration and misunderstanding and

often results in blaming gamer for the other not being understandable, without even realizing that

nothing of what happened was really wrong. Each simply saw and approached the problem from different perspective. This is the gist of culture. In the current situation, most of what we call cultural difficulties stem from an inability of people to shift their mindsets (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002).

People must first and foremost understand and exposure to other cultures of what cultural difference means in order to improve their cross cultural skills. Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002 point out that the difficulty with culture is that while it obviously exists, it in fact also does not exist as it is very difficult to pinpoint what culture is. This brings about the difficulty for people of different ethnic background to understand each other. Hence the mixture of many different people working together as a team presents even more challenging questions.

Culture can be regarded as a system and it is a chief characteristic of a human system. Therefore more studies and understanding of its operations is essential. Knowing that each culture evolves differently depending on the nature of its members and its environment, culture seems to adhere to the key condition of any complex system: sensitivity to initial conditions (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002). Depending on the initial conditions in which the culture is developed, it will grow into a different type of culture as it changes with time. Despite the overwhelming diversity of cultures, all of them seem to portray some common elements. Research has shown that cultures differ along certain shared dimensions. For example, all cultures use the concepts of hierarchy and power structures, although they may be applied in different ways. Also, all cultures organise their societies into structures (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002). In respect of these, individual from different cultures working together can still attain a common ground to agree on issues. On the final note, 'the added value of systems thinking and complexity theory is to provide the background assumptions that can support an appreciation of the roles of cultural diversity'. (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002). By seeing the

organization as a set of interrelationships that are allowed to evolve, the opportunities and potentials in cultural diversity are given more credibility. Without this, valuing and utilizing cultural diversity only becomes a theory and easily becomes likened to a short-termed management fad. (Satu Teerikangas and David Hawk, 2002).

Chapter 4: A Case of Leadership and Motivation

It is the responsibility of a manger to ensure that his teams are motivated is committed to a common purpose. According to Owen et al, 2004, p.246, the most important aspect that differentiates a team from a group is that a team has a clearly defined objective and working together and certainly achieve more than individual working alone.

A Managers' task or responsibility in any organisation is to Plan, Lead, Organise and Control affairs. Perhaps one of the difficult jobs of any manager is to bring groups or individuals together to form a team and further give them the necessary motivation to enable the team have the drive towards the set goals. Further, once a team is form, the manager must consistently help this team to develop gradually by establishing good 'management relationships, establishing explicit ground rules for operations, facilitating commitment to common goals, and constructing skills related to meeting management, conflict resolution, consensus decision-making, and team-based problem solving' (Longenecker and Neubert, 2000).

This is exactly what Tesco's have put in place t enjoy it current success. In 1919, Jack Cohen started Tesco as a market stallholder selling groceries in London. Tesco was formed out of a merger with T.E. Stockwell from whom he purchased tea for sale on the stall (Tesco Plc website, 2010). The first store was opened in 1929. Since then, Tesco has expanded from being a national store to an international super store operating in all continents in current time (The Times, 2010). In the United Kingdom alone, Tesco has over 2,200 stores including hypermarkets and Tesco Express outlets to meet different customer needs (The Times, 2010). In addition to services Tesco provides, it also offers alternative goods and services such as insurance, banking and online shopping. With net profits of around £3.4 billion in 2009, Tesco has become the largest British retailer and one of the world's leading retail outlets on three continents. Tesco's growth has resulted in a worldwide workforce of over 468,000 employees. (The Times, 2010) To support its growth and dominance, Tesco needs staffs that are highly motivated, flexible and well-trained in other to the maximum output. In respect of these, Tesco's employees are supported by the company in their various roles and at different levels from customer assistants in stores to department managers, from warehouse employees to office and logistics staff. Tesco recognises that employee motivation is highly essential and important for the continued growth and sustainability of the company growth of the company. (The Times, 2010)

According to the times, Tesco's used different motivational tools to motivate it workforce. Tesco motivates its employees by increasing their knowledge, skills and job satisfaction through training and development and providing relevant and timely reward and recognition.The management of Tesco's believe a motivated workforce will work harder and achieve greater output in less time, therefore reducing labour costs (The Times, 2010). It also believe because of it motivation, it employees requires less supervision and they demonstrates pride their work, and are making a greater impact on the customer. Further, Tesco's motivated employees have greater concentration and are less likely to make mistakes, cause accidents or be involved in conflict. Its workforce show greater loyalty to the company and have less absenteeism. An unmotivated workforce will be the opposite, being dissatisfied with its role in the work environment. This can negatively affect both the quality of the work as well as how efficiently employees carry out their jobs. (The Times, 2010) In respect of these, some of the motivational incentive Tesco's Offer to its work force are flexible working, free or reduced rate health benefits, discount gym membership, competitive salaries, staff discount, company share options, and Valuing employees (Tesco Plc website, 2010).

Tesco has discovered that it is important to create trust and respect. It has found that by valuing employees, providing realistic goals and an interesting environment for them to work in, it increases employees' motivation. (The Times, 2010) At Tesco a motivated member of staff 'works in partnership with others to achieve individual and team objectives'. (The Times, 2010) This means that he or she focuses on customers, treats people fairly and is determined and devoted to receiving feedback from others.

Tesco have adapted Maslow and Herzberg theories of motivation and apply then accordingly to motivate their staff. Tesco's motivate their employees both by paying attention to hygiene factors and by enabling satisfiers (The Times, 2010). For example, it motivates and empowers its employees by appropriate and timely communication, by delegating responsibility and involving staff in its decision making. It holds forums every year in which staff can be part of the discussions on pay rises. This shows recognition of the work individuals and team does and rewards them appropriately. 'Tesco staff can even influence what food goes onto its restaurant menus. Employees thus become motivated to make choices that will increase their use of the restaurants' (The Times, 2010). According to times, this motivation theories Tesco have put in place have benefited Tesco as it motivated staff make sure business of the day are delivered at high levels to its customers


Chapter 5: Critical analysis of findings and conclusion

From the argument in chapter 2, it was clear justify that certainly, leadership has a major and essential role to play in motivating employees as that is one of the most successful way of attaining the maximum output from any workforce if only he knows what will motivate them. The motivation survey carried out by the times at Tesco's clearly shows that motivation to employees by managers is very important to archive company success. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself (Janet A. Simons et al, 1987). That is exactly what Tescos have adopted and is working for them.

In all the theories discussed above, it all point to a fact that when management want to motivate their workforce, they must first and foremost remove all the obstacle or hindrance about the company and workplace that annoys their employees such as fairly treatment for all and respect of staff by management. In return, they will receive the same. Further, management should always be looking to help employees grow within their respective jobs and create the opportunities for achievement, and constantly praise that achievement wherever an employee meets the requirements. However, critics of Herzberg's theory argue that, it is natural for people to take credit for satisfaction and to blame dissatisfaction on external factors.

Also, The most firm conclusion that McClelland strongly believed was that achievement motivated people are generally the ones who make things happen and get results, and that this extends to getting results through the organisation of other people and resources, although as already debated in chapter two, they usually demand too much of their workforce as they put first achieving the goal of the organisation above all other varied interests and needs of their people (McClelland, D. 1961).

To conclude, it is very important to state that, from all indications, employee motivation is an important task for managers and has been demonstrated that in most cases, motivated workers do work to improve production. However, in some minor instances motivated works may be happy at their work place but may not necessary reflect this in their work output. On the good note, organisations need to adopt different modes of motivation to get the best out of them.


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