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Motivational Practices in Different Cultures

Keywords: cultural determination styles, us job motivation


A typical research on motivation and job satisfaction enlightens us that folks are content with their jobs to the amount that the work matches their needs and they're determined to work in order to fill their current mix of needs. People are still determined to excel because of certain intrinsic needs which could be achievement, gratitude of effort, self-development, meaning found in the work, acceptance, power, etc.

According to Snyder and Grasberger (2004), the need for motivation was true 30years earlier and will still be true 30 years later and the challenge for managers, they also said relating to Porter Henry ". . . no two different people can be determined in the very same way, and within one person motivation can vary greatly from time to time. "

The purpose of this study is to compare motivation procedures between America and Japan. If an American company desires to set up an enterprise in Japan there is a need for these to know very well what motivates japan to work.

GENERAL Analysis:

The review of motivation is principally concerned with why people respond in a particular way. Baron and Greenberg (1990) defined desire as a beginning to understanding work behaviour. They also defined determination as the set of functions that stimulates, direct, and maintain real human behaviour toward achieving goals (Baron and Greenberg 1990).

  • FEATURES OF Determination.

According to Mitchell (1982), there are four main characteristic of motivation plus they include the following.

  • Motivation can be considered or seen as a person experience. Everyone is exclusive and the major theories of motivation allow this uniqueness to be showed in a single way or the other (Mullins 2002).
  • Motivation can also be described as a conscious act. That is assumed under a person's control, and behaviours that are affected by motivation are seen as options of action (Mullins, 2002)
  • Motivation is also comprehensive; maybe it's what gets people activated or the push in which someone partcipates in his/her desired behavior (Mullins 2002).
  • Motivation theories can also envisage the behavior of a person. It concerns activities and the internal/external makes which influences someone's selection of action (Mullins 2002).


Motivations can be categorized into two: intrinsic and extrinsic determination.

Intrinsic motivation is thought as the doing of a task for its inherent satisfactions rather than for a few separable outcome (Ryan and Deci 2000). Intrinsic desire relates to subconscious rewards, including the opportunity to use one's capacity, a feeling of obstacle and achievement, acquiring appreciation, positive recognition, and being cured in a caring and considerate manner (Mullins, 2002). Intrinsic determination is a kind of motivation that comes from inside an person rather than external. Thus, it can be an internal desire to perform a particular process.

Extrinsic determination is a construct that can be applied whenever an activity is done to be able to achieve some separable final result. Extrinsic inspiration thus contrasts with intrinsic determination, which refers to doing an activity simply for the satisfaction of the activity itself, rather than its instrumental value (Ryan and Deci 2000). Extrinsic drive is an external motivation. Extrinsic drive relates to tangible rewards such as salary and fringe benefits, security, advertising, agreement of service, the task environment and conditions of work (Mullins, 2002).


Motivation ideas are grouped into two main categories such as; 'content ideas' that give attention to the types of factors that produce motivation and 'process theories' that makes an attempt to make clear how motivation is related to behaviour.



According to Maslow (1943), human needs arrange themselves in hierarchies of pre-potency. The hierarchy of needs is shown as a series of steps, and is usually displayed in the form of a pyramid, which is illustrated below

(Source:Maslow, 1943).

According to Mullins (2002), the physiological needs includes, satisfaction for food cravings and thirst, the need for oxygen and maintain temperature, intimate dreams etc. The security needs includes needs for safety and security, freedom from danger or pain of physical assault, protection from threat etc. Sociable needs include the needs for love, friendship, devotion etc. Esteem needs also known as Ego needs can be categorised into do it yourself value and the esteem of others. Self applied esteem includes the desire of self-confidence, freedom, durability, etc as the esteem of other includes reputation, status, recognition etc. And lastly the personal actualisation needs is the development and realisation of your respective full potential (Mullins 2002).


Herzberg's two-factor theory is one of the known views of work desire and it was done by examining the job behaviour of 200 accountants and technical engineers. These factors will be the health factor and motivator factor (Herzberg et al, 1959).

Hygiene Factors

Hygiene factors are factors based on the need for a business to avoid issue at the job. These factors can result in dissatisfaction at work place if they're looked at inadequately by employees. Hygiene factors include, income, incomes and other financial remuneration, emotions of job security, Quality of inter-personal relationships, working conditions etc (Mullins, 2002).

Motivator Factors

These factors derive from an individual's need for personal progress. Motivator factors strongly create job satisfaction and if they're useful, it can lead to lead to a rise in work and performance of a person (Lloyds and Basset-Jones 2005). These motivator factors include: Gaining acknowledgement, Status, Chance of growth, Challenging /stimulating work, sense of personal accomplishment & personal progress in employment (Lloyds and Basset-Jones 2005).


McGregor developed two ideas of human behavior at work particularly; theory X and theory Y.

Theory X points out that individuals' dislikes work and will avoid it if it's possible. It also explains that folks must be forced & most times bribed before they can put a supplementary effort to work. Theory X also explains that most individuals are motivated mainly by money and desire security (Mullins 2002). While theory Y talks about that folks are enthusiastic about their work and, under the right conditions that they enjoy it. It also talks about that individuals see effort at work concerning work and play. Furthermore, theory Y considers individuals who seek responsibility if they are encouraged (Mullins 2002).

If a supervisor decides to use any of the group of ideas related to theory X or Theory Y, there's a tendency that a lot of people in the company will respond to the way they are being supervised. Therefore, if employees feel that they are not being trusted, they may behave in a less trusted way (Mullins 2002).


According to Alderfer (1972) whose purpose was to concentrate on the limits in Maslow's theory by associating the needs hierarchy with an empirical research argued that there is a customized need hierarchy which is divided into three levels rather than five and they're based on the core needs of Presence, Relatedness and Growth (ERG theory).

The living needs is based on the basic individual needs that are necessary for existence, which may be associated with Maslow's hierarchy on needs which are the physiological and safe practices needs while the relatedness needs make reference to man's desire to keep up important interpersonal human relationships which are man's social, popularity, belongingness and status desires and it could be associated with Maslow's esteem needs and lastly, the growth needs stand for man's desire to have personal development, self-fulfilment and self-actualization (Arnolds and Boshoff, 2002).


All ideas of motivation can be associated with each other. Maslow's lower-level needs can be related practically to Alderfer's presence needs and Herzberg's the hygiene factors, Maslow's middle level can be related to Alderfer's relatedness needs and the motivators to Maslow's higher-level needs. Ellis and Dick (2000) argues that in case a director is to provide a positive drive then attention should never only be given to hygiene factors, but also to the motivating factors. In other words, for employees to be encouraged, professionals must use motivation factors (Herzberg et al, 1959).


Process theories attempt to identify the associations among the strong variables that make up desire and the actions required to effect behavior and action (Mullins 2002). The process theories were written by different freelance writers;

Expectancy theory - Vroom, and Porter and Lawler

Equity theory - Adams

Goal theory - Locke


According to (Mullins 2002), expectancy theory is that a lot of people are transferred predicated on the expected result of their action.

Vroom (1964) was the first person to propose an expectancy theory and the model used was predicated on three key factors: valence, instrumentality and expectancy (VIE) (Mullins 2002). He argued that valence is dependant on the feeling about specific effects. Instrumentality is the connection between first-level effects and second-level outcomes (Mullins, 2002). Several clear ideas for motivating others can be derived from expectancy theory. Therefore, if a manager would like to impact the behaviour of an employee through the use of expectancy theory, what he should put into factor is if the possible rewards for the behaviour are exceedingly appreciated by the average person, or if the individual recognizes that the reward that will be received is dependant on his / her behaviour (Vecchio, 1995).


This theory originated by Adam in 1963 and it is based on the fact that employees mainly expect a fair balance between their inputs and outputs. In other words, the employees will tend to be de-motivated both in relation to their workplace and the work if they eventually assume that their inputs which are the effort, loyalty, hard work, commitment, capacity etc are greater than their outputs such as salary, profit, reputation, responsibility, sense of success, job security etc.

According to (Sweeney 1990), Adams' equity theory believed that a more impressive range of job satisfaction originates from individuals who perceive their overall situation to be equitable and also adopt a much better work behavior than those people who feel they are simply been treated unjustly (Sweeney, 1990).


This theory is situated mainly on the task of Locke (1968) and the essential idea of goal theory is the fact people's goals or objective play a significant role in identifying behavior (Mullins 2002). People make an effort to achieve certain goals to be able to fulfil their desire. Goals are guide by people's actions, direct work behavior and performance, and lead to certain effects or feedback (Gordon, 2002). People with specific quantitative goals tend to do or perform better than people with no set goal or only a vague goal, such as, do the best you can.


American employees are encouraged predicated on pay, advancement, guidance etc (Lewis 2006). Jurgensen (1978) found dissimilarities in wants for attributes such as progression, pay, supervision, and type of work across age ranges and between women and men. Corresponding to Fisher and Yuan (1998) employees reported that pay was fifth in importance to them, but felt that it was initially in importance to other people and also security and interesting work top rated in America. Full appreciation at work place is placed first in importance by US employees, 'good pay' is also a motivating factor for US employees. Matching to Fisher and Yuan (1998), job security was ranked first or second in Jurgensen's records between 1949 and 1975 however in the first 1990s it appears to be floating at around third or fourth place in america. One might expect that it would have less importance in China for many reasons (Fisher and Yuan 1998). THE UNITED STATES employees also find interesting work as a motivating factor at the moment, and advertising and expansion are relatively important too. In critiquing the history of US work psychology, pay was considered the primary motivator in the beginning of the century, social relationships and job satisfaction arrived to the fore in the 1930s, and interesting work had not been 'determined' as an important varying for ranking and file employees before 1950s(Fisher and Yuan 1998).


The Japanese executives give motivational factor the best priority. In fact, a Japanese present chief executive of a Japanese-affiliated company commented that Japanese business people were more acquainted with 'management by objective' than Korean individuals were (Usugami and Area 2006). Based on this, the Japanese executives are likely to consider 'clarifying company policy and job objectives' as a solid motivational factor, based on the business enterprise strategy they may have implemented.

Both the Korean and Japanese professionals acknowledge maintenance and improvement of employee motivation as an important management issue with regard to high corporate and business performance and worker job satisfaction. JAPAN recognize 'wage and bonus rises' and 'opportunity and acceleration of promotion and job development' as strong motivational factors. 'Fringe benefits' and 'good individual romantic relationships and communication in the place of work' are serious health factors for the coffee lover. Quite simply, the motivational factor of Herzberg's two-factor theory is exactly what motivates the Japanese, although it is a hygiene factor to Korean (Usugami and recreation area 2006).


If an American company wishes to set up a business in Japan, there's a need for these to know very well what motivates japan workers. The challenge an American manager will face in Japan will fundamentally be on the issues raised predicated on the motivational factor of Herzberg's two-factor theory in Japan. The challenge on communication might not necessarily be difficult for the manager because the Japanese's communication flows is participative as continual connections and exchange of information is present in japan culture as this is also present in the American culture.


However, the drive theory can be responsible for the performance of employees and for the attainment of organizational goals. To solve the challenge associated with difference in drive theory, it's important for the Us citizens to learn so as to understand and be aware of such distinctions in its culture and to know how the Japanese employees can be encouraged.

Understanding how the Japanese work is also very important, what motivates them and their basic attitude towards their job is very relevant.


Presently, the earth is becoming a small global village and therefore, people tend to move in one geographical area to some other and this can lead to meeting folks from different social cluster to some other resulting to the mingling between folks from different culture and locations. Based on these discussion, there's a need for managers to understand what motivates their employees and also understand the different motivation theories in order to ensure an effective and efficient worker. Therefore the various motivation theories shouldn't be ignored.

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