Motivational Theories and Their Generalizability Across Cultures

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  • Topic: Motivation, Culture, Geert Hofstede
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Bachelor Thesis Organization and Strategy

Motivational Theories and their Generalizability Across Cultures

Author: Marc van den Hurk S521586 s521586@uvt.nl

Coordinator: A.J.A.M. Naus a.j.a.m.naus@uvt.nl

Word count: 7,411

Bachelor Thesis Organization and Strategy

Management Summary This Bachelor Thesis will yield insights in the applicability of motivational theories across cultures. Within a globalizing working environment this research will provide relevant information on how to motivate employees with a different cultural background. The research combines the theory of Hofstede’s four dimensions (Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism/Collectivism and Masculinity/Femininity) with two theories of motivation; (1) extrinsic motivational theory and (2) intrinsic motivational theory. The Japanese and the Chinese culture are first subjected to the four dimensions of Hofstede, and later they are analyzed for the applicability of one or both motivational theories. The Japanese culture values harmony highly and is very collectivistic. However, the country is tending towards more individuality. Furthermore, the Japanese accept a natural order; which implies a high degree of power distance. In addition to that the Japanese are uncertainty avoidant. Regarding the last dimension of Hofstede Japan can be characterized as shifting from a masculine culture towards a more feminine culture. The Chinese culture shows some resemblance with the Japanese culture. This culture, too, is collectivistic and has a high valuation of harmony. And, again, a high degree of acceptance of hierarchy can be found in the Chinese culture. Furthermore, the Chinese are rather uncertainty avoidant; this can be seen in aspects as fear of the loss of face. On the last dimension of Hofstede, the Chinese score in between, tending a bit more towards femininity. The outcome of this Thesis shows that none of both motivational theories can be applied across cultures. This means that the cultures are open to more than one theory, depending on the characteristics of the country. Hence, both kinds of motivational theories are applicable; albeit in differing situations. This Thesis only focuses on the Japanese and the Chinese culture, but when a broader focus is taken results may differ from the insights gained in this research. When, for example, other cultures are analyzed, generalizability over those cultures might be possible. Hence, there are a lot of possibilities for further research on this topic. This new research would provide insights on other cultures than the ones described here, and will be relevant for organizations dealing with problems of a cultural nature.

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M. van den Hurk S521586

Bachelor Thesis Organization and Strategy

Contents
Management Summary Table of Contents Chapter I – Introduction 1.1 Problem Indication 1.2 Problem Statement and Research Questions 1.3 Research Design 1.4 Data Collection Chapter II – Cultures 2.1 Introduction to Subject Cultures 2.2 The Japanese Culture 2.3 The Chinese Culture 2.4 Conclusion Chapter III – Hofstede’s Four Dimensions 3.1 Introduction to Hofstede’s Four Dimensions 3.2 The Japanese Culture Classified in Hofstede’s Dimensions 3.3 The Chinese Culture Classified in Hofstede’s Dimensions 3.4 Conclusion Chapter IV – Motivational Theories 4.1 Introduction to Motivational Theories 4.2 Extrinsic Motivational Theory 4.3 Intrinsic Motivational Theory 4.4 Conclusion p. 2 p. 3 p. 5 p. 6 p. 7 p. 9 p. 10 p. 11 p. 12 p. 13 p. 14 p. 15 p. 16 p. 17 p. 18 p. 20 p. 21 p. 22 p. 23 p. 23 p. 24 p. 25

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M. van den Hurk S521586

Bachelor Thesis Organization and Strategy

Contents
Chapter V – Applying Motivational Theories to the Cultures 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Relationships Between Motivational Theories and Hofstede’s Dimensions 5.3 Motivational Theories Applied to Japanese Culture 5.4 Motivational Theories Applied to Chinese Culture 5.5 Conclusion Chapter VI – Conclusions and...
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