One problem that Icebreaker has is that their company is becoming more spread out across the globe and this is hindering their motivation to keep to Icebreaker growing as a company.
Icebreaker has been around since 1994 and since its beginnings as a small business it has expanded exponentially becoming one of the global leaders in outdoor apparel with mountain bikers, runners and sailors all wearing the Icebreaker products. In 2003 Icebreaker was trying to get into the North America market. They had tried unsuccessfully through a large distribution company in the USA but they lacked the typical Icebreaker motivation and belief in the product.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested in the early 1950’s that human beings are motivated by five basic needs, and these needs form a heretical structure. They form a structure where the lower basic needs such as physiological needs, the need for basic pay and food, security needs, the need for job security and healthy working conditions must be satisfied along with the affiliation needs like co-worker support and friendship must be achieved before the higher needs can be satisfied. For example a worker will not be motivated to perform strenuous tasks if the pay and workplace safety is not up to standard. The two higher needs are Esteem, the need for acknowledgement of contributions and getting respect, and Self-actualization, the need for meaningful work or opportunities for advancement. I believe the problem that Icebreaker is experiencing when trying to crack the American market is the distribution company is unable to meet the esteem and self actualization needs of Maslow’s hierarchy (Campbell-Hunt, Elkin, Geare, & Greatbanks, 2009). This is because they are not at the moment receiving any acknowledgement of the work they are doing because they are underperforming as a company and are not being given respect for doing their job.
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