From the cross-cultural perspective, the ways of encouraging people’s professional growth and effectiveness at work may vary based on culture-specific traits. Being aware of culture-oriented approaches to motivation is extremely important since it increases leaders’ chances of success. This post discusses the use of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions ineffective and individualised employee motivation strategies to increase this awareness.
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Specialists having different cultural backgrounds tend to demonstrate drastically dissimilar perceptions of right and wrong in management, business, and employee motivation. Culturally competent approaches to motivation at the workplace should take these differences into account and be able to strike the right balance between the needs of diverse groups. According to the model proposed by Hofstede, there are five key dimensions helping to comprehensively characterise any country’s organisational culture (Zhao & Pan, 2017). They include the degree of individualism, the distribution of power or PDI, the avoidance of uncertainty, the representation of male and female traits, and orientation (long- or short-term) (Adler & Gundersen, 2008). All dimensions are believed to have implications for employee motivation.
Using the model, one can improve motivational strategies based on the needs of particular groups of employees. For instance, in people from countries with high PDIs, measures implemented by their managers can be more effective compared to motivational drivers in employer-employee relationships (Zhao & Pan, 2017). More than that, depending on the avoidance of uncertainty, managers can choose between two types of motivators. The promises of financial stability can be extremely helpful for people from more rational cultures (Khan & Panarina, 2017; Oo, Sahaym, Juasrikul, & Lee, 2018). Also, employees that are not afraid of unpredictability can be motivated with the help of strategies based on changes and fast career progression
Concerning the next cultural dimensions, being aware of these aspects of employees’ native cultures can be helpful in determining the right motivating factors. Thus, for subordinates with “high long-term orientation”, it can be beneficial to use strategies focused on “the personal career path”, whereas people from short-term oriented cultures appreciate the opportunity to get financial or other benefits instantly (Zhao & Pan, 2017, p. 216). Some culture’s score on the masculinity-femininity scale can also impact the choice of factors to rely on in motivation. To some extent, the scale represents the conflict of assertiveness versus empathy. It means that to motivate people from highly feminine cultures, it is effective to rely on flexibility in role distribution and a positive team spirit (Konya, Matić, & Pavlović, 2016; Zhao & Pan, 2017). Depending on the degree of individualism, employees can be motivated using appeals based on personal benefits or the team’s success.
In summary, the problem of culture-based motivation interests team leaders and managers all over the world. The model of cultural dimensions can act as a tool helping to choose the best motivational strategies depending on employees’ cultural traits. The analysis of all five dimensions provides useful hints that allow making predictions about the success of workplace promises focused on career progression, financial benefits, and other factors.
Adler, N. J., & Gundersen, A. (2008). International dimensions of organizational behavior (5th ed.). Mason, OH: Thompson Learning, Inc.
Khan, M. A., & Panarina, E. (2017). The role of national cultures in shaping the corporate management cultures: A four countries theoretical analysis. Journal of Eastern European and Central Asian Research, 4(1), 13-25.
Konya, V., Matić, D., & Pavlović, J. (2016). The influence of demographics, job characteristics and characteristics of organizations on employee commitment. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, 13(3), 119-138.
Oo, P. P., Sahaym, A., Juasrikul, S., & Lee, S. Y. (2018). The interplay of entrepreneurship education and national cultures in entrepreneurial activity: A social cognitive perspective. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 16(3), 398-420.
Zhao, B., & Pan, Y. (2017). Cross-cultural employee motivation in international companies. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 5(4), 215-222.