A Cultural Perspective
Chapter 6: Cultural variations in work motivation, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment
People in work organizations come with a distinct set of abilities and skills, and vary in their demographics, educational accomplishments, and expectations of income from their labor. They are our colleagues, managers, supervisors, subordinates, advisors in technical and scientific laboratories, customers, clients, and even personal friends who are concerned with our work-related expectations and experiences. Multinational and global organizations employ people who speak different languages, approach issues of problem-solving in remarkably different ways, and often seek different kinds of rewards and outcomes for doing the same job. What most of these people have in common, though, is a collective need to make useful contributions to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization. The majority of them would like to be known as “useful” employees and do not like to be labeled as “social loafers”—free-riders who do not make appropriate contributions and hope that their lack of effort will be masked under the collective contributions of their work groups. Research shows that people from individualist cultures are often social loafers, while people from collectivist cultures do not loaf when they work with in-group members (Earley & Gibson, 1998). Nevertheless, a large majority of individuals in all cultures feel motivated as well as committed to their work roles and to their employee organization.
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