Culturally Diverse Workforce in an Organization Muhammad Junaid Murshed Southern New Hampshire University Abstract In this research paper, I will be discussing some of the methods that may be used to effectively motivate a culturally diverse workforce in an organization. At first, I will present a brief introduction to motivation, some of the well-known motivational theories and cultural diversity.
Then, I will look into a few reasons for demotivation among the workforce of an organization, followed by some of the distinguished and effective motivational techniques that may be utilized to ascertain and/or deal with the same, citing real-life examples. Finally, I will conclude the paper with a brief summary of the key points discussed in the paper together-with a personal opinion about the effectiveness of the motivational methods discussed above. “Motivation is defined as the desire to achieve a goal or a certain performance level, leading to goal-directed behavior” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 97).
As can be seen from the above statement motivation may be directly linked to performance. Although the direct correlation, motivation alone may not be sufficient to elicit the desired result. This is so, as, it (motivation) usually is influenced by factors such as an individual’s ability (p. 97) to perform the task and the resources available (p. 97) to him/her to aid in achieving the objective(s). “Culture refers to values, beliefs, and customs that exist in a society” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 40). “Diversity refers to the ways in which people are similar or different from each other” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 9). The world consists of various different cultures (p. 40) entailing a diverse (p. 29) population base i. e. in terms of age, gender, race, religion, physical abilities etc. Therefore, motivating (p. 97) individuals require understanding their descent first, as, it is most likely to influence the dominant need in their personality. With the passing of time many scientists, philosophers and psychologists have developed various theories to explain and enhance an individual’s motivational level. For the purpose of my research paper, I will be focusing on some of it, namely, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (p. 00), the ERG theory (p. 101), the two-factor theory, the acquired-needs theory (p. 102) and the self-determination theory to base my comparisons and/or conclusions to cultural diversity. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs “The theory is based on a simple premise: Human beings have needs that are hierarchically ranked. There are some needs that are basic to all human beings, and in their absence nothing else matters. As we satisfy these basic needs, we start looking to satisfy higher order needs” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 99).
Physiological needs: “The need for air, food, and water” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 100). Safety needs: “The need to be free from danger and pain” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 100). Social needs: “The needs of bonding with other human beings, being loved, and forming lasting attachments with them” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 100). Esteem needs: “The desire to be respected by one’s peers, feel important, and be appreciated” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 100). Self-actualization need: “The need to become all you are capable of becoming” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 00). ERG theory “ERG theory, developed by Clayton Alderfer, is a modification of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Instead of the five needs that are hierarchically organized, Alderfer proposed that basic human needs maybe grouped under three categories, namely, existence, relatedness, and growth” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 101). Existence: “A need corresponding to Maslow’s physiological and safety needs” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 101). Relatedness: “A need corresponding to Maslow’s social needs” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 101).
Growth: “A need referring to Maslow’s esteem and self-actualization” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 101). Two-factor theory “By asking individuals what satisfies them on the job and what dissatisfies them, Herzberg came to the conclusion that aspects of the work environment that satisfy employees are very different from aspects that dissatisfy them” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 101). Acquired-needs theory “According to this theory, individuals acquire three types of needs as a result of their life experiences. These needs are the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, and the need for power.
All individuals possess a combination of these needs, and the dominant needs are thought to drive employee behavior” (Bauer and Erdogan, 2010, p. 102). Self-determination theory “Self-Determination Theory (SDT) represents a broad framework for the study of human motivation and personality. SDT articulates a meta-theory for framing motivational studies, a formal theory that defines intrinsic and varied extrinsic sources of motivation, and a description of the respective roles of intrinsic and types of extrinsic motivation in cognitive and social development and in individual differences”.
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