Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Need Saliency and Job Involvement :Test of a Cross-Cultural Model

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Need Saliency and Job Involvement :Test of a Cross-Cultural Model

Article excerpt

One of the most persistent and prominent facts that has emerged from the rapid development of industry is the importance of motivational orientation of employees. In more recent times, the human aspects of workers have been subjected to much closer examination. Consequently, there has been an increased understanding of the dynamic factors underlying behaviour and an increased appreciation of the significance of affect, attitude and motivation. Good management and high productivity go hand in hand. The concept of productivity has come into much greater prominence during recent years in the context of rapid development. In fact, higher production, greater consumption and better quality of life are possible through efficacious management of employees' motivation.

A machine can be repaired if and when necessary but a human mind cannot be easily rectified. Hence, it is very important to motivate an employee from the beginning. The motivational scheme plays a major role to get the cooperation of employees. In the words of Vroom (1964), the more motivated the worker, the more effective is the performance. Since productivity is the effect of performance, it is logical to conclude that proper motivation increases productivity.

Despite the importance of the process of motivation, the construct of work motivation does not appear to be similar across cultures in its application.

The Maslow-type Framework

The psychological formulation of alienation has basically followed the humanistic tradition suggested by Maslow (1954). Maslow initially suggested a theory of personality which was later applied to organizational setup. One of the most popular theories on human motivation was formulated by Maslow. Focusing chiefly on his clinical experience, he thought a person's motivational needs can be arranged on a hierarchical manner. In essence, he believed that once a given level of need is satisfied, it no longer serves to motivate the individual. The need hierarchy of five levels by Maslow has gained wide attention. The five levels are physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. The physiological needs involve basic survival. People must labour to satisfy their physiological needs, but when these needs are satisfied to a substantial degree, they wish to satisfy the next higher need. The need level that next tends to dominate is safety and security. People want physical safety as well as economic security. The want of man is unending and continuous; therefore, all needs are never fully satisfied. As soon as one need is satisfied, its potency is diminished, and another need emerges to replace it. This is a never-ending process which serves to motivate individuals to strive to satisfy their needs. There is an important organizational implication of this construct of hierarchy. The lower order needs (physiological, safety, and love needs) reach their peak in terms of their potency and they start declining in their motivational strength. In contrast, higher-orderneeds (self-esteem and self-actualization) reach their peak points and continue at that level. For example, employees may seek their respect and recognition (a self-esteem need) initially amongst their colleagues. Yet, gradually they shift their focus from colleagues to regional context, then to national and international contexts. Thus, self-esteem needs do not lose their potency and stand at a very high level. This is also the case of self-actualization needs. From the perspectives of organization, this proposition has an important implication. It is assumed that higher-order-needs are not completely satisfied. Hence, the organization that capitalizes on these higher and intrinsic needs motivates their employees for a longer period of time. In other words, an organization is effective in motivating its employees to the extent it creates conditions for the satisfaction of higher order needs.

Herzberg (1966) draws the same conclusion while using a slightly different language of motivation. …

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