Cultural Differences in Job Motivation

A Comparison of German and Turkish Employees in the Tourism Industry

Master's Thesis, 2011

99 Pages, Grade: Distinction


Table of Content



List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Graphs

List of Abbreviations

1 Introduction
1.1 Overview
1.2 Aims and Motivation of this Study
1.3 Structure

2 Theoretical Background
2.1 Motivation
2.1.1 Definition
2.1.2 Motivation and Communication
2.1.3 Overview of Motivation Theories Content Theories Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory Process Theories Adam’s Equity Theory Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
2.1.4 Summary
2.2 Cultural Classifications
2.2.1 Hofstede’s Definition of Culture
2.2.2 Hall’s Cultural Model

3 Methodology
3.1 Rationale for the Choice of Quantitative Research Method
3.2 Questionnaire
3.2.1 Sampling
3.2.2 Participants
3.2.3 Questionnaire Design
3.2.4 Translation
3.2.5 Piloting
3.2.6 Statistical Data Analysis
3.3 Ethical Guidelines
3.4 Limitations

4 Analysis and Discussion
4.1 Cultural Classification
4.1.1 Germany
4.1.2 Turkey
4.2 Analysis and Interpretation
4.3 Applicability of Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory in T urkey

5 Conclusion
5.1 Summary
5.2 Contribution of this Study
5.3 Recommendation for Future Research
5.4 Limitations

Reference List


Hierarchy of Needs

Questionnaire German

Questionnaire Turkish

Questionnaire English

List of Tables

Table 1: Adam's Equity Theory - Inputs and Outcomes

Table 2: Major topics and parts of the questionnaires

Table 3: Topic Distribution

Table 4: Cultural Classification of Germany according to Hofstede

Table 5: Cultural Classification of Turkey according to Hofstede

List of Figures

Figure 1: Chapter Overview

Figure 2: Overview Motivation Theories

Figure 3: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Figure 4: Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory

List of Graphs

Graph 1: Gender Distribution German Participants

Graph 2: Gender Distribution Turkish Participants

Graph 3: Age Distribution

Graph 4: Marital Status

Graph 5: Employment Contract

Graph 6: Represented Sectors of the Tourism Industry

Graph 7: Responsibility Preference

Graph 8: Participation in Goal Setting Preference

Graph 9: Performance Preference

Graph 10: Exposure to Negative Feedback

Graph 11: Feedback Preference

Graph 12: Feedback Style Preference

Graph 13: Working Hours vs. Promotion

Graph 14: Working Style

Graph 15: Fulfilment vs. Salary

Graph 16: Equipment vs. Salary

Graph 17: Training vs. Salary

Graph 18: Tenure vs. Salary

Graph 19: Prestige vs. Salary

Graph 20: Preference in terms of Rewards

Graph 21: Five most important Factors at a workplace

Graph 22: Most important Factor at a Workplace

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


This dissertation deals with the investigation of culture-specific job motivation in the German and Turkish tourism industry. Knowing how people need to be motivated is an important aspect when it comes to economic success. The aim of this study was to find out about the rewards cherished by employees in Turkey or Germany, what influences the work choice of Germans and Turks, what influences their performance and what do they expect from their work.

In order to point out the major differences in job motivation a survey has been conducted. The findings show that the importance the two cultures attach to certain incentives such as money varies significantly. A good relationship to colleagues and supervisors is seen as a strong motivator in Germany, whereas Turkish staff members seek for long-term employment and safety. Additionally to finding out about cultural differences in job motivation, the applicability of western motivation theories to a non-western culture such as Turkey has been tested. Interestingly, Herzberg’s two-factor theory was not only inapplicable to Turkey, but it became clear that the theory is not even applicable to a western culture. The segregation of motivators and hygiene factors makes the theory plausible but inapplicable to the German and Turkish tourism industry.

The present study highlights the significance of job motivation and further contributes to the existing research knowledge of cross-cultural organisational behaviour, particularly in the tourism industry, which has not received much attention yet. The study proves that culture, and with it the economic and societal situation, have an influence on what motivates people.


I would like to thank all those who have supported me during the writing of my dissertation. This dissertation would not have been possible without the constant support of my supervisor, Dr Eva Ogiermann. Special thanks are given to her due to her extraordinary helpfulness, academic knowledge, constructive feedback and stimulating insights and discussions that have enriched my dissertation. Furthermore I want to thank her for always believing in me and encouraging me to pursue my goals throughout the whole year in Surrey.

I also want to give sincere thanks to my parents, who have been understanding and patient with me throughout the entire course of my academic life, and who have always been there for me whenever I needed assistance in life. Liebe Mama, lieber Papa - DANKE für Alles!

Moreover, I would like to thank all the other people who have been involved in this dissertation, who have both directly and indirectly helped me during the writing and research process.

I hope that this dissertation will inspire the reader to learn more about work motivation particularly in the tourism industry. It was a pleasure for me to work on this dissertation, as I have worked myself in hotels in Germany and Turkey and felt that employees are being treated and motivated differently.

1 Introduction

1.1 Overview

What makes people get up in the morning - is it the simple habit, the routine or the sense of purpose? Why do people make promises to do and decide certain things? “Some people get more done than others” (Riley:1996, p.44); while some drift along, others are goal-setters; and some just cannot get started, whereas others are unstoppable. Why is it so? Why do employees ask themselves if it is worth the reward to make “an effort to achieve a goal” (Van der Wagen, Davies: 1998, p.24)? The answer can be found in the realm of motivation. Motivation, something that according to various book titles[1] needs to be understood, belongs to leadership studies and organisational behaviour. Consequently, “looking at what motivates people, and to lead them, is essential for every manager” (ibid.), because different things might motivate different staff members. One would not expect people to be as complex as they are, but “culture, although not the only variable of importance contributes significantly to explain key differences in social behaviour” (Treven, Mulej, Lynn:2008, p.33). Factors motivating followers in organisations often differ from culture to culture and do not only diverge from different organisational cultures (ibid.: p.34). There is no proof that motives like need for achievement, intrinsic needs for competence and self-efficacy can be generalised across cultures as the specific factors which drive such motives vary across cultures (Gelfand, Erez, Aycan:2007, p.482). This leads to the area of cross-cultural organisational behaviour, which, as well as culture-specific work motivation, only have a relatively short research history, but they actually date back to the times of Dionysios I. from Syrakus[2] and Agathon[3]. Superscripts by Herodotus, a Greek historian, show that differences in work behaviour already existed throughout the time of the Persian Empire (circa 400 BC) (Herodotus, De Selincourt, Marincola:2003). Trade between the different villages and towns and therefore between the different cultures was “widely widespread along the

Silk Road”[4] (Gelfand, Erez, Aycan:2007, p.481). However, researchers have started focusing “on cultural differences in career development” (Aycan, Fikret-Pasa:2003, p.129) only three decades ago. This new focus has arisen due to globalisation and the increase of multiculturalism in societies and their organisations (Yang et al.:2002). Hence, when studying culture, both, the economic impact on culture as well as its interdependence with processes of economic or real-life origin need to be considered (Treven, Mulej, Lynn:2008, p.32).

1.2 Aims and Motivation of this Study

The aim of this study is to examine the cross-cultural differences in job motivation of Germans and Turks working in the tourism industry and what these differences can be attributed to. The purpose of this study is to find out about the rewards cherished by employees in Turkey or Germany, what influences the work choice of Germans and Turks, what influences their performance and what they expect from work? Additionally to that it is to be examined whether western motivation theories apply in non-western countries such as Turkey.

What makes the focus on the tourism industry so special? The tourism industry, as part of a new business concept era, has just relatively recently developed. A special characteristic of this industry is that it is one of those industries in which the lowest paid workers are actually “responsible for the core business” (Trevor-Roper:2008, p.15). In addition to that it is the increasing complexity and dynamic of the economic, political, social and societal environment which poses some immense challenges to the tourism industry (Dobyns, Crawford-Mason:1991). The tourism industry features a very specific competitive environment, which, in contrast to other industries, is characterised by below-average sized enterprises, very low growth rate, relatively low barriers to market entry, weak tendencies of internationalisation, a high complexity of the touristic product, as well as numerous family businesses (Peters:2001). Unlike in major enterprises leadership in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) is more direct and personal, which is why individual traits and leadership qualities of the touristic enterprise have greater weight with regards to the enterprise’s success (Hamer: 1990). Next to leadership skills further traits such as the willingness to lead, enthusiasm, motivational ability and operational readiness, as well as assertiveness and practical intelligence are key significances for medium­sized entrepreneurs (Hamer:1990). The tourism industry is one of those industries involving significant exchange of emotions and feelings between hosts and guests, wherefore warmth and concern on the side of the server are crucial for a high service quality (Burgess:1982). It is not only about meeting the costumers’ expectations - it is about exceeding them (Nebel: 1991). However, one should not forget about the employee’s personal feelings and their attitudes as they are incredibly important factors in terms of economic success. The quality of service is influenced by the employee’s job satisfaction. And in order to keep this job satisfaction as high as possible, highly motivated staff members are required. This work therefore explores the job motivation of members of the German and Turkish culture working in the tourism industry. Turkey and Germany have been selected as the cultural contexts in this research because other than being two cultures that are familiar to the author, the two cultures show completely different cultural, historical and social developments.

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Figure 1: Chapter Overview (Author’s own:2011)

Figure 1 provides an overview of the structure of this work which consists of five chapters. As pictured, Chapter 2 gives an overview on the theoretical background of motivation, motivation theories and cultural classifications. Chapter 3 gives a short discourse on the methodology used and contains explanations and justifications for the methodology which has been employed to conduct this study. The analysis and discussion of the findings in the light of changing and dynamic cultural characteristics of both the German and Turkish society will be treated in Chapter 4. This also involves political, historical, societal and religious aspects. Further, a synopsis of the key findings with reference to the research question is given and the results are discussed in relation to the theoretical background provided in Chapter 2. Lastly, Chapter 5, the conclusion, summarises the main findings, outlines the contribution of this work to the field of research, gives recommendations for future research possibilities and finally refers to limitations which have been encountered during this study.

2 Theoretical Background

2.1 Motivation

Motivation is generally considered as a fundamental basis of human behaviour. The term motivation describes the willingness of a human being to act in order to achieve a specific goal. Consequently, any behaviour - with the exception of completely aimless acting - is driven by a certain motivation. However, the way in which this kind of motivation has developed, differs from person to person and from situation to situation (Hungenberg, Wulf:2007).

2.1.1 Definition

Everybody has an idea of what is meant by the term motivation. Having its origin in the Latin word movere (to move), nouns of the same word family are motor and motif. It is a well-known fact that forces move, arouse and direct people. Work motivation therefore “refers to a personal desire to work hard and work well to the arousal, direction, and persistence of effort in work settings” (Rainey:2009, p.248). Since there are different concepts in every motivation theory which correlate, there is no way that a single definition of motivation can be given without considering the other concepts. Ferguson, for example, defines motivation as “the internal states of the organism that lead to the instigation, persistence, energy, and direction of behaviour” (1994, p.429). It seems that this definition includes everything that somehow affects behaviour, but the focus is set on internal states which does not include a direct physical impact. What this definition is lacking was added by Chaplin, who defined motivation as a concept which accounts “for factors within the organism which arouse, maintain, and channel behaviour toward a goal” (1968, p.303). The aspect added by Chaplin is the goal - for him motivation is goal-oriented behaviour. Additionally to the just mentioned definitions, every “theory has certain assump tions in the background” (Beck: 1983, p.17). Thus, motivation is often defined as a process of cognitive decision-making which initiates, energises, directs and maintains goal- directed behaviour (Klinger, Cox:2004, p.4 et seq.; Buchanan, Huczynski:2010, p.267; Kuhl:1986, p.404 et seqq.), which is a combination of Ferguson’s and Chaplin’s definitions. The initial point of motivation is the assumption that behaviour generally receives specific direction through so-called motives which are the latently existing, but not yet activated reasons of individual behaviour. They are the personal driving force, understood as a directed individual desire to eliminate states of deficiency, stress or dissatisfaction. Therefore, motivation as a process is the activation of motives, and the result is the entirety of activated motives. Motivation is the precondition for targeted decision making and action, and consequently also the main starting point of influence strategies, which are supposed to lead to increased efficiency (Holzer:2010, p.7 et. seqq.; Wagner:1999, p.2).

2.1.2 Motivation and Communication

After having categorised motivation as part of leadership, the connection to communication is obvious. Leadership and Communication are inextricably linked with each other. Leadership without communication is impossible. It is communication which gives motivation the successful direction (Schott, Wick:2005, p.203). The focal instrument needed to exert social influence on other people and therefore driving them under the usage of resources to the goal attainment. The share of communication at work increases for leaders the higher they climb up in the hierarchy (Regent:2003). However, it has been empirically proven that there is a huge discrepancy between the need of quantity and quality of information. This is due to differences in self-image and public-image, which means that own willingness and ability to communicate is being overestimated and the knowledge and interests of the others are being underestimated. However, many employees do not feel sufficiently informed. Experiencing a lack of information or missing communicative integration may lead to a breakdown in communication and consequently to uncertainty. Therefore, communication, in the eyes of a leader, is always goal- oriented and functional (Trost:2009, p.35 et seq.).

2.1.3 Overview of Motivation Theories

Is it job satisfaction or money that motivates people? This could have been an argument between two leaders. Nevertheless, this argument is flawed: Maybe neither money nor job satisfaction motivate, maybe both lead to motivation, or maybe money and job satisfaction are simply no alternatives (Riley:2000: p.20). Consequently, all this is too generalised and motivation needs to be discussed in a much more detailed
way, which leads to a number of theories clarifying the development, orientation, intensity and duration of certain behaviours in connection with behaviourally relevant motives (Hentze, Graf:2005, p.20). With the United States of American (USA) for about 90 years being the „world’s largest producer and exporter of management theories” (Hofstede: 1980, p.49) covering key areas such as, leadership, organisation and motivation, most of the motivation theories are of American origin.

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Figure 2: Overview Motivation Theories (Author’s own:2011)

There are two types of motivation theories (Figure 2): Content theories and process theories, which will be explained in the following. Content Theories

Content theories presume that every individual possesses exactly the same set of so-called needs (Fincham, Rhodes:2005). They emphasise “the reasons for motivated behaviour” (Tosi, Mero, Rizzo:2000, p.129) of individuals. The most frequently mentioned content theories are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943), Herzeberg’s two-factor-theory (1959), the job characteristics approach (Hackman, Oldham: 1980) and McClelland’s achievement-power theory (1961). Since it would

go beyond the scope of this work to introduce all of them, only the first two will be explained: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The best known motivation theory is the hierarchy of needs of the humanistically oriented psychologist Abraham Maslow (Arnold et al.:2005). It is a simple concept which, despite the ample criticisms it has received, has sparked universal interest due to its simplicity (Van der Wagen, Davies: 1998). In 1943 Maslow proposed a general theory of how humans function - namely according to a “sequential hierarchical order of the development of five basic needs” (Latham:2007). These five classes are from bottom to top as follows: Physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation (Figure 3).

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Figure 3: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Author’s own, following Maslow: 1954)

The needs hierarchy theory is based on conclusions Maslow drew from observing individuals who consulted him for support and assistance concerning personal difficulties they were having (Latham:2007). Maslow assumed that individuals are
simply motivated to satisfy a certain set of needs. Those needs are hierarchically ranked in compliance with their salience. Consequently, the most basic requirements, such as the ones for drink and food, are pursued until the need is satisfied - no matter how costly they are (Brooks:2006). Maslow also argued that as soon as a need at one level is satisfied it is the next level that becomes dominant (Van der Wagen, Christine Davies: 1998). Unfortunately, analysing the five needs in detail would go beyond the scope and purpose of this work. However, for the sake of completeness, they are described in the appendix. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory is based on the so-called ‘Pittsburgh Study’, an empirical study on 203 engineers and accountants, which Herzberg and his team carried out in 1959 (Adair:1990; Wunderer:2009; Hentze, Graf:2005). By interviewing 1685 retired engineers and accountants Herzberg investigated the employee satisfaction and willingness to perform (Hollway:1991; Raabe:2006). By doing so Herzberg used Flanagan’s ‘critical incident technique’ (1954). Thus not typical occurrences of working life had been recorded, but those in which the employees felt exceptionally satisfied or exceptionally unsatisfied - so to speak the critical incidents (Kirchler, Hölzl:2001). The findings of the study showed that on the one hand there are factors which had been stated when employees talked about situations in which they felt exceptionally satisfied. On the other hand there are those factors which had been stated by the interviewees when they referred to situations in which they felt exceptionally unsatisfied. From this Herzberg concluded that there are two groups of factors: the so-called ‘motivators’ and the ‘hygiene factors’.

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Figure 4: Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory (Author’s own, following Herzberg:1959 and 1968)

Figure 4 graphically summarises Herzberg’s findings of the ‘Pitsburgh-study’: Before having been verified a couple of times, a list of 16 high-priority factors[5] originated from the analysis. However, the graph only shows the most common factors - five motivators responsible for satisfaction and seven hygiene factors providing dissatisfaction (Herzberg: 1986). When comparing the upper five factors with Maslow’s needs of self-esteem and self-actualisation it can be seen that they align. For just over 40% of the Ohio study participants, performance leads to extreme satisfaction, whereas about 35% see a bad company policy as a hygiene factor leading to extreme dissatisfaction (Herzberg:1966).

Motivators cause satisfaction and are being satisfied through intrinsic needs (Raabe:2006). If they are not existent this does not lead to dissatisfaction but to a neutral state of non-satisfaction (Kirchler, Hölzl:2002, p.57). The hygiene factors are being satisfied through extrinsic needs and lead, if not completely satisfied, to dissatisfaction (Riley: 1996, p.43 et seqq.). However, if they are being satisfied this does not lead to satisfaction but to non-dissatisfaction.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Process Theories

The aim of process theories is to “identify relationships among the dynamic variables which make up motivation” (Mullins:2001, p.237). They look at mental processes which cause and control motivation in a human being. Process theories are about how behaviour is being created. Classical process theories of motivation are Adam’s equity theory (1963), various expectancy theories (Tolman:1932; Vroom:1964), Latham’s and Locke’s goal-setting theory (1984) and the inner work life theory (Amabile, Kramer:2007). Since going deeper into all of the theories would exceed the scope of this study, only Adam’s equity and Vroom’s expectancy theory will be explained. Adam’s Equity Theory

In 1963 John Stacey Adams, an American behavioural psychologist, developed the Equity Theory which is “possibly the most readily understandable psychological process” (Riley:2000, p.26). This theory, which underlines the importance of social processes within organisations, is based on the assumption that people aim to maximise their outcome of their efforts. However, the outcome should not stand in gross disproportion to the input necessary for the attainment. According to the Equity Theory the aim of every human being is to attain a state of equilibrium/balance within which the own relative outcomes QA equate the relative outcomes QB of a reference person (Scholz:2000, p.891 et seqq.; Staehle:1999, p.239 et seqq.):

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Hence, individuals strive for balanced and equitable exchange relationships. A subjective balance exists when an individual’s input/output relation corresponds to the one of a comparative instance (Wiltz:1999). Examples of inputs and outcomes could be:

If Qa is smaller than QB, this might lead to perceived inequity by A. This feeling could then turn into a state of stress followed by motivation. There are two different ways A could deal with this inequity: Firstly, A could employ intrapersonal strategies such as cognitive revaluation or a change of the comparative instance; and secondly, A could employ strategies targeted at the environment such as a change of input, a change of outcome, exerting influence on third or escape (Daft, Marcic:2008, p.414; Furnham:2005, p.294 et seqq.). Summarised, the basic idea of this theory is a simple comparison. A human being realises how much he/she works and how much or what he/she gets in return; this outcome is then being compared to what someone else does and gets (Beck:1983, p.383). Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

In 1964 the Canadian Victor Vroom came up with a sophisticated theory of motivation; nevertheless “at its core is the concept of ‘expectancy” (Van der Wagen, Davies: 1998, p.31). Instead of focusing on the factors of a job which sustain and energise behaviour (Latham:2007, p.44), Vroom made use of “the term motivation to refer to processes governing choices made by persons or lower organisms among alternative forms of voluntary activity” (Vroom: 1964, p.6). Individuals have different preferences for different results. The choice between various options depends on the valence, so to speak the benefit, the desirability, with which it is being assessed. Consequently, individuals have expectations over the probability that the own activity leads to the desired behaviour and that this behaviour then leads to a certain result. Summarised this means that in every situation certain expectations and preferences designate the activities of an individual (Berthel, Becker:2007, p.26 et seqq.).

Vroom’s theory of work motivation is based on three simple concepts - expectancy (E), instrumentality (I) and valence (V) - which is why it is also known as the valence- instrumentality-expectancy theory.

Both, expectancy and instrumentality are subjective possibilities/probabilities. It is about what “the individual estimates to be the likelihood of good performance leading to valued rewards, and of effort leading to good performance” (Buchanan, Huczynski:2010, p.274). The product of the three variables equals the force (F) of a person’s motivation to work hard.

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Expectancy, measured on a 0 (no chance) to +1 (certainty) scale, is the perceived possibility that effort results in good performance.

Instrumentality, measured on the same scale as expectancy, is the perceived possibility that good performance leads to valued rewards.

Valence can either be positive, neutral or negative and is the perceived preference or value that a human being has for a certain outcome.

Since working hard is not only affected by social life, work performance, today’s pay and future promotion prospects, as well as levels of tiredness, the force F is the sum of all possible outcomes which leads to the following expectancy equation:

F = YjV xl xE)

Going deeper into this theory and analysing the different variables in detail would again go beyond the scope of this work. Nevertheless, it must be said that only if all three variables in the equation are positive, the individual’s force will be strong. The higher the variables, the higher the outcome and the higher the motivating force.

2.1.4 Summary

After having introduced four motivation theories, the overall practical applicability needs to be considered in order to be able to analyse the research findings satisfactorily.

Maslow’s theory is the most criticised of all the motivation theories. Firstly due to the fact that the theory is vague and can actually not predict behaviour; and secondly, because it is a socio-philosophical approach which only reflects “white American middle-class values in the mid-twentieth century” (Buchanan, Huczynski:2010, p.269). Having said that, Maslow’s thinking still has a huge influence on today’s management practice. Nevertheless, this theory does not seem suitable as a basis for research.

The two-factor theory has not been spared from criticism - reviewers state that there might be a gap between what people say what motivates them “and what actually motivates them” (Fincham, Rhodes:2005, p.201). Secondly, critics assumed that the interviewees could relate their success to their personal initiative but blame other people or the organisation for their failure. However, with the two-factor theory, Herzberg created a theory which not only describes employees’ needs but also how people’s motivation rises through a redesigned job (Fincham, Rhodes:2005, p.200 et seq.). Despite the criticism this theory seems suitable for a cross-cultural application and comparison.

For the sake of completeness, the two process theories will also be considered: Adam’s equity theory is meant to be best when focusing on payment. Over- and underpayment are the most reliable outcomes, since salary is measurable whereas education, intelligence, training and effort are not (Brooks:2006). Vroom’s expectancy theory seems to be a nice mathematical approach but when thinking about identifying and quantifying the expectancy of a certain motivation to a task, this theory becomes complicated and the practical applicability seems to be quite low (Fincham, Rhodes:2005, p.209 et seq.).

Consequently, it is the two-factor theory by Herzberg on which the focus will be set in Chapter 4.

2.2 Cultural Classifications 2.2.1 Hofstede’s Definition of Culture

The studies of Dutch organisational sociologist and anthropologist Geert Hofstede concentrate on cultural interactions between organisations and nations (Drescher:2005). The four dimensions, found by combining “theoretical reasoning and massive statistical analysis” (Hofstede: 1980, p.44), are based on 116,000 questionnaires filled in by 88,000 IBM employees from 72 different countries and regions, and from all hierarchical levels (Hofstede:2001). The questionnaire, which existed in 20 languages, included 60 items focusing on the attitudes of employees towards leadership, management, job satisfaction and their relation between leisure time and work (Lüsebrink:2005). The first data collection took place from 1967 to 1973 and was limited to 40 countries. Throughout the years another 10 countries and three multicountry regions have been added and the results have been adjusted (Hofstede, Hofstede:2005).

Power Distance (PD) “indicates the extent to which a society accepts the fact that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally” (Hofstede: 1980, p.45). Some cultures accept larger differences in authority and power between members of dissimilar occupational levels or social classes (Treven, Mulej, Lynn:2008). In Scandinavia and Austria strong power differences are not accepted, whereas in countries such as Malaysia and Guatemala hierarchical structures, both in society and at work, receive a significantly higher acceptance. According to the thinking of low PD cultures everybody should have the same rights, inequality should be kept to a minimum, everybody should be interdependent, powerful individuals should try to be less powerful and the system is to be blamed. Cultures scoring high on PD are characterised by the fact that power-holders are privileged, most people should be dependent and only a few should be independent, powerful individuals should try to appear as powerful as only possible and the underdog is to be blamed (Hofstede:1980). On the whole, it means that PD is “the way in which interpersonal relationships develop in hierarchical society” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24).

Uncertainty Avoidance (UA) refers to “the extent to which uncertainty and ambiguity is tolerated in society” (Aycan, Fikret-Pasa:2003, p.130). In countries such as Greece and Uruguay uncertainty is being reduced through formal regulations, a lower level of tolerance if it comes to dissents and a privileged role for experts (Hofstede: 1983). Cultures scoring high on UA prefer a secure life, stable jobs and avoid conflicts. This is because they are “especially averse to uncertainty, security is sought through an extensive set of rules and thorough training” (Schmidt:2007, p.24). Cultures scoring low on UA are amongst others Singapore and Denmark. Members of those cultures are meant to be proactive risk takers, which makes them assume responsibilities. In addition, they do not plan and structure their day in advance - they just take things as they come (Blom, Meier:2004). In a nutshell, UA reflects “the degree to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24).

Individualism - Collectivism (IDV): In countries such as the USA, Germany and Belgium it is the individual who takes the centre stage. It is up to the people themselves to define their belonging and develop their own individual personality. On the other hand, there are countries such as Japan, Turkey, Guatemala and Argentina in which the individual person submits to the group (Blom, Meier:2004). Summarised, the IDV dimension represents “the degree to which individual goals and needs take primacy over group goals and needs” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24). An Individualist can be associated with freedom, personal time and challenge, whereas collectivistic characteristics are physical conditions, use of skills and training (Shaules:2007).

Masculinity - Femininity (MAS): This dimension, actually called Masculinity, although it also encompasses Femininity (Hofstede: 1980) expresses “the degree to which people value work and achievement versus quality of life and harmonious human relations” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24). It is linked to the traditional and stereotypical gender roles (Zülch:2004). In fact it influences issues such as the acceptance and distribution of gender roles within social spheres of designated cultures. Cultures characterised by masculinity expect men to be ‘real’ men who are ambitious, admire winning, are success-oriented, stand for strength and size, are dedicated and want to be No. 1 (Apfelthaler:2002). The most masculine culture is Japan, followed by Hungary and Venezuela (Hofstede:2001). Those countries value symbols like earnings, intrepidity, recognition, advancement, success and challenge. Due to the fact that femininity is associated with roles such as housewives, mothers and nurses, feminine countries pay tribute to employment security, co-operations, relationships and desirable living areas (Shaules:2007). Strongly feminine cultures are Sweden and Norway (Hofstede:2001). Looking through the eyes of an entrepreneur, masculinity is a sign for employee motivation. The American psychological theorist David C. McClelland discovered that cultures scoring high on masculinity live motivation by success - so-called ‘achievement motivation’ (Apfelthaler:2002).

Later on, in the 1980s, Hofstede revealed a fifth cultural dimension (based on research in 23 countries), which defines the two extremes of time orientation - short­term vs. long-term outlook. This dimension, also known as the ‘Confucian Work Dynamism’, describes “the extent to which a culture programs its members to accept delayed gratification of their material, social, and emotional needs” (Hofstede:2001, p.xx), so to speak the degree to which a culture adopts either a short-term or a long­term outlook on work and life (Buchanan, Huczynski:2010). It is based on the theory of Confucius and on findings of a survey conducted among Chinese students, but it is also valid for cultures not living Confucianism. When it comes to expert articles and business studies this last dimension of national culture often gets disregarded (Blom, Meier:2004).

Although various recent studies on culture and data collected from outside the European continent have generally affirmed Hofstede’s findings (Hoppe: 1990; Trompenaars:1993), Hofstede’s studies have often been criticised because he generalises his IBM based findings to whole nations. Additionally, Hofstede assumes that there is only one global IBM culture. Another point of criticism is the fact that the study was done back in the 1970’s and therefore is no longer applicable (Treven, Mulej, Lynn:2008). According to Baskerville, who in her article ‘Hofstede never studied culture’ (2003) criticises Hofstede’s studies, argues that throughout his studies Hofstede equates nation with culture, but within one nation different cultures may exist.

2.2.2 Hall’s Cultural Model

The American anthropologist Edward T. Hall, the “Godfather of intercultural studies” (Schmidt:2007, p.40) and the founder of intercultural communication came up with another useful framework for cross-cultural analysis (Brooks:2006). In order to explain cultural differences in communication styles, Hall distinguished “cultures to the degree of context in their communication systems” (de Mooij:2010, p.71) and made a distinction between four bases: context (high/low), space (personal/physical), time (monochronic/polychronic) and information flow (covert/overt message) (Hall & Hall: 1990). Hall sees culture as communication and the “speed of messages, context, space, time, information flow, action chains and interfacing are all involved in the creation of both national and corporate character” (ibid.: p.29) in addition to interfacing and action chains are involved in creating both corporate and national character.

According to Hall and Hall, context (low/high), the first of the four classifications, “is the information that surrounds an event” (2002, p.167). Hall, who equates communication with culture, defines high and low context communication in the following way: “A high context (HC) communication [...] is one in which most of the information is already in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message” (Hall & Hall:2001, p.26). A low context (LC) culture is the complete opposite. This can be made clear with a simple example: twins (HC), who grew up together, are able to communicate more efficiently than two lawyers (LC) at court during a trial. A typical characteristic of contextual communication is that there is relatively little writing and speaking which is why context is described as “the level of information included in a communication message” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24). HC cultures see information mainly as part of the context or as internalised into a person. Consequently, only a limited amount is actually made explicit. HC cultures, such as China or Egypt, are more likely to be efficient, economical and fast, whereas LC cultures, such as Australia and Denmark are characterised by their explicit verbal messages (Treven, Mulej, Lynn:2008). In LC cultures effective verbal communication is created through directness and unambiguousness (de Mooij:2010). Members of a LC culture tend to demonstrate high value and positive attitude towards words.

The second category of Hall’s approach is space, either personal or physical. It can be seen as the “ways of communication through handling of personal space” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24). The difference between the two extremes can be seen in the setup of open-plan offices: In Japan space allocation reflects the people’s relationship by being harmonic and having less room divisions; whereas Americans on the other end are famous for their subdivisions which underline their private needs (Blom, Meier:2004).

Time, in Hall’s eyes, can be polychronic or monochronic: Monochronic cultures such as Germany, the USA or Scandinavia use and experience time in a linear way which could be visualised through an arrow reaching from past to future (Lewis:2006). Monochronic time in contrast is compartmentalised, scheduled and segmented, which means that members of monochromic cultures only do one thing at a time and focus on the job. Hence, they do not want to be interrupted while working and time in their eyes is seen as something tangible. It is a commodity which can be spent, saved or lost (Hall & Hall: 1990). Polychronic cultures are the complete opposite: Characterised by greater involvement with people, polychronic systems rather concentrate on the final completion of human transactions than on following tight schedules. The polychronic system of time is less tangible which leads to possible visualisation in form of a point (Hall & Hall:2001).

The fourth classification of Hall’s cultural approach is the information flow (covert/overt message) which is concerned with “the structure and speed of messages between individuals” (Reisinger, Turner:2003, p.24) while playing an important role when conversations between people from different cultures take place. The just mentioned cultural differences often cause misunderstandings which lead to problems and are “often the greatest stumbling blocks to international understanding” (Hall & Hall:1987, p.22). There are different stations a message has to go through, but which are those stations? What is this journey like and is it going to last until the message has finally arrived? For low-context cultures, such as Germany or the USA, information is not supposed to wander freely. It in fact is the contrary: information is a “highly focused, compartmentalized, and controlled” (Hall & Hall: 1987, p.23) commodity. A senior executive from Japan (a classic example of a HC culture) is more likely to share his information with as many employees as possible in order to make as many people know about the company’s operating activities than a German executive, who remains isolated behind locked doors. The interpersonal contact in a low-context culture is kept to the minimum and information usually circulates in the top management level (Hall & HaM:1987, p.22 et seq.; Schmidt:2007, p.41).

3 Methodology

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the methodology which has been implemented to gather the required data in order to answer the research questions of what motivates Germans and Turks working in the tourism industry, what are the cross-cultural differences in terms of job motivation and what influences their work choice and performance. Besides, the justification of the chosen research method, the piloting, questionnaire design, sampling method, ethical guidelines and limitations will be discussed.

3.1 Rationale for the Choice of Quantitative Research Method

There are a number of options of how social research can be done. According to Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2006) research can be divided in three successive levels:

- two research families
- four research approaches and
- four research techniques.

One research family consists of field research and desk research which differ in terms of the news value. Field research is generally seen as the kind of research which takes place in the field, is original or empirical, thus primary research. A classic example for field research is the expedition. Desk research, however, can be done from the desk and researchers do not necessarily need to go into the field. Examples for this are postal surveys, laboratory or experimental work, and literature searches. The differentiation between desk and field research is not as obvious and literature has not agreed on a clear segregation.

Some occasions require an investigation of attitudes, feelings, perceptions, values or motivations instead of counting and quantifying social interactions or phenomena (Clark et al.: 1998). This leads to the second research family, which consists of quantitative and qualitative research methods which “clearly differ in terms of how data are collected and analyzed” (Gelo, Braakmann, Benetka:2008, p.268). The former is concerned with collecting and analysing data in a numeric form whereas the latter deals with the collection and analysis of information in a non-numeric form (Blaxter, Hughes, Tight:2001). The aim of quantitative research methods is to count


[1] Understanding Motivation (Adair: 1990); Understanding Motivation and Emotion (Reeve:2008); Understanding Motivation for Lifelong Learning (Smith, Spurling:2001); Understanding Human Motivation: What makes People tick? (Laming:2004)

[2] * around 430 BC; t spri ng 367 BC

[3] * around 448 BC; t around 400 BC

[4] From the second century BC on, the Silk Road was a network of trade routes stretching from Syria and Rome in the West to Iran and Egypt in the Middle East and to China in the very East (Elisseeff:2000).

[5] Motivators: 1. Achievement, 2. Recognition for achievement, 3. Work itself, 4. Responsibility, 5. Advancement, 6. Possibility of Growth. Hygiene factors: 7. Supervision, 8. Company policy and administration, 9. Working conditions, 10. Interpersonal relations with peers, 11. Interpersonal relations with subordinates, 12. Interpersonal relations with superiors, 13. Status, 14. Job security, 15. Salary, 16. Personal Life (Herzberg:1968, p.95 et seq.).

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Cultural Differences in Job Motivation
A Comparison of German and Turkish Employees in the Tourism Industry
The University of Surrey  (Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences)
Intercultural Communication with International Business
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ISBN (Book)
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Job, Motivation, Leadership, Organisational Behaviour, Organisational Studies, Turkey, Germany, Cross-Cultural, Intercultural, Communication, Maslow, Herzberg, Adam, Vroom, Hofstede, Hall, Quantitative, Research, Two-Factor, Cultural Classification, Classification, Job Motivation, Employee Motivation, Tourism, Hospitality, Tourism Industry, Travel, Leader, Employer, Motive, motivated, Culture, cultural, Feedback, Salary, Training, Prestige, Reward, Rewards, Workplace, Masculinity, Feminitity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Geert, Power Distance, Low Context, High Context, Individualism, Collectivism, Expectancy
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M.A. Corinna Colette Vellnagel (Author), 2011, Cultural Differences in Job Motivation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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