Influence of leadership on motivation in an intercultural context. Illustrated by the comparison of the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Apple Inc.)


Term Paper, 2015
26 Pages, Grade: 1,0

Excerpt

Table of contents

Table of contents

List of abbreviations

List of figures

1. Motivation and leadership are influenced by intercultural differences

2. Conceptual definitions
2.1 Leadership
2.2 Motivation

3. Motivation theories
3.1 Content theories
3.2 Process theories

4. Adjustment of motivation theories to an intercultural context
4.1 Awareness of cultural differences
4.2 Implementation of a further basic need
4.3 Create an appropriate reward system

5. Case: Comparison of the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook concerning motivation of their employees

6. Conclusion and further considerations

Publication bibliography V

Annex

Endnotes

List of abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of figures

Fig. 1: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, according to: Hersey, Blanchard, Johnson 2001, p. 37

Fig. 2: Process of Motivation through Goal Setting, according to: Kreitner, Kinicki 2013, p. 239

Fig. 3: Comparison of five cultural dimensions, according to: Hofstede 2001; Clearly Cultural 2015

Fig. 4: The need of implementing a strong organizational culture, own figure

1. Motivation and leadership are influenced by intercultural differences

With the help of the representation of the fairytale Alice in Wonderland Hofstede stated "that there are no such things as universal management theories." (Hofstede 1993, p. 81) This figure can also be used when explaining the impact of leadership on motivation in an intercultural context. As well as management theories have been developed in a certain cultural context, the common motivation theories do not consider the differences in motivation of employees[1] with varying cultural backgrounds that are working together (Hofstede 1980). But today's markets act in a global environment. Nowadays, teams are interdisciplinary and consist of people with different cultural backgrounds. This fact is valid for organizations in all sectors. Even small and medium-sized companies purchase and sell services and goods abroad or switch production to another country (Kranzusch, Holz 2013). In order to survive in the global competition companies have to establish a competitive advantage concerning quality, cost structure and productivity. Therefore, the reasons for the increasing internationalization are, for example, long-term cost advantages, limited availability of raw materials or skills shortages (Dülfer, Jöstingmeier 2008).

One aspect that has a significant influence on the productivity is the workers' motivation. A high level of motivation leads to job satisfaction, goal-oriented behavior and thereby to better results (Kreitner, Kinicki 2013; Kleinbeck, Kleinbeck 2009). It is the task of a leader to motivate the workers at the best. A leader has to establish a strong organizational culture, recognize the individual needs of each worker, sponsor capability and innovations and create a vision of the future development of the organization (Hinterhuber, Krauthammer 2015). Particularly with regard to the increasing internationalization and more complex global interdependence this task is getting more arduous. In addition, the personal traits of a leader influence the leadership style in a favorable or obstructive way.

Considering the above named difficulties the following thesis presumes a possible linkage between leadership and motivation:

The stereotypical use of motivation theories does not maintain the successful motivation of employees in an intercultural context. The key to efficient leadership is the consideration of individual needs of employees.

In order to verify or disprove the thesis this paper begins by determining the conceptual background of the terms leadership and motivation and taking a closer look at selected motivation theories. These chapters are followed by stating the limitations and prospects of motivation theories in an intercultural context. This leads to stating a possibility of adapting the motivational concepts to the global environment. With the presentation of the case of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, the former and the current leader of Apple Inc., the impact of personal traits on leadership and motivation is taken into consideration additionally. A conclusion will illustrate the results of this paper with regard to the thesis.

2. Conceptual definitions

2.1 Leadership

The understanding of the concept of leadership has changed due to economic and environmental changes during the past 60 years. First, the function of leadership was limited to uncertainty reduction by making the right decisions (Bavelas 1960). Later during the 1990s, a team of researchers that took part in the GLOBE Study defined leadership as a function that is focused more on creating effective and successful organizations. These have to adapt fast to environmental changes with the help of a leader who is able to motivate others (House, Javidan 2004). Current definitions of the 21st century separate the term leadership into leadership of organizational structures and leadership of people. Moreover, people concentrate more on the process of leadership that leads a group of people to achieve a common goal. With regard to personal traits of the leader several leadership styles have been developed (Northouse 2015).

Further on, the definition of the term leadership by Kotter, who strictly separates the terms management and leadership, will be used: "[l]eadership is very different [from management]. It does not produce consistency and order, as the word itself implies; it produces movement. [...] The function in this belief is constructive or adaptive change." (Kotter 1990, p. 4 f.) Although this definition has been developed in 1990 it sums up the main functions of a leader and is therefore still valid today.

2.2 Motivation

The term motivation is not clearly defined. One can find varying definitions from several scientific disciplines. In 1982 Mitchell stated that motivation is caused by complex psychological processes that provoke voluntary actions in a specific direction and make people remain persistent. While Clegg and Bailey (2008) focus on the concept of need that can be derived from the inherent objective of each human being to survive, Shaffer (2015) emphasizes the topic of goal-orientation and defines motivation as the willingness “to exert high levels of effort toward goals, conditioned by this effort’s ability to satisfy specific individual needs” (Shaffer 2015, p. 9). But most of the definitions of motivation contain an element called motive which is the cause of certain a behavior. A motive can be conscious or subconscious and differ in strength and impact on an individual's demeanor (Hersey, Blanchard, Johnson 2001).

In this paper the term motivation is used in an business-related context as an individuals' goal-oriented effort in order to improve its performance and satisfy its own needs. Consequently, the needs of the company have to be congruent with the needs of the workers in order to maintain a high level of productivity.

3. Motivation theories

Several scientists have tried to explain the origins and elements of human motivation. Two main categories of motivation theories, that focus on various aspects, have been proposed: content and process theories (Kreitner, Kinicki 2013).

3.1 Content theories

Content theories are based on intrinsic motivation and hence focus on the influence of internal factors on motivation such as instincts, satisfaction and motives of individuals. The key element of these theories is the concept of need. Kreitner and Kinicki define needs as "[p]hysiological or psychological deficiencies that arouse [a certain] behavior" (2013, p. 206) which vary over lifetime and according to personal values and social norms. The models indicate that on the one hand an emerging or unmet need is motivating and on the other hand a satisfied need has no motivational function (Hohenberger, Spörrle 2013).

One of the most popular theories is the Hierarchy of Needs by A.H. Maslow (see fig. 1). According to Maslow, each individual is lead by five basic, inherent needs that are related in a stair-step hierarchy as a process of self-determination ending with the need of self-actualization (Eckermann 1968). The prescribed sequence of the physiological, safety, social / love, esteem and self-actualization needs means that by satisfying a lower-order need the next higher need in the hierarchy will be activated. E.g., if the physiological needs are satisfied, someone will pursue the safety or security needs and worry about being able to maintain his job in order to provide nourishments for his family. If this person is insecure about keeping his job, the satisfaction of other needs becomes unimportant. The physiological needs are the strongest needs an individual can have. Therefore, they are located at the bottom of the pyramid having a similar function as a solid foundation of a newly built house (Hersey et al. 2001). In a business-related context it is important that a manger provides at least the satisfaction of physiological needs – shelter, food and clothing, that are usually associated with money in a western society – for its workers and focus on needs related to self-concepts at a further step.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Fig. 1: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, according to: Hersey, Blanchard, Johnson 2001, p. 37

In contrast to Maslow's theory, Alderfer's ERG theory is based on three core needs: existence, relatedness and growth (see annex 1 for a comparison of the theories). Alderfer stated that needs of different categories can be activated simultaneously. In addition, the model contains a frustration-regression component which means that disappointment concerning higher-order needs can have an impact on the desire for lower-order needs. As a leader you can deduce that a worker will regress to relatedness needs if growth opportunities are not given (Kreitner, Kinicki 2013).

3.2 Process theories

The missing recognition of the dynamic interaction between an individual and its environment is considered within the process theories of motivation. These theories focus on the cognitive process how internal and external factors influence human motivation (Kreitner, Kinicki 2013; Hersey et. al. 2001). Well-known process theories are: Vroom's Expectancy Theory, Adam's Equity Theory and Motivation through Goal Setting.

As an example the theory of Motivation through Goal Setting will be presented in detail. E. Locke, one of the leading scientists in this field of psychology, defined goals as something "what an individual is trying to accomplish, the object or aim of an action." (Locke, Shaw, Saari, Latham 1981, p. 126) The process of goal setting is determined by situational factors, the performance improvement cycle and the desired outcomes (see fig. 2).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Fig. 2: Process of Motivation through Goal Setting, according to: Kreitner, Kinicki 2013, p. 239

According to Locke goals have a motivational function because of four reasons: First, goals direct an individual's effort towards goal-oriented activities. Second, feedback provided by the supervisor and given deadlines enable a leader to adjust the direction of effort of workers for goal accomplishment. Third, goals that are challenging but not unreachable increase persistence (Shaffer 2015). Fourth, the development of an action plan and task strategies according to set goals provides a given scope for action to all members of an organization and enables a leader to monitor the goal achievement (Locke 1978; Locke et. al. 1981). On this account the effect on motivation depends on (see annex 2 for further explanation):

- feedback given by the supervisor,
- goal commitment,
- participation of workers,
- the complexity of the task and
- self-efficiency.

This theory is the basis for the management style Management by Objectives (MBO). MBO implies that a leader has to set suitable goals and adjust the rewards and recognition system based on the identified needs of each employee (Cyert 2010; Kreitner, Kinicki 2013; Locke 1978).

4. Adjustment of motivation theories to an intercultural context

Particularly in times of increasing internalization the needs of members of a team can differ to a large extent (Hofstede 1993). However, as already mentioned in the introduction, taking part in the global competition is decisive for a successful presence in the competitive markets. In other words, if a company does not have the possibility of adapting to the changing environment, it will not exist any longer (Dülfer, Jöstingmeier 2008).

When focusing on the concept of need in terms of motivation of workers the central issues are: Do the basic needs according to Maslow and Alderfer have the same status in an international context? Are people with different cultural backgrounds also motivated by the fulfillment of these basic needs? If not, how can a leader ensure the rewarding and satisfying treatment of workers?

4.1 Awareness of cultural differences

First of all, it is important to become acquainted with the significant differences of cultures. "Many of the differences in employee motivation, management styles and organizational structures of companies [...] can be traced to differences in the collective mental programming of people in different national cultures." (Hofstede 1980, p. 42) Hofstede (1980) stated that there are four dimensions which characterize cultures: the power distance, the uncertainty avoidance, the social framework (individualism versus (vs.) collectivism) and the extent of dominant values (masculinity vs. femininity). After years of research two dimensions have been added: the linkage to the past (long-term / pragmatic vs. short-term / normative orientation) and the extent of indulgence (indulgence vs. restraints) (Hofstede 2001; Hofstede, Hofstede, Minkov 2010). Fig. 3 provides a comparison of five cultural dimensions from Europe, Asia, North America and Africa using indices calculated by professional researchers at the Hofstede Centre in Helsinki.[2]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Fig. 3: Comparison of five cultural dimensions, according to: Hofstede 2001; Clearly Cultural 2015

A good leader has to be aware of the extent of the cultural dimensions of the workers' culture as well as of his own cultural background (Hofstede 1980). If a leader from, e.g., Germany, a country with a low level of power distance, is sent to China or India, both countries with a high level of power distance, he has to adapt his leadership style to the new environment. Otherwise, the leader will not manage his motivational function. The impact on job satisfaction, productivity and finally on the company's result will be devastating (Shaffer 2015). This task becomes even more difficult if a leader has to lead an international team which members have several varying cultural backgrounds. Especially in the information technology (IT)-industry in the field of hard- and software development international teams play an important role (Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V. 2/19/2015). This aspect will be picked up when working on the case of Apple Inc. in chapter 5.

4.2 Implementation of a further basic need

From the point of view of the workers in an international organization, a sixth basic need – added to the ERG theory and the Hierarchy of Needs – has to be satisfied in order to maintain the motivational function of a leader. It is the need of being accepted as the member of a different culture. In other words it is the need of implementing a strong organizational culture that allows cultural differences (fig. 4). The following paragraph specifies this proposal.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Fig. 4: The need of implementing a strong organizational culture, own figure

Strong organizations procure social control, social glue and support of sense making-process (McShane, Glinow 2010). Social glue implements cohesion and enables workers to identify with the company's vision by group identification (Ashforth, Mael 1989). It can be related to the needs of relatedness and to the love / social needs according to Alderfer and Maslow. Social control makes the members of an organization tread in a mutual direction that correspondents to the company's objectives. "Norms act as positive or negative means of ensuring conformity and applying sanctions to deviant behavior." (Chatman, Eunyoung Cha 2003, p. 22) The third function of a strong organizational culture – the support of the sense-making process – increases the workers' commitment and thereby provides a high level of communication and cooperation among workers and leaders. "Over time [...] organizational members come to develop similar schemas. As individuals' schemas become more similar, the [..] information [...] becomes more focused, clear, consistent, and persuasive." (Harris 1994, p. 314) Both, social control and support of the sense-making process can be assigned to the goal setting theory. Therefore, all aspects of implementing an organizational culture have a motivational function.

Furthermore, this need requires a strong sense of intercultural intelligence which is defined as the adjustment to foreign cultures and related to concepts such as intercultural competence, intercultural sensitivity and global mindset (Dowling, Festing, Engle 2013). In chapter 2 it has already been figured out, that a leader's main function is to maintain movement and generate a successful organization. Thence, the leader has to focus on managing diversity (Kotter 1990; Kreitner, Kinicki 2013).[3]

4.3 Create an appropriate reward system

Another thing to consider, especially when applying MBO, is the adaption of the rewards and recognition system. Studies have proven, that money as a reward for good performance can have a negative effect on the performance of an employee. Members of different cultures react different facing the same motivational elements (Chamorro-Premuzic 2013; Society for Human Resource Management 2010; see annex 3). One possibility could be to generate a flexible bonus and reward system for workers. Valid for all workers, no matter which cultural background they have, is that being recognized as an important member of the organization is motivating.[4] In 2008 and 2011 the professional journal Supervision has listed up 20 ways to motivate employees which concentrate on the treatment of workers in an honoring and respectful manner. The gist of these manners is to:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Therefore, a leader has to balance on the one hand the organizational aspect, in detail by designing a successful organization that is able to perform perpetually on a high level. On the other hand a leader has to keep the motivational aspect in mind and treat the workers as individuals in a rewarding and satisfying way.

5. Case: Comparison of the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook concerning motivation of their employees

Already in 1960 Bavelas mentioned that leadership is on the one hand a personal quality and on the other hand an organizational function. He refers to a certain combination of personal traits, qualities and abilities of a leader which is important besides the organizational structure (Bavelas 1960). This case focuses on the element of personality.

[...]


[1] The terms "employee" (pl. "employees) and "worker" (pl. "workers") are used simultaneously in this paper.

[2] The link http://geert-hofstede.com/countries.html (checked on 05/11/2015) provides the current scores for each country published by the Hofstede Centre located in Helsinki, Finland.

[3] For an interesting journal article on diversity and its impact on team performance with regard to goal orientation see: Nederveen Pieterse, A.; Knippenberg, D. van; Dierendonck, D. van (2013): Cultural diversity and team performance: The role of team member goal orientation. In: Academy of Management Journal Vol. 56 (Issue 3), pp. 782-804

[4] These findings are congruent with the results of the questionnaire provided und presented by N. Baumgärtner and C. Reinfeld in class on 29th April 2015. In this context question 3 is relevant.

Excerpt out of 26 pages

Details

Title
Influence of leadership on motivation in an intercultural context. Illustrated by the comparison of the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Apple Inc.)
College
University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer
Course
International Strategic Leadership
Grade
1,0
Author
Year
2015
Pages
26
Catalog Number
V305134
ISBN (eBook)
9783668052369
ISBN (Book)
9783668052376
File size
1055 KB
Language
English
Tags
International, Strategic, Leadership, Führung, Motivation, Motivationstheorie, Theorien, Apple, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Culture, Unternehmenskultur, Persönlichkeitsmerkmale, personal traits, leader, Unternehmensführung, Management by objectives, Führungsstil, Konzept, Inhaltstheorie, Prozesstheorie, interkultureller Kontext, interkulturell, Maslow, Bedürfnispyramide, Locke, Motivation through goal-setting, kulturelle Unterschiede, differences, Bonussystem, reward, Hierarchy of needs, Hofstede, cultural dimensions, Kulturdimensionen, Organisationskultur, organizational culture, Globalisierung, globalization, Internationalisierung, internationalization, leadership style
Quote paper
Carina Reinfeld (Author), 2015, Influence of leadership on motivation in an intercultural context. Illustrated by the comparison of the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Apple Inc.), Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/305134

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Influence of leadership on motivation in an intercultural context. Illustrated by the comparison of the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Apple Inc.)


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free