Date of Award

Spring 1985

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Management - (M.S.)

Department

Organizational and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Anthony Kahng

Abstract

Abraham H. Maslow's Need Theory of Motivation was subjected to a cross-cultural scrutiny to see if his theory has universal application. It was thus also intended, to make a contribution to his theory since today, global interdependence is no longer a matter of belief, preference or choice. Rather, it is an inescapable reality.

To achieve this goal, an extensive Literature Survey was undertaken. It was found that his theory is more consistent with American value system. Nevertheless, if care is exercised, his theory can be useful in International context too, with some necessary modifications.

This paper is directed to save managers from the perils of ethnocentrism, since it is the view of this writer and his counseling Professor, Dr. Anthony Kahng, that ethnocentric distortions are significantly reduced by intensive study of different cultures. The challenge for executives is to transcend blinders imposed by their home cultures, a formidable but essential task if operations in foreign cultures are to succeed. For real understanding of cultures, we must be able to explain social institutions, religious values and organizations, family and kinship system, and the status hierarchy of the country. It is these variables that channel behavior and give a meaning and functionality to relationships. Cross-cultural learning however, must be a continuous process and the need to learn never ceases.

Managing relations between an organization and its cultural environment is largely a matter of accurate perception, sound diagnosis, and appropriate adaptation. Thus one basic purpose of this thesis is to enhance sensitivity of managers to cultural differences among people, in order for them to better cope with the realities of these differences for improved interaction and commerce within the world marketplace.

Finally the author and his advisor wish to make a modest contribution to cultural synergy which can be best described as 1+1=3. It is two or more people, groups, or nations working together for a mutual benefit that is greater in quality and quantity than the sum of their individual efforts. In true synergy, nothing is given up or lost. It is in fact, a sound economic development which is not a zero sum game.

Perhaps where missionaries, politicians, and the military have failed in promoting peace and prosperity by cooperation among nations, the 21st century cosmopolitan managers and technicians may succeed. Certainly, economic and community development on a planetary scale can only occur when human family learns to work together by capitalizing on its very divergences. As we grow in synergistic understanding and skills, we are in a better position to utilize effectively the resources of our own planet.

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