Critically Evaluate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a Way of Understanding Employee's Motivation in Contemporary Chinese Business

1200 Words Nov 7th, 2012 5 Pages
Critically evaluate Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a way of understanding employee's motivation in contemporary Chinese business

Nowadays, many Chinese business companies emphasize the motivation of employees. In their view, if employees are motivated, they will not only give full play to the initiative and creativity, but also create work with high quality and efficiency. Consequently, more Chinese managers are serious about western theories on motivation in order to obtain the right direction. Maslow’s theory “the hierarchy of needs” is one of those theories. However, managers in China still find it difficult to encourage employees due to the complication of motivation. For example, what arouses ones enthusiasm may not be suitable for
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After the general criticism of Maslow's theory, there is also a particular specific criticism of it.

The differences between values and needs are not just about the position in the pyramid, whether it is high or low, work values are determined by cultural exposure experiences. (Jaw et al, 2007). Chinese culture is different from that of the western world, which is another reason why Maslow's theory is not suitable for Chinese companies to stimulate staffs. Jalavic and Ogilvie (2010) state that certain needs are determined by certain societal culture. Maslow created the theory in the United States from an individual perspective, where people focus on the improvement of the self. In contrast, according to Gambrel and Cianci (2003), a key to Chinese culture's characteristics is family-oriented collectivism, which emphasizes equally sharing and needs are met by group and government. Besides, Chinese behavior is controlled, patient and does not contain excitement as much as people in the west. Similarly, Chinese managerial concept is referred to place individuals' needs after groups' needs. Actually, Chinese needs are mainly social needs and esteem needs rather than self needs and self-actualization needs. For example, a large of Chinese have been influenced by Confucianism since they were young, which teaches that the country and the family is most important. Hence, it is

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