تخصیص پاداش سازمانی : یک مقایسه از سازمان های انگلیسی و آلمانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|27017||2004||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6452 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 28, Issue 2, March 2004, Pages 151–164
The present paper reports two studies investigating the use of reward allocation principles based on equity, equality, need and seniority by work organizations in Germany and the UK. The study sampled participants from various organizations to replicate some findings from laboratory studies involving students. Consistent with predictions, equity was more important in the UK than Germany. Contrary to previous laboratory studies, need was more important in the UK than Germany. Large differences between private and public sector organizations were found. More research focusing on real-life allocations is needed to develop a better understanding of cross-cultural differences.
Understanding cross-cultural differences in reward allocation is of great importance because of implications for managers around the globe (Erez & Earley, 1993). Managers frequently have to decide how to distribute pay raises, on what basis to promote employees or how to ask employees to leave. Not surprisingly, this research has enjoyed great popularity in the last two decades (Leung, 1997). Researchers have focused on what principles are used by individuals from different cultures when allocating rewards. The three most common allocation rules in cross-cultural research are equity (Adams, 1965), equality and need (Deutsch, 1975; Leventhal, 1976). Seniority has been added more recently as a fourth allocation principle of importance for cross-cultural research (Chen, 1995; Rusbult, Insko, & Lin, 1995). This research has been driven by Adams’ (1965) equity theory. This theory is concerned with the ‘just distribution of wealth, power, goods, and services in society’ (Adams, 1965, p. 267). Employees engage in social exchange, where they contribute something in expectation of rewards. Consequently, they compare the ratio between their inputs (contribution) and outcomes (rewards) with the ratio of referent others. Adams did not specify the relevant inputs or outcomes for any given exchange, but subsequent researchers have mostly focused on contributions or inputs in terms of task performance (Kanfer, 1990). In contrast, equality refers to the principle that all organizational members receive the same regardless of their contribution (Deutsch, 1975). The need rule mandates that organizational members receive allocations depending on their personal need (Deutsch, 1975). Finally, seniority refers to a more generous allocation to more senior and older individuals. Previous reviews of the literature have suggested that equity-based allocations are more prevalent in individualistic cultures, whereas reliance on the equality principle is more prevalent among collectivistic cultures, when allocating rewards within in-groups (e.g., Smith & Bond, 1998). However, explanations of these differences have often been inconsistent and contradictory. Some of these inconsistencies can be explained in terms of the differing research methodologies employed by the various researchers (Fischer & Smith, 2003). It needs to be tested how valid conclusions are that are based on studies using specific research methods and relying on specific populations. Therefore, the present study focuses on two cultural samples and investigates cultural differences in reward allocation between the UK and Germany. One might argue that these two countries appear quite similar on a global scale. Both countries are key players within the European union and have enjoyed close partnerships in the last four decades. Although these two countries share many similarities in terms of economic and political development, these similarities are accompanied by differences in intellectual, philosophical and economic thinking (Perlman & McCann, 1998; Russell, 1945/1992), prevailing economic systems (e.g., Albert, 1993) and recent political systems and structures (e.g., Wegener, 1995). Management styles and company structures (Foley, 1998; Glunk, Wilderom, & Ogilvie, 1997; Stewart, Barsoux, Kieser, Ganter, & Walgenbach, 1994, 1996), as well as patterns of worker representation in companies (Hampden-Turner & Trompenaars, 1993) and human resource traditions (Muller, 1999), have also been found to differ between the two countries. In terms of cultural values, various large-scale surveys also reported differences. Hofstede's (1980) seminal study of IBM employees found British participants to be more individualistic compared with the (West) Germans. The greatest difference was found in terms of uncertainty avoidance, with Germans being less tolerant of uncertainties and ambiguities in their everyday life as opposed to a greater tolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity as reported by British participants. Germans were also somewhat higher on collectivism compared with the British. Ronen and Shenkar (1985) subsequently included the former West Germany into a Germanic country cluster, whereas Britain was part of an Anglo-Saxon culture cluster. In additional to these differences between Britain and the former West Germany, the division of Germany after World War II has resulted in differences within Germany. A number of studies included samples from the two separate parts. Smith, Dugan, and Trompenaars (1996) found that East German scored higher on conservation-related values compared with either West German or British managers. Schwartz (1994) did not report data from the UK, but data from the two German parts suggested that East Germans are lower on openness to change-related dimensions (autonomy) compared to West Germans, whereas East Germans are higher on conservation-related dimensions (hierarchy, conservatism). Therefore, the Eastern part appears to be more collectivist and conservative than the former Western part. The present study includes mainly citizens of the former East Germany, therefore, these differences will be important. Considering allocation behaviour, a study by Berman and Murphy-Berman (1996) examined the different perceptions of allocators by West German students with perceptions of US students. They presented their participants with scenarios describing one employee as having average work performance, but a poor financial situation and an illness in his family, while the other one had excellent performance and enjoyed an adequate social and economic situation. Consequently, Person A was always needy and Person B always meritorious. Furthermore, they included a condition where allocators took money away (pay cut—negative resource condition) or distributed money (bonus—positive resource condition). The dependent variables were the perceived fairness of the hypothetical allocation and the perceptions of the allocator. The complex pattern of the results suggested that US Americans face a real dilemma when allocating money. If they decided in favour of the equity rule, they were viewed as more strong, intelligent and logical and their decision was seen as fairer, but they were not liked as much as a need allocator nor were they considered as warm and nice. On the other hand, a need distribution would result in a more positive evaluation of the allocator as warmer and nicer, but at the same time s/he would be seen as less intelligent, logical and strong and his or her decision as less fair. Such a dilemma would not occur for the German subjects. They saw the need allocator as significantly fairer regardless of the situation and did not differentiate in regard of intelligence or logicalness. The manipulation of positive or negative situation had no effect at all in the German sample. These results were interpreted in terms of the supposedly higher cultural collectivism in Germany. This higher collectivism is reflected in a comprehensive social security net which pays attention to the need of individuals. Therefore, this study suggests that Germans, especially West Germans, are considering need as more important regardless of the resource situation. However, this study as most previous studies has been conducted in laboratory settings with students as participants, which raises concerns about the ecological validity of these findings. It has to be shown whether this pattern can be replicated in real-life contexts. Therefore, I will briefly discuss some problems of previous laboratory studies before introducing the hypotheses and research design for the present studies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study reported the development of a survey instrument that can be used to test whether findings obtained in laboratory-based reward allocation studies can be replicated in real-life organizations. Four principles were derived from factor analysis of the instrument, namely equity, equality, need and seniority. Using this instrument, it was tested whether organizations in Germany and Britain use these four principles to different degrees when making allocation decisions, as could be expected from previous laboratory studies. Generally, as predicted by hypothesis 1, equity was more important in Britain than in Germany, although a significant effect was only observed in study 1. Matsumoto, Grissom, and Dinnel (2001) urged researchers to consider effect sizes in addition to significance levels in comparative cross-cultural studies. The effect size d in study 1 was 0.46, whereas d was only 0.22 in study 2. Combining the two effect sizes and weighting them by sample size ( Shadish & Haddock, 1994), the resulting effect size was 0.38. This effect size is significant at a 0.001 level (z=4.05). According to Cohen (1992), this indicates a small to medium effect size. Consequently, there seems to be a significant but small difference between the two countries in terms of the consideration of equity when making human resource decisions. The second part of hypothesis was not supported, because there were no sizeable differences between two samples in terms of equality. Therefore, organizations in Britain are more equitable, but German organizations are not more egalitarian. Therefore, the pattern indicates that equity and equality are independent of each other. Hypothesis 3 was not supported. In fact, the effect was exactly opposite to what was predicted based on the results by Berman and Murphy-Berman (1996) who had studied (West) German and US students using a scenario approach. The effect size was 0.27 in the first study and 0.63 in the second study. The sample size weighted combined effect size was 0.50, which is highly significant (z=5.31,p<0.0001). British participants’ rating of the use of need in their organization was half a standard deviation higher compared with the German participants. According to Cohen, this is a moderate effect size. Three explanations can be considered. First, the tight and comprehensive social security net in Germany (Albert, 1993) might free organizations from taking care of the immediate personal needs of employees, because employees can obtain additional support if faced with personal hardship. In UK, the social security net is less tight and, consequently, the need and well being of employees might be more of an issue for companies. If this explanation were to be true, then a similar pattern of low consideration of need in both parts of Germany would be expected. A second explanation might be found in the recent history of East Germany. In former state socialist countries, there was a strong emphasis on equality and citizens’ welfare. After German reunification in 1990, newly appointed managers (many drawn from West Germany or from previously marginalized political groups) were keen to distance themselves from the socialist practices and might therefore take less account of need. A third possible explanation is the poor economic situation in East Germany. At the time of this study, unemployment was still considerably above the European average, with unofficial estimates approaching 50 percent in some areas. Productivity, innovation and investment still lag behind West German standards (King, Samaras, & Ehrhard, 1996). Consequently, organizations could not afford to allocate resources to employees in need. A related study by the author (Fischer, Smith, & Richey, 2003) found that probably the poor economic situation and the post-socialism hypotheses can account best for these differences. They found that reliance on need was much lower in East Germany, compared with the Western part of Germany, the UK, US and New Zealand. This supported a post-socialist hypothesis. Furthermore, levels of unemployment during data collection could partly explain the mean differences, supporting the economic hypothesis. Consequently, research is needed that examines reward allocation in real-life organizations, taking into account economic and socio-political factors. Studying students in laboratory settings is appropriate for investigating theoretical processes; however, these findings have to be validated outside artificial laboratory settings. Hypothesis 3 predicted that seniority would be more important in Germany compared with the UK. Only weak support was found. The interaction effect in study 2 pointed in this direction, with German public sector organizations being much more reliant on seniority than either private organizations in German or public and private sector organizations in Britain. However, the combined sample size weighted effect size across the two studies was 0.15 and it is not significant (z=1.64). It seems that public organizations in Germany are more hierarchical and bureaucratic and therefore rely more on seniority. This is in line with the common stereotype of German public bureaucracy. However, private organizations in Germany are less reliant on senior employees than would be expected, based on previously observed cultural differences. Again, change from a state-socialist environment to a market economy, together with the grave economic situation, might make it less likely that organizations are relying on older employees with values and work behaviours acquired through their socialization under a state system. These values and behaviours are likely to be at odds with the current requirements and demands. Concerning hypothesis 4, equity was found to be more important in private organizations compared with public sector ones. The sample size weighted combined effect size was 0.81 (z=7.81,p<0.0001). According to Cohen (1992), this constitutes a large effect size. Private organizations are more equitable in their reward allocation than public sector organizations. It is not surprising that this effect is larger than the cultural difference, given the nature of the two samples. However, this points to the importance of including contextual and organizational variables in experimental research in order to arrive at a better understanding of reward allocation processes in organizations. However, the effect for equality was not significant across the two studies (z=1.57, n.s.). The sample size weighted effect size was 0.26. Therefore, although private organizations are more equitable, public organizations are not more egalitarian. Finally, need was found to be more important in private sector organizations with an effect size of 0.46, which was significant at a p<0.001 level (z=4.20). This is somewhat surprising. It seems that private organizations need to consider the well being of their employees more. Deutsch (1975) argued that if at a particular time an individual is in need it is important to allow him or her access to resources for satisfying this need. Otherwise, this particular individual will suffer potentially irremediable harm or loss. This would obviously be detrimental to the future ability of this individual to participate in the group as a competent member and therefore will limit the group's future potential for survival and prosperity. Therefore, it seems that private sector organizations are interested in maintaining a highly efficient and effective workforce that will allow the organization to maintain a competitive advantage in the future. Although plausible, more research is needed to understand this process in more detail. However, this highlights that we need more research that focuses on organizations to understand reward allocation in context. In summary, this study highlights that laboratory research using students needs to be complemented by research in real-life settings. This is in line with the meta-analysis by Fischer and Smith (2003) who reported different effect sizes for student and working populations across cultures. Furthermore, research has largely ignored contextual factors such as sector differences, which have a large effect on the reported effects across cultures. More research is needed focusing on the complex relationship between cultural, organizational and individual variables in real-life settings to examine the external validity of experimental studies.