مطالعه میان فرهنگی روابط میان استقلال تیم ، سرمایه اجتماعی سازمانی، رضایت شغلی و تعهد سازمانی ژاپن-آمریکا
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 58–71
The objectives of the present study are to explore how team autonomy, organizational social capital, and worker attitudes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment are related to one another, and the similarities and differences in the relationships between Japan and the US. For this purpose, a survey of incumbent workers was conducted in Japan and the US on the basis of Web-based sampling. In Japan, questionnaires were distributed in mid-January 2009, and 536 incumbent Japanese workers responded. In the US, questionnaires were distributed in mid-April 2009, and 532 incumbent American workers responded. As a result of multi-group analysis by structural equation modeling, the following differences in the theoretical models were revealed between Japan and the US: (1) team autonomy was not related to structural social capital (i.e., density of network) outside of teams for Japanese workers but positively related for American workers; (2) the mediating effects of structural social capital on the relationships between team autonomy and both job satisfaction and organizational commitment were different between Japan and the US; and (3) the negative relationship between structural social capital and job satisfaction was significantly stronger for Japanese than American workers. The mediating effects of relational/cognitive social capital (i.e., trust) on the relationships between team autonomy and both job satisfaction and organizational commitment were not different between them. We discuss academic and practical implications suggested by these results.
Studies on self-managed teams have indicated the importance of autonomy in work teams. According to Kirkman and Rosen (1999), autonomy is analogous to self-management and the term “autonomous teams” have been used synonymous to “self-managed teams”. However, the effect of team autonomy on worker attitudes is controversial. Although certain studies have shown the positive effects of self-managed teams (i.e., teams with high autonomy) on worker attitudes (e.g., Batt, 2004 and Erez et al., 2002), others have reported the possibility of the negative aspects of team autonomy such as opportunism (Davis, 2001) and iron cage control (Barker, 1993 and Barker, 1999). Those undetermined findings suggest the effects of mediating variables on the relationship between team autonomy and worker attitudes. Several studies have reported that self-managed teams are related to the function of organizational communication. Belasen (2000) notes the importance of the roles of communication, such as communication skills and constant sharing of information for successful self-management of teams. Other studies, such as those on Communication Audits,” have also found that human communication in organizations (i.e., organizational communication) is related to worker attitudes (e.g., Carriere & Bourque, 2009). This suggests that communication in organizations can be the variable that determines positive or negative relationships between team autonomy and worker attitudes. Organizational social capital is one of the themes on organizational communication that has recently been studied in the field of organizational theory. In studies on organizational social capital, concepts related to both organization and communication studies are combined, as “Social capital is part of a social structure that is embedded in personal and organizational contacts” (Greve & Salaff, 2001, p. 110), and such studies observe that “social capital accrues from relationships such as those embedded in communication networks” (Monge & Contractor, 2003, p. 143). According to Putnam (1993), the concept of social capital contains social trust, norms of reciprocity, and networks of civic engagement. Applying the concept to organizations, organizational social capital focuses on human communication of trust, mutual-support relationships, and network communication among members. In the present study, organizational communication of organizational social capital is presented as a mediating variable in the relationship between team autonomy and worker attitudes. It is interesting that in Japanese companies, human relations, a basic concept of social capital, have been weakened and disregarded. According to a whitepaper by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (2007), one in seven workers has no person with whom they can consult in their workplace (based on 1656 Japanese respondents aged over 20 years). The whitepaper also reports that increasing numbers of Japanese workers want to have looser, not stronger, relationships with colleagues than before. Tokoro (2005) also reports that “in 1985 and 1990, as well as in 1995 and 2000, the desire for ‘close social relations’ is falling in every age group” (p. 36). In Japan, human relations in organizations used to be emphasized, workers were cohesive, and the workplace was homogenous, all of which are assumed to have developed positive worker attitudes of satisfaction in work life (i.e., job satisfaction) and an affection for their organizations (i.e., organizational commitment) because they are relatively group-oriented people (Hofstede, 1980). It was assumed that such naturally nurtured social capital leads to Japanese workers’ job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Potential or unconscious social capital existed there and functioned well. Today, however, Japanese companies need to create and utilize social capital intentionally. Such “strategic” social capital has been studied in the US (e.g., Baker, 2000, Cohen and Prusak, 2001 and Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). It is ironic that today Japanese companies need to adopt a human relationship strategy developed in the US which value individualism (Hofstede, 1980). In such a situation, it is worth studying the relationships among team autonomy, organizational social capital, and worker attitudes of job satisfaction and organizational commitment in cross-cultural comparison between Japan and the US.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study concludes with a presentation of several limitations and implications for future research. It considers the concept of organizational commitment as a single dimension. According to Allen and Meyer (1990), however, organizational commitment is composed of three dimensions: affective, continuance, and normative. Although organizational commitment in the present study is close to affective commitment, other types of commitment can be related to the function of organizational social capital in Japanese organizations that have cherished the “psychological contract.” In future, other dimensions of organizational commitment should also be examined. Further, in the present study, the object of workers’ commitment was somewhat obscure – managers, leaders, other team members, or organizations. This is also an issue to be considered in a future study. Second, regarding structural social capital, the present study did not consider the variety of acquaintances of respondents who comprise their network. The present study focused only on the size of the network (i.e., network density). A variety of members are required for the effective functioning of self-managed teams (Cohen et al., 1996 and Humphrey et al., 2007) and the richness of the structural dimensions of social capital (Baker, 2000). A future study should include those concepts. Third, a cross-sectional study has a limitation because social capital is developed or lost, and network size changes as time passes. It is crucial to explore how the provision of autonomy for teams influences social capital as time progresses. Panel research is needed in the future. Fourth, the data is individual based, and the participants in the present study are from different organizations, both in Japan and the US. It would be better to study workers who belong to the same organizations to explore the causal relationships among autonomy, social capital, and worker attitudes in one organization because the degree of autonomy should not be indifferent among respondents in different organizations. This should also be considered in a future study. Last, the questions that measure network size should be improved. Perhaps because those were complicated and obscure, there were a number of missing values. It also seems that the subjects misunderstood them. The questions should be concise, and an example of a network graph should be provided in a questionnaire. Subject to the limitations mentioned above, the findings presented here have expanded the understanding of how organizational social capital can function to influence worker attitudes in autonomous teams. It is an important finding that relational/cognitive social capital can exert the positive effects of team autonomy on the job satisfaction and organizational commitment of workers. The present study also made a valuable contribution to intercultural management studies in that this is the first cross-cultural research on the relationships among team autonomy, organizational social capital, and worker attitudes. The findings can provide useful information for organizations in which Japanese and American workers interact with each other.