The individuals in Mao's collective kingdom: a study of motivational needs of PRC state-enterprise employees

2017-06-08T06:44:01Z (GMT) by Loh, Dawn Wrathall, Jeff Schapper, Jan
The purpose of this study was to understand the motivational needs of PRC (People's Republic of China) state-owned enterprise employees by utilising Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory as a framework. The focus of the research was to develop an explanation for the motivational needs of the PRC state employees. A qualitative inquiry was developed in three stages of group interview, seven semi-structured interviews and observation as preliminary study, main data collection and supplementary data collection method respectively. Data analysis methods consisted of the traditional method of examining the interview files manually and by using the computer program Ethnograph v.5. The research investigated the content in each category of Maslow's hierarchy of needs in the PRC context. It found that physiological needs consist of housing and medical subsidies. Safety needs consist of staying employed in the state-owned enterprise though the research also found that some of the managers indicated that this category of need may not be important. There is a significant focus on the belonging needs category, especially on the PRC state employees' relationships with their managers. Self-esteem needs include respect and recognition for these PRC state employees and that motivators in this category include bonuses, travel and promotion. Lastly, the study indicates that self-actualisation may be an abstract ideal for these employees. Interestingly, self-actualisation also includes a comparison of the employees among themselves to gauge their own abilities and achievements. The research proposed that the motivational needs in this study depict an emerging sense of individualism from these PRC state employees. This is attributed to economic and social changes taking place when the research was conducted. The emergence of individualism is particularly apparent in higher-level needs of belonging, safety, self-esteem and self-actualisation. In addition, extrinsic forms of reward in the form of bonuses, travel and housing subsidies are more prevalent than intrinsic forms of moral encouragement, and they tend to motivate the employees individually. These factors strengthen the argument that individualism is emerging as a part of the motivational needs of the PRC state employees.