More specifically, my goal as a student, for example, is to achieve grades that are as high as possible, which will determine the type of work I will be able to get in my future. As employee, I will strive to reward my employer's trust in me by delivering work of as high quality as possible. As family member, my goal is to spend enough time with those close to me to maintain my relationship with them. As citizen, my goals are to further the principles and values of my country by participating in public debate and politics. As human being, my goals are to make my best effort to help those in need of assistance and to be part of the interconnected network of humanity in such a way that life and peace are promoted.
My main motivators can be found in McClelland's acquired needs theory (CliffsNotes, n.d.). These include the need for achievement and the need for affiliation. The need for achievement motivates me to score as well as I can in my career as student and also my future as employee. My need for affiliation drives me to maintain close family and friendship relationships with those around me.
As with any other human phenomenon, culture would certainly have an influence on leadership. The way in which followers behave is either consciously or subconsciously determined by cultural factors, age, and gender. A young female leader may, for example, experience greater frustrations and challenges in gaining the respect and loyalty of followers than an older, male leader in an American organization, for example. There are many differences in preferred leadership types among cultures (Knowledge @ Wharton, 1999). The way in which communication occurs, for example, differs significantly among American and Japanese managers. American managers tend to provide face-to-face directions, for example, while Japanese managers are more likely to use written memos. American subordinates also tend to expect negative feedback directly from supervisors. In Japanese culture, the collectivistic norm of "face-saving" requires managers to provide negative feedback via a peer of the subordinate.
I believe that unions are generally good for employees. While they also have advantages for employers and society in general, some union actions could be detrimental in this regard. The main function of a union is to ensure that the relationship among employers and employees remain mutually beneficial. To accomplish this, they represent employees, generally in terms of salary and working conditions. The main advantage of unions for all parties concerned is that they accomplish fair and just relationships among employees and employers, which is an extension of a just and equal society. They can also, however, have disadvantages in terms of company finances (Brown, 2009). Legal strikes are one of the ways in which companies can lose significant amounts of money. This also affects society in general, since products or services are not provided for the duration of the strike. For employees, a disadvantage of unions is that they remove the right and ability of the employee to negotiate his or her own terms as an individual.
Like leadership and team work, stress is also a human factor, which means it is necessarily influenced by culture. In American cultures, for example, the work-family conflict and the stress experienced as a result are based upon the individualist culture of the country. Work and family are seen as separate entities that should be managed in terms of time and commitment. A collectivist culture such as Japan, however, consider work and family as equally important in terms of loyalty and support. Managers in such a culture would consider family as at least equally important to work and therefore would be more likely to create an environment in which family relationships can be managed proactively (Mujumdar, 2008).
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