Aspects of organizational behavior
like work values and job satisfaction have largely been studied in the west, however, despite the difference in culture, the theories and concepts gained from these studies have been applied to the rest of the world. Thus, to be able to support or contradict the general views regarding work values, this study has been conducted to explore the work values of Taiwanese workers using a scale that has been developed in the West. The researcher’s hypothesized that given the great cultural differences between Taiwanese workers and western workers, the Taiwanese workers would not have the same work values as their western counterparts.
Building on the previous researches on work values and the scale developed by Super (1975), the researchers discussed how western workers and affluent societies’ work values have evolved, from being a source of livelihood to that of a means for self-actualization. The authors’ borrowed this from the motivation theory of Maslow that proposed that after lower order need have been met, higher order needs are brought into focus, and the highest of which is self-actualization.
Further, the researcher said that if actual work values do not match the ideal work values, then the worker would have difficulty in adjusting to the job and hence job satisfaction will suffer and may often lead to high turnover rates. The independent variable is the work values since it is held constant and is inherent to the workers, while the dependent variables are job satisfaction and turnover intention since both behaviors are affected by the independent variable as demonstrated by previous researches. The study surveyed 219 adult workers to determine their work values and to measure their job satisfaction as well as turnover intention.
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The gathered data was analyzed using statistical tools to determine the variation and frequency of responses or identified work values. The research findings revealed that for the Taiwanese workers, the most important aspects of the job are “opportunities to use my personal abilities”, “material gratification” and interpersonal satisfaction”, this shows that although Taiwanese workers have varied work values, and that material gratification is one of the most sought after, it cannot also be disregarded that to use personal abilities signify a need for self-actualization.
Thus, as opposed to the assumptions of the researchers that Taiwanese workers would probably value economic returns than self-actualization is not supported. And the need for interpersonal satisfaction is a reflection of the Taiwanese’s culture that places importance on smooth interpersonal relationships. Another finding of this study is that work values correlated with job satisfaction and job turnover intentions. This means that when there is lesser discrepancy between actual work values and ideal work values, workers are more satisfied and have fewer intentions of leaving the company.
Moreover, it was also found that demographic and job related variables correlated with job satisfaction and job turnover intentions. This shows that educational attainment, years of service, work environment and the like influences the level of satisfaction the worker has for the job and his/her intention to leave the organization. The researcher’s conclude that the recent economic development and growth of Taiwan have contributed to the changing work values of workers and that job satisfaction can be dependent on how their jobs answer their needs.
The authors recommend that management and HR look into new programs and interventions that would recognize the work values of workers and keep job satisfaction high and lower turnover rates. This study demonstrated that in reality, work is no longer a means for physical survival only but is also a source of pride and happiness.
Reference Lu, L. & Lin, G. C. (2002). Work values and job adjustment of Taiwanese workers, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 10(2), 70-76.