Social Processes: Needs, Motivation, and Drives in Contemporary Globalism

Social Processes: Needs, Motivation, and Drives in Contemporary Globalism

Joan Marques (Woodbury University, USA), Svetlana Holt (Woodbury University, USA), Jianli Hu (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA) and Angelo A. Camillo (Woodbury University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6220-9.ch016


The world is rapidly transforming into a global village, which increases the need for individuals and corporations to succeed beyond national borders. Corporations change their identities from citizens of one particular country into citizens of the world, thus requiring their workforces to share greater receptiveness to other cultures, different trends, and new perspectives. In the past decade, it has become abundantly clear that influencing environmental, legal, economic, cultural, and other factors in one part of the world have an unambiguous impact on others. We experienced this most recently in the 2008 recession. With the increasing need to identify on a much broader scale today than the local one, corporate leaders face the challenge of dealing with a growing arsenal of strategies to motivate their widely dispersed workforces, based on the multiplicity of needs and drives the members of these workforces have. Considering the heightened and ever-unpredictable competition that has become today's routine, leaders find themselves placed before the challenge of composing a middle path between individualistic and collectivist-based motivation. This chapter shares some critical elements leaders could consider in their facilitation of social processes in globalizing work environments in order to enhance motivation levels. Communication, skill identification, listening, team-building, flexibility, and awareness of an entrepreneurial mindset are some of the aspects to be addressed to attain greater compliance, increased satisfaction, and desired results.
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Understanding The Global Village

The need to succeed beyond national borders does not only exist for corporations as it is very present for individuals as well. At the corporate level, the pressure to succeed beyond the local environment is dictated by a number of proactive and reactive factors. The proactive factors vary from the desire to discover new markets in order to benefit from the economies of scale to the exploration of potential markets which can boost or balance sales of a declining or cyclical product in the local market. Saka-Helmout (2007) adds anticipation of future market needs and receptivity to new ideas to this list. The reactive factors vary from following competitors, suppliers, corporate customers, or product-partners overseas, to responding to the “pull” from eager customers abroad. De Brentani, Kleinschmidt, and Salomo (2010) add factors such as reduced trade barriers which enhance opportunities, improved avenues for technology and communication, and globalized demand to the above lists.

At the individual level, there are also proactive and reactive motives which drive the need to succeed beyond localism. In the proactive realm, we could think of the desire to expand our horizons and gain some external exposure to make more well-rounded decisions or improve our personal marketability in the future. In the reactive realm, we may find ourselves moving abroad in response to a dwindling local economy, lack of development opportunities, or a dangerous national or personal environment in the homeland, driving us to seek new environments to settle and earn our livelihood.

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