Cross - cultural issues in shipping industry : work motivation in multi-national shipping companies
Li, Hao Ran
Date of Issue2015
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The cross-cultural issues are inevitable since shipping industry is an international business involving parties from different cultural backgrounds. However, the study of this cross-cultural issues targeted to shipping industry is very limited. Therefore, a detailed study of the cross-cultural issues in shipping industry is crucial. Singapore as the world maritime hub is a melting point for employees from all over the world. One key factor for multi-nation shipping companies to gain competitiveness in the global market is the ability to motivate employees from different cultural backgrounds to perform better. This paper will provide you with the most influential motivation factors for employees with different cultures and some evaluations of the current motivation practices to achieve the goal. The literature reviews about culture dimensions and motivation theories are conducted to investigate the relationship between culture dimensions and motivation factors. The interviews are also conducted to investigate the different cultural dimensions of eastern and western shipping companies to obtain a unique culture difference in shipping industry. The interviewees are from several large multi-national shipping companies in different shipping sectors with managerial positions. Based on the results, the study is able to relate the culture dimensions to the motivation theories to identify the most effective motivation factors. By analyzing the results, the unique shipping cultural differences between eastern and western shipping companies are identified. Firstly, the shipping industry is masculine, collective and conservative due to the nature of business regardless of culture background. Secondly, eastern shipping companies have large power distance and western companies have low power distance. These results suggest that the multi-national shipping companies should focus on the motivation factors related to these cultural dimensions like sense of security, sense of belonging and self-esteem. Self esteem is much more important for employees from eastern culture due to high power distance. To further improve on employee motivation, shipping companies should investigate in long-term development program for employees to achieve self-actualization.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University