How to Motivate Nonfamily Members? A Chinese Case in Hangzhou

Fu, Sichun (2011) How to Motivate Nonfamily Members? A Chinese Case in Hangzhou. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Research on employee motivation in organizations has proliferated in contemporary literature. Despite this, many studies on family businesses are based on samples from the United States, and empirical researches based on case studies are still limited. Thus, more international research and in-depth analyses on family business are required. Furthermore, those studies, focusing on how to motivate nonfamily members in family-based firms, have been largely overlooked.

Accordingly, this dissertation combines ethnography with interviews and participant observations to provide an analysis of nonfamily members’ work motivation in the family firm. It is based on a single case study of a family firm in Hangzhou, China. The research findings derived from an approximate 40-day field work. The results highlight that the family involvement influences nonfamily employees’ work motivation through its effect on the human resource practices. Besides, the impact of family involvement is dual — both positive and negative. Furthermore, this research concludes six dominant factors which affect nonfamily members’ work motivation in family firms. These six factors comprise human relations, perceptions of fairness, appreciation and growth opportunities, corporate culture, employee expectations, and migrant employees’ demands.

The main contribution of this paper is providing insights into employee motivation in a cross-culture business context rather than simply using western motivation theories for reference. Through utilizing Chinese notions of guanxi, renqing and mianzi, this paper put forward some Chinese-characteristic ideas for motivating employees. The family firm is suggested to devise employee motivation strategies from six aspects: fostering positive family influence; increasing employees’ perceptions of fairness; making investment in human relations; providing intrinsic incentives; establishing a democratic corporate culture; and satisfying specific demands of migrant employees.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2012 09:01
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2018 20:11

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