Quality of working life: Cross-cultural considerations

Abstract

Quality of work(ing) life (QWL), as a concept and set of intervention activities, involves itself with planned organisational change aimed at improving both work system productivity and employee satisfaction. QWL is affected by cross-cultural factors as soon as multinational corporations engage in business beyond their national boundaries. This paper identifies and discusses the cultural factors which emerge in both parent nations and nations foreign to the parent organisation when considering QWL. In making reference to the interface between culture and QWL, the paper applies Hofstede's (1980) four theoretical cultural dimensions. Special attention is drawn to QWL considerations in the Southeast Asian region.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Cherns, A. (1978), "Perspectives on the Quality of Working Life,"International Studies of Management and Organization, (Spring-Summer), pp. 38–58.

  2. Cherns, A. (1983), "QWL - The State of The Art," in H. Kolodny and H. Van Beinum (Eds.),The Quality of Working Life and the 1980s pp. 87–96, New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Chong, Li Choy (1987), "History and Managerial Culture in Singapore": “Pragmatism” “Openness” and “Paternalism”,Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 4 pp. 133–143.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Davis, L. (1983), "Learnings from the Design of New Organisations", in H. Kolodny and N. Van Beinum (Eds.),The Quality of Working Life and the 1980's pp. 65–86. New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Delamottee, Y. and Takezawa, S. (1984),Quality of Working Life in International Perspective Geneva: International Labour Office.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Etzioni, A. (1975),A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organisations: On Power, Involvement and Their Correlates, New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Hofstede, G. (1980),Culture's Consequences, Beverly Hills: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Hofstede, G., and Kassem, M. (Eds.) (1976),European Contributions to Organisation Theory, Assen, Neth: Van Gorcum.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Kolodny H., and Van Beinum, H. (1983),The Quality of Working Life and the 1980's New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Ledford, G., and Lawler, E. (1983), "Quality of Work Life Programs, Coordination and Productivity,"Journal of Contemporary Business, 11 pp. 93–106.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Low, P. (1984), "Singapore-based Subsidiaries of U.S. Multinationals and Singaporean Firms: A Comparative Management Study,"Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 2 pp. 29–39.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Sorge, A. (1983), Review: Culture's Consequences,Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, pp. 625–629.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Stacey, N., and Wise, R. (1983),The Educational Implications of QWL, in D. Skrovan (Ed.),Quality of Work Life, Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley. pp. 137–145.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Trist, E. (1983), "QWL and the 1980's," in H. Kolodnyd and N. Van Beinum (Eds.),The Quality of Working Life and the 1980s. New York: Praeger. pp. 43–54.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Walton, R. (1973), "Quality of Working Life: What is it?"Sloan Management Review, (Fall), pp. 11–21.

  16. Westwood, R., and Everett, J. (1987), "Culture's Consequences: A Methodology for Comparative Management Studies in Southeast Asia?"Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 4 pp. 187–202.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Wilkinson, B. (1986), "Technology and Quality of Working Life,Singapore Management Review, 8 pp. 21–28.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wyatt, T.A. Quality of working life: Cross-cultural considerations. Asia Pacific J Manage 6, 129–140 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01732254

Download citation

Keywords

  • System Productivity
  • Intervention Activity
  • Cultural Factor
  • Organisational Change
  • Asian Region