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The relationship between needs and job attitudes in South Korea and Germany

Holger Steinmetz (University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany)
Yang‐Kyu Park (Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea)
Rüdiger Kabst (University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 27 September 2011




The present study aims to analyze the predictive value of three motivational dispositions (need for achievement, need for affiliation, and need for power) for job involvement and organizational commitment and to investigate cross‐cultural differences between Germany and South Korea between these predictions.


A sample of South‐Korean (N=209) and German (n=198) executive MBA students was surveyed. Using multi‐group structural equation modeling, the associations between the three needs and JI and OC and cross‐cultural differences in these associations are investigated. In addition, a test is conductedd for cross‐cultural equivalence of the measures as an important prerequisite of quantitative analyses.


The results reveal that need for achievement and need for power are related to JI but that only need for achievement is related to OC. In addition, significant differences were not found across either country in these relationships. Tests of cross‐cultural equivalence showed at least partial invariance of all measures.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should replicate the results in other employee populations. Furthermore, future research should incorporate more than two countries and countries with larger differences on cultural orientations.

Practical implications

The study shows that motivational dispositions should be considered in HRM practices and leadership behaviour.


The view on JI and OC is broadended by consideration of dispositions, whereas traditional research focuses on contextual factors.



Steinmetz, H., Park, Y. and Kabst, R. (2011), "The relationship between needs and job attitudes in South Korea and Germany", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 623-644.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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