Business managers' work value changes through down economies

Jan Selmer (Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark)
Romie Littrell (AUT Business School, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management

ISSN: 2040-8005

Publication date: 2 April 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate changes in the relative importance to individuals of particular work values during the deterioration of external economic conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employed longitudinal field survey techniques, comparing the change relative work value priorities at an initial and two subsequent points in time during dramatic economic swings in Hong Kong. The paper also evaluate needs hierarchies such as Maslow's and Elizur's, minimally adjusted for a Chinese cultural context for a theoretical framework for assessing the shifting importance of work values resulting from changing local economic conditions.

Findings

The major contribution is the finding of statistically significant changes in the differing importance to individuals of particular work values during the deterioration of external economic conditions. The paper demonstrates that the needs hierarchy theories provide an appropriate framework for the shifting importance of work values resulting from local economic conditions.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is in a single location, limiting generality of the results. All longitudinal studies are affected by panel attrition. Replication with larger samples and tracking of panel drop‐outs are needed for theoretical development.

Practical implications

These results have crucial implications for the effective management of business firms and their human resources in changing economic conditions, finding that work values of managers are not invariant but change with conditions.

Originality/value

The majority of studies on work values of employees have been performed, analyzed, and interpreted in a vacuum, in isolation from consideration of critically import variables, the current, historical, and expected future economic environment of the employee. The paper finds work values change due to environmental circumstances; this effect has rarely been studied.

Keywords

Citation

Selmer, J. and Littrell, R. (2010), "Business managers' work value changes through down economies", Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 31-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/20408001011051197

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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