Extrovert cultures breed more committed employees

Aug 07 2007 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If you're worried your staff are surly and unmotivated, there may be little you can do about it. Because researchers have found that levels of commitment and employee engagement vary enormously between nations and cultures and are closely linked to the overall happiness of a population.

New research from Cass Business School in London has examined organisational commitment in a sample of 49 countries in an attempt to find out whether the economy, national personality, or cultural values had the most impact on employees.

Brazil, Israel and Cyprus emerged as the countries with the most committed employees.

At the other end of the scale, while the presence of Russia as one of the three countries with the least committed employees might not be a surprise, the fact the Japan and Hong Kong are the other two bringing up the rear certainly is.

The UK was ranked just 34th, preceded by Estonia and followed by the province of Taiwan.

Commitment is high in countries where the population is extrovert
Australia, the Netherlands and Switzerland were ranked as the happiest, while Latvia, Bulgaria the Russian Federation were the least happy.

Dr Garry Gelade, who led the study, said that commitment is high in countries where the population is 'extrovert', and low in countries where the population is 'neurotic' - that is, more prone to negative tendencies, such as anxiety.

As a result, commitment is also high in countries where the population is happy.

Socio-economic conditions appear to have a marginal influence on commitment, which is slightly higher in countries with lower unemployment and economically robust, but is unrelated to per capita national income.

Dr Gelade added that few studies have attempted to account for national differences in commitment levels. At the organisational level, a highly committed workforce is associated with high company performance.

At a national level, however, this is not the case; countries with the highest levels of commitment are not necessarily the most economically successful.

"With an increase in corporate employment in many parts of the world, many corporations operate cross-nationally and employ an international workforce, especially in London," he said.

"This study will have practical implications for organisations seeking to maximise commitment levels among an eclectic workforce."