Cultural difference may be seen as an obstacle when it comes to managing people partly because of the influence of national culture on the perceptions and values of employees. An increasing amount of literature has examined the issue of national cultures and motivation by using cross-cultural studies. As motivation is an important factor in concepts such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment, it is crucial for managers to effectively motivate people despite the different values and perceptions that exist due to different cultures.
With an increasing number of immigrants, especially from Asian countries to western countries such as Australia, firms need to acknowledge the fact that the percentage of Asians in the western workforce will increase. There is, however, very little research concerning the adjustment of these immigrants (employees and managers) to Australian work settings. Since there have been a large number of immigrants from Taiwan to Australia in the last decade, this is an exploratory study on the perceptions and values of Taiwanese employees in Australia and their effect on motivation.
Interviews and case studies on Taiwanese operated firms in Australia were conducted to gain further understanding of this important area of research. The results revealed that Taiwanese perceived Australians to have different workplace values from themselves. Further, these Taiwanese operated firms conformed to the cultural dimension of collectivism. However the research did not clearly demonstrated that cultural differences significantly influenced the way employees were motivated.