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To Bangkok Conference programme

65th IFLA Council and General

Bangkok, Thailand,
August 20 - August 28, 1999

Code Number: 093-113-E
Division Number: VI
Professional Group: Women's Issues
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 113
Simultaneous Interpretation:   No

Motivation to manage: a comparative study of male and female library & information science students in the United States of America, India, Singapore, & Japan

Sarla R. Murgai
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenessee, USA


This study compared the managerial motivations of library and information science (LIS) students in the United States of America with LIS students in India. The students responded to a questionnaire containing 41 statements on managerial motivation. These statements were divided into 10 categories: task orientation, fear of success, perseverance, reaction to success/failure, future orientation, competitiveness, independence, rigidity, social needs and acceptance of women as managers. Demographic factors such as educational attainment; age, marital status, mobility etc. were also included and compared. The respondents consisted of 665 students from 11 southeastern universities in the United States, 814 students from 23 universities in India, 73 from Singapore, and three from Japan. Fifty percent of Indian and Singaporean students were males; only 20% of the USA respondents were males; and from Japan there were one male and two females. A majority of the Indian, American, Singaporean and Japanese LIS students were motivated to achieve the objectives they set for themselves and were future oriented. They were aggressive in setting their goals and expected that task orientation and perseverance would enable them to accomplish those objectives.

The agreement percentages were close on "task orientation," "perseverance," "future orientation," and "competitiveness," between countries and by sexes. The differences between the sexes were found on factors like "women as managers," "reaction to success or failure," "fear of failure, " and "social acceptance." Prevalent culture determines the gender roles in an organization. Theories of management & motivation work best when they are modified according to the social norms.



Women's under-representation in management is a common finding all over the world, even though the degree may vary from country to country (Adler & Izraeli, 1994; Chen, Yu, & Miner, 1997). This under-representation of women in management has been attributed to women's motivation to enter and succeed in managerial positions (Powell, 1993). Economic conditions, a sense of devaluation of the domestic, and a desire to find self-fulfillment drove women into the job market. The female experience of lower pays glass ceiling (U.S Dept. of Labor, 1991), slower promotions, and organizational discrimination, that keep the women at the lower levels of management, have over the last thirty years prompted many scholars to search for empirical evidence regarding the validity of such attributes (Acker, 1990; Chumer, 1988; Nieva & Gutek, 1981; Wendy, 1992). This is another attempt to compare the managerial motivations of males and females in the Library/Information Science (LIS) profession. Assessing the impact of managerial motivation of women in the Library and Information Science (henceforth LIS) is of particular importance because fifty to eighty percent of the workforce in the LIS consists of women, in the countries under-study, and only zero to six percent of them are in higher administration. Librarians can use these findings to enhance their motivation to acquire management skills. Human resource policy makers could address the problem of under-utilizing the talents of women (Miner, 1980; Oliver, 1982; Mintzberg, 1983; Weber, 1968

The concept of achievement-motivation draws on four basic theories:

1. Need fulfillment, 2. Social-learning, 3. Personality, and 4. Development.

Need Fulfillment

According to the need fulfillment theories, job motivation is determined by the biological, psychological, and social needs of the individual (Astin, 1984; Atkinson, 1957; Murray, 1938). These needs influence the behavior of the individual. These needs are largely unconscious, and one of these needs is the need to achieve.

Social Learning Theory

Social Learning Theory emphasizes environmental factors as opposed to individual factors in the development of personality. Elements beyond the control of the individual exert a major influence on career choice. The principal task confronting a person is the development of techniques to cope effectively with the environment (Osipow, 1983, p.10; Singhal & Misra, 1994). As Maehr (1974) pointed out:

    Achievement is a function of more or less ephemeral social expectations that are embodied in what we call norms. In a very real sense, a social group tells a person what to strive for as well as how to attain this end. The effect of such norms is clearly an important variable in an achievement situation. (P.66).

Girls have been taught not to aspire to prestigious occupations (Fottler, 1980). Sex role socialization leads women to focus on marriage rather than career, and from this early experience comes the notion that one survives by marrying and taking care of the man, who must earn the living. Girls learn to satisfy their pleasure needs and their contribution needs by direct service to others.

Social values however, are changing in the US and in the rest of the world. Worsening economic conditions, the need for two incomes per family, rising divorce rates, and insecurity in marriage have prompted women to plan and prepare for a career. Women realize that they are more likely to satisfy their survival needs directly through their own earnings, rather than indirectly through the income of their spouses.

Medical and technological advances such as amniocentesis, artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood provide women a greater control over their lives and bodies. Of benefit to women, too, is the social acceptance of the smaller family as well as general increase in life expectancy. All these factors give women more freedom to prepare for and plan their futures.

Nations and Cultures

Different nations have different cultural heritages which are values collectively held by a majority of the population (possibly differentiated by social classes), and these values are transferred from generation to generation through education, early childhood experiences in the family, schools, and through socialization in organizations and institutions. These values become social norms for that society. It is hard to see this process in one's own culture. A deep and painfully acquired empathy for other cultures is required before one becomes sensitive to the range of social norms, for truths in one society may be falsehoods in another (Hofstede, 1980). P.373-374).

Hofstede (1980) after analyzing research data from forty different modern nations has come up with a scale of characteristics that can be used to distinguish the prevailing cultures in various countries of the world. Hofstede's definition of these concepts is elaborated below:

Individualism: It is the relationship of individualism and collectivism in a human society. The prevalence of the value of individualism or collectivism expected from members of a society or an organization will strongly affect the nature of the relationship between person and the organization to which he or she belongs.

Power Distance: In an organization the inequality in power between workers and their bosses, and the level at which a society maintains that equilibrium. Power distance is a measure of the interpersonal power or influence between a boss and subordinates as perceived by the least powerful of the two, the subordinate.

Uncertainty Avoidance: The concept of uncertainty is often linked to the environment and includes everything that is not under direct control of the organization and is a source of uncertainty. The organization tries to compensate for it through technology, rules, and rituals to reduce the stress caused by it. Factors like the economy, demographics, political system, legislation, religion, etc., can be the cause of uncertainty. In his studies sex differences in uncertainty avoidance were negligible.

Masculinity: The duality of sexes masculinity and femininity. In organizations, there is a relationship between perceived goals of the organization and the career possibilities for men and women. Some business organizations have "masculine" goals and tend to promote men; others try to keep a balance between the sexes.

Hofstede's Criteria
Individualism 91 48 20 46
Power Distance 40 77 74 54
Uncertainty avoidance 46 40 8 92
Masculinity 62 56 48 95

Based on that scale Americans would be characterized as high in individualism, low in power distance, low on uncertainty avoidance, and average on masculinity. Indians (middle class) would be average on individualism (relative to their wealth), high on power distance, low on uncertainty avoidance, and average on masculinity. Singaporeans would be characterized as low on individualism, high on power distance, very low on uncertainty avoidance and average on masculinity. Japanese would be average on individualism, average on power distance, very high on uncertainty avoidance and high on masculinity. A combination of these characteristics plays a major role in management motivation according to Hofstede.

The commonality of achievement motivation values between the USA and India prompted Mcclelland (1965) to suggest that achievement training would be a solution to the problems in underdeveloped countries. He went to Indian to teach the managers the theories of achievement motivation. This resulted in exportation of the theories of achievement motivation to the rest of the world. Later research shows that only those managers who could fit these theories into their own culture have been able to use these management concepts profitably (Hofstede, 1980)

Personality Theory

Through their careers women engage in productive work, develop skills and talents, and get a sense of self-fulfillment (Lott, 1991). The challenge of work that is valued by their peers gives them a sense of achievement, and a realization of self-worth. This gaining of self-esteem in large part is instrumental in satisfying their pleasure and contributory needs (Astin, 1984; Hacket & Betz, 1981). Recent studies of females in professional employment show that men and women do not differ in self-ratings, self-confidence and work values (Adler & Izraeli, 1994; Florentine, 1988; Fottler & Trevor, 1980; Kolberg, and Chumir, 1991). Also, with the development of better measuring instruments of job evaluation there is a narrowing of the differences in the styles of management, motivation and leadership between males and females. Information and knowledge based society of today, people oriented leadership style renders women more qualified than men in management.

Developmental theories

Developmental theories emphasize lifetime development, adaptation to change, and making the best use of opportunities (Ginsberg, 1972; Super, 1957, 1980). To prepare for management and to develop self-confidence women in every country have sought higher education, and training to promote themselves in professional and managerial fields. Today, there is a dramatic increase in the number of women pursuing graduate and professional education. In the USA, 54% of college students are women. Thirty six percent of the students enrolled in business are women, 33% in law, and 13% in engineering. Just like the U.S. an increasing number of Indian women are preparing to take up professional careers. Of the total number of students enrolled in the colleges 43% females are enrolled in medicine, 77% in higher education, 61% in graduate programs (Bachelor, Masters, Masters of Science, etc.) (Kumar, 1989). Singaporean women workers in general are better educated than their male counterparts (Report of the Labor force survey of Singapore, 1991). Labor statistics have consistently shown that woman's labor force participation increases with education (National University of Singapore, 1980-81 - 1983-84). Japan has the highest rate of high school graduation at 94% (Steinoff & Tanaka, p.79).

High achieving women have high expectations in both career and home areas (Astin, 1984; Diamond, 1984; Glass-Ceiling, 1991). Young men and women are striving to be financially independent, prepare for a career, and obtain recognition from colleagues (Florentine, 1988; Katz, 1988). When girls become economically independent through education, job, and position, they want to be respected as equal members of the society. Women with more education however show greater desire for independence and for the opportunity to perform managerial roles (Brenner, 1989), and when such opportunities are denied to them, the results are low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and curtailed achievement levels (Basow & Metcalf, 1988; U.S. Department of Labor, ...Glass-Ceiling, 1991). A recent report showed that our education system even today leaves women with lower self-esteem then men (Daley, 1991). There has to be a motivational synergy towards new conceptualization of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation at workplace (Amiable, 1993).

Library & Information Science & and Women

In the Library and Information Science field in the USA, more women than men have been earning their masters (69%to 80%) and doctorates (69% to 72%) since the 1980s (U.S. Statistical Abstracts, 1996, p192-3). Women are undertaking in-service training and continuing education courses, to improve their skills and to stay abreast of the career needs and innovations in the field. Such exposure makes women aware of their strengths and boosts their self-confidence (Hiatt, 1983).

Personality studies of LIS students and specialists in the USA, do not show any significant difference in motivation to manage scores between males and females. In fact the scores of female respondents in three recent studies were even higher than the males (Martin, J.K.; 1988; Murgai, 1987,1991; Swisher, DuMont, & Boyer, 1985). Computerization and automation are having a profound effect on the occupational structure in Librarianship. Technical and managerial jobs like systems engineers, information specialists, or knowledge brokers etc. are on the increase in the profession. Unfortunately however, most managers are men, and women are left to carry on the routine services. Top positions in the field are being filled with non-librarians (Harris, 1993).

Since literature research did not show any studies done comparing the motivation of males and females in LIS, in other countries, the general condition of females in India, Singapore Japan, and U.S.A. is described below in order to build a comparative understanding of the status of women in these countries.

Status of women in India

India presents a very interesting study of how the class system of the West is no more egalitarian than the caste system of the East. British colonialism created a middle class in India, which allowed some women to break free of the strictures by taking advantage of opportunities in the professions. At the beginning of this century Indian women began to move into professions like medicine and teaching. This happened as a response to the demand for education and healthcare among the female relatives of middle class men, and also because of sexual segregation. Female seclusion demanded that other women provide these services. When India became independent (1947) the Indian women's movement also succeeded in raising women's legal position to a level comparable with many rich countries of the West. The Indian constitution conferred equal rights and status to all citizens forbidding any discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed, religion or sex. A bill has recently been introduced in the Indian parliament to reserve 25% of the seats for women in the state and national assemblies (Times of India, 1996, p.1). After independence government service and administrative jobs were opened to women (Ashana, P. 1974; Desuza, V. 1980 Liddle and Joshi, 1990). Educated elite women who had played an active role during the independence movement took up leadership positions. By 1988 ten percent of members of parliament were women, and eighteen percent of women who ran for office in the state legislative assemblies in 1983 won, while only seventeen percent of the men who sought such offices won (Bumiller, 1990, p.152).

A majority of women in India as in the United States however are in feminist professions. Both societies place low status on such women's professions and pay them less than men. Educational attainment and employment does bring status to individual women. It improves their chances of marrying in a higher caste or status family. It gives them economic independence. The freedom that women win from their constraints in the change from caste to class society does not constitute emancipation only a different type of control (Liddle & Joshi, 1989).

The Indian professional women experience job segregation, as well as discrimination in selection, promotion, training and assessment just like the American women. In employment, restrictions are imposed on their physical mobility and their social interaction with males by sexual harassment at work, and by gossip affecting all aspects of their lives (Liddle & Joshi, 1989). Employment may not release women from subordination, but it does provide the psychological basis for women to exert and exercise power. As Eli Bhatt said:

    Self-employed workers are realizing their self worth. They are overcoming the barriers of caste and class. They are getting rid of the guilt feeling associated with neglecting the family as a result of employment and are collaborating with each other for the common good (Bumiller, 1990, p.139).

Their teachers, employers, fathers and husbands who steer them into careers associated with domestic roles, control the lives of Indian women. Men gain greater share of the scarce resources spent on education. Added to this is the notion that a woman's education should not exceed her husband's education. Thus male superiority is enforced in the family (DeSuza, 1990; Asna, Pritima, 1974; Liddle & Joshi, 1989). In the family women's lives are controlled through the male authority figure by imposing the entire burden of domestic work upon them in addition to the paid work outside the home. By defining women as primary domestic workers and the sexual and reproductive property of men, and by assigning priority to man's paid employment, the society devalues educational attainment, and economic and social contributions of women. One of the major locations of women's subordination rests on the personal relations of the family. The personal arena is the place where women have to negotiate the conditions of their lives on an individual basis. Men resist conceding their privilege. They do not want to forego their domination of women. During the debates on the Hindu Code Bill, Pandit Nehru remarked -

    When it came to implementing the principle of sexual equality in the domestic arena many nationalist men were forced to admit that whilst they were determined to resist national subordination they did not want to forego their domination of women (Sarkar, 1976; p.355; Nanda, p.87; Mazumdar, p.xvi).

Indian women, who travel to western countries for education and later seek employment, often find that ideas of gender and race inferiority augment the discrimination they encounter in those supposedly enlightened countries. The context of western domination imports not only the idea of women's inferiority in relation to men, but also a notion of Indian women's inferiority in relation to western women. The myth of the third world's inferiority helps justify continued western exploitation of India and its resources. This exploitation hurts women's chances of education and employment and enforces the notion that women are less capable than men. As a result multinational companies in India and abroad use this to limit the opportunities for women in employment (Liddle & Joshi, 1990).

Status of women in Singapore

In 1991 Singaporean women were ahead in their earnings capacity than the rest of the world. In non-agricultural activities women earned 75% of what men earned as against 71% of the USA, and 50% of the Japan. (ILO, 1991; SLFS. 1991; U.S. Bureau of Census, 1991). The World Competitive Report (1990) ranked Singapore as the most competitive country in a group of ten newly industrialized economies. Singapore earned the highest scores in productivity, company support for education and training, quality of trained workforce, workforce organization and practice (Chan & Lee, p.129).

Women represent 51% of the workforce. The proportion of women among the technical and professional workers is 40%. Of these 16% are administrators and managerial workers. Though no comparable data is available, the percentage of women executives would be about the same as in the USA. Women are still under-represented in the sciences and technical fields. Many continue to avoid technical areas of study in favor of feminist occupations such as nursing, teaching and administrative work. In 1990 women comprised almost 21% of the total group of research scientist and engineers. More mothers pursue their careers, not only for personal fulfillment, but also to meet the higher family expenses and to provide for better education of the children. Husbands do not share the work at home, except for some of the younger men. In 1988 the Prime Minister spoke of the urgent need for young women to get married and have children because of the declining birthrate. The government gives financial help in the form of stipends to the family who begets a third child. But the rate of unmarried women in the workforce is many times higher than that of men. The women feel they cannot handle the pressure of work, and home (SCWO Survey, 1989; Voices & choices, 1993). Working women turn down promotions because of the burden of trying to balance work and family. Eighty two percent of the women who quit work cited childcare and household duties to be the reason for doing so.

From time to time women in parliament have added to the discussions of national policies, the issues that effect women and the family. As a result of their efforts childcare has improved, flexible work hours have been introduced, and corporations and government have provided special work incentives, and training and retraining programs. Official endorsement of women participation in the workforce has brought a change in the social attitude towards working women. The growing trend of dual career families in Singapore has helped to improve the condition of women in Singapore. A lot of men, however, have not learnt to deal with women as equals or superiors or in ways that are not sexual. Some male bosses and coworkers still discriminate, husbands hinder their wives' careers by not doing their fair share at home, and working women are beset with guilt, and stress from combining work & motherhood.

The following gender barriers exist in Singaporean society towards women. Women graduating in the same year as men receive lower pay, and have to wait longer to secure their first job. Social attitudes and structures do not welcome women managers (1984 Graduate Employment Survey, 1985; 1990 NUS and NTI graduate Employment Survey, 1991). They are excluded from real power networks. Women seldom see their job as a stepping stone to advancement and power. "The status, perks and power are not worth the sacrifices and hassle," (Arasu & Ooi, 1984).

Status of women in Japan

Japan has a higher rate of high school completion than even the United States of America. Ninety four percent of the people complete high school and one third of them go on for higher education. Although women appear to be equal to men in overall rate of high school education, in 1990 about 60% of the women receiving higher education went to two-year institutes as compared to less than 5% of men (Ministry of Education, 1991). In 1990, women constituted 41% of the labor force and 69% of all the non-agricultural part-time workers.

Traditionally, large corporations hire workers straight from colleges and keep them for their whole life, till retirement. Their consensus-oriented decision making style of management requires leaders to be attuned to the sensitivities of the co-workers with whom they grow up and become sensitive to each others feelings. This style enables them to avoid conflicts, once the decision is made. Relatively few women remain on the career track long enough to attain management level position in those large corporations. Japanese culture mixes work with play. A married woman can not socialize after hours. Since the companies must groom young women for future internal positions, it will be very long time before women are well represented in Japanese corporate management.

However, the number of such highly qualified women who stay longer is increasing in small privately owned corporations, and in public sector enterprises, because of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law 1986. From 1986 to 1990 there was an increase of more than 50% of women presidents of such small companies (Teiku Data Bank, 1986; 1990). Equal Employment Opportunity Law has also prompted some research on actual status of women in large organizations.

Women schoolteachers work till retirement age even if they marry and have children. At the elementary school level the principals are primarily women, where as at the prestigious at the high school level the principals are predominantly men. At the national government level only 1.1% of women are managers at the bucho (division head) level, and .6% are at the kacho (section head) level. At the city level the percentages are higher (Steinhoff and Tanaka, 1994). Women managers in small and medium sized enterprises are more likely to be married and have children. They appear to come from families that encourage women to study and work. A substantial minority has working mothers as the role models.

Women achieve managerial positions by working around the male career patterns, rather than competing within it (Lebra, 1992; Nohata, 1986). American studies have also found that women take different routes from men to reach the same management positions. JAWE study found that 90 % of women had decided to keep working even if they got married and had children (Takaji & Nakamura, 1986). These findings suggest that the women achieved managerial status because of special ability and circumstances unlike most Japanese males, who are directed towards such careers from childhood. There is no difference in ability between female and male managers. Being able to handle the male-female relationship effectively is an essential skill for Japanese women managers. In Japanese context this skill includes avoiding status confrontations with men- adopt deferential, non-aggressive posture- using maternal managerial style. However, women in position of authority in government feel freer to adopt an authoritarian style that transcends gender roles (Lebra, 1992).

Even though larger companies in Japan profess support for promotion of qualified women, only six percent of the companies found the trend desirable (Japan Manpower Administration Research Institute, 1986). Labor shortage and broadening competitive economy will increase women's opportunities.

Status of Women in the United States of America

Since a mention has been made to the comparative status of the American women while discussing every other country, I will only list below some of the comparative statistics for them.

In 1990 women comprised 45% of the US labor force. A majority of these women are secretaries (99%) nurses (67%) and sales workers (60%) (U.S. Department of Labor, 1992). In 1992 women managers were 42% of the managerial labor force. U. S Department of Labor estimates that women fill only one to two percent of senior executive positions (U.S. Department of Labor, 1989). Women's participation in management is growing, though slowly. Women managers are highly concentrated in medical/health, personnel/labor relations, and education/administration areas. In the management categories women earned 62% of the amount men earned.

An increasing number of women are securing advanced degrees e.g. Bachelors (46%), Masters (34%), and doctoral degrees (24.4%). Although women are obtaining college degrees and securing management jobs, they are having difficulty securing upper level jobs.

Compared to male colleagues, executive women are thirteen times more likely to be single, separated, divorced or widowed (Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 1993). Moreover, executive women are significantly more likely to be childless (60%) than the executive men (3%) (Powell, 1988).

A great deal of research in management literature exists to show that men and women have similar traits, motivations, leadership styles, and skills and that women perform equal to or better than men. During 1970-80 most female managers tried to copy the style of male managers to succeed in their newly acquired roles. About end of 1980s the women realized that in to-day's information technology environment, where person skills are more useful, that the female ways of management are better suited than that of males (Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1990; Offermann & Armitage, 1993). Yet, there is a perception that women and men managers are different. Women managers are believed to be less likely than their male counterparts to possess the attributes of a successful manager. Stereotyping and prejudice seem to be the primary reason impeding women'' ability to rise to the top of their corporations.



This study was undertaken to compare the managerial motivations of male and female library and information science (LIS) students in America with LIS students in India, Singapore and Japan. Students are generally used for such studies because their values are as important to the researcher as those of the practitioners. An added advantage of surveying students is an immediate feedback (Campbell, 1986; Greenberg, 1987). The LIS students are adults when they enroll for professional education. They have well-developed personalities and attitudes towards sex roles. A survey of the literature did not show any cross-cultural studies that have been done on this subject, in the LIS field. McClelland felt that there are enough commonalties between the American management value systems, and recently freed Asian countries from colonial rule. He suggested that teaching achievement motivation theories could help the managers in developing countries, and he went overseas to India to teach them those theories (1961). Hofstede's studies show that the prevalent cultural values have a great influence on the management styles, and only those managers who are able to change and adopt the theories of achievement motivation according to the local climate are able to implement them successfully. This is an attempt to find out if there is a difference among the LIS professionals (males & females) in the US and India, Singapore and Japan, as far as achievement motivation is concerned.



A simplified version of the Ory and Poggio Measure of Achievement Motivation (1976) was selected for this study. Also, six questions from the Women in Management questionnaire by Terborg (1977) were used. The content of each item was related to one of several achievement motivation constructs. The questionnaire consisted of two parts, the first section consisted of 41 statements requiring students to indicate relative agreement or disagreement, according to a forced choice Likert-type format, with four response alternatives labeled "Strongly Agree", "Agree", "Disagree", and "Strongly Disagree". Number four represents the maximum agreement and number one represents least agreement. The second part consisted of 16 short answers to multiple choice statements that provided personal data (Appendix).

The survey was conducted at the 11 Southeastern library schools in the United States of America, twenty three universities in India, one from Singapore and one from Japan. The data were collected by mail or/and by visiting the campuses. The 41 statements in the questionnaire were divided into 10 scales. The SPSS Reliability procedure was used to compute Cronbach's alpha for each scale. Items whose inclusion would have resulted in a lowering of alpha were deleted from each scale. For each scale a two-way factorial analysis of variance on mean agreement with items within the scale was conducted. In each analysis, main effects of Sex and Country and the Interaction of Sex and Country were assessed. Analogous two-way analyses of variances were performed on those few individual items that were dropped from the scales. On the average 1550 cases were analyzed.

Demographic analysis- The respondents consisted of 665 students from the USA, 814 from India, 73 from Singapore and three from Japan. Fifty percent of the Indian students, 46% percent of Singaporean students, 20% of the American students, and one Japanese student, were males. A majority of the Indians were younger, unmarried and full-time students, with very little work experience. A majority of the American and Singaporean students were older, had more library experience and were part-time students. Many more Americans, and all three of Japanese students were holding scholarships and/or work study assistantships a compared to the Indians and the Singaporeans. Fifty percent of the Indian students graduated from a coeducational institute, which marks a change in terms of segregation of sexes. A majority of Singaporeans and Japanese graduated from large co-educational colleges. Parents of American and Japanese students were better educated than the Indians and Singaporeans. Also, 60% of the American mothers, 19% of the Indian mothers, 37% of Singaporean mothers, and one of the Japanese (male) student's mother, work outside their home.

Since there were only three respondents from Japan (not a viable sample), except for percentage responses no further analysis of the data were performed.


Table is unavailable. Please contact author.

1. Task Orientation: Statements 01, 11, 20, 31 were used to analyze this characteristic. The female and male percentages were similar for the USA and India for statement #1. Though a majority of all respondents agreed with the statements #1, the level of agreement was lower for Singapore respondents, when compared to other two countries. There was a big difference between males to females responses on statement #1 (68% vs. 51%); on statement #11 ( 20 % Vs 34%); and on statement 20 (35 % Vs 21%) from Singapore. Within the USA male and female percentage response to all four questions were similar. Percentage response from Indian students, males and females to questions 1, 20, and 31 were similar. On question #11 more females than males prefer to choose moderately difficult tasks rather than very difficult ones. McClelland did indicate that successful managers choose moderately difficult problems that they can solve, rather than very difficult ones. Male and female percentages were lower for Singapore than the USA and India. Statement 1 was significant by country (p<.003), and not by sex. Statements 11, 20 and 31 showed a significant relationship by country and by sex (p<.000).

2. Future Orientation- Statements 06, 16, 25, 37 were used to test this scale. Statement 25 was deleted leaving items 6, 16, 37. Alpha for these 3-items was .71. Response percentages were well matched between all the three countries with agreement ranging from 77% to 96 percentage on statements 6, 16, and 37. Within the three countries the female and male responses were also close. Major difference was noticed in responses to statement #25. A majority of the USA and Indian respondents disagreed with the statement, where as 100 percent of Singaporeans agreed with the statement, "I am not as much concerned about the present as I am the future."

Statement #25 showed a significant relationship by country and by sex (p<.000). Statement #37 showed a significant relationship by country (p<.000), but not significant by sex. Analysis of variance showed a significant difference by country and sex (p<.028, df = 2, F = 3.602).


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3. Perseverance - Statements 02, 12, 27, 34 were included in the analysis of Perseverance. Percentage agreement for all the statements was high among the respondents from the three countries. Between the countries the response percentages were similar on question 2, 12 and 27. On statement # 34 the agreement was lower for Indian males. On statement 12 the percentage agreement was lower for the USA females, and for Singapore males. Within the countries the responses from males and females were fairly close.

Statement # 2 showed a significant relationship by country (p<. 001) and by sex (p<. 000). Statement #12 was significant by country (p<. 002) and not by sex.


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4. Social Acceptance: Statements 04, 22, 33, 35 were used to analyze this scale. The alpha was .74, so none of the items were deleted. A majority of respondents from the USA disagreed on all the statements. On Statement #4 the respondents from India and Singapore were close in their thinking. A lesser percentage of females agreed with the statements 4, 22, 33, and 35 than the males, from each country. On statement #33 a higher percentage of Indian students, males and females (70 % to 78%) agreed with the statement that "social recognition is the primary goal of any undertaking." On Statement #35 Indian and Singaporean males were closer in their opinion. All the four question showed a significant difference both by country and by sex (p<. 000). All the four questions showed a significant difference both by country and by sex (p<.000).

5. Competitiveness -Statements 07, 26, 38 were included in the analysis of Competitiveness. Statement #38 was deleted. The resulting alpha was .50. Responses from Singapore and the USA students were close to each other for statement #7. A majority of respondents from the USA and Singapore do not enjoy competing against the clock. A majority of Indian students however, agreed with that statement. A majority of males and females from all the three countries agreed with statement #26. On statement #38 the percentage responses were considerably different between sexes, and between countries.

Statement # 38 showed a significant difference by country (p<.000) and by sex (p<.005).


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6. Reaction to Success/Failure -Statements- 15, 19, 24, 36 were used to analyze this scale. The alpha was .61. Statements 15 and 36 were deleted. The resulting alpha was equal to .74. Response percentages were very similar for all the four questions. A majority of respondents agreed with all the statements. Statement #24 showed a significant relationship by country (p<003) and by sex (p<.000). Statement # 36 showed a significant relationship by country (p<.000). Analysis of variance by sex and country showed a significant relationship (p<.01, df = 2 and F = 4.489).


Table is unavailable. Please contact author.

7. Fear of Success -Statements 03, 13, 21, 32 were used for the analysis of fear of success. Statement 21 was deleted. The resultant alpha was .48. Response percentages to questions 3, 13, & 32 were similar with the majority agreeing with these statements. A majority of LIS students from all the three countries disagreed with statement #21. Statement # 13 showed a significant relationship by country (p<.004) and by sex (P<.000). Statement #21 showed a significant relationship by country (p<.008). An analysis of statement #21 revealed a significant main effect (p<.001) of Sex and Country.

8. Rigidity -Statements 09, 18, 29, 41 were used to analyze this scale. The alpha was .70. A high majority of respondents from the USA disagreed with all of the four statements. A majority of respondents from Singapore also disagreed with statements 9, 18, and 41. A majority of Singaporean and Indian students agreed with the statement #29 "It is more important to have

All the four statements had a significant relationship both by sex and by country. The analysis of friendly co-workers than flexibility in the job," compared to the USA respondents. Agreement among Indian respondents was higher than others on other three statements, also, variance by country and sex showed a significant relationship (P<.015; df = 2;F = 4.215).

Table 8

Table is unavailable. Please contact author.

9. Independence: Statements 8, 17, 28 and 39 dealt with independence. The percentage agreement for Indians was higher than Singapore and the USA on statements 8,17, 28. The percentages were similar for males and females from the USA and Singapore on statement #8. For statement 17, 28 and 39 the female percentage agreement was much lower for Singapore and the USA. The chi-square showed significant relationship with country and sex for statements 8, 17 and 28. Statement 39 showed a significant difference by country only.


Table is unavailable. Please contact author.

10. Women as Manager Scale - Statements 05, 23, 10, 40, 14, 30 were used to analyze this scale. The alpha was equal to .65. A very high majority from all three countries disagreed with statements number 5, 23, and 30. A majority of respondents from the three countries agreed with statement number #40, and the percentage agreement from the USA were higher than from India and Singapore. The difference among the male and females was also significant. On statement #14 the percentages were comparable among countries and sexes, with the majority still disagreeing with the statement.

Statements 5, 23, 40 and 30 showed a significant difference by sex (P<.000) and country (P<.000). Analysis of variance showed a significant difference by sex and country (P<.010; df = 2; F = 4.654).

Women as Managers table is unavailable. Please contact author.


Table is unavailable. Please contact author.

Summary & Remarks

In this study a majority of the American, Indian and Singaporean LIS students were highly educated, achievement oriented, future oriented, persevering and competitive. The response percentages of the majority of respondents from all the three countries show that the majority of them were motivated to work hard, devote their energies to the task at hand, plan for the future and be competitive, professionally. Significant relationships were found in the following categories: "task orientation," "future orientation," "perseverance", "social acceptance," "competitiveness," "reaction to success/failure," "fear of success," "independence," "rigidity," and "women as managers scale." Looking broadly at the percentages, responses from the USA and India, were closer to each other "task Orientation," "future orientation," "perseverance," and "competitiveness." Responses from Indian and Singaporean LIS students were closer on "social acceptance," and "fear of success." Responses from Singapore and the USA were closer on "rigidity," "independence," and "women as managers."

Task Orientation: The percentage agreement of Singaporean students was lower then the USA and Indian students on the statement, "I am highly motivated when I know that a task is difficult." There was a vast difference in the percentages on the statement, "I often choose moderately difficult tasks rather than very difficult ones." A majority of Singaporean students disagreed, whereas a majority of both males and females from India and the USA agreed. McClelland did suggest that high achievers choose moderately difficult tasks that they can accomplish rather than very difficult ones. A higher percentage of Indians however, felt that very difficult problems were more motivating than moderately difficult ones, compared to the Americans or Singaporean students. Again, a higher percentage of Indians liked finishing many easy tasks rather than a few difficult ones. Question one showed significant relationship by country, whereas questions 11, 20 and 31 were significant by county and by sex. The percentage of responses from the USA and the Indian students were closer than that of Singapore students. A higher percentage of females agreed with all the four questions than the males.

Future Orientation: The response percentages were well matched between all the three countries, on three of the four questions. Major difference was on question #25. A majority of the respondents from the USA and India disagreed with the statement - "I am not as much concerned about the present, as I am the future." One hundred percent of Singaporean students, male and female, agreed with the statement. Evidently Singaporean students think the future is very much more important than the present. Singaporeans are very competitive. There is a lot of emphasis on education, training and retraining by the government. They have made a great deal of progress as a nation since independence. Indians and Americans think that the present is as important as the future. The percentages from Singapore and India were closer. The percentage agreement among males was higher than the females.

Perseverance: Percentage agreement on all questions was high among the respondents from the three countries. Within the countries the responses from males and females were fairly close. The percentage agreement was comparable between India and the USA, rather than with Singapore. Agreement among the females was higher than the males.

Social Acceptance: A majority of respondents from America disagreed with all the four questions. On the question "social acceptance is more important than personal success" the percentage agreement from Indian students was very high compared to the other two countries. A majority of respondents also agreed with statement #4. Evidently for the American students personal success is more important than social acceptance or social recognition. This attitude on the personal level translates into self-development and independent achievement at the individual level. On the other hand the value of social acceptance and social recognition translates into putting the goals of the society or the organization first and the achievement of the personal goals second. This coincides with Hofstede's (1980) criterion of differences in the cultures. According to him even though Americans are high on individualism, for Americans high individualism translates into every individual striving to gain wealth, recognition self direction and self actualization. However, for Indians wealth is less important, and conflicts ridden. For Indians and Singaporeans group solidarity and family are more important than the self. For them self- actualization is more of the meditative type. More Indian students were willing to change their opinion in order to build a consensus in a group than the American students. Indians also wanted more friendly relations with the coworkers, rather than flexibility at work.

Even though Indian and Singaporean administration follow an open door policy there is still a greater distance between the superior and the subordinate compared to the American organizations. Hofstede refers to it as respective high or low "distance from the power." Indians are more likely to look to their superiors for approval and guidance than the Americans. In a bureaucratic organization American managers learn to respect authority. Both men and women need the desire to exercise power to climb up the corporate ladder. It is consistent with the findings in the USA from the studies in the hierarchical motivation theory (Miner, 1993), the need for power theory (McClelland & Boyatzis, 1982) and Hofstede's (1980) power distance (Chan, Yu, & Miner, 1997, p.170).

Indians are poorer than the Americans are and in need of the job, so they are afraid to disagree with their employer. Such fear is evident in the following remark by a senior Indian executive with a Ph.D. from a prestigious American University:

    What is most important for my department and me is not what I do or achieve for the company, but whether the Master's (i.e., an owner of the firm) favor is bestowed on me. This I have achieved by saying "yes" to everything the Master says or does. [T]o contradict him is to look for another job. I left my freedom of thought in Boston (Hofstede, p.128).

Percentage of responses from India and Singapore were closer than the USA. Agreement among the males was higher than the females.

Competitiveness: A majority of the USA and Singaporean students disagreed on the question, "I enjoy competing against the clock," whereas a majority of the Indian students enjoy competing against the clock. Mild competition keeps the excitement of achievement high and competing against the clock builds speed (White, 1957). There is a lot to be said in favor of progressing at your own pace as most of the Americans like to do, however competition leads to innovation and adds spice to achievement motivation. Competition also leads to innovation. In this study both sexes in India and in the USA were quite competitive.

More American and Indian students wanted to work in "libraries that pay well rather than those that pay less, but allow flexibility." A lesser percentage of respondents from Singapore, and a lesser percentage of females than males from the USA and India, agreed with this question. A higher percentage of Singaporean females agreed with the question compared to Singaporean males. The percentage of USA respondents who agreed was closer to Indian students than to Singaporean students. Male percentages were higher than the female.

Reaction to success or Failure & Fear of success: Response percentages were similar for all four questions. Female percentages were higher than males.

Rigidity: On question #9 "A true challenge is one that is practically impossible to achieve," a majority of the American and Singaporean students disagreed, but a majority of Indians agreed. On question #18 "I would rather have my superior set deadlines than set them myself," a majority of Americans and Singaporeans disagreed, but a higher percentage wanted the superior to set the deadlines. This tendency could be prompted by a "dependence motivation" as pointed out by Pareek (1988). It could lead to a tendency to avoid responsibility. Management research shows that people who set their own goals are more motivated and committed to achieve them, and they are also more likely to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. On the other two questions responses from Indian and Singaporean students were closer to one another than the Americans. On question #29, "It is more important to have friendly co-workers than flexibility on the job". Americans prefer flexibility on the job and Indians and Singaporeans prefer friendly relationship with the coworkers. Also, the Indians and Singaporeans were more willing to change their opinions to build a consensus of the group than the American students were. It again could be a reflection of the culture. American students are more individual and Indian and Singaporeans are more groups oriented in their thinking. Percentage responses of sexes were the same.

Women as Managers Scale: A majority of the respondents felt that challenging work is as important to men as women are. It is as desirable for women to have jobs that require responsibility as men. Many more Indians felt that women have the objectivity to evaluate library situations properly than the USA and Singaporean students. A higher percentage of American students agreed with the statement #40, "Women would no more allow their emotions to influence their managerial behavior than would men." A majority of Indian and Singaporean students also agreed. All respondents disagreed with the statement #14 that "Women cannot be aggressive in managerial situations that demand it." A majority felt that women are ambitious enough to be successful in challenging and responsible managerial positions.

On the category acceptance of Women as Managers more Indian males than the American and the Singaporean males, look at women in a stereotypical light. Forty percent of the Indian males versus two percent of the American males and 16% of the Singaporean males agreed with the statement #23 -"It is less desirable for women than men to have a job that requires responsibility." Also, about 30% Indian males versus three percent of the American males and 10% of the Singaporean males felt that (Q#30) women are not ambitious enough to be successful in managerial position. In the business world, in all the countries, the majority of men perceive women as lacking in competitiveness, ambition and leadership abilities. Fifty two percent of the Indian women themselves felt that they do not have the objectivity required to evaluate library situations properly. In this study Indians were more conservative than the Americans and the Singaporeans in accepting women as managers.


In this study a majority of both men and women from the three countries were highly educated and motivated. The agreement percentages were similar on "task orientation," "perseverance," "future orientation," and "competitiveness," between countries and sexes. These are the categories that matter most as far as the work environment is concerned. The differences between the sexes and countries were found on factors like "women as managers," "reaction to success or failure," "fear of failure, " and "social acceptance."

Social acceptance showed the highest difference between the respondent from the three countries. A majority of the Americans respondents disagreed with all the four questions. For Americans personal success is more important than social acceptance or social recognition. This attitude at the personal level translates into self-development and independent achievement at the individual level. On the other hand the need for social acceptance and social recognition for the Indians, Singaporeans, and Japanese translates into putting the goals of the society or the organization first and the achievement of individual or personal goals second. This coincides with Hofstede's criterion of the differences between the cultures. According to him for Indians, Singaporeans and Japanese, the concept of self as a separate entity from society and culture does not exist. It includes the person himself, and his intimate societal and cultural environment, which makes existence meaningful. As this study also indicates they would modify their views more easily in favor of their friends to keep harmony in their environment than the Americans. These countries score low on individualism. Society in turn plays a supportive role and thus the dimensions of "reaction to success or failure," and the "fear of success," also gets minimized.

The United States of America is a major exporter of modern organizational and management theories abroad. But the position of extreme individualism of the Americans in comparison to collectivism of most other countries calls for major modification of these theories to suit the environment of those countries and cultures. Most managers who were able to modify the theories have had success in implementing them in their own context.

Another difference was found on the factor "women as manager." A higher percentage of Indian males look at women in a stereotypical light than the Americans. The American and Singaporeans were more positive about accepting women in management. Even 52% of the Indian women themselves felt that they do not have the objectivity required to evaluate library situations properly. However a majority of them agreed that women are ambitious enough to be successful as managers in challenging and responsible positions. They also felt that women would not let their emotions influence their managerial behavior any more than men would. This indicates that even though women feel they can handle most managerial situation, they get doubtful of the abstract values attached to those roles by the organizations or societies.

This survey shows that a majority of American and Singaporean men & women are ready to concede, at least at the conceptual level, that women can successfully take up managerial roles. A majority of the young Americans and Singaporeans have realized the need for two-incomes for the family and are gradually adapting to the changed economic conditions. The Indian economic conditions also demand a similar adaptation. The American women have worked hard to get to this level. They are still struggling to achieve equality in work place and in the domestic arena. There is a big gap still between the conception and the reality, however.

Our opinions are influenced and shaped by the societal forces and personal characteristics. Prevalent culture determines the gender roles in a society. In most countries, societies expect women to be subservient towards men and therefore assume that men will exercise authority over other people. These perceived behaviors have been attributed to childhood socialization or an innate psychological or biological disposition. Societal and organizational messages conveyed to women, in most countries, have been that women themselves have the primary responsibility to rectify the situation. As a response to that women turned to business and professional schools, earned higher degrees, and gained managerial experience at whatever level they were allowed. Women entrepreneurs and professional women organized networks for mutual support. They lobbied for laws to be changed. They also undertook research to determine the causes of their slow progress and low salaries. After some thirty years, by about the end of the 1980s women had started questioning this image of a typical male dominated society. Entrepreneurial women who excelled in their own business, when compared to their equally qualified colleagues, who stayed with the corporations, and were not promoted to executive levels, clearly demonstrated institutional and organizational discrimination. Most of the research studies also indicated that there are negligible differences between sexes as far as managerial motivation is concerned. By focusing on individual characteristics the organizational factors like discrimination and stereotypical social values affecting the careers of women were ignored or camouflaged. Even in professions where a large number of qualified women are at the middle level, like LIS, men dominate the top level of management. Women advocate that organizations should eliminate discrimination and adopt objective methods of selecting, promoting and rewarding. Organizations can gain by sharing executive ranks with some of the more talented women and thus maximize their human resources. For success such a change is needed at the individual, organizational and social levels.

Economic independence, self-confidence and personal achievement motivation are the only tools that serve women well in negotiating their status in the family with their husbands and other family members. Women's employment in particular marks a significant rejection of male control. In all countries and cultures, men resist conceding their privileges in personal, domestic, sexual and family relations. The resistance experienced by women comes in personal areas of marriage, inheritance and the guarantee of domestic equality. This resistance demonstrates just how political the personal arena is in gender relations. Legal reforms do not work well in this arena. This is especially evident in the increasing rate of family violence, divorce rates and child abuse and neglect in both the countries.

Ths study, like most personality studies did not find substantial differences between the personalities of the male and female respondents in the performance categories of 'task orientation," "perseverance," "future orientation," and "competitiveness." There seems to be a need to bring about an attitudinal change towards accepting women as managers based on such empirical studies. Both males and females have similar career aspirations and both want to be leaders and/or managers. While the basic theories of management can be taught in all the countries, the difference is in the implementation of these theories. Management motivation theories work well if the managers are sensitive to, and can modify them, to suit the prevalent culture of the organization or the country.


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