In Rugby, and Maybe at Work, Mixing Cultures Affects Motivation Interview with:
“Rugby” by Jim Ceballos is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dr. Yusuke Kuroda PhD
Massey University
New Zealand What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Similar study, examining motivational personality among rugby players from four different countries (but all from predominantly Anglo-Saxon), was conducted in the late 1980s, and that study showed that elite rugby players, regardless of nationality, possessed serious minded and goal oriented personality. Number of studies examined athletes in different sports and showed similar results.

Previously, I had a chance to examine Maori and Japanese people engaged in traditional dance from their own culture; and, the Maori people were predominantly playful and spontaneous oriented, while the Japanese people were predominantly serious minded and goal oriented.

Dr Farah Palmer, one of co-authors, and I wanted to examine whether Maori All Blacks and Japanese National Team rugby players and see whether motivational personality of them were driven by being elite athletes or from cultural background. To play for the Maori All Blacks, players have to have a Maori background. The Japanese National Team, on the other hand, was consisted of Japanese and foreign born players. To examine the effect of culture, we also examined cultural identity among players.

With the help from Associate Professor Makoto Nakazawa, we got to measure motivational personality and cultural identity from both teams, and results showed that the Maori All Blacks players were more playful minded spontaneous oriented, while the Japanese National Team players were serious minded and goal oriented. Cultural identity showed that the Japanese National Team players, even with foreign born players, showed a greater knowledge of the Japanese culture and higher comfort level in their own culture than the Maori All Blacks players (or their own culture). However, the Maori All Blacks players felt more positive and sustain the Maori culture. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: In the team working environment, understanding motivational personality and cultural identity may help form a successful team. The study examined rugby teams from two different cultural makeup, one team consisted of one ethnic group, while other team consisted of multiple cultural background (but representing a country); but they were both showing some success on the field, and that is probably because they tend to possess similar motivational personality and shared a similar cultural identity, whether they were from a different culture or not. These understandings will help create healthier environment for the players. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Based on this study, we can expand the research and examine other national teams with other cultural background. It doesn’t have to be elite athletes, and we can examine the impact of motivational personality and cultural identity among younger athletes, office workers, and team environment. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Yusuke Kuroda et al. Comparison of metamotivational dominance and cultural identity between Japanese National Team and Māori All Blacks rugby playersHeliyon, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00454

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions. 






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