January 20, 14
Values, Attitudes & Work Behaviour
• What are Values?
o A broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others.
o Values have to do with what we consider good and bad.
o Values are motivational
They signal how we believe we should and should not behave.
o Values are very general
They do not predict behaviour in specific situations very well
This is where attitude comes in
o People tend to hold values structured around such factors as achievement,
power, autonomy, conformity, tradition, and social welfare.
• Cultural Differences in Values
o Work is valued differently across cultures.
o There are crossnational differences in the extent to which people perceive
work as a central life interest.
o People for whom work was a central life interest work more hours.
o Crosscultural differences in work centrality can lead to adjustment
problems for international assignees.
• Hofstede’s Study
o Geert Hofstede questioned over 116,000 IBM employees in 40 countries
about their workrelated values.
o He discovered four basic dimensions along which workrelated values
differed across cultures:
• Power Distance
o The extent to which an unequal distribution of power is accepted by
o In small power distance cultures, inequality is minimized, superiors are
accessible, and power differences are downplayed
o In large power distance cultures, inequality is accepted as natural,
superiors are inaccessible, and power differences are highlighted
o Canada and the US have a lower than average power distance
• Uncertainty Avoidance
o The extent to which people are uncomfortable with uncertain and
ambiguous situations. o Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures stress rules and regulations, hard
work, conformity, and security
o Cultures with weak uncertainty avoidance are less concerned with rules,
conformity, and security, an hard work is not seen as a virtue and risk
taking is valued
o Canada and the US are well below average on uncertainty avoidance
o Masculine cultures clearly differentiate gender roles, support the
dominance of men, and stress economic performance.
o Feminine cultures accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality, and
stress quality of life.
o In Hofstede’s research, Japan was the most masculine society follower by
Austria, Mexico and Venezuela
o Scandinavian countries are the most feminine
o Individualistic societies stress independence, individual initiative, and
o Collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to family or clan.
o The US, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada are among the most
o Venezuela. Columbia, and Pakistan are among the most collective
• Longterm/Shortterm Orientation
o Cultures with a longterm orientation stress persistence, perseverance,
thrift, and close attention to status differences.
o Cultures with a shortterm orientation stress personal steadiness and
stability, facesaving, and social niceties.
o China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea tend to be
characterized by a longterm orientation
o Canada and the US are most short term oriented
• Implications of Cultural Variation
o OB theories, research, and practices from North American might no
translate well to other cultures
The basic questions remain the same – but the answers may differ
• What are Attitudes?
o An attitude is the evaluation of a specific target.
They are more specific than values.
o Attitudes often influence our behaviour.
Attitude à Behaviour Intention à Behaviour
o Tripartite model
Attitudes consist of three components: affect, cognition and
o An attitude is a fairly stable evaluative tendency to respond consistency to
some specific object, situation, person, or category of people. o Attitudes involve evaluations directed toward specific targets.
o They are more specific than values.
o Behaviour is most likely to correspond to attitudes when people have
direct experience with the target of the attitude and when the attitude is
o Attitudes are a function of what we think and what we feel
o Attitudes are the product of a related belief and value
o Belief + value ▯attitude ▯behaviour
o Consider the following example of a person experiencing workfamily
“My job is interfering with my family life” – belief
“I dislike anything that hurts my family” – value
“I dislike my job” – attitude
“I’ll search for another job” behaviour
• Job Satisfaction
o A collection of attitudes that workers have about their jobs.
o Two aspects of satisfaction.
Facet satisfaction refers to the tendency for an employee to be
more or less satisfied with various facets of the job.
Overall satisfaction is a summary indicator of a persons’ attitude
toward his or her job that cuts across the various facets.
o What is job satisfaction?
It is an average or total of the attitudes individuals hold toward
various facets of the job
• Job Satisfaction Facets
o The work itself
o Working conditions
o Organizational policy
• Job Satisfaction – Antecedents
Role ambiguity ()
Organizational support (+)
Job complexity (+)
• Job Satisfaction – Correlates o Positive Affect (+)
o Negative Affect ()
o Job tension ()
o Absenteeism ()
o Pay satisfaction (+)
o Job involvement (+)
o Organizational commitment (+)
• What Determines Job Satisfaction?
According to discrepancy theory, job satisfaction is a function of
the discrepancy between the job outcomes people want and the
outcomes that they perceive they obtain.
For example, satisfaction with pay will be high when there is a
small gap between the pay received, actually received and the
perception of how much pay should be received
Issues of fairness affect both what people want from their jobs and
how they react to the inevitable discrepancies of organizational
There are three basic kinds of fairness:
• Distributive justice
• Procedural justice
• Interactional justice
o Distributive Justice
Fairness that occurs when people receive the outcomes they think
they deserve from their jobs.
Perception of fairness that occurs when people receive the
outcomes they think they deserve from their job
It involves the distribution of work rewards and re