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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGH)

Chapter 4 Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour What are Values? Values: A broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others. Preference The values have to do with what we consider good and bad. Values are motivational, since they signal the attractive aspects of our environment that we seek and the unattractive aspects that we try to avoid or change. Broad Tendency Values are very general, and they do not predict behaviour in specific situations very well. Types of values: Achievement, power, autonomy, conformity, tradition, and social welfare. Generational Differences in Values Four Generations in Todays Workplace: Percentage Leadership Style Generation of Assets in the Workplace Preferences Workforce Traditionalist Hard working, stable, loyal, s 8% thorough, detail-oriented, Fair, consistent, clear, direct, Born 1922- focused, emotional maturity respectful 1945 Baby Team perspective, dedicated, Treat as equals, warm and Boomers 44% experienced, knowledgeable, caring, mission-defined, Born 1946- 1964 service-oriented democratic approach Generation X Independent, adaptable, Direct, competent, genuine, creative, techno-literate, informal, flexible, results- Born 1965- 34% willing to challenge the oriented, supportive of 1980 status quo learning opportunities Millennials Optimistic, able to Motivational, collaborative, (Generation 14% and multitask, tenacious, Y) increasing technologically savvy, driven positive, educational, organized, achievement- Born 1981- rapidly to learn and grow, team- oriented, able to coach 2000 oriented, socially responsible The four generations grew up under different socialization experiences => leads to value differences between the generations e.g., Gen X and Y who know divorce very well value the advice of authority figures less and the advice of friends more. Gen X and Y are more inclined to value status and rapid career growth. This may reflect what one does not yet have, but it could also be a result of the positive self- esteem movement. Gen Ys value autonomy. Gen Xs are less loyal, more wanting of promotion, and more inclined toward work-life balance. All work generations share the same values but express them differently e.g., everyone values respect, but for older employees this means being deferred to, while for Gen X and Y this means being listened to. A good fit between a persons values and an organizations values (person- organization fit) leads to positive work attitudes and behaviours, and reduced chances of quitting. Organizations have to tailor job designs, leadership styles, and benefits to the generational mix of their workforces. Cultural Differences in Values Failed business negotiations is attributable to a lack of understanding of cross- cultural differences. Lack of appreciation of basic differences in work-related values across cultures. Work Centrality Cross-national differences in the extent to which people perceive work as a central life interest. Japan has very high work centrality, Belgians and Americans have average work centrality, and the British have low work centrality. People with more central interest in work would continue to work even if they were very wealthy and tend to work more hours. Cross-cultural differences in work centrality can lead to adjustment problems for foreign employees and managers. Hofstedes Study Geert Hofstede questioned over 116,000 IBM employees located in 40 countries about work-related values. Michael Bonds work resulted in a fifth dimension (long- termshort-term orientation). Five dimensions along which work-related values differed across cultures. Power Distance: The extent to which an unequal distribution of power is accepted by society members. o Small power distance cultures (Canada and the US) Inequality is minimized, superiors are accessible, and power differences are downplayed. o Large power distance societies Inequality is accepted as natural, superiors are inaccessible, and power differences are highlighted. Uncertainty Avoidance: The extent to which people are uncomfortable with
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