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Management (MGH)
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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
Generational Differences in Values
Four Generations in Todays Workplace:
Generation Percentage
Workforce Assets in the Workplace Leadership Style
Born 1922-
8%Hard working, stable, loyal,
thorough, detail-oriented,
focused, emotional maturity
Fair, consistent, clear, direct,
Born 1946-
44%Team perspective, dedicated,
experienced, knowledgeable,
Treat as equals, warm and
caring, mission-defined,
democratic approach
Generation X
Born 1965-
1980 34%
Independent, adaptable,
creative, techno-literate,
willing to challenge the
status quo
Direct, competent, genuine,
informal, flexible, results-
oriented, supportive of
learning opportunities
Born 1981-
14% and
Optimistic, able to
multitask, tenacious,
technologically savvy, driven
to learn and grow, team-
oriented, socially responsible
Motivational, collaborative,
positive, educational,
organized, achievement-
oriented, able to coach
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.

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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-
term/short-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.
oSmall power distance cultures (Canada and the US) Inequality is
minimized, superiors are accessible, and power differences are downplayed.
oLarge 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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uncertain and ambiguous situations.
oStrong Stress rules and regulations, hard work, conformity, and security.
oWeak (Canada and the US) Less concerned with rules, conformity, and
security, and hard work is not seen as a virtue. Risk taking is valued.
oMore masculine cultures (the US) Clearly differentiate gender roles,
support the dominance of men, and stress economic performance.
oMore feminine cultures Accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality,
and stress quality of life.
oTwo aspects to this dimension how assertive people are and how much they
value gender equality. Canada ranks half-way.
Individualistic vs. Collective: Individualistic societies stress independence,
individual initiative, and privacy. Collective cultures favour interdependence and
loyalty to family or clan.
Long-term/Short-term Orientation:
oLong-term Stress persistence, perseverance, thrift, and close attention to
status differences.
oShort-term (Canada and the US) Stress personal steadiness and stability,
face-saving, and social niceties.
Implications of Cultural Variation
Exporting OB Theories
OB theories, research, and practices from North America might not translate well to
other societies e.g., North Americas low power distance (managers encourage
employee participation in work decisions) vs. Asias high power distance (people defer
decisions to the boss).
A good fit between company practices and the host culture is important.
Importing OB Theories
Understanding cultural value differences can enable organizations to successfully
import management practices (e.g., Japans total quality management and just-in-
time production) by tailoring the practice to the home cultures concerns.
Appreciating Global Customers
An appreciation of cross-cultural differences in values is essential to understanding
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