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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Notes

Management (MGH)
Course Code
Julie Mc Carthy

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Chapter 4 Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour Notes
What Are Values?
x values Æ a broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others
x the preference aspect of this definition means that values have to do with what we consider good and bad
x 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; they also signal how we believe we should and should not behave
x the words broad tendency mean that values are very general and they do not predict behaviour in specific situations very well
x people tend to hold values structured around such factors as achievement, power, autonomy, conformity, tradition, and social
welfare; however, not everyone holds the same values
Generational Differences in Values
x many contemporary organizations are attempting to understand the implications of having 4 rather distinctive generations in the
workplace at one time who are often required to work with one another
Generation Percentage of Workforce Assets in the Workplace Leadership Style Preferences
Born 1922 – 1945 8% Diligent, stable, loyal, detail-oriented,
focused, emotional maturity Fair, consistent, clear, direct,
Baby Boomers
Born 1946 – 1964 44% Team perspective, dedicated, veteran,
knowledgeable, service-oriented Treat as equals, warm and caring,
mission-defined, democratic approach
Generation X
Born 1965 – 1980 34% Independent, adaptable, creative,
techno-literature, willing to challenge
the status quo
Direct, competent, genuine, informal,
flexible, results-oriented, supportive of
learning opportunities
Born 1981 – 2000 14% and increasing rapidly Optimistic, multitask, firm, driven to
learn and grow, technologically savvy,
team-oriented, socially responsible
Motivational, collaborative, positive,
educational, organized, achievement-
oriented, able to coach
x in general, the latter two generations are stereotyped and seen as more accepting of diversity and striving for good work-life
balance, and their comfort with technology is notable and known
x however, there is some indication that Gen X and Y are more inclined to value status and rapid career growth than are boomers
x there is also evidence that Gen Ys especially value autonomy and that Xers, compared to boomers, are less loyal, more wanting
of promotion, and more inclined toward work-life balance
x any generational differences in work values or in the way values are expressed is important because there is much evidence that
good “fit” between a person’s values and those of the organization (person-organization fit) leads to positive work attitudes and
behaviours, including reduced chances of quitting
x this means that firms may have to tailor job designs, leadership styles, and benefits to the generational mix of their workforces
Cultural Differences in Values
x there are 5 basic dimensions along which work-related values differed across cultures: power distance, uncertainty avoidance,
masculinity/femininity, individualism/collectivism, and the long-term/short-term orientation
o Power distance. Power distant refers to the extent to which society members accept an unequal distribution of power,
including those who hold more power and those who hold less. In small power distance cultures, inequality is minimized,
superiors are accessible, and power differences are downplayed. In large power distance societies, inequality is accepted
as natural, superiors are inaccessible, and power differences are highlighted.
o Uncertainty avoidance. Uncertainty avoidance refers to the extent to which people are uncomfortable with uncertain and
ambiguous situations. Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures stress rules and regulations, hard work, conformity, and
security. Cultures with weak uncertainty avoidance are less concerned with rules, conformity, and security, and hard
work is not seen as a virtue. However, risk taking is valued.
o Masculinity/femininity. More masculine cultures differentiate gender roles, support the dominance of men, and stress
economic performance. More feminine cultures accept fluid gender roles, stress sexuality equality, and stress quality of
life. This dimension was identified by 2 aspects—how assertive people are and how much they value gender equality.
o Individualism/collectivism. More individualistic societies tend to stress independence, individual initiative, and privacy.
More collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to one’s family or clan. This dimension was identified by 2
aspects—how much the collective distribution of resources is stressed and how much one’s group or firm elicits loyalty.
o Long-term/short-term orientation. Cultures with a long-term orientation tend to stress persistence, perseverance, thrift,
and close attention to status differences. Cultures with a short-term orientation stress personal steadiness and stability,
face-saving, and social niceties.
x power distance and degree of individualism tend to be related—cultures that are more individualistic tend to downplay power
differences, while those that are more collectivistic tend to accentuate power differences
Implications of Cultural Variation
x a good fit between company practices and the host culture is important
x not all theories and practices that concern organizational behaviour are designed in North America or even in the West
x examples are “Japanese management” techniques, such as quality circles, total quality management, and just-in-time production
x understanding cultural value differences can enable organizations, and even governments, to successfully import management
practices by tailoring the practice to the home culture’s concerns
x appreciation of cross-cultural differences in values is essential to understanding needs and tastes of customers around the world
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