Questions and Exercises prepared by Alan Saks.
I. What Are Values?
Values can be defined as a "broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others." Not everyone
holds the same values. Values may be classified into intellectual, economic, social, aesthetic, and
A. Occupational Differences in Values
Members of different occupational groups espouse different values. Salespeople rank social values less
than the average person, while professors value "equal opportunity for all" more than the average
erson. People tend to choose occupations and organizations that correspond to their values.
B. Values Across Cultures
Cross-cultural differences often contribute to failed business negotiations. As well, research shows that
anywhere from 16 to 40 percent of managers who receive foreign assignments terminate them early
ecause they perform poorly or do not adjust to the culture. At the root of many of these problems might
be a lack of appreciation of basic differences in work-related values across cultures.
Work Centrality. Different cultures value work differently. People for whom work is a central life
interest tend to work longer hours. Thus, Japanese managers tend to work longer hours than their North
American or British counterparts. This illustrates how cross-cultural differences in work centrality can
lead to adjustment problems for foreign employees and managers.
Hofstede's Study. Geert Hofstede, a social scientist, studied over 116,000 IBM employees in forty
countries about their work-related values. His results show that differences occurred across cultures in
four basic dimensions of work-related values: power distance, uncertainty avoidance,
masculinity/femininity, and individualism/collectivism. Subsequent work resulted in a fifth dimension,
the long-term/short-term orientation.
zPower distance is the extent to which an unequal distribution of power is accepted by society
members. 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.
zUncertainty avoidance is 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
zAnother cultural value that differs across cultures is known as masculinity/femininity. More
masculine cultures clearly differentiate gender roles, support the dominance of men, and stress
economic performance. More feminine cultures accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality,
and stress quality of life.
zIndividualistic cultures stress independence, individual initiative and privacy. Collective cultures
favour interdependence and loyalty to family or clan.
zAnother cultural value that differs across cultures is known as 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
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stability, face-saving, and social niceties.
C. Implications of Cultural Variation
zExporting OB Theories. An important message from the cross-cultural study of values is that
organizational behaviour theories, research, and practices from North America might not translate
well to other societies, even the one located just south of Texas .
zImporting OB Theories. As well, not all theories and practices that concern organizational
behaviour are perfected in North America or even in the West. Understanding cultural value
differences can enable organizations to successfully import management practices by tailoring the
practice to the home culture's concerns.
zAppreciating Global Customers. An appreciation of cross-cultural differences in values is
essential to understanding the needs and tastes of customers or clients around the world.
zDeveloping Global Employees. Given these differences in cultural values, it is important for
managers to take care when exporting or importing OB theories and appreciating global
customers. An awareness of cross-cultural differences in values can help managers better
appreciate global customers and develop global employees. Companies need to select, train, and
develop employees to have a much better appreciation of differences in cultural values and the
implications of these differences for behaviour in organizations.
II. What Are Attitudes?
An attitude is a fairly stable evaluative tendency to respond consistently to some specific object,
situation, person, or category of people. Attitudes are tendencies to respond to the target of the attitude.
Thus, attitudes often influence our behaviour toward some object, situation, person, or group. Attitudes
are a function of what we think and what we feel. That is, attitudes are the product of a related belief and
Belief + Value = Attitude > Behaviour.
Most attempts at attitude change are initiated by a communicator who tries to use persuasion of some
form to modify the beliefs or values of an audience that supports a currently held attitude. Persuasion
that is designed to modify or emphasize certain values is emotionally oriented, whereas persuasion
designed to modify or emphasize certain beliefs is rationally oriented.
III. What Is Job Satisfaction?
Job satisfaction refers to a collection of attitudes that workers have about their jobs. Facet satisfaction
refers to the tendency for an employee to be more or less satisfied with various facets of the job. Overall
satisfaction refers to a person's attitude toward his or her job that cuts across the various facets. Job
satisfaction is measured by the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) and the Minnesota Satisfaction
Questionnaire (MSQ). Both of these questionnaires can give effective measurements of satisfaction.
IV. What Determines Job Satisfaction?
When workers complete the JDI or the MSQ, we often find differences in the average scores across jobs
and by individuals performing the same job in a given organization. For example, two nurses who work
side by side might indicate radically different satisfaction in response to the MSQ item "The chance to
do things for other people". How does this happen?
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According to discrepancy theory, job satisfaction stems from the discrepancy between the job
outcomes wanted and the outcomes that are perceived to be obtained. Thus, a person wanting to be a
baseball pitcher might be dissatisfied with the team when placed in an outfield position. In general,
employees who have more of their job-related desires met will report more overall job satisfaction.
In addition to the discrepancy between the outcomes people receive and those they desire, the other
factor that determines job satisfaction is fairness.
zDistributive fairness (often called distributive justice) occurs when people receive what they
think they deserve from their jobs.
Equity theory suggests that job satisfaction stems from a comparison of the inputs that one
invests in a job and the outcomes one receives in comparison with the inputs and outcomes of
another person or group. Inputs consist of anything that people give up, offer, or trade to their
organization in exchange for outcomes. This might include factors such as education, training,
seniority, hard work, and high-quality work. Outcomes are factors that an organization distributes
to employees in exchange for their inputs. These might include pay, benefits, promotions,
recognition or anything else of value to employees. In general, people who work harder and are
better educated than their peers expect higher rewards. Should these not be attained, the hard
workers will be upset and angry over the lack of fair treatment and experience inequity. Inequity
is a dissatisfying state of affairs and leads to job dissatisfaction. Thus, the equitable distribution of
work outcomes contributes to job satisfaction by providing for feelings of distributive fairness.
zProcedural fairness (often called procedural justice) occurs when the process used to determine
work outcomes is seen as reasonable. It has to do with the process that led to those outcomes. In
allocating outcomes, the following factors contribute to perceptions of procedural fairness:
Adequate reasons for a decision; consistent procedures used over time and across people; accurate
information is used; two-way communication is used; and an appeals system.
These factors will contribute to a perception of fairness and help workers to believe they are
getting a "fair shake." Procedural fairness seems especially likely to provoke dissatisfaction when
people also see distributive fairness as being low.
zInteractional fairness (often called interactional justice) occurs when people feel that they have
received respectful and informative communication about some outcome. Interactional fairness is
important because it is possible for fair outcomes or procedures to be perceived as unfair when
they are inadequately or uncaringly explained. People who experience procedural unfairness tend
to be dissatisfied with the “system.” People who experience interactional unfairness are more
likely to be dissatisfied with their boss. Procedural and interactional fairness can to some extent
offset the negative effects of distributive unfairness.
According to the dispositional view of job satisfaction, some people are predisposed by virtue of their
ersonalities to be more or less satisfied despite changes in discrepancy or fairness. Researchers have
found that some personalit
enetics or earl
contribute to adult
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