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Chapter 8

MGHB02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Job Satisfaction, Frank Stronach, Morale


Department
Management (MGH)
Course Code
MGHB02H3
Professor
Julie Mc Carthy
Chapter
8

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Questions and Exercises prepared by Alan Saks.
I. Social Influence in Organizations
People often feel or act differently from how they would as independent operators as a result of social
influence. This is because in many social settings, and especially in groups, people are highly dependent
on others. This dependence sets the stage for influence to occur.
A. Information Dependence and Effect Dependence
All of us need information from others and we are frequently highly dependent on others for information
about the adequacy and appropriateness of our behaviour, thoughts, and feelings. Information
dependence refers to our reliance on others for information about how to think, feel, and act. It gives
others the opportunity to influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions via the signals they send to us.
Individuals are also dependent on the effects of their behaviour as determined by the rewards and
p
unishments provided by others. This effect dependence is the reliance on others due to their capacity
to provide rewards and punishment. It occurs because the group has a vested interest in how individual
members think and act, and the member desires the approval of the group.
II. Social Influence in Action
One of the most obvious consequences of information and effect dependence is the tendency for group
members to conform to the social norms that have been established by the group.
A. Motives for Social Conformity
Conformity is the tendency for group members to conform to the norms that have been established by
the group. There are a number of different motives for conformity.
Compliance. Members might conform because of compliance which is the simplest, most direct motive
for conformity to group norms. It occurs because a member wishes to acquire rewards from the group
and avoid punishment. As such, it primarily involves effect dependence.
Identification. Some individuals conform because they find other supporters of the norm attractive. In
this case, the individual identifies with these supporters and sees himself or herself as similar to them.
Identification as a motive for conformity is often revealed by an imitation process in which established
members serve as models for the behaviour of others.
Internalization. Some conformity to norms occurs because individuals have truly and wholly accepted
the beliefs, values, and attitudes that underlie the norm. Internalization occurs when individuals have
truly and wholly accepted the beliefs, values, and attitudes that underlie the norm.
B. The Subtle Power of Compliance
In some cases, individuals conform to norms which they do not support. Much of this occurs because of
social pressures and the desire to please others. But compliance often sets the stage for the more
complete involvement with organizational norms and roles implicit in the stages of identification and
internalization.
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III. Or
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anizational Socialization
Socialization is the process by which people learn the norms and roles that are necessary to function in a
group or organization. Socialization methods (realistic job previews, employee orientation programs,
socialization tactics, mentoring, proactive tactics) influence immediate or proximal socialization
outcomes such as learning, task mastery, social integration, role conflict, role ambiguity, and person–job
and person–organization fit. Proximal outcomes lead to distal or longer-term outcomes such as job
satisfaction, organizational commitment, organizational identification, organizational citizenship
behaviour, job performance, stress, and turnover.
An important goal of socialization is to help newcomers assimilate and fit into the organization. Person-
j
ob fit refers to the match between an employee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities and the requirements
of a job. Person-organization fit refers to the match between an employee’s personal values and the
values of an organization. Research has found that both P-J and P-O fit are strongly related to the work
adjustment of new hires.
Socialization is an ongoing process by virtue of continuous interaction with others in the workplace.
However, socialization is most potent during periods of membership transition, such as when one joins a
new organization.
A. Stages of Socialization
Since organizational socialization is an ongoing process, it is useful to divide this process into three
stages. One of these stages occurs before entry, another immediately follows entry, and the last occurs
after one has been a member for some period of time.
Anticipatory Socialization. A considerable amount of socialization occurs even before a person joins an
organization. This process is called anticipatory socialization. However, not all anticipatory socialization
is accurate and useful for the new member.
Encounter. In the encounter stage, the new recruit encounters the day-to-day reality of organizational
life. At this stage, the organization and its experienced members are looking for an acceptable degree of
conformity to organizational norms and the gradual acquisition of appropriate role behaviour. Recruits
are interested in having their personal needs and expectations fulfilled.
Role Management. Having survived the encounter stage and acquired basic role behaviours, the
member's attention shifts to fine-tuning and actively managing his or her role in the organization. This
stage is referred to as role management. The role occupants might now begin to internalize the norms
and values that are prominent in the organization.
B. Unrealistic Expectations and the Psychological Contract
People join organizations with expectations about what membership will be like and what they expect to
receive in return for their efforts. Unfortunately, these expectations are often unrealistic and obligations
between new members and organizations are often breached.
Unrealistic Expectations. Although people have expectations about their jobs in organizations, many
such expectations held by entering members are inaccurate and often unrealistically high. At times, the
media is responsible. At other times corporate recruiters paint rosy pictures in order to attract job
candidates to the or
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Psychological Contract. When people join organizations, they also have ideas about what they expect to
receive from the organization and what they plan to give the organization in return. Such perceptions
form what is known as the psychological contract and refers to beliefs held by employees concerning
their reciprocal obligations between them and their organization. Unfortunately, psychological contract
breach appears to be a common occurrence in organizations. Perceptions of psychological contract
breach occur when an employee perceives that his or her organization has failed to fulfill one or more
p
romised obligations of the psychological contract. This often results in feelings of anger and betrayal
and can have a negative effect on employees’ work attitudes and behaviour.
IV. Methods of Socialization
Organizations differ in the extent to which they make use of other organizations to help socialize their
members. The strategy of reliance on external agents is often used by organizations to help socialize
their members. Thus, hospitals rely on medical schools to socialize doctors, while business firms rely on
business schools to send them recruits who think and act in a business-like manner. On the other hand,
organizations such as police forces, the military, and religious institutions are less likely to rely on
external socializers. Organizations that handle their own socialization are especially interested in
maintaining the continuity and stability of job behaviours over a period of time. Thus, organizations
differ in terms of who does the socializing, how it is done, and how much is done.
A. Realistic Job Previews
Realistic job previews provide a balanced, realistic picture of the positive and negative aspects of the
j
ob to job applicants. When used properly, these previews can reduce unrealistic expectations on the part
of new organizational members, reduce turnover, and improve job performance.
B. Employee Orientation Programs
Employee orientation programs are designed to introduce new employees to their job, the people they
will be working with, and the organization. The main content of most orientation programs consists of
health and safety issues, terms and conditions of employment, and information about the organization,
such as its history and traditions. Another purpose of new employee orientation programs is to convey
and form the psychological contract, and to teach newcomers how to cope with stressful work situations.
Orientation programs can have a lasting effect on the job attitudes and behaviours of new hires and they
can also lower turnover.
C. Socialization Tactics
Socialization tactics refer to the manner in which organizations structure the early work experiences of
new members. There are six socialization tactics that vary on a bipolar continuum and include:
Collective versus Individual Tactics. A number of new members are socialized as a group, going
through the same experiences and facing the same challenges.
Formal versus Informal Tactics. Formal tactics involve segregating newcomers from regular
organizational members and providing them with formal learning experiences during the period of
socialization.
Sequential versus Random Tactics. The sequential tactic involves a fixed sequence of steps leading to
the assumption of the role, compared with the random tactic in which there is an ambi
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