Chapter 4 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 political categories.
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 person. 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 because 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
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.
Power 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.
Uncertainty 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 valued.
Another 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.
Individualistic cultures stress independence, individual initiative and privacy.
Collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to family or clan.
Another 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 stability, face-saving, and social
C. Implications of Cultural Variation Exporting 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 .
Importing 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
Appreciating Global Customers. An appreciation of cross-cultural differences in values
is essential to understanding the needs and tastes of customers or clients around the
Developing 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 value.
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
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?
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.
Distributive 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.
Procedural 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.
Interactional 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.