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Chapter 4

Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Baby Boomers, Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction

Management and Organizational Studies
Course Code
MOS 2181A/B
Bill Irwin

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MOS 2181: Chapter 4- Values, Attitudes and Work Behavior
Learning Objectives
LO4.1 Define values and discuss the implications of cross-cultural variation in values
for organizational behaviour.
LO4.2 Define attitudes and explain how people develop and change attitudes.
LO4.3 Explain the concept of job satisfaction and discuss some of its key contributors,
including discrepancy, fairness, disposition, mood, and emotion.
LO4.4 Explain the relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism, turnover,
performance, organizational citizenship behaviour, and customer satisfaction.
LO4.5 Differentiate affective, continuance, and normative commitment and explain how
organizations can foster organizational commitment.
What Are Values?
A broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others.
Values have to do with what we consider good and bad.
Values are motivational; they signal how we believe we should and should not behave.
Values are very general; they do not predict behaviour in specific situations very well.
People tend to hold values structured around such factors as achievement, power,
autonomy, conformity, tradition, and social welfare.
Generational Differences in Values
There are four distinctive generations in the workplace today:
Traditionalists (1922-1945)
Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
Generation X (1965-1980)
Millennials (Generation Y) (1981-2000)
These generations grew up under rather different socialization experiences.
These differences have led to notable value differences between the generations.
Such value differences might underlie the differential workplace assets and preferences for
leadership style.
Four Generations in Today’s Workplace
Generational Stereotypes
Traditionalists: Respectful of authority and a high work ethic.
Boomers: Optimistic workaholics.
Gen X: Cynical, confident, and pragmatic.
Gen Y: Confident, social, demanding of feedback, and somewhat unfocused.
Are these stereotypes accurate?
Most research points to more similarities than differences in values across generations.
Some indication that Gen X and Y are more inclined to value money, status, and rapid
career growth than are boomers.

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Gen Ys and Xers, compared to Boomers, see work as less central, value leisure more, and
are more inclined toward work-life balance.
Some research has concluded that all work generations share the same values but express
them differently.
Generational differences in work values or the way values are expressed is important
because a good “fit” between a person’s values and those of the organization (person-
organization fit) leads to more positive work attitudes and behaviours, including reduced
chances of quitting.
Cultural Differences in Values
There are basic differences in work-related values across cultures.
A lack of understanding of cross-cultural differences can cause foreign assignments to
terminate early and business negotiations to fail.
Work Centrality
Work is valued differently across cultures.
There are cross-national differences in the extent to which people perceive work as a
central life interest.
People for whom work was a central life interest work more hours.
Cross-cultural differences in work centrality can lead to adjustment problems for foreign
employees and managers.
Hofstede’s Study
Geert Hofstede questioned over 116,000 IBM employees in 40 countries about their work-
related values.
He discovered four basic dimensions along which work-related values differed across
Power distance
Uncertainty avoidance
Subsequent work with Canadian Michael Bond that catered more to Eastern cultures
resulted in a fifth dimension:
Long-term/short-term orientation
Power Distance
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 cultures, inequality is accepted as natural, superiors are
inaccessible, and power differences are highlighted.
Out of 76 countries and regions, Canada and the United States rank 15 and 16, falling on
the low power distance side of the average.

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Uncertainty Avoidance
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 and risk taking is valued.
Canada and the United States are well below average on uncertainty avoidance.
Masculine cultures clearly differentiate gender roles, support the dominance of men, and
stress economic performance.
Feminine cultures accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality, and stress quality of life.
In Hofstede’s research, Japan is the most masculine society followed by Austria, Mexico,
and Venezuela.
The Scandinavian countries are the most feminine.
Canada ranks about mid-pack and the United States is fairly masculine falling about
halfway between Canada and Japan.
Individualistic societies stress independence, individual initiative, and privacy.
Collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to family or clan.
The United States, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada are among the most individualistic
Venezuela, Columbia, and Pakistan are among the most collective, with Japan falling about
Long-term/Short-term Orientation
Cultures with a long-term orientation 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.
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea tend to be characterized by a long-
term orientation.
Canada and the United States are more short-term oriented.
Hofstede and Bond argue that the long-term orientation, in part, explains prolific East
Asian entrepreneurship.
Cross-Culture Value Comparisons
Power Distance and Individualism Values for Various Countries and Regions
Implications of Cultural Variation
What are the implications of cultural variation for organizational behaviour?
Exporting OB Theories
Organizational behaviour theories, research, and practices from North America might not
translate well to other societies.
The basic questions remain the same it is just the answers that will differ.
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