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Chapter 4

BU288 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Emotional Contagion, Absenteeism, Flight Attendant


Department
Business
Course Code
BU288
Professor
Greg Irving
Chapter
4

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BU288 Chapter 4: Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour
What are Values?
-Values: A broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others
Preference means that values have to do with what we consider good and bad
oValues are motivational – they signal the attractive aspects of our environment
that we seek and the unattractive aspects that we try to avoid/change
oSignal how we should/should not behave
Broad Tendency means that values are general and don’t predict behaviour in certain
situations well
-People tend to hold values structured around factors such as achievement, power, autonomy,
conformity, tradition, and social welfare
Generational Differences in Values
Generation Percentage of
Workforce
Assets in the
Workplace
Leadership Style
Preferences
Traditionalists
Born 1922-1945 8%
Hard working, stable,
loyal, thorough, detail-
oriented, focused,
emotional maturity
Fair, consistent, clear,
direct, respectful
Baby Boomers
Born 1946-1964 44%
Team perspective,
dedicated, experienced,
knowledgeable, service-
oriented
Treat as equals, warm
and caring, mission-
defined, democratic
approach
Generation X
Born 1965-1980
34%
Independent, adaptable,
creative, techno-literate,
willing to challenge the
status quo
Direct, competent,
genuine, informal,
flexible, results-
oriented, supporting of
learning opportunities
Millennials
Born 1981-2000
14% and increasing
rapidly
Optimistic, able to
multitask, tenacious,
technologically savvy,
driven to learn and
grow, team-oriented,
socially responsible
Motivational,
collaborative, positive,
educational, organized,
achievement-oriented,
able to coach
-Generations grew up in different socialization experiences  notable value differences
Value differences might then underlie the differential workplace assets and preferences
for leadership style
-Popular press contains many stereotypes concerning the generations
Traditionalists are portrayed as being respectful of authority and having a high work ethic
Baby boomers are optimistic, workaholics
Gen X is cynical, confident, and pragmatic
Gen Y is confident, social, demanding of feedback, and somewhat unfocused
First 2 generations are more accepting of diversity and striving for good work-life
balance, and their comfort with technology is notable
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-Some inclination that Gen X and Y are more inclined to value money, status, and rapid career
growth than boomers
Reflects valuing what one doesn’t have, and positive self-esteem movement
-Gen X and Y see work as less central, value leisure more, and are more inclined toward work-
life balance
-Any generational differences in work values or in the way values are expressed is important b/c
there’s much evidence that good “fit” between a person’s values and those of the organization
leads to positive work attitudes and behaviours, including reduced chances of quitting
Organizations may have to tailor job designs, leadership styles, and benefits to
generational mix of their workforces
Cultural Differences in Values
-16-40% of managers terminate foreign assignments early b/c they perform poorly or can’t adjust
to culture
Work Centrality
-Work is valued differently across cultures  Marked cross-national differences in extent to
which people perceived work as a central life interest
Japan has high work centrality, Belgians and Americans have average, and British scored
low
-Question to respondents was if they would continue working if they won the lottery:
Those with central interest in work were going to continue working
-Those working with central life interest tended to work more hours  poses problems to
managers working in other countries
Hofstede’s Study
-Hofstede asked 116 000+ IBM employees in 76 countries about their work-related values
-4 basic dimensions along which work-related values differed across cultures:
-Power Distance: Extent to which an unequal distribution of power is accepted by society
In small power distance cultures, inequality is minimized, superiors are accessible, and
power differences are downplayed (e.g. Denmark, New Zealand, Israel, Austria)
In large power distance societies, inequality is accepted as natural, superiors are
inaccessible, and power differences are highlighted (e.g. Philippines, Russia, Mexico)
Canada and US fall on low power distance side
-Uncertainty Avoidance: Extent to which people are uncomfortable with uncertain and
ambiguous situations
Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures stress rules and regulations, hard work, conformity,
and security (E.g. Japan, Greece, Portugal)
Weak uncertainty avoidance are less concerned with rules, conformity and security, and
hard work is not seen as virtue; Risk taking is valued (e.g. Singapore, Denmark, Sweden)
US and Canada are well below average  exhibit weak uncertainty avoidance
-Masculinity/Feminity:
More masculine cultures differentiate gender roles, support dominance of men, and stress
economic performance (e.g. Slovakia, Japan, Austria, Venezuela, Mexico)
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Feminine cultures accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality, and stress quality of
life (e.g. Scandinavian countries)
Canada is mid-pack, and US is fairly masculine
2 aspects to this dimension from GLOBE research: how assertive people are and how
much they value gender equality
-Individualism/Collectivism:
Individualism: Stress independence, individual initiative, and privacy (e.g. US,
Australia, Great Britain, Canada)
Collectivism: Favour interdependence and loyalty to family and clan (e.g. Venezuela,
Columbia, Pakistan)
2 aspects to this dimension from GLOBE research: how collective distribution of
resource is stressed and how much one’s group/organization elicits loyalty
-Long Term/Short Term Orientation:
Long term orientation stress persistence, perseverance, thrift, and close attention to status
differences (e.g. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea)
Short term orientation stress personal steadiness and stability, face-saving, and social
niceties (e.g. US, Canada, Great Britain, Zimbabwe, Nigeria)
Hofstede and Bond argue that long term orientation describes prolific East African
entrepreneurship
Implications of Cultural Variation
Exporting OB Theories
-OB theories, research, and practices from NA might not translate well to other societies, even
one located just south of Texas
-Answers to even basic questions (e.g. how should I lead?) differ
E.g. North American managers tend to encourage participation in work decisions by
employees  low degree of power distance
oHigh power distance – people might defer boss’s decision
E.g. North American – calling attention to one’s accomplishments is expected and often
rewarded
oIn collective Asian or South American cultures, individual success might be
devalued, and makes more sense to reward groups
Importing OB Theories
-OB theory: “Japanese management” techniques such as quality circles, total quality
management, and just in time production
-When importing these techniques from Japan to North America, there are both success and
stories
Many problems stem from basic value differences between Japan and NA
E.g. Quest for continuous improvement and heavy reliance on employee suggestions for
improvement has had a mixed reaction
Japan is team-oriented and collective cultural values, but NA has individualistic culture
and chooses team members selectively
-Understanding cultural value differences can enable organizations to successfully import
management practices by tailoring the practice to home culture’s concerns
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