27/Apr/11 ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR ( SEMESTER – 1) UNIT 5 - ATTITUDES ⇒ Attitudes: An individual’s behaviour is a function of attitudes.

An attitude is a cognitive element; it always remains inside a person. Attitudes are basically learned. People are not born with specific attitudes; rather they acquire them through “processes of learning. Attitudes reflect a person’s previous reinforcement history. ⇒ Nature of attitude: An attitude maybe defined as a tendency to react positively or negatively with regard to an object. An attitude is always directed toward some object. An attitude is a tendency to react in a certain way i.e. a person who has an attitude has a readiness or a disposition to react favourably or unfavourably to anyone of a large variety of related situation. Attitudes are for or against things. We tend to have favourable attitudes towards sources of gratification and unfavourable attitudes towards sources of punishment and frustration. It is possible that our attitudes toward an object may not be uniformly favourable or unfavourable. ⇒ Arousal of attitude: The stronger an attitude, less is the stimulation that is necessary to arouse it. The stronger one’s attitude, the greater is the probability of arousal of the attitude or the wider is the range of stimulus situations which are capable of arousing it. An aroused attitude consists of three categories on internal responses – affective (emotional) reactions, cognitive (thoughts, perceptual reactions, judgments) and action tendencies. The set of implicit responses that is aroused on a particular occasion depends upon the person and the stimulus situations. The greater the degree of arousal of the affective component of an attitude, the greater is the strength of reaction to other attitude-related stimuli. ⇒ Attitudes and values: Value is defined as a “concept of the desirable, an internalized criterion or standard of evaluation a person possesses. Values are tinged with moral flavour. Thus values: a. standards of competence and morality b. are fewer in numbers than attitude c. transcend specific objects, situations or persons d. are relatively permanent and resistant to change e. are most central to the core of a person. o Difference: Attitudes essentially represent predispositions to respond. Values focus on the judgment of what ought to be.



27/Apr/11 ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR ( SEMESTER – 1) UNIT 5 - ATTITUDES Attitudes represent several beliefs focused on a specific object or situation. Values represent a single belief that transcendentally guides actions and judgments across objects and situations. Attitudes are mostly personal experiences while value stands in relation to some social or cultural standards or norms.

1. 2. 3. 4.

o Similarities: Both are powerful instruments influencing cognitive process and behaviour of people. Both are learned and acquired from the same source – experiences with people and objects. Both are relatively permanent and resistant to change. Both influence each other and are more often than not used interchangeable. ⇒ Attitudes and opinions: An opinion is an expression of an evaluative judgment or point of view regarding a specific topic or subject. o Difference: An attitude is some what generalized whereas an opinion is an interpretation regarding a specific matter. ⇒ Attitude, beliefs and ideology: A belief is a judgment about something. Many of our beliefs are emotionally neutral; others are definitely favourable or unfavourable towards some object. When beliefs become organized into systems, they are called ideologies. There are ideologies pertaining to all the major institutions of society such as the family, the law, the government and the economic system. They give us an interpretation and a justification for our practices. They give us social definition of reality. It is an interesting thing about human behaviour that some of the beliefs that we hold most tenaciously with the strongest feelings are not readily subject to proof or disproof. ⇒ Attitude and prejudice: A prejudice is defined as an attitude that is emotionally resistant to being changed. Prejudices are strongly entrenched and vigorously defended. They are acquired in the same way as other attitudes. ⇒ Characteristics of attitudes: Valence: it refers to the magnitude or degree of favourableness or unfavourableness towards the object or event. Multiplexity: it refers to the number of elements constituting the attitude. Relation to needs: attitudes vary in relation to needs they serve. Centrality: it refers to the importance of the attitude object to the individual. 2


27/Apr/11 ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR ( SEMESTER – 1) UNIT 5 - ATTITUDES ⇒ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Attitude formation: personal experiences: association family peer groups models institutional factors

⇒ Measurement of attitudes: 1. Thurstone’s scale: The statements both favourable and unfavourable relating to the area in which attitudes are to be measured are placed into eleven piles, one representing the most favourable one and one representing the unfavourable. Individuals are then asked to check those statements with which they agree. The average of the scale values of the items which they accepted will given and indication of the placement of a person along the attitude continuum. 2. Likert’s scale: Developed by Rensis Likert. Likert’s scale consists of five boxes ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Under each statement of attitude the respondent will be given a chance to check one of five boxes and finally all the ratings are summed up. The Likert’s scale is also known as summed-rating measure because several statements are collected in an attitude area such as one’s attitude about a job and the scales are added up. The summed-rating scale provides a means of measuring the intensity of one’s attitude towards a particular object/event in addition to the direction. 3. Bogardus’s social distance scale: Developed by Bogardus in 1924. The scale is composed of a large number of statements regarding national, racial or ethnic groups. 4. Guttman’s scale: Guttman in 1950 developed cumulative scaling technique to measure attitudes. In the scale of one’s attitude toward work, an employee might be presented with six statements displaying successively higher degrees of dissatisfaction. It is assumed that the employee will reach some point beyond which can no longer agree. The main threshold is considered to be the degree of satisfaction. 5. Measuring attitudes by means of projective tests. ⇒ Changing attitudes: 1. Characteristics of the communicator: The higher the status of the manager, the higher is the probability that he will be able to change the employee’s attitude. HETAL PATIL 3

27/Apr/11 ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR ( SEMESTER – 1) UNIT 5 - ATTITUDES Changing attitude is also a function of the trust of the communicator by the employees. The greater the prestige of the communicator the more is his ability to change the attitude of the employee. 2. The method of communication: People when presented with two-sided views will be more convinced as they perceive that the argument is not biased. By communicating the terrible consequences of the present attitudes a manager can bring change in attitudes. This is called “fear appeals”. 3. Characteristics of the target: Attitude change is the degree of commitment of the target to the initial attitude. Attitudes that are publicly expressed are more difficult to change because the person concerned has already shown commitment. And to change the attitude would be to admit the mistake. Research reveals that attitudes represented by public statements are more resistant to change than those stated privately. Firmly held attitudes to which people are behaviourally or morally committed are difficult to change. 4. Situational factors: Situational factors are not only extensive but also play a major role in influencing the change in attitudes of people. How one perceives the message is dependent on the situation or the prevailing context. 5. New experiences: Whether or not new experiences will change our attitudes depends partly upon the strength of the initial attitudes and beliefs and partly upon how strongly favourable or unfavourable the experiences may be. We are motivated to perceive those situations or aspects of situations which are congruent with our existing attitudes and beliefs and to reject information to the contrary. A person may resist changing his attitude because of ego involvement. This is because of a need to enhance and defend our selfesteem. When our self esteem is threatened we are very likely to resist vigorously any attempt to change our attitude. We may reject another’s evaluation simply because agreeing would appear to admit his superiority. When the threat is removed we may consider the situation more objectively. ⇒ Attitudes and behaviour: 1. Work attitude: The importance of attitude behaviour relationship can best be demonstrated by examining two key work attitudes: job satisfaction and organizational commitment. 2. Job satisfaction:



27/Apr/11 ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR ( SEMESTER – 1) UNIT 5 - ATTITUDES In organizational behaviour perhaps the attitude of greatest interest is the general attitude of employees toward work or toward a job often called job satisfaction. The sources of job satisfaction are of particular interest because they often suggest corrective action that can be taken. ⇒ Source of job satisfaction: Determinants of job satisfaction: • Mentally challenging work • Equitable rewards • Supportive working conditions • Supportive colleagues • Personality – job fit • Heredity/genes ⇒ Job satisfaction and employee performance: Satisfaction and productivity Satisfaction and absenteeism Satisfaction and turnover Overall job satisfaction as a collection of numerous attitudes towards various aspects of the job represents general attitude. ⇒ Organizational commitment: Organizational commitment refers to the strength of an employee’s involvement in the organization and identification with it. The concept of organizational commitment represents a broader work attitude than job satisfaction because it applies to the entire organisation than jut a job. It is likely to be more stable than job satisfaction because day to day events are not likely to affect it. Strong organizational commitment is characterized by: • A belief in and acceptance of the organization’s goals and values. • A willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization. • A desire to remain with the organization. Sources of organizational commitment: • Individual characteristics and how well their early job experiences match their expectations. • Pay, relationships at work place, working conditions, opportunities for advancement, etc. • Individuals develop deeper ties with the organization and their co-workers. • Seniority often brings advantages that tend to develop more positive work attitudes. • Opportunities in the market may decrease with the increasing age and hence employees may become more attached with the current organisation. ⇒ HETAL PATIL Abbreviations: 5




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