Employee Attitudes and Job Satisfaction

Assignment on: Employee Attitudes and Job Satisfaction Done by: T. K. Cedric Wan Wing Kai(081461) Cohort: BSc (Hons) Human Resource Management 09 Part Time Table of Contents Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 Employee Attitude……………………………………………………………………………………………4 * Features of Attitudes…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4 Attitudes, Opinions and Beliefs………………………………………………………………………. 5 Factors in Attitude formation………………………………………………………………………… 6 Methods of Attitude change……………………………………………………………………………. 6 Values and attitudes………………………………………………………………………………………. Values and Behavior………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 Attitude of employees towards the organization………………………………………….. 8 Job Satisfaction………………………………………………………………………………………………9 Job Design………………………………………………………………………………………………………9 Models of Job Satisfaction…………………………………………………………………………….. 9 * Affect Theory………………………………………………………………………………………9 * Dispositional Theory………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10 * Two-Factor Theory…………………………………………………………………………………………………………10 Measuring Job Satisfaction…………………………………………………………………………. 11 Superior-Subordinate Communication………………………………………………………. 1 Relationships and Practical implications………………………………………………….. 12 Employee Attitudes in Relation to Job Satisfaction…………………………………. 12 References………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13 “Job satisfaction is an attitude, but researches should clearly distinguish between cognitive evaluation which are emotions, beliefs and behaviors”, Weiss(2002) Introduction: The way one is satisfied with one’s job depends on many factors. Both internal and external factors affect the attitudes of employees which lead to satisfaction or dissatisfaction in one’s job. What makes employees happy?

Are they more productive when happy or less productive when happy? What are the causes of employee attitudes? What is the impact of positive and negative job satisfaction on the employees? How to influence employee attitudes? All those questions are going to be answered in this study of Attitudes and Job Satisfaction. People have their own beliefs, norms and views. Due to this, employees will not always behave in the same way as they are not the same, even though they may be performing the same job at a same given level. Job satisfaction is referred to how much an employee is satisfied and happy with his or her job.

The happier people are with their job, the more satisfied they are said to be. Employee Attitude: As it has been briefly stated in the introduction, employees have attitudes or point of views about different aspects of their jobs, their career and the organization in which they work. Allport defines attitude as follows: “Attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related” Features of attitude: Attitudes affect an individual’s behavior making him ready to respond either favorably or unfavorably to things in his environment. * Attitudes are acquired through a learning process over a period of time. It is a never-ending process that starts from childhood throughout the life of a person. * Attitudes cannot be seen with the naked eyes because they are psychological phenomenon which cannot be observed directly. They can be examined by observing the behavior of an individual. * Attitudes are pervasive and every individual has some kind of attitude towards objects in his surroundings.

In fact, attitudes are forced in the socialization process and may relate to anything in his environment. Attitude, Opinion and Belief: An opinion is in general one’s judgmental expression of a particular set of facts, an evaluation of the circumstances presented to him. Thurstone defines opinion as ‘a response to a specifically limited stimulus, but the response is certainly influenced by the predisposition with, with the individual is operating, that is, the attitude structure’. A difference can also be made between attitude and belief.

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A belief is an enduring organization of perceptions and cognitions about some aspects of individual world whereas belief is a hypothesis concerning the nature of objects, more particularly, concerning one’s judgement of the probability regarding the nature. In this sense, belief is the cognitive component of attitude which reflects the manner in which an object is perceived. The difference between attitude, opinion and belief exists on conceptual basis. Most researchers believe that these three terms are so closely tied that it is difficult to separate them except on a limited conceptual basis.

Many psychologists however think that attitudes are more important to human behavior than are the related aspects. For instance, more efforts have been put into analyzing attitudes rather than others. It is obvious to say that attitudes are an important concern because of their main position in the process of changing work perquisites in efforts. Attitude itself do not influence behavior but these acts with other factors in the individual influencing behavior, such as personality, perception, motivation and others. Further, attitudes are also affected by the individual dimension as well as the objects, persons and ideas.

Attitudes have been through as serving four functions and there by influencing the behavior. These are: 1. Instrumental – Attitude are a way to reach a desired objective or to avoid an unwanted one. Instrumental attitude are aroused by the activation of a need or cues that are associated with the attitude object and arouse favorable or unfavorable feelings. 2. Ego-Defensive – The ego-defensive functions of attitude focus on the importance of psychological thought. Attitude may be acquired by facing threats in the external world or becoming aware of his own unacceptable impulses. . The value – Orientation function takes into account attitudes that are held because they express a person’s self-image, or by cues that engage the person’s values and make them salient to him. 4. Knowledge – The knowledge function of attitude is based on a person’s need to maintain a stable, organized and meaningful structure of the world. 5. Attitude that gives a standard against which someone evaluates the facets of his world and use it as the knowledge function too. These functions of attitudes affect the individual’s way of interpreting the information coming to him.

Since they affect work requirements and work responses, information about the way people feel about their jobs can be very useful in way people will behave about their job. Thus, these types of attitudes can create areas of enquiry for making the employee and the organization more compatible. Factors in Attitude Formation The attitudes are learned. Generally, an individual learn things from his surroundings, that is, the environment in which they interact, even though there are different approaches to learning those. Thus, for an attitude to be formed, all the factors from which people learn must be taken into consideration.

Such factors may be examined in terms of groups starting from the family itself as a group, an individual moves in a close group, then to larger groups, and finally to the society as a whole. Being part of these groups, the individual’s psychology which makes up his personality particularly, is also responsible for behavior and attitudes. Methods of Attitude Change There are various ways through which a positively attitude change can be brought. Cohen has suggested four methods for attitude change: 1. Communication of additional information 2.

Approval or disapproval of a particular attitude 3. Group influence 4. Inducing engagement in discrepant behavior. In any way, all these methods involve getting to know discrepancies among the elements making up the individual’s attitudes. From an organizational point of view, a Manager can take the following actions making attitudes of members of the organization to change. * Group action * Persuasion through leadership * Persuasion through communication and * Influence of total situation These actions involve analysis of different aspects affecting a particular action. Values and Attitudes

Some researchers view values as being made of large groups of related attitudes. For instance, Fishbein and Ajzen have included two components in attitudes-informational and emotional. Thus, they have taken values as a part of attitudes. However, there are some differences between values and attitudes. Attitudes are specific and related to distinct objects which are people or ideas. Values are more general than attitudes. Statement of values that people have generally is often perceived as good or bad. Values are beliefs about which attitudes we should have or not. Values and Behavior

The behavior of people is inclined by the values which they embrace, particularly in terms of those stimuli which have some value orientation in the organizational context, understanding the influence of individual value system on the behavior of individuals in the following ways: * Values influence the way an individual perceives problems he or she faces and also the decision he or she makes to tackle those problems. * Values influences the way in which someone looks at other people and groups of people, that is, interpersonal relationship. Values are the base of interpersonal relationship interactions. People judge organizational success as well as its achievement of the basis of their value system. Thus, for some people, organizational success may be in the form of high- profit earning irrespective of the means adopted whereas, this may be a harsh thing for others. * Individuals determine whether behaviors that they adopt are either ethical or unethical whether towards themselves or others * Values determine the extent to which employees accept organizational pressures and goals. If these do not correspond to the values held by them, they oppose the organizational pressures and objectives, and even quit their job.

Attitudes of Employees towards the Organization Attitudes and values are not the same but they are interrelated. It can be seen by examining the three components of attitudes which are cognition, affect and behavior. The belief that ‘discrimination is wrong’ is a value statement. * Cognitive Component of an Attitude – It sets the phase for the more important part of an attitude and is reflected in the statements of evaluation concerning objects, people or events. The behavioral component of an attitude refers to an intentional way to act in a certain manner towards someone or something.

In an Organization, attitudes are crucial, because they affect job behavior. If for instance, employees believe that their superiors and other people at managerial levels are all doing a conspiracy to make them work harder for the same wage, then, it is important to try to comprehend how those attitudes that reflect their beliefs were formed and how those can be changed. Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction has been defined as ‘a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job’. Job satisfaction describes how happy an employee is with his or her job.

People are said to be more satisfied the happier they are with their job. Job satisfaction is not the same as motivation, although it is clearly linked, that is, someone will be more motivated to work if he or she likes the job being practiced by the latter. Job Design Job design tries to improve job satisfaction along with performance. The methods used include job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment. Other influences on satisfaction include the management style and culture, employee involvement, empowerment and autonomous work position.

Job satisfaction is a very important attribute which is frequently measured by organizations. Rating scales are mostly used to measure the level of job satisfaction. Employees are brought to report their reactions to their jobs. The questions are relative to the rate of pay, work responsibilities, variety of tasks, promotional opportunities, the work itself and co-workers. Models of Job Satisfaction Affect Theory Edwin A. Locke’s Range of Affect Theory (1976) is arguably the most famous job satisfaction model.

The main principle of this theory is that satisfaction is determined by a discrepancy between what one wants in a job and what one has in a job. Further, the theory states that how much one values a given facet of work (e. g. the degree of autonomy in a position) moderates how satisfied/dissatisfied one becomes when expectations are or aren’t met. When a person likes a specific facet of a job, his satisfaction is more greatly impacted both positively (when expectations are met) and negatively (when expectations are not met), compared to one who doesn’t value that facet.

For example, if a certain Employee A prefers autonomy in the workspace and another Employee B does not care about autonomy, then Employee A would be more satisfied in a position that allows a high degree of autonomy and less satisfied with little or no autonomy as compared to Employee B. This theory also states that too much of a particular facet will produce stronger feelings of dissatisfaction the more a worker values that facet. Dispositional Theory Another well-known job satisfaction theory is the Dispositional Theory.

It is a theory that suggests that people have innate dispositions that cause them to have tendencies toward a certain level of satisfaction, regardless of one’s job. This approach became a considerable explanation of job satisfaction in light of evidence that job satisfaction tends to be stable over time and across careers and jobs. Two-Factor Theory (Motivator-Hygiene Theory) Frederick Hertzberg’s Two factor theory, also known as motivator hygiene theory, attempts to explain satisfaction in the workplace. This theory states that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are driven by different factors hich are motivation and hygiene factors respectively. An employee’s motivation to work is continually related to job satisfaction of a subordinate. Motivation can be seen as an inner force that drives individuals to reach personal and organizational goals. Motivating factors are those aspects of the job that make people want to perform, and provide people with satisfaction, for example achievement in work, recognition, promotion opportunities. These motivating factors are considered to be intrinsic to the job or the work carried out.

Hygiene factors include aspects of the working environment such as pay, company policies, supervisory practices, and other working conditions While Hertzberg’s model has stimulated much research, researchers have not been able to reliably empirically prove the model, with Hackman & Oldham suggesting that Hertzberg’s original formulation of the model may have been a methodological artifact. Moreover, the theory does not consider individual differences, conversely predicting all employees will react in an identical manner to change in motivating/hygiene factors.

Finally, the model has been criticized in that it does not specify how motivating and hygiene factors are to be measured. Measuring Job Satisfaction There are many methods for measuring job satisfaction. By far, the most common method for collecting data regarding job satisfaction is the Likert Scale named after Rensis Likert. A Likert Scale is a psychometric scale commonly used in questionnaires, and is the most widely used scale in survey research, such that the term is often used interchangeably with rating scale even though the two are not synonyms.

When responding to a Likert questionnaire, participators specify their level of agreement to a statement. Other less common methods used for measuring job satisfaction include: yes/no question, True/False questions, point systems, checklists and forced choice answers. This data is typically collected using an Enterprise Feedback Management system. The Job Descriptive Index(JDI), created by Smith, Kendall & Hulin(1969), is a specific questionnaire of job satisfaction that has been widely used. It measures one’s satisfaction in five ways: pay, promotions and promotion opportunities, coworkers, supervision and the work itself.

Superior-Subordinate Communication Superior-subordinate communication influences greatly job satisfaction in the workplace. The way in which a subordinate perceives a supervisor’s behavior can positively or negatively influence job satisfaction. Communication behavior such as facial expression, eye contact, vocal expression and body movement is crucial to the superior-subordinate relationship. Non verbal messages can play a central role in interpersonal interactions with respect to impression formation, deception, attraction, social influence and satisfaction.

Individuals who dislike and think negatively about their supervisors are less willing to communicate or be motivated to work whereas individuals who like and think positively about their supervisor are most likely to communicate and be satisfied with their job and work environment. The relationship a subordinate holds with their supervisor is a very important aspect in the workplace. Relationships and practical implications Job satisfaction can be an important indicator of how employees feel about their jobs and a predictor of work behaviors such as organizational citizenship, absenteeism and turnover.

Further, job satisfaction can partially mediate the relationship of personality variables and deviant work behaviors. One common research finding is that job satisfaction is correlated with life satisfaction. This correlation is reciprocal, meaning people who are satisfied with life tend to be satisfied with their job and people who are satisfied with their job ten to be satisfied in life. However, some research has found that job satisfaction is not significantly related to life satisfaction when other variables such as non-work satisfaction and core self-evaluations are taken into account. Employee attitude in relation to Job Satisfaction

Employees in a work place will not have the same attitudes and level of job satisfaction. Because of various factors such as age, race, sex, religion, values, beliefs, and many other factors, employees will react very differently from one another within a work place. People perceive things differently and will eventually not feel the same in a job, even though conditions such as wage, environment and management are the same. Some employees may be more satisfied than others. References http://www. wikipedia. org http://www. scribd. com Essentials of Organisational Behavior by Stephen Robbins, Timothy Judge http://books. google. com

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