Here is a term paper on ‘Values, Attitudes and Job Satisfaction’ especially written for school and college students.
Term Paper on Values:
In every organisation the top managers were responsible for creating work climate for performance. Their values influence the direction of the organisation. The term value can be defined as a fairly permanent belief about what is appropriate and what is not that guides the actions and behaviour of employees in fulfilling organisational objectives.
Values can be thought of as forming an ideology that permeates everyday decisions. The organisation culture created by managers can result in carrying out managerial functions in the correct way.
Value refers to the worth or excellence or the degree of worth ascribed to an object or a class of objects. It has also been defined as an enduring conviction that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally and socially preferable to the alternative modes of conduct or end states of existence. It contains a moral flavor and thus, carries an individual’s ideas as to what is right, good or desirable.
Value is defined as a “concept of the desirable, an internalized criterion or standard of evaluation a person possesses.” So values provide standards of competence and morality and are fewer in number. Values transcend specific objects situations or persons, they are the most central to the core of a person and are relatively permanent in every person. They may resist to changes.
Normally culture in the source of values. It contains and reinforces them. In India, people follow and cherish some good values like peace, co-operation, harmony, equity, democracy etc., values are not fixed and they change with the passage of time. In every society people learn to inculcate values from their family, teachers, friends and media.
To start with children learn values from their family and as and when they grow they are exposed to varied value systems and accordingly may change some of their earlier values. Basic values remain relatively stable and enduring.
Types of Values:
In management literature we come across two important classifications.
Classification of Values:
Allport, Vernon and Lindzey have identified six types of values.
(1) Theoretical (discovery of truth through a critical and rational approach)
(2) Economic (useful and practical)
(3) Aesthetic (form and harmony)
(4) Social (Love of people)
(5) Political (acquisition of power and influence) and
(6) Religious (Unity of experience and understanding of the cosmos as a whole).
According to them individuals engaged in different occupations assign divergent importance to these values. Sometimes the inner core of an individual is made up of a mix of some of these values.
Similarly, another authority by name C. W. Graves in his article Levels of Existence has specified seven levels of values. These values range from lowest to the highest.
These values are as follows:
Means unaware of oneself and others as human beings, reacts to basic physiological needs.
Refer to high degree of dependence, strongly influenced by tradition and power exercised by authority, wants strong directive leadership.
Believes in rugged individualism, aggressive and selfish, responds primarily in power, desires individual responsibilities wants to work as a loner in an entrepreneurial style.
Signifies low tolerance to ambiguity, difficulty in accepting people with divergent values, desires that others accept his values.
Strives to accomplish goals by manipulating things, people, materialistic seeks status and recognition actively.
This value means the individual desires to be liked and get along with others rather than getting ahead. He seeks primarily the social relationship which a job provides.
Means high tolerance for ambiguity and for people with divergent values, outspoken on inflexible systems, restrictive policies, status symbols and arbitrary use of authority, seeks full exposition of growth and self-fulfillment needs through work.
The reason for defining values and classifying them is used to facilitate an understanding why people have divergent attitudes and reveal different patterns of behaviour. Values influence behaviour. A better analysis and understanding of an individual’s values is helpful in explaining and predicting their behaviour.
This will also facilitate the Value – Job fit with the object of enhancing employee performance and satisfaction. Some organisations have started matching values and work environment. Further attempt can be made to fuse individual and organisational goals. But such efforts are rare in industry.
The analysis of values is also helpful to managers in designing motivational techniques. The managers are to consider individual differences in values at the time of developing motivational techniques.
Two authorities Arnold and Feldman point out those values can determine motivation in two ways:
(a) They exert impact on the general activities which an individual may find appealing.
(b) They also exert impact on individual’s motivation to accomplish specific outcomes like money, promotion and prestige. The values which individuals may assign to varied organisational outcomes may strongly influence their motivation.
Term Paper on Attitudes:
Attitudes are the feelings and beliefs that strongly determine how employees will perceive their environment, commit themselves to intended actions and ultimately behave. Attitudes are a mental set that affects how a person will view everything. Attitudes are evaluative statements relating to objects, people or events and they reflect how one feels about something. Newcomb defines attitude as a condition of readiness to be motivated.
It is neither behaviour nor a cause of behaviour. It is an intervening predisposition. It indicates how an individual is likely to behave in a certain situation. It is a set to action with an emotional overtone. An attitude is a tendency to react in a certain way. 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 situations. Until some situation arises the attitude is latent.
Characteristics of Attitudes:
The important features of attitudes are:
(c) Relation to needs
Valence means the magnitude or degree of favourableness or unfavourableness towards an event or object. In measuring attitudes valence is considered. If a person is relatively indifferent toward an object event his attitude has low valence.
This specifies the number of elements constituting the attitude.
(c) Correlated to Needs:
Attitudes vary in relation to the needs they serve. Attitudes of an individual towards task are based on their strong needs like security, achievement, recognition and satisfaction.
This refers to the importance of the attitude object to the individual. This indicates the importance of the subject. The attitudes have high centrality for an individual who is less susceptible to change.
Sources of Attitudes:
Attitude is an amalgam of personal experience. The factors which influence attitudes can be identified as sources. An individual starts modelling has attitudes after those he admires, rejects or respects. He observes the way the family members and friends behave and he forms the attitudes he relates with theirs. He may also copy the attitudes of popular persons or those he admires and respects.
So attitudes are shaped by the environment. The name of former President of India, Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam creates a sense of admiration and respect in the minds of everybody besides his simplicity. So attitudes are shaped by the experiences and personalities the individual meets in his life.
The factors which are identified as the sources of attitude are:
(a) Personal experiences
(d) Peer group and society
(f) Institutional factors.
(a) Personal Experiences:
Experiences are considered as best teachers. It is considered better than the acquired theoretical knowledge. People form attitudes by coming in direct contact with an attitude object. Facing an interview panel for the first time in everybody’s life is full of fear and shiver. If a person has attended many interviews in a short span he becomes good at performing in interviews.
Similarly an individual who has worked with many organisations may develop attitudes about factors like salary, performance reviews, job design, work group, affiliation and managerial capabilities. Moreover their attitudes like loyalty, commitments, performances etc.
Employees in organisations are highly influenced by associations or major groups with which they are associated. Religion, Educational background, race, sex, age, income, regional affinity influence strongly their attitudes. Their proximity to any group strengthens the group influence, and this again influences the attitude of the employees.
In attitude moulding family plays an important role. Family exerts influence on the initial core of attitudes held by an individual. The family members parents, brothers and sisters play an important role. The family characteristics influence the individuals early attitude patterns. Research has established that there is high degree of relationship between parents and children in attitude. Similarly attitude pattern is also influenced between children and their peer. They also observe that there is low correlation between attitudes of the children and their teachers.
(d) Peer Groups:
As individuals grow and attain adulthood they highly rely on their peer group for approval attitudes. Other adults in the group judge the individual by his image and approval seeking behaviour. The affiliation to the group arises due to culture language and structure of the society. The childhood attitude also undergoes a change when he attains adulthood due to peer group pressure. In work-spot also peer group pressure plays an important role.
People try to imitate others as they consider them as their role model. Individuals assess and identify the behaviour of some people and try to imitate them in different situations. This is probably because people identify characters and respect their judgement. People learn by watching successful people’s footsteps. Individuals seek to emulate different characteristics of different people. Thus values, attitudes and beliefs may be derived from other people.
(f) Institutional Factors:
Every society has different organisations like business organisations, schools, military set up, hospitals, religious institutions. These organisations have their own architecture, furnishings, people’s clothing, set of rules, rituals, practices which are responsible for setting tone and style of functioning of the organisation. These institutional factors function as sources and support for developing attitudes and beliefs.
Attitudes are basically learnt. People are not born with specific attitudes. They acquire them through the process of sources of attitudes and learning.
Types of Attitudes:
S. P. Robbins has classified attitudes into three groups.
(a) Job satisfaction,
(b) Job involvement and
(c) Organisational commitment.
(a) Job Satisfaction:
It means an individual’s general attitude towards his job. It has been defined as a general attitude of an employee as a consequence of several specific attitudes in the following areas of job factors, individual adjustment and group relationships outside the job.
Like motivation and morale, attitude and job satisfaction are scientifically, logically and effectively related factors. An individual who has a high level of job satisfaction, will reveal a positive attitude towards the job. Similarly if he is dissatisfied with his job he will have a negative attitude towards his job.
(b) Job Involvement:
This means involvement of the individual in the job. This is reflected by his identification with the job, his active participation in it and considers his performance important to his self-worth. Any employee with a high job involvement is likely to be more productive, have higher satisfaction and they will not resign from the job.
(c) Organisational Commitment:
This refers to the individual’s orientation towards the organisation. This is reflected by an employee’s involvement, identification and loyalty towards the organisation in which he is employed. It is more likely that a highly committed individual is a better performer and is less likely to desert his job than the one having a low level of commitment with the organisation.
Functions of Attitudes:
Attitudes are called as “frame of reference” as they provide a general context within which people tend to perceive specific aspects of their work life including pay, hours of work, nature of supervision promotion avenues and other related factors.
Pestonjee, has specified that attitudes perform the following functions:
(a) Organisational settings
(b) Determination of meaning
(c) Reconciliation of contradictions
(d) Organisation of facts and selection of facts.
(a) Organisational Settings:
This means what the organisational back drop is and how it influences the operations. The organisational settings include the organisational structure, work flow, work culture, conduct and observance of rules and regulations. These factors develop a positive or negative thinking in the minds of employees. Like or dislike by employees is created by organisational environment.
(b) Reconciliation of Contradictions:
Attitudes reconcile contradictions in the opinion of people. The question of contradiction arises due to the fact that there is lack of understanding. For example, when a worker relaxes during working hours the supervisor thinks he is wasting time but the employee thinks his superior is spying or he is being evaluated for performance. This can be reconciled by proper understanding and good attitudes.
(c) Attitudes Organise Facts:
Events can be viewed by people in different angle by people with divergent attitudes. There is every possibility for management and employees to place facts properly to develop better understanding and at the same time there is a possibility to create misunderstanding.
(d) Selection of Facts:
Attitudes act as a screen or filter. Every individual may select those facts and stimuli from environment which are consistent with cherished attitudes. Managers may focus on the negative attitude unionists and fail to observe their positive attitude.
Measurement of Attitudes:
Attitudes can be measured. The most common method of measurement is the questionnaire method. The respondents are given a questionnaire to evaluate and rate their attitudes regarding a particular object. Normally, bipolar scales are used to assess the individual attitudes of employees.
For the measurement of attitudes the normally used scales are:
(a) Thurstone’s scale
(b) Likert’s scale
(c) Bogardus’s social scale
(d) Guttman’s scale.
(a) Thurstone’s Scale:
In this scale there are eleven piles. Each one will represent one level of likes and dislikes. Individuals will be asked to check those statements with which they agree. The average scale value of these items which they accept will give an indication of the placement of a person this attitude continuum.
(b) Likert’s Scale:
This was developed by Rensis Likert and this is comparatively an easier one. This scale consists of six boxes ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. The respondent is given a chance to check one of the boxes and finally all the ratings are summed up. This is attempted to obtain a person’s attitude towards his job. The summed-rating scale provides a measure for the intensity of one’s attitude towards particular object in addition to the direction.
(c) Bogardus’s Social Distance Scale:
This scale was developed by Bogardus in 1925. This is also a simple scale of measuring attitudes. The scale is composed of a large number of statements regarding rational, racial or ethnic groups. The respondents are asked to rate and then the attitudes are evaluated.
(d) Guttman’s Scale:
In 1950, Guttman developed a cumulative scaling technique to measure attitudes. This technique is used to find out one’s attitude towards work. An employee is presented with six statements displaying successively higher degree of satisfaction. The basic assumption of this approach is that the employee will reach some point beyond which he can no longer agree. The main thrust of this scale is considered to be the degree of satisfaction.
Besides these techniques there is one more method which is used to obtain a true picture of attitudes. This is known as Projective Test. This requires a person to respond to an unstructured stimulus situation. The idea behind such tests is that to identify the personal factors which determine the individual’s responses.
This test is highly helpful in the study of prejudices because many of our prejudices operate at our unconscious level. Whatever may be the study it is always better to use standard questionnaire or to consult an expert to obtain a fairly valid estimate of attitudes of employees in an organisation.
In measuring attitudes the researcher may face some problems.
(i) Use of open-ended questions is often used instead of structured set of questions. This is done with the object of enabling the respondent to answer freely. Based on his answers only further questioning is to be made. The respondent must be a good communicator.
(ii) The questions should be understandable to the respondent. There should be no ambiguity in framing questions.
(iii) Knowingly or unknowingly respondents may distort their answers. Conscious distortion may take place when an individual intentionally wants to misinterpret.
(iv) Selection of a good sample always poses a tough problem.
Influencing of Attitudes:
These are two successive stages. Attitude is responsible for correct motivations. Every organisation should have personnel policies which facilitate the influencing of attitudes and its arousal. Every manager should be aware of the factors which influence a change in attitudes.
(a) Characteristics of the communication
(b) Method of communication
(c) Characteristics of the target
(d) Situational factors and
(e) New experiences.
(a) Characteristics of the Communication:
The most important thing in attitude change is the status and prestige of the communicator. The higher the status of the manager, the higher is the probability that will be able to change the attitude of the employees. The communication must be free from bias and dispassionate from the point of view of the employees. This will improve the confidence and trust in communication. Further the trust of the manager in the minds of employees will also influence the attitude.
(b) Method of Communication:
The method of communication must be fair, brief and present the two-sided view. This will promote understanding. Next point is the presentation of “fear appeals”, i.e. wrong performance may result in the existence of an organisation.
(c) Characteristics of the Target:
This means the characteristics of the employees who are to be influenced. The attitudes that are publically expressed are difficult to be influenced as the employees are strongly committed to it. Researches have also shown that attitudes represented by public statements are more resistant to change than those stated privately.
(d) Situational Factors:
These factors are extensive in nature. How the employees perceive the message is dependent on the situation or the prevailing context. A good manager will have no problem in introducing attitude changes because the group and manager go together.
(e) New Experiences:
Experiences faced by employees at various levels may be responsible for changing their attitudes. Employees with strong attitudes may resist changes. Employees may resist changes because of ego involvement. This is due to the need to enhance and defend their self-esteem.
A prolonged series of strongly favourable or unfavourable experiences can effect a change. The human tendency is to perceive those situations or aspects of situations which are congruent with the existing attitudes and belief and to reject information to the contrary.
Arousal of Attitude:
Every manager is intimately concerned with attitudes as it is an important cognitive input which decides the direction of human behaviour. Any event or incident appears to maintain, attain or foster movement towards what one value, then the event will tend to arouse positive reactions. But any event which tries to destroy, prevent attainment of or otherwise endanger what one value, then this event will tend to arouse negative reactions.
Keith Davis has come out with the following suggestions for arousing attitudes:
(a) A significant path is by manipulating the reward system. Many employees respond well to monetary incentives. So the organisation must link the reward system to individual or group performance. An important advantage of this approach is, it is easy to assess the effectiveness and it can be modified as and when necessary in the desired direction.
(b) Challenging goals can be set by employers and these goals will act as achievement drives and enhance the satisfaction of employees.
(c) The goals can be set in tune with reward systems with the object of bringing about changes in employee satisfaction with their pay and opportunities to achieve.
(d) Further, management can focus on the employee’s job context or work environment. This can be achieved by clear role assignments coupled with specific assignments which will facilitate them to have greater satisfaction.
(e) Employees will be interested in getting information regarding their performance as the right feedback. They will also feel at home and comfortable with caring and considerate superior. Moreover, they prefer a supervisor who shows concern for their feelings and also provide opportunities for them to participate in decision making.
(f) The organisation can provide the employees with new data about growth and expansion of the organisation in future with the object of instilling confidence in the minds of employees.
(g) Last but not the least, it would be naive to assume that attitudes only influence behaviour but there is a reciprocal relationship between them and it influences the attitudes. Sometimes it is better to change their behaviour first and then the desired attitude shift will follow.
Term Paper on Job Satisfaction:
Keith Davis has defined job satisfaction as a “set of favourable or unfavourable feelings and emotions with which employees view their work.” This refers to the attitudes of a single employee. The assessment of individual satisfaction can be averaged across all members in a work spot, then the morale is used to denote group satisfaction.
Job satisfaction can be viewed as an overall attitude or it can apply to the various parts of individual’s job. Job studies often focus on various parts that are important as it is responsible for the determination of employee’s performance. Important aspects of job satisfaction include pay, superior’s treatment, nature of tasks to be performed, peer group pressure and working conditions.
Job satisfaction is viewed as multidimensional concept and it must be developed in a balanced way. Job satisfaction or dissatisfaction emerges more quickly as and when an employee gains more and more information about work-spot. It is dynamic in nature and its decline is faster than its development.
Job satisfaction is one part of life satisfaction. The nature of one’s environment off the job indirectly influences one’s feelings on the job. As job is an important part of life for many workers job satisfaction influences one’s general life satisfaction. The result is that there is a spillover effect occurring in both directions between job and life satisfaction. So the manager is to concentrate on both job and work environment and the employees attitudes towards other parts of life.
The level of job satisfaction varies with groups. It is not a constant factor as it is related to number of variables. This facilitates managers to identify groups which are more likely to exhibit the problem of behaviour associated with dissatisfaction. The key variables are age, occupational level and organisational size.
The employees in higher age bracket tend to be slightly more satisfied with their jobs as they adjust themselves better to work situations and adjust their expectations to realistic levels.
Similarly people with higher level occupations tend to be more satisfied with their jobs as they are better paid with better working conditions and hold jobs where they make full use of their potentials. Levels of job satisfaction are higher in smaller organisations than larger organisations.
Job Satisfaction Studies:
A typical method used for study is known as job satisfaction survey. Other names to this study are – Morale, opinion, attitude or quality of work-life survey. A job satisfaction survey is a procedure by which employees report their feelings towards jobs and work environment. The individual responses are combined and analysed later.
Managers must identify the purpose for the attitude assessment. They must get the permission and support from the top management, support of employees and develop the measurement design. After conducting the study the conclusions are given to the participants. Based on the conclusions the action plans are to be developed.
In the survey they may use close-end questions or open-end questions. Close-end questions present a choice of answers and the employees select and mark the best that represent their own feelings. Open- end questions present a variety of topics and the employees answer in their own words. A survey can employ both approaches.
The critical issues involved in such survey are reliability, validity and social desirability. Reliability means the capacity of survey document to produce consistent results. The term validity means measuring what they claim to measure accurately to satisfy the purpose. The respondents may be asked to send their answers in a short time. If they fail in sending it they may be sent reminders.
The employees will normally have a social desirability bias regarding the submission of responses. If they feel that the society values can be controlled they may delay the response.
Merits of Job Satisfaction:
The merits of job satisfaction surveys are:
(a) This technique is a powerful diagnostic instrument for assessing employees problems. The survey reveals how employees feel about their jobs, the strength and weaknesses of the organisation.
(b) The flow of communication can be improved in all directions.
(c) Surveys serve as safety values or source of emotional release for people.
(d) It helps managers to identify training needs.
(e) They facilitate managers to plan and monitor new programmes by getting feed-back on proposed changes in-advance.