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Attitudes and Job Satisfaction

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• To understand attitudes, their components and how they affect our behaviours • Compare and contrast the major job attitudes. • Define job satisfaction and show how it can be measured. • Summarize the main causes of job satisfaction.

Attitudes are evaluative statements- either favourable or unfavourable- about objects, people or events. Jung’s definition of attitude is a “readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain way” (Jung, [1921] Most attitudes are the result of either direct experience or observational learning from the environment.

Mainly there are 3 components of Attitudes-Cognitive


The emotional or feeling segment of an attitude

The opinion or belief segment of an attitude



An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something

Moderating Variables
 The most powerful moderators of the attitude-behavior

relationship are:
 Importance of the attitude-reflects fundamental values,

self interest or identification with groups or individuals have strong relation with behaviour  Correspondence to behavior- closer the attitude and behaviour, stronger the relationship  Accessibility- the more we talk, the more we remember and more its effect on behaviour

 Existence of social pressures- in accord with the attitude facilitates expression and vice versa  Personal and direct experience of the attitude.

 Leon Festinger (1957)

– No, the reverse is sometimes true!  Cognitive Dissonance: Any incompatibility between two or more attitudes or between behavior and attitudes  Individuals seek to reduce this uncomfortable gap, or dissonance, to reach stability and consistency

 The stronger the dissonance, the greater the urge to reduce it or actively avoid situations and information that create awareness of dissonance existing

Ways to reduce dissonance
– Consistency is achieved  by changing the attitude causing dissonance  modifying or changing the behaviors,  or through rationalization

Desire to reduce dissonance depends on:

Importance of elements creating dissonance
Degree of individual influence over elements Rewards involved in dissonance

Predicting Behavior from Attitudes
 Closer the match between attitude & behavior, stronger the relationship:  Specific attitudes predict specific behavior  General attitudes predict general behavior  More frequently expressed an attitude, better predictor it is.  High social pressures reduce the relationship and may cause dissonance.  Attitudes based on personal experience are stronger predictors.

What are the Major Job Attitudes?
 Job Satisfaction  A positive feeling about the job resulting from an evaluation of its characteristics  Job Involvement  Degree of psychological identification with the job where perceived performance is important to self-worth

Psychological Empowerment
 Belief in the degree of influence over the job, competence, job meaningfulness, and autonomy

Another Major Job Attitude
 Organizational Commitment
 Identifying with a particular organization and its goals, while wishing to maintain membership in the organization.  Three dimensions:  Affective – emotional attachment to organization and belief in its values  Continuance Commitment – economic value of staying  Normative – moral or ethical obligations  Has some relation to performance, especially for new employees.

More Major Job Attitudes…
 Perceived Organizational Support (POS)  Degree to which employees believe the organization values their contribution and cares about their well-being.  Higher when rewards are fair, employees are involved in decision-making, and supervisors are seen as supportive.  High POS is related to higher OCBs and performance.  Employee Engagement  The degree of involvement with, satisfaction with, and enthusiasm for the job.  Engaged employees are passionate about their work and company.

Job Satisfaction
 a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job; an affective reaction to one’s job; and an attitude towards one’s job.  involves a complex individual summation of a number of discrete job elements.  How to measure?  Single global rating (one question/one answer) Best  Summation of job facets score (many questions/one average) – standardized scale

Models of Job Satisfaction
 Affect Theory- Edwin A. Locke’s (1976)-satisfaction is determined by a discrepancy between what one wants in a job and what one has in a job. – 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/aren’t met  Dispositional Model- Job Satisfaction is a relatively stable disposition of an individual -some individuals are likely to be consistently either dissatisfied or satisfied with their jobs

Causes of Job Satisfaction
 Pay influences job satisfaction only to a point.  After about $40,000 a year (in the U. S.), there is no relationship between amount of pay and job satisfaction.  Money may bring happiness, but not necessarily job satisfaction.  Personality can influence job satisfaction.  Negative people are usually not satisfied with their jobs.  Those with positive core self-evaluation are more satisfied with their jobs.

Employee Responses to Dissatisfaction
Exit • Behavior directed toward leaving the organization Voice • Active and constructive attempts to improve conditions

Neglect • Allowing conditions to worsen Loyalty • Passively waiting for conditions to improve



Outcomes of Job Satisfaction
 Job Performance  Satisfied workers are more productive AND more productive workers are more satisfied!  Organizational Citizenship Behaviors  Satisfaction influences OCB through perceptions of fairness.  Customer Satisfaction  Satisfied frontline employees increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.  Absenteeism  Satisfied employees are moderately less likely to miss work.

More Outcomes of Job Satisfaction
 Turnover
 Satisfied employees are less likely to quit.
 Many moderating variables in this relationship.

Economic environment and tenure  Workplace Deviance  Dissatisfied workers are more likely to unionize, abuse substances, steal, and withdraw.

Managerial Implications
 Managers should watch employee attitudes:  They give warnings of potential problems  They influence behavior  Managers should try to increase job satisfaction and generate positive job attitudes
 Reduces costs by lowering turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, and increasing OCB

 Focus on the intrinsic parts of the job: make work challenging and interesting

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