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What research evidence suggests managers should pay attention to work attitudes?

Results of several studies show that work attitude is an important factor that affects the work behavior of employees, such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job involvement. Thus, managers should take into consideration the work attitude of their employees to be able to understand the reason behind their work behavior. The required reading cited some previous studies which suggest that attitude and behavior are closely linked. That is, one’s attitude influences his or her behavior.

The Theory of Reasoned Action proposed by Aizen and Fishbein (1980) for instance, states that intentions are greatly influenced by one’s attitude. In turn, these intentions affect beha...

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...vior. When applied in a corporate context, this theory implies that employees who have a positive attitude towards work will more likely have the intention of doing their job well. Consequently, this intention will translate into actions. Because they have the intention to do their job well, there is a higher possibility that they will work hard and concentrate their efforts on accomplishing their job and producing excellent results.

In contrast, employees who harbor a negative attitude towards their job are inclined to lose interest to work hard. As a result of this intention, they would most probably do their jobs half-heartedly and produce “moderately satisfactory” results. Hackman and Oldham (1976) proposed the Job Characteristics Theory which links job satisfaction with five core characteristics: task identity, task significance, skill variety, autonomy, and feedback. According to Frye (1996), employees are more likely to have job satisfaction when they are satisfied with these job characteristics.

For instance, when a job requires minimal supervision to complete, employees assigned to do the job generally want to accomplish their work without their supervisor giving out instructions all the time and monitoring their every move. Thus, an employee’s attitude towards or perception of these job characteristics may affect his or her overall feelings about the job which, in turn, may influence work behavior. An example of a work behavior that may be affected by job satisfaction is the OCB or organizational citizenship behavior (Bateman & Organ, 1983).

This is worth mentioning as OCBs contribute to the effective overall functioning of the company (Organ, 1997). A recent study conducted by Schneider and his associates (2003) supports the findings of Organ’s (1997) research. They discovered that employees’ attitude towards work affects organizational performance (Schneider, Hanges, Smith, & Salvaggio, 2003). Another work attitude that influences work behavior is organizational commitment, especially affective commitment, which is derived from the feelings of an employee towards the company.

Research suggests affective commitment is negatively related to poor attendance. Hence, employees who have a high affective commitment are more likely to avoid being absent from work. Results of another study report that employees with high affective commitment are less likely to leave their jobs (Allen & Meyer, 1996). Organizational commitment may also be influenced by job satisfaction. The required reading cited Tett and Meyer (1993) who discovered that the more satisfied employees are with their job, the higher the chance that they will stay committed to the company.

Job involvement is also a significant job attitude that influences the work behavior of employees. It refers to the degree of psychological or mental attachment of an employee to his or her work. Although generally viewed as a positive trait, extreme job involvement (or “workaholism”) may prove to be unhealthy as this may result in psychological distress and other health problems (Probst, 2000). Thus, managers need to remind workaholics not to work too much. Their health may be suffering as a result of overworking themselves. 2. What anecdotal evidence from your own work history can you share that would

support the importance of work attitudes? As a regional sales representative of a commercial roofing manufacturer, I have to deal with clients every time. I have to conduct presentations, make sales calls, write specifications for customers and building owners, and monitor the sales performance of the entire region. Because of the nature of my work, I am bound to encounter rejection all the time and deal with clients who are not pleasant to work with. Thus, work attitude is very important. I always have to stay positive and withstand rejection and difficult clients.

I have to stay focused on making sales. Moreover, as my job requires me to be on the field 90 percent of the time, I have to work without direct supervision. I have to work independently without relying on my superior and co-workers for assistance. Hence, I have to stay motivated even without the presence of my superior to oversee my work performance. Moreover, I enjoy having autonomy over my work as it allows me to accomplish my job the way I want to. This is one of the reasons why I am satisfied with my job. I believe that this satisfaction is also the reason why I enjoy working hard. 3.

What stories from friends or family members could you share? Most of my current co-workers feel the same about work attitude. They believe that work attitude plays a significant role in one’s work behavior. The sales representatives who are in charge of other regions share that if they do not have a positive attitude towards their jobs, they would not work hard beyond expectations. Independence and initiative is very crucial to our job. Without these personal attitudes, they would only present mediocre results. Making them responsible for their own output also teaches them to become independent and to gain initiative.

Moreover, because they are given control over how to accomplish their jobs, they are able to enjoy their job—and do it well. Hence, they are satisfied with their job because they experience a high degree of autonomy over their work. 4. What costs might organizations endure if they fail to consider worker attitudes? It was mentioned earlier in the text that attitude influences one’s intention which, in turn, affects behavior. Hence, if workers have a negative attitude towards their job, their intention to work hard may be affected. If many workers feel this way, it could be detrimental to the company’s operations.

For instance, if all of them are not working hard because they don’t like their job, the productivity would greatly suffer. Nevertheless, even if the company’s productivity is low, it still needs to give the workers their salaries. Hence, negative work attitude can prove to be costly for the organization. 5. Find a magazine or newspaper article on-line that supports your point and paste a link or a link to an attachment in your response. http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0HUV/is_1_32/ai_107894459/print Part B 1. What research evidence suggests that work attitudes do not matter or matter little in

the workplace? Contrary to the general notion about attitude and performance, several studies failed to establish a relationship between the two concepts. A meta-analytic research was unable to link job satisfaction and overall performance (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985). In addition, the required reading included a number of studies which report a small to moderate relationship between job dissatisfaction and negative work behaviors, including absenteeism (Scott & Taylor, 1985) tardiness (Koslowsky, et al. , 1997) and chronic tardiness (Blau, 1994), decision to resign (Griffeth et al.

, 2000; Hom & Kinicki, 2001), retirement (Hanisch & Hulin, 1990), and psychological withdrawals (Roznowski, Miller, & Rosse, 1992). These studies imply that when employees are dissatisfied with their job, their work behavior may not necessarily suffer as a result of their dissatisfaction. This may be due to various other factors that could be affecting their work behavior such as the culture and norms of the company and the existence of other job options. As mentioned earlier in the text, affective commitment is strongly related to work attendance and low turnover.

However, a study cited in the required reading show that affective commitment and the intention to seek alternative jobs are closely linked (Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). Thus, this implies that affective commitment and job satisfaction cannot be equated. The employee who has a high affective commitment towards the organization may be always present at work, but it does not necessarily mean that he or she wishes to stay with the company for a long time. Again, there may be other extraneous factors which are making him or her stay, such as the unavailability of other jobs that can pay as well as the current job. 2.

What anecdotal evidence from your own work history can you share that would suggest attitudes are a trivial issue for managers? Once, I worked as a ____ under a manager who only cared about results. It did not matter to him that the employees did not feel good about their job and were complaining about it, because he knew that it was a repetitive, boring job. That is why he only asked us to accomplish our assigned tasks. He also knew that most of us did not have a choice but to do our job accordingly, as many of us did not have a college degree during that time, and it was hard to find a job that pays as much for non-degree holders.

In this case, I can say that the financial aspect of the job and the unavailability of better jobs were what drove most of us to fulfill our job responsibilities. 3. What stories from friends or family members could you share? I have a friend who is staying at the company where she currently works because she does not have a choice. She is not getting any younger age so it would be hard for her to look for another job if she resigns. Although she works hard most of the time, she knows that she is not that excellent of a performer to be “pirated” by other companies.

Because of this, she is afraid to get fired, so she never takes a sick leave even when she feels ill. Plus, she lives alone and her only source of income is her current job. Thus, she is only committed to the company not because of her loyalty, but because of her personal circumstances. 4. What costs will your organization endure if you spend too much time worrying about attitudes when they don’t really matter? Worrying too much about attitudes may prove to be unhelpful for the company. Evidence suggests that there are a lot of other factors that may be affecting the performance of employees.

Thus, the company should be aware of how these factors are affecting the performance of employees. When a manager concerns him- or herself too much on how the employees can have a positive attitude to become an effective worker, he or she may change some working policies or implement programs. For instance, to motivate the workers, he or she decided to conduct a positive attitude workshop and seek professionals who hold such kind of training. While this may prove to be useful, having a positive attitude may not be the one affecting the work behavior of the employees.

There might be other factors which are causing the employees’ negative work behavior. It may be because of the difficulty of the job which can be accomplished easier if the company would provide technical training for the employees. In this case, the company would just waste their resources on something that the employees do not urgently need. 5. Find a magazine or newspaper article on-line that supports your point and paste a link or a link to an attachment in your response.

http://www. allbusiness. com/management/587252-1. html

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