The concept of attitude, although variously defined, is most commonly employed to designate inferred dispositions, attributed to an individual, according to which his thought, feeling, and perhaps action tendencies are organized with respect to a psychological object. Attitudes have three main components: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. The cognitive component concerns one’s beliefs; the affective component involves feelings and evaluations; and the behavioral component consists of ways of acting toward the attitude object.
The cognitive aspects of attitude are generally measured by surveys, interviews, and other reporting methods, while the affective components are more easily assessed by monitoring physiological signs such as heart rate. Behavior, on the other hand, may be assessed by direct observation. Not much more than a hundred years ago the term ‘attitude’ was used exclusively with reference to a person’s posture. To describe someone as adopting a threatening attitude or defiant attitude was to refer to his physical mien. True, the word can still be used in this manner.
But nowadays attitude increasingly connotes the psychological rather than the immediately physical orientation of a person, his mental state rather than his bodily stance (Fleming, 1967). Few, in any, organizational scientists disagree that attitudes play a central role in the discipline. Mere mention of the attitude concept evokes in the minds of most the study of job satisfaction. Often accompanying this cognitive representation of research on attitudes in the organizational sciences is a yawn or some other behavior manifestation of boredom. This less than enthusiastic reaction is understandable (Arthur, 1998).
The purpose of this essay is to examine the importance of the attitude within an organisation as well as to describe how attitude influence an organisation. The importance of attitude Employee work attitudes are a function of actual human resource programs, mediated by perceptions of organizational commitment to human resource efforts. Attitudes toward company values and job satisfaction are best predicted by this model, whereas attitudes toward general supervision, pride in working for the company, communication from the human resources department, and self-rated motivation are predicted very well.
Human resource activities have the increased benefit of having a positive impact on employee attitudes. Although this is a valuable outcome, this increased benefit may be evaluated in terms of its secondary impact on the financial performance of the organization, to the extent that improved attitudes positively affect job performance and other work-related outcomes (Cascio, 1982). Moreover, there are some reasons why the relationship between generalized employee attitudes and perceptions of the organization’s commitment to human resources is of interest.
First, employee attitudes are a widely researched topic. Employee attitudes, of which job satisfaction is just one, are an important component in the current personnel psychology and management literatures. Information regarding significant correlates of satisfaction and other employee attitudes thus will help academicians and practitioners gain a more complete understanding of the work situation. Second, employee attitudes are one component of organizational effectiveness (Kanter ; Brinkerhoff, 1981).
Although organizational effectiveness has been operationalised in numerous ways, employee attitudes play a key role in many conceptualizations of effectiveness. It thus is important to determine whether employee attitudes are related to perceptions about a company’s commitment to human resources. If they are, then the human resource department becomes of strategic importance to organizations in their plans to develop a more effective work force.
Employees’ commitment to an organization is a function of the extent to which an organization is committed to them. A third, but by no means separate issue, concerns the financial impact of human resource activities on the organization. Utility analysis provides a perspective within which the potential financial value of human resource activities can be determined. Employee attitudes are a probable contributor to the financial impact of a particular intervention.
A single employee attitude, job satisfaction, is again used for purposes of illustration. Job satisfaction has been shown to have a combined effect of significantly reducing turnover (Cotton ; Tuttle, 1986) and pro-union voting (Heneman ; Sandver, 1983), in addition to slightly affecting absenteeism (Hackett ; Guion, 1985) and job performance (laffaldano ; Muchinsky, 1985), and is therefore a reasonable variable to account for in utility analysis.
Our specific focus is on the perceptions that employees have concerning the commitment the organization has to its human resources program. If these perceptions are positively related to job satisfaction, then by extension, the overall perceived organizational commitment to human resources should have measurable utility. We are not arguing that the impact of the personnel function on the organization is only through the medium of employee attitudes, but merely that this is one component (Courter, 1979). The effects of attitude
Employees’ perceptions of their organization’s culture for success consistently showed positive relationships with organizational performance measures. Interestingly, employee satisfaction with pay and benefits consistently showed negative relationships with organizational performance indicators, suggesting that these elements of job satisfaction were less reflective of management practices that deal with organizational success. Employee perceptions of an organization’s “culture for success” showed substantial relationships to customer satisfaction.
Culture for success was measured by such items as: “adequate resources are provided for developing the technology of my business unit’s future products”, “My business unit plans future product and service offerings based on customer needs”, and “My business unit’s products and services are competitive in the marketplace”. Another employee attitude dimension highly related to measures of customer satisfaction was personal responsibility, which included such items as “Commitment to helping my business unit succeed” and “I protect the company’s property and business information as if it were my own”.
Customer satisfaction ratings were strongly and positively related to employees’ descriptions of key aspects of their working environment, especially working conditions, minimum obstacles to accomplishing their work, and a strong sense that supervisors and co-workers stress customer service. A number of employee attitude dimensions were related to customer satisfaction. One such employee attitudinal dimension was effective communication, which included items such as “my work group is told about upcoming changes in time to prepare for them” and “I get enough information about how well my work group is meeting its goals”.
Another attitudinal dimension was supervisory practices, which included items such as “My supervisor/manager makes it clear what I am expected to do”. In addition, there are several reasons why employee behaviors may influence organizational performance. Aggregate citizenship behaviors would improve group performance because they help people work together (Organ, 1988; Podsakoff, Ahearne, & MacKensie, 1997). Employees who help each other would not have to go to supervisors for help, leaving the supervisors free to do more important things.
Organizational citizenship behavior would also help coordinate activities among team members and across groups (Podsakoff et al. , 1997). On the other hand, employee attitudes cannot influence organizational effectiveness on their own; employees must also behave appropriately. Two employee behaviors that are important to many managers are job performance and retention. Conclusion In conclusion, it can therefore be seen that attitude is an important factor for an organisation.
The performance, customer satisfaction and also the finance of the organisation could be influenced by employee attitude. But, Organizational performance is not simply a sum of individuals’ performances; therefore it may be influenced by factors other than that affecting individual-level performance. One of these factors may be “shared values. ” If a unit’s employees share positive attitudes, they should have norms of cooperation and collaboration, which in turn enhance unit productivity.
An important assumption in management is that employee attitudes and reactions to organizational change are associated with departmental performance. In a service business, customer satisfaction is a critical performance indicator along with measures of unit productivity and administrative effectiveness.
Fleming, D. (1967), “Attitude: the history of a concept”, Perspectives in American History, Vol. , 1, Harvard College. Arthur, P. (1998), Attitudes in and around organizations, SAGE Publications. Dunnette, M. D. (1966), Fads, fashion, and folderol in psychology. Cascio, U. (1982), Costing human resources: the financial impact of behavior in organizations. Boston: Kent. Kanter, R. & Brinkerhoff, D. (1981), “Organizational performance: Recent developments in measurement”, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. , 7, pp321-349. Cotton, I. & Tuttle, J. (1986), “Employee turnover: A mata-analysis and review with implications for research”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. , 11, pp55-70.
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