Types of Attitude
An individual may have a number of attitudes regarding different aspects of life, but the field of OB focuses only on the study of job-related attitudes. OB specifically focuses on three attitudes: job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment Job satisfaction In the field of OB, job satisfaction is one of the most important and widely studied attitudes. Job satisfaction refers to an individual’s general attitude towards his or her job.
It has been described by Edwin A. Locke as the pleasurable or positive emotional state that results when an individual evaluates his job or job experience. Job satisfaction results when an individual perceives that his job provides him with what is important to him. The three important dimensions of job satisfaction are provided below: i) Job satisfaction is an emotional response to a job. This response can be inferred but not seen. ii) The job satisfaction that an individual derives from his job depends on the extent to which outcomes meet his expectations.For example, if an employee feels that he is getting more salary and more autonomy in his company than his friends in other organizations, he will have a high level of job satisfaction and a favorable attitude towards his superiors, peers and the work itself.
If he feels that his salary and decision-making power is at par with that of his friends, he will experience only moderate job satisfaction; and if he feels that he is getting much less pay and autonomy than his friends, he will experience job dissatisfaction and will develop a negative attitude towards his work and superiors. ii) Job satisfaction reflects other attitudes of employees. Effects of job Satisfaction Research has shown that high job satisfaction has an impact on an employee’s life inside the organization as well as outside the organization. Employees who are highly satisfied with their jobs have low stress levels (and thus have better mental and physical health), have less on-the-job accidents, and have fewer grievances. They also show enthusiasm in learning job-related tasks. Satisfied employees have high morale and help fellow employees, customers and other people in society by undertaking social activities.Thus, we can say that job satisfaction is of value to the overall health and effectiveness of an organization.
Job involvement Job involvement is a new concept in the field of OB. It refers to the extent to which a person identifies himself psychologically with his job, actively participates in it, and considers that his performance in the job contributes to his self-worth. Employees who are highly involved with their jobs strongly identify themselves with the kind of work they do and strive to deliver quality work.Research has shown that high levels of job involvement lead to lower absenteeism and employee turnover levels. Organizational commitment Organizational commitment refers to an employee’s satisfaction with a particular organization and its goals. An employee who has a high level of organizational commitment is a strong supporter of the values and goals of the organization, has a strong inclination to continue being a member of the organization, and wants to strive hard to achieve the goals of the organization.The organizational commitment of an employee is affected by a number of personal and organizational variables.
Personal variables include the employee’s age, his tenure in the organization, and his attitude towards his job. Organizational variables include the job design and the leadership style of the superior. Sometimes, even non-organizational factors may influence an employee’s commitment, such as, the state of the job market and other career options available to the employee. John P. Meyer and Natalie J.Allen developed a three-component model to understand the multidimensional nature of organizational commitment. The three components (or dimensions) of organizational commitment are: i) Affective commitment: This is concerned with the employee’s emotional attachment and involvement with the organization.
ii) Continuance commitment: This is influenced by the costs that could accrue to the employee if he leaves the organization. iii) Normative commitment: This refers to the extent to which an employee feels obligated to continue in the organization. Outcomes of job satisfactionFor years, management researchers and practitioners have tried to find out the impact of employee job satisfaction on organizational effectiveness. They wanted to know whether job dissatisfaction would lead to decline in employee output and, consequently, organizational performance. They analyzed the outcomes of job satisfaction by studying the relationship between job satisfaction and various other organizational aspects such as productivity, turnover, absenteeism, etc. Satisfaction and absenteeism Research studies have shown that job satisfaction and absenteeism have an inverse relationship.A high level of job satisfaction leads to low absenteeism and a low level of job satisfaction results in high absenteeism.
However, other variables, such as the extent to which people consider their jobs important, also have an impact on absenteeism. A research conducted on state government employees in the US revealed that the employees who felt that their jobs were important took less leave than employees who did not feel that their work was important. The research also revealed that job satisfaction may not necessarily result in low absenteeism, but low job satisfaction will lead to high absenteeism.Satisfaction and productivity Though many people assume that there is a positive relationship between satisfaction and performance, research results have proved that there is no strong relation between satisfaction and productivity. There are other mediating variables like rewards that lead to an increase in productivity. Recent research findings suggest that though satisfaction may not bring about considerable improvement in individual performance, it does result in an overall improvement in organizational performance.Satisfaction and turnover Research has indicated that only a moderate relationship exists between satisfaction and turnover.
High job satisfaction will not eliminate employee turnover but will only help reduce the rate of turnover. While job dissatisfaction will encourage employees to switch organizations at the slightest opportunity for better prospects in other organizations, the satisfied employees will consider several aspects before leaving the organization.Job tenure (the number of years an employee has worked in a job in an organization) is another factor that has an impact on turnover. The higher the job tenure of an employee in an organization, the lower the chances of his leaving the organization. An individual’s commitment to the organization also affects the relationship between satisfaction and turnover. Some people are so accustomed to a certain job, colleagues and work environment that they cannot think of working elsewhere.Therefore, they continue to work in the same organization, without being concerned about their level of satisfaction.
A country’s economy and the employment scenario also influence turnover. If the economy is booming and there are adequate employment opportunities available, even satisfied employees may leave their organizations and seek better prospects elsewhere. Though turnover, to some extent, benefits organizations by bringing in new talent, a high turnover rate is undesirable because the organization loses in terms of productive time and training costs.