Values, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction

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"Regardless of which studies you choose to look at, when American workers are asked if they are satisfied with their jobs, the results tend to be very similar: Between 70 and 80 percent report they're satisfied with their jobs" (p. 61).


"How does one explain these findings? … Because people are likely to seek jobs that provide a good person-job fit, reports of high satisfaction shouldn't be totally surprising. Second, based on our knowledge of cognitive dissonance theory (discussed in this chapter), we might expect employees to resolve inconsistencies between dissatisfaction with their jobs and their staying with those jobs by not reporting the dissatisfaction. So these positive findings might be tainted by efforts to reduce dissonance" (p. 61). tainted = belastet, „verdorben“


Basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence.

Value System: A hierarchy based on a ranking of an individual's values in terms of their intensity.

"Are values fluid and flexible? Generally speaking, No! Values tend to be relatively stable and enduring. A significant portion of the values we hold is established in our early years – from parents, teachers, friends, and others. As children, we are told that certain behaviors or outcomes are always desirable or always undesirable. There were few gray areas… It is this absolute or 'black-or-white' learning of values that more or less assures their stability and 3 endurance" (p. 62).

"Values are important to the study of organizational behavior because they lay the foundation for the understanding of attitudes and motivation and because they influence our perceptions" (p. 62).

a) Terminal Values:
Desirable end-states of existence; the goals that a person would like to achieve during his or her lifetime. achieving one's terminal values.

b) Instrumental Values: Preferable modes of behavior or means of


Terminal Values
A comfortable life (a prosperous life) An exiting life (a stimulating, active life) A sense of accomplishment (lasting contribution) A world at peace (free of war and conflict) A world of beauty (beauty of nature and the arts) Equality (brotherhood, equal opportunity for all) Family security (taking care of loved ones) Freedom (independence, free choice) Happiness (contentedness) Inner harmony (freedom from inner conflict) Mature love (sexual and spiritual intimacy) National security (protection from attack) Pleasure (an enjoyable, leisurely life) Salvation (saved, eternal life) Self-respect (self-esteem) Social recognition (respect, admiration) True friendship (close companionship) Wisdom (a mature understanding of life)

Instrumental Values
Ambitious (hardworking, aspiring) Broad-minded (open-minded) Capable (competent, effective) Cheerful (lighthearted, joyful) Clean (neat, tidy) Courageous (standing up for your beliefs) Forgiving (willing to pardon others) Helpful (working for the welfare of others) Honest (sincere, truthful) Imaginative (daring, creative) Independent (self-reliant, self-sufficient) Intellectual (intelligent, reflective) Logical (consistent, rational) Loving (affectionate, tender) Obedient (dutiful, respectful) Polite (courteous, well-mannered) Responsible (dependable, reliable) Self-controlled (restrained, self-disciplined) 5

Dominant Work Values in Today's Workforce
Year Born Entered the Workforce Approximate Dominant Current Age Work Values 55-75 early 1960s 45-55 35-45 Under 35 Hard work, conservative; loyalty to the organization Quality of life, nonconforming, seeks autonomy; loyalty to self Success, achievement, ambition, hard work; loyalty to career Flexibility, job satisfaction, balanced lifestyle; loyalty to relationships

Stage I. Protestant work ethic II. Existential...
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