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Employee salaries are at the high end of the industry

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Unformatted text preview: ny’s net earnings. Employee salaries are at the high end of the industry scale. Workers sit on five resource management teams that keep company expenditures under control. As well, a rotating employee council allows workers — from shop-floor machinists to accountants — to meet monthly with the president and voice concerns that are often acted on. These benefits have allowed Husky to attract the best people and to keep them productive, happy, and proud of where they work. As well, Husky’s emphasis on health and humanity pays concrete dividends. The rate of absenteeism is 4 days per year per employee, compared to 7.3 for the industry, and voluntary turnover is 5 percent below the industry average. The company spends $153.70 per employee on drugs, versus the sectoral average of $495.02. There are also lower Workers’ Compensation Board claims and more accidentfree days. Husky even earns more than $600,000 a year recycling waste. Husky has exported its healthy habits and concern for the environment to rural Vermont, where it has built a new $80 million manufacturing plant. Speaking at the plant opening, Schad told the audience, “We don’t want to build molds and machines, we want to build a company that’s a role model for lasting business success based on our values.” The Governor of the state of Vermont described it this way: “This is the most remarkable plant in the state of Vermont, and it may be the most remarkable plant in the United States … It’s a corporate example of how to do business.” 1 Would you be happy working at Husky? This would probably depend on your values and attitudes, important topics that we will cover in this chapter. Our discussion of values will be particularly oriented toward cross-cultural variations in values and their implications for organizational behaviour. Our discussion of attitudes will cover attitude formation and change. Two critical attitudes are job satisfaction and organizational commitment. We will consider the causes and consequences of both. What Are Values? We might define values as “a broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others.”2 The preference aspect of this definition means that values have to do with what we consider good and bad. Values are motivational, since they signal the attractive aspects of our environment that we should seek and the unattractive aspects that we should avoid or change. The words broad tendency mean that values are very general, and that they do not predict behaviour in specific situations very well. Knowing that a person generally embraces the values that support Values. A broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others. 102 Individual Behaviour Part Two capitalism does not tell us much about how he or she will respond to a homeless person on the street this afternoon. It is useful to classify values into several categories: intellectual, economic, aesthetic, social, political, and religious.3 Not everyone holds the same values. Managers might value high productivity (an economic value), while union officials might be more concerned with enlightened supervision and full employment (social values). Husky holds stronger social and health values than the typical organization. We learn values through the reinforcement processes we discussed in Chapter 2. Most are socially reinforced by parents, teachers, and representatives of religions. To firm up your understanding of values and their impact on organizational behaviour, let us examine some occupational differences in values and see how work values differ across cultures. Occupational Differences in Values Members of different occupational groups espouse different values. A research program showed that university professors, city police officers, oil company salespeople, and entrepreneurs had values that distinguished them as groups from the general population.4 For example, the professors valued “equal opportunity for all” more highly than the average person does. On the other hand, the salespeople and entrepreneurs ranked social values (peace, equality, freedom) lower than the average person does. Value differences such as these might be partially responsible for the occupational stereotypes that we discussed in Chapter 3. Further, these differences can cause conflict between organizations and within organizations when members of different occupations are required to interact with each other. For instance, doctors frequently report that their social values are at odds with the economic values of hospital administrators. In general, a good “fit” between the values of supervisors and employees promotes employee satisfaction and commitment.5 There is also evidence that a good “fit” between an individual’s values and the values of his or her organization (person–organization fit) also enhances job attitudes and behaviours.6 Do differences in occupational values develop after a person enters an occupation, or do such differences cause people to gravitate to certain occupations? Given the fact that values are relatively stable, and that many values are acquired early in life,...
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