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If you truly dislike german food i would not expect

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Unformatted text preview: are tendencies to respond to the target of the attitude. Thus, attitudes often influence our behaviour toward some object, situation, person, or group: Attitude — Behaviour ➤ This is hardly surprising. If you truly dislike German food, I would not expect to see you eating it. By the same token, if you like your boss, it would not be surprising to hear you speaking well of him: Dislike German Food — Don’t Eat German Food ➤ Like Boss — Praise Boss ➤ Of course, not everyone who likes the boss goes around praising him in public, for fear of being seen as too political. Similarly, people who dislike the boss do not Chapter 4 Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour always engage in public criticism, for fear of retaliation. These examples indicate that attitudes are not always consistent with behaviour, and that attitudes provide useful information over and above the actions that we can observe. Where do attitudes come from? Put simply, attitudes are a function of what we think and what we feel. That is, attitudes are the product of a related belief and value. If you believe that your boss is consultative, and you value consultation, we can conclude that you might have a favourable attitude toward the boss. We can represent this relationship in the form of a simple syllogism.17 For example: If the boss is consultative, (Belief) And consultation is good, (Value) Then the boss is good. (Attitude) Given this point of view, we can now expand the attitude model presented earlier to include the thinking and feeling aspects of attitudes represented by beliefs and values: BELIEF + VALUE ⇒ ATTITUDE — BEHAVIOUR ➤ Thus, we can imagine the following sequence of ideas in the case of a person experiencing work-family conflict: “My job is interfering with my family life.” (Belief) “I dislike anything that hurts my family.” (Value) “I dislike my job.” (Attitude) I’ll search for another job.” (Behaviour) This simple example shows how attitudes (in this case, job satisfaction) develop from basic beliefs and values, and how they affect organizational behaviour (in this case, turnover from the organization). Changing Attitudes In our everyday lives, we frequently try to change other people’s attitudes. By presenting ourselves in a favourable light (putting our best foot forward), we attempt to get others to develop favourable attitudes toward us. By arguing the case for some attitude we hold, we attempt to get others to embrace this attitude. Thus, it should not surprise us that organizations are also involved in the modification and management of attitudes. Some examples of cases in which management might desire attitude change include the following: ■ ■ ■ ■ Attitudes Attitudes Attitudes nology Attitudes toward workforce diversity toward ethical business practices toward anticipated changes, such as the introduction of new techtoward safety practices and the use of safety equipment. Most attempts at attitude change are initiated by a communicator who tries to use persuasion of some form to modify the beliefs or values of an audience that supports a currently held attitude. For example, management might hold a seminar to persuade managers to value workforce diversity, or it might develop a training program to change attitudes toward workplace safety. Persuasion that is designed to modify or emphasize values is usually emotionally oriented. A safety message that concentrates on a dead worker’s weeping, destitute family exemplifies this approach. Persuasion that is slanted toward modifying certain beliefs is usually rationally oriented. A safety message that tries to convince workers that hard-hats 109 110 Individual Behaviour Part Two and safety glasses are not uncomfortable to wear reveals this angle. You have probably seen both these approaches used in AIDS and antismoking campaigns. These examples represent the traditional approach to most organizational attitude-change programs, that is, they first try to change beliefs and/or values, in order to change attitudes and behaviour. This involves moving from left to right in our attitude model: Changed Beliefs and/or Values — ➤ Changed Attitudes — Changed Behaviour ➤ Cognitive dissonance. A feeling of tension experienced when certain cognitions are contradictory or inconsistent with each other. However, cognitive dissonance theory suggests an alternative approach. Cognitive dissonance refers to a feeling of tension experienced when certain cognitions are contradictory or inconsistent with each other (i.e., dissonant). Cognitions are simply thoughts or knowledge that people have about their own beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviour. Therefore, would it be sensible to change a person’s behaviour first, with the assumption that the person would realign his or her attitudes to support this behaviour? Dissonance theory suggests that engaging in behaviour that is not supported by our attitudes might indeed lead us to change our attitudes to reduce the tension produced by inconsistency. Researchers h...
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