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What is Attitude?
Attitudes are the feelings and beliefs that largely determine how employees will perceive their
environment, commit themselves to intended actions, and ultimately behave.
Attitudes form a mental set that affects how we view something else, much as a window provides a
framework for our view into or out of a building. The window allows us to see some things, but the size
and shape of the frame prevent us from observing other elements. Some people are optimistic, upbeat,
cheerful, and courteous; they are said to have positive affectivity. Others are generally pessimistic,
downbeat, irritable, and even abrasive; they are said to have negative affectivity.
Employees can have thousands of attitudes, but organizational behavior focuses our attention on a very
limited number of work-related attitudes. These work-related attitudes tap positive or negative evaluations
that employees hold about aspects of their work environment. Most of research in organizational behavior
has been concerned with four attitudes: job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, and
work moods.


1. Job Satisfaction
Elements: Job satisfaction is a set of favorable or unfavorable feelings and emotions with which
employees view their work. Job satisfaction is an affective attitude - a feeling of relative like or dislike
toward something (for example, a satisfied employee may comment that I enjoy having a variety of
tasks to do).
Individual focus: Job satisfaction typically refers to the attitudes of a single employee. For example,
an administrator might conclude, Kanij Fatama seems very pleased with her recent promotion.
Overall or Multidimensional: Job satisfaction can be viewed as an overall attitude, or it can apply to
the various parts of an individuals job. For example, although Kanij Fatamas general job satisfaction
may be very high, it is important to discover both that she likes her promotion and that she is
dissatisfied with her vacation schedule this year.
Stability of job satisfaction: Attitudes are generally acquired over a long period of time. Similarly,
job satisfaction or dissatisfaction emerges as an employee gains more and more information about
the workplace. Nevertheless, job satisfaction is dynamic, for it can decline even more quickly than it
Environmental Impact: Job satisfaction is one part of life satisfaction. The nature of a workers
environment off the job indirectly influences his or her feelings on the job. Similarly, since a job is
important part of life for many workers, job satisfaction influences general life satisfaction.
Importance: Managers should systematically study the job satisfaction of their employees and seek
to improve it where appropriate. It is important to apply knowledge of organizational behavior to build
better organizations. Then both individuals and society can benefit.
Level of Job Satisfaction: The level of job satisfaction across groups is not constant, but it is related
to number of variables: age, occupational level, and organizational size. As workers grow older, they
initially tend to be slightly more satisfied with their jobs. Apparently, they lower their expectations to
more realistic levels and adjust themselves better to their work situations.
In addition to job satisfaction, three other distinct but related, employee attitudes are important to many
employees. These are as follows:

2. Job Involvement
Job involvement is the degree to which employees immerse themselves in their jobs, invest time and
energy in them, and view work as a central part of their overall lives. Job-involved employees are likely to
believe in the work ethic, to exhibit high growth needs, and to enjoy participation in decision-making.

3. Organizational Commitment
Organizational commitment, or employee loyalty, is the degree to which an employee identifies with the
organization and wants to continue actively participating in it. Like a strong magnetic force attracting one
metallic object to another, it is a measure of the employees willingness to remain with a firm in the future.

4. Work Moods
Employees also have feelings about their jobs that are highly dynamic; they can change within a day,
hour, or minute. These variable attitudes toward their jobs are called work moods. An employees work
mood can be described as ranging from negative (I hate this job) to positive (Im excited by this new
challenge) and from weak to strong and intense.


Attitudes are reasonably good predictors of behaviors. They provide clues to an employees behavioral
intentions or inclinations to act in a certain way. Positive job attitudes help predict constructive behaviors;
negative job attitudes help predict undesirable behaviors.
When employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, lack job involvement, are low in their commitment to the
organization, and have strongly negative moods, a wide variety of consequences may follow. This result
is especially likely if the feelings are both strong and persistent. Dissatisfied employees may engage in
psychological withdrawal (e.g. daydreaming on the job), physical withdrawal (e.g. unauthorized absences,
early departures, extended breaks, or work showdown), or even over acts of aggression and retaliation
for presumed wrongs. On the other hand, satisfied employees may provide acts of customer service
beyond the call of duty, have sparkling work records, and actively pursue excellence in all areas of their
The effects of employee attitudes are given below:
1. Employee Performance
Satisfied workers actually may be high, average, or even low producers, and they will tend to continue the
level of performance that previously brought them satisfaction.
2. Turnover
Turnover is the proportion of employees leaving an organization during a given time period (usually one
year). The more-satisfied employees are less likely to go through a progressive process in which they
think about quitting or announce their intention to quit.
3. Absences and Tardiness
Those employees who have low job satisfaction tend to be absent more often. The connection is not
always sharp, for other reasons; legitimate medical reasons etc.
Another way in which employees may exhibit their dissatisfaction with job conditions is through tardiness.
A tardy employee is one who comes to work but arrive beyond the designated starting time. Tardiness is
a type of short period absenteeism ranging from a few minutes to several hours for each event, and it is
another way in which employees physically withdraw from active involvement in the organization.
4. Theft
Some employees steal products form the workplace. Other use company services without authorization,
such as when they make personal long distance calls at work. Others forge checks or commit other types
of fraud. All these acts represent theft, or unauthorized removal of company resources.
5. Violence
One of the most extreme consequences of employee dissatisfaction is through violence, or various forms
of verbal or physical aggression at work.

6. Organizational Citizenship
The more satisfied employees feel themselves as citizens of the organization. Organizational citizenship
behavior can be defined as behavior that (a) goes beyond the basic requirements of the job, (b) is to a
large extent discretionary, and (c) is of benefit to the organization. Dissatisfied employees demonstrate
behaviors that are reflective of poor organizational citizenship.


The satisfaction-performance relationship is more complex than the simple path of satisfaction leads to
performance. Some managers cling to an old myth that high satisfaction always leads to high
employee performance but this assumption is not correct. Satisfied workers actually may be high,
average, or even low producers, and they will tend to continue the level of performance that previously
brought them satisfaction.
A more accurate statement of the relationship is that high performance contributes to high job
satisfaction. The sequence, shown in the performance-satisfaction-effort loop below, is that better
performance typically leads to higher economic, sociological, and psychological rewards. If these rewards
are seen as fair and equitable, then improved satisfaction develops because employees feel that they are
receiving rewards in proportion to their performance. On the other hand, if rewards are seen as
inadequate for the level of performance, dissatisfaction tends to arise. In either case, the level of
satisfaction leads to either greater or lesser commitment, which then affects effort and eventually affects
performance again. The result is a continuously operating performance-satisfaction-effort loop.

The Performance-Satisfaction-Effort Loop

Performance Rewards Perception of equilty Satisfaction or

Economic n rewards Dissatisfaction
Sociological Fair
Psychological Unfair

Greater or Greater of lesser

lesser effort Commitment

Poor organizational citizenship

Alternatively, a different scenario emerges if performance is low. Employees might not receive the
rewards they were hoping for, and dissatisfaction can result. Under these circumstances, the employee
might exhibit one or more negative behavior, such as turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, violence, or
poor organizational citizenship.