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Employee Attitude as a Function of Job Satisfaction

EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE AS A FUNCTION OF JOB SATISFACTION Introduction There is confusion and debate among practitioners on the topic of employee attitudes and job satisfaction even at a time when employees are increasingly important for organizational success and competitiveness. “Happy employees are productive employees. ”“Happy employees are not productive employees.

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” We hear these conflicting statements made by HR professionals and managers in organizations.

This research aims at establishing job satisfaction as a basis for employee attitude; whether good or bad and we will do this by answering three questions: “What are the causes of employee attitudes? ”, “What are the results of positive and negative job reaction? ”and “How can we measure and influence employee attitudes? ” Before we begin a description of what we mean by employee attitudes and job satisfaction will suffice. What is job satisfaction? Job satisfaction is how content an individual is with his/her job.

In other words, a contentment (or lack of it arising out of interplay of the employees positive or negative feelings towards his/her job. However, there is a distinction between affective job satisfaction and cognitive job satisfaction. Affective job satisfaction is the extent of pleasurable emotional feelings an individual has about his job overall while the cognitive job satisfaction has to do with the extent to which the individual is satisfied with particular facets o his job. The most-used research definition of job satisfaction is by Locke (1976), who defined it as “. . a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” (p. 1304). Implicit in Locke’s definition is the importance of both affect, or feeling, and cognition, or thinking. When we think, we have feelings about what we think. Conversely, when we have feelings, we think about what we feel. Cognition and affect are thus inextricably linked, in our psychology and even in our biology. Thus, when evaluating our jobs, as when we assess most anything important to us, both thinking and feeling are involved.

What is employee attitude? In other to have a panoramic understanding of this terminology, a conceptual clarification would suffice. What is an attitude? An attitude can be described as an expression of favor or disfavor towards a person, place, thing or event which is as a result of either a negative or positive evaluation of the object of affect. Employees have viewpoints about many aspect of their job, career, Organization. The above explanation gives us the idea that attitude can either be positive or negative.

Thus employee attitude can be described as an employee’s expression either positive or negative towards his/her job, career or organization. How then do we make a distinction between positive and negative employee attitudes? Generally, It is in their promotion of organizational goals. Therefore, positive employee attitudes can be said to be in agreement with organizational goals thereby promoting it while negative employees can be said to be against organizational goals thereby suppressing organizational goals. This explains why employee attitude is easily cited as the number one performance related issue of companies.

From the perspective of research and practice, the most focal employee attitude is job satisfaction. Thus, we often refer to employee attitudes broadly in this article, although much of our specific focus will concern job satisfaction. In the midst of all this, one little question crosses the mind; what are the causes of employee attitudes? What are the causes of employee attitudes? In general, HR Practitioners understand the importance of work situation as a cause of work attitude and it is an area that HR can help influence through organizational programs and management practices.

However, in the past decades there has been gainful research in understanding dispositional and cultural influences on job satisfaction which is not yet well understood by HR practitioners. In addition, the work itself is also an area that influences job satisfaction and this is often overlooked by HR practitioners when addressing job satisfaction. Dispositional influences Several innovative studies have shown the influence of a person’s disposition on job satisfaction. Disposition can be described as a tendency to act in a specified way.

There are some factors that affect our disposition and they are called dispositional variables. These variables are often viewed as part of the individual’s makeup, character or personality. Personality is defined as a combination of characteristic patterns of thought, feelings and behaviors peculiar to a person. It is said to be both physiological and psychological. On the other hand, character is a combination of mental and ethical traits marking a person. Dispositional variables are relatively stable across time and difficult to change.

They are often used to explain consistency in individual behaviors across time and situations. The theory of dispositional influences is a very general theory that innate dispositions cause people to have tendencies towards a certain level of satisfaction regardless of the job. In 1997, Timothy A. Judge, Edwin A. locke and Cathy C. Durham argued that there are four core self-evaluations that determines ones disposition towards job satisfaction; self esteem, general self efficacy, locus of control and neuroticism.