Attitudes and Behavior

The work situation is interpreted by the individual, and attitudes play an important part in which the situation is interpreted. Only after individual’s interpretation and comparison part in which the situation in interpreted. Only after individual’s interpretation and comparison does the response occurs. This mean that response expected of a purely objective and rational consideration of the work situation and its characteristics may not be actual response of the individual. His response depends completely on how he interprets the situation and on his own personal attitudes towards the situation. Obviously attitudes are an important consideration because of their central position in the process of transforming work requirements into effects. The process of influence of attitudes on behavior is presented in figure:

Attitude alone do not influence behavior but these act with other factors in the individual influencing behavior, such as personality, perception, motivation, etc. Further, attitudes are also affected by the individual dimensions as well as the objects, persons, and ideas. Attitudes have been thought as serving four functions and thereby influencing the behavior. These are: utilitarian or instrumental, ego defensive, value orientation, and knowledge.

  1. Instrumental: Attitudes serve as a means to reach a desired goal or to avoid an undesired one. Instrumental attitudes are aroused by the activation of a need or cues that are associated with the attitude object and arouse favorable or unfavorable feelings.
  1. Ego defensive: The ego-defensive function of attitude acknowledges the importance of psychological thought. Attitudes may be acquired and maintained to perfect the person from facing threats in the external world or from becoming aware of his own unacceptable impulses. Ego- defensive attitudes may be aroused by internal or external threat, frustration events, and appeals or to the build-up or repressed impulses, and suggestions by authoritarian sources. The attitudes influence his behavior by affecting his perception of the situation accordingly.
  1. Value Orientation: The value-orientation function takes into account attitudes that are held because they express a person’s value or enhance his self-identify. These attitudes arise by conditions that threaten the self-concept, appeals to reassert the person’s self-image, or by cues that engage the person’s values and make them salient to him.
  1. Knowledge: The knowledge function of attitudes is based on a person’s need to maintain a stable, organized and meaningful structure of the world. Attitudes that provide a standard against which a person evaluates aspects of his world serve the knowledge function too.

These functions of attitudes affect the individual’s way of interpreting the information coming to him. Since attitude intervene between work requirements and work responses, information about how people feel about their jobs can be quite useful in prediction about work response. Thus, these types of attitudes can be portray areas of investigation for making the individual and the organization more compatible.