Attitude in Organisational Behaviour


Attitude in Organisational Behaviour:

Attitude is an important factor that is part of individual’s behavior. Attitude can be defined as the way an individual feels about something. It states person’s feeling about any object, that can be negative feeling or positive feeling. When somebody says that he likes or dislikes anything, it shows his attitude.

An attitude is held unconsciously. Many people are not aware about their attitudes.

Components of Attitude:

  • Information: It comprises thinking, idea or beliefs a person possesses about any object. For example a person seeking to buy a new mobile, he can learn about features and reviews from other people, websites or newspapers.
  • Emotion: It suggests an individual’s feeling of like and dislike about attitude object.
  • Behavior: The predisposition of a person to behave in specific situation towards attitude object is behavioral content of the attitude.

An attitude is sum of thinking feeling and behavior of a person about something. For example if someone has favorable thoughts about the boss, he will develop feelings of likingness towards him and will respect him.

Features of attitude:

Attitude affects behavior: People have natural characteristic to maintain stability between attitude and behavior. Attitude can lead to proposed behavior if there is no external interference.

Attitudes are invisible: Attitudes comprises of psychological phenomenon which cannot be directly examined. It can be observed indirectly after observing the outcomes of it. For example if a person is efficient and productive we can observe that he is of positive attitude.

Attitudes are acquired: Attitudes are regularly learnt over a span of time. This phenomenon begins right from childhood and goes throughout the life. Impact of family friends can be seen in attitude of person. For example a child from army family will have positive attitude towards joining army.

Attitudes are pervasive: Attitudes are shaped in individuals through process of socialization and it can be related to anything in the existence. People have attitudes towards religion, politics, movies, teacher countries and whatever. While working we have attitude towards policies, work itself, peers etc. There is no limit of attitude objects.

Functions of Attitude:

Attitude can be defined as a preconditioning to respond in a negative or positive way to something in a particular environment. Attitude helps people in many ways specially to adapt work environment. It performs following functions

  • Adjustment Functions
  • Ego defensive function
  • Value expression
  • Knowledge function

Adjustment function: Attitude is important to help employees in adjusting to the working atmosphere. There will be positive attitude in employees towards organisation when they are treated well by management and negative attitude may develop if they are not treated well. Attitude may be a factor of future behavior. People will adjust themselves according to working atmosphere with the help of their attitudes.

Ego defensive function: Every individual develop a certain attitude and maintain it to protect his image. The ego defensive attitude is used by employees in managing their fears and guilt. Old employees may have fear of getting young employees employed in place of them; it may develop an ego defensive attitude in them.

Value expression function: Attitude grants source of expressing the values of a person. If value system of a person is based on freedom he will have positive attitude towards sharing of authority, less supervision, flexible working schedules. A person with ambitions in life will have attitude towards job providing good future aspects and chances of development. A manager who considers strongly in work morals will be inclined to influence attitudes towards specific persons or work practices as way of reflecting his values. 

Knowledge function: Attitudes are frequently alternate for knowledge. They give standards and outline of reference that permit people to arrange and explain the world around them. In spite of how precise a person’s vision of reality is, attitude towards people actions and objects help the people make logic out of what is going on. Stereotyping is an example of it. In lack of knowledge about someone we may use a stereotyped attitude for judging a person. 

Sources of Attitudes:

The fundamental idea running during the development of attitude is that the thoughts emotions and tendencies to behave are obtained or learn regularly. The attitude is attained from following sources.

Direct personal experience: The personal experience with the attitude object of an individual establishes his attitude towards the object. For example an employee would develop a negative attitude towards a job if his supervisor doesn’t treat well, work is boring and repetitive, not paid adequately and coworkers are not cooperative.

Association: A new attitude object may be associated with an old attitude object and the attitude may be transferred to the former object. For example if a new sales person likes to work with the favorite sales person of the manager, the manager may develop a positive attitude towards the new sales person also. Hence the attitude towards the new salesperson is favorable due to the older one.

Social learning: Attitudes are also developed from what we learn from our parents family members, friends, teachers, superiors etc. A person can learn attitude from his favorite actor or model just by watching him on TV, in movies or advertisements. Social learning can influence our attitude even if we do not have direct experience with the attitude object. For example if a person gets selected in a national company but he wanted to do job in other MNC company about which he had learnt from friends, he would have positive attitude towards that MNC even he has not worked in that company.