Before coming to the main topic, we must be clear about the term “Attitude”, what the term means. ATTITUDE: “An attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual’s degree of like or dislike for an item”. Attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person, place, thing, or event– this is often referred to as the attitude object. People can also be conflicted or ambivalent toward an object, meaning that they simultaneously possess both positive and negative attitudes toward the item in question.
Attitudes are judgments. They develop on the ABC model (affect, behavior, and cognition). The affective response is an emotional response that expresses an individual’s degree of preference for an entity. The behavioral intention is a verbal indication or typical behavioral tendency of an individual. The cognitive response is a cognitive evaluation of the entity that constitutes an individual’s beliefs about the object. Most attitudes are the result of either direct experience or observational learning from the environment.
It can also be defined as,” A complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways. ” For example, if someone says that “I like my Job”. This statement expresses his attitude towards his Job. COMPONENTS OF ATTITUDE: There are three components of attitude. ?Cognitive component ?Effective component ?Behavioral Component Cognitive Component: It refers that’s part of attitude which is related in general know how of a person, for example, he says smoking is injurious to health.
Such type of idea of a person is called cognitive component of attitude. Affective component: This part of attitude is related to the statement which affects another person. For example, in an organization a personal report is given to the general manager. In report he point out that the sale staff is not performing their due responsibilities. The general manager forwards a written notice to the marketing manager to negotiate with the sale staff. Behavioral Component: The behavioral component refers to hat part of attitude which reflects the intension of a person in short run or in long run. For example, before the production and launching process the product. Report is prepared by the production department which consists of there intention in near future and long run and this report is handed over to top management for the decision. Does behavior always follow from attitude? Early research on attitudes assumed that attitude affects behavior, the attitude that people hold determines what they do. Common sense, too, suggests a relationship.
Isn’t it logical that people watch television programs that they say they like. Based on an evaluation of a number of studies that investigated the attitudes-behavior relationship, the reviewer concluded that the attitudes were unrelated to behavior or at best, only slightly related. More recent research has demonstrated that attitudes significantly predict future behavior and confirmed original thinking that the relationships can be enhanced by taking moderating variables into account. Moderating Variables:
The most powerful moderators of the attitudes behavior relationships have been found to be importance of the attitude, its specificity, its accessibility, whether there exist social pressures, and whether a person has direct experience with the attitude. Important attitudes are ones that reflect fundamental values, self-interest, or identification with individuals or groups that a person values. Attitudes that individuals consider important tend to show a strong relationship to behavior. The more specific the attitude and the more specific the behavior, the stronger is the link between the two.
For instance asking someone specifically about his/her intention to stay with the organization for the next 6 months is likely to better predict turnover for that person than if you asked him/her how satisfied he/she was with his/her pay. Attitudes that are easily remembered are more likely to predict behavior than attitudes that are not accessible in memory. Interestingly you are more likely to remember attitudes that are frequently expressed. So the more you talk about your attitude on a subject, the more you are likely to remember it, and the more likely it is to shape your behavior. Discrepancies between attitude and ehavior are more likely to occur when social pressures to behave in certain ways hold exceptional power. This tends to characterize behavior in organizations. This may explain why an employee who holds strong anti-union attitudes attend pro-union organizing meetings; or why tobacco executives, who are not smokers themselves and who tend to believe the research linking smoking and cancer, don’t actively discourage others from smoking in their offices. Finally, the attitude-behavior relationship is likely to be much stronger if an attitude refers to something with which the individual has direct personal experience.
Asking college students with no significant work experience how they would respond to working for an authoritarian supervisor is far less likely to predict actual behavior than asking that same question of employees who have actually worked for such an individual. Self-Perception Theory: Although most attitudes-behavior studies yield positive results, researchers have achieved still higher correlations by pursuing another direction-looking at whether or not behavior influences attitudes.
This view, called self-perception theory, has generated some encouraging findings. Let’s briefly review the theory. When asked about an attitude toward some object, individuals often recall their behavior relevant to that object and then infer their attitude from their past behavior. So if an employee was asked her feelings about being a training specialist at Marriott, she would likely think, “I’ve had this same job with Marriott as a trainer for 10 years. Nobody forced me to stay on this job. So I must like it”.
Self-perception theory, therefore, argues that attitudes are used, after the fact, to make sense out of an action that has already occurred rather than as devices that precede and guide action. And contrary to cognitive dissonance theory, attitudes are just casual verbal statements. When they are asked about their attitudes and they don’t have strong convictions or feelings, self-perception theory says they tend to create plausible answers. — 1. Managers need to focus on employees’ behaviors not on attitudes.
We presume that good employees are good because of their attitudes so we try to change the attitudes of our unsuccessful employees. Successful employees have good attitudes it is not the other way around. I’ve never heard a manager say about an employee, “He is a problem employee, his behavior on the job is terrible, but I love his attitude so I am going to keep him around even though office morale is dropping like stone. ” It is all about behavior. So from the above two points, its clear that ‘behavior always follow from attitude’.