Evaluative statements

Attitudes: Evaluative statements concerning objects, people, or events.

Cognitive components of an attitude: The beliefs, opinions, knowledge, and information held by a person.

Affective component of an attitude: The emotional, or feeling, segment of an attitude.

Behavioral component of an attitude: An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something.

Attitudes are evaluative statements either favorable or unfavorable concerning objects, people or events. They reflect how an individual feels about something. When a person says ‘I like my job’ he or she is expressing an attitude about work.

To better understand attitude, we will look at its there components: cognition, affect and behavior. The cognitive component of an attitude is made up of the beliefs, opinions, knowledge, and information held by a person. For example, when Jet Airways announced its acquisition of Air Sahara, there was a lot of speculation in newspaper about whether the acquisition would be accompanied by large scale downsizing. This belief held by sections of the press, industry as well as the airlines employees that mergers and acquisitions are generally followed by layoffs is an example of cognition. The effective component of an attitude is the emotional, or feeling, segment of a attitude. This component would be reflected in the statement ‘I don’t like Erica because she smokes’. Cognition and affect can lead to behavioral outcomes. The behavioral component of an attitude refers to an intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something. So, to continue our example, I might choose to avoid Erica because of my feelings about her. Looking at attitude as being made up of three components — cognition, affect and behavior helps to illustrate the complexity of attitudes. For the sake of clarity, keep in mind that the term usually refers only to the affective component.

Naturally, managers are not interested in every attitude an employee might hold. Rather, they are specifically interested in job related attitudes and the three most important and most studied are job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment. Job satisfaction is an employee’s general attitude toward his or her job. When people speak of employee attitudes, more often than not they mean job satisfaction. Job involvement is the degree to which an employee identifies with his or her job, actively participates in it, and considers his or her job performance important for self worth. Finally, organizational commitment to identification with, and involvement in the organization

Do an individual’s attitude and behavior need to be consistent?

Did you ever notice how people change what they say so that it doesn’t contradict what they do?

Perhaps a friend of yours had consistently argued that an engineering job in a manufacturing firm was the only meaningful job one could do, and that he would never do anything else. Then he got this high paying marketing job in a IT company, and suddenly it wasn’t so bad. Or, when in campus placement season, a student single mindedly focuses on her dream job. If she fails to make it, however, she may say, ‘I realized that working for this company is not all it’s cracked up to be’.

Research generally concludes that people seek consistency among their attitudes and between their attitudes and their behavior. Individuals try to reconcile differing attitudes and align their attitudes and behavior so that they appear rational and consistent. They can correct it by altering either the attitudes or the behavior or by rationalized development for the discrepancy.

Managers train call center operators at Wipro Spectra mind in New Delhi, India, in British and American pop culture and how to speak with western accents, allowing operators to make small talk and to be more easily understood by their calling clients. This training increases the job involvement of Wipro employees, enabling them to identify with their work and actively participate in conversations with customers.–