Employee Attitude – Sample Illustration Essay

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An outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Employee attitude
  3. Organizational commitment
  4. Job involvement
  5. Conclusion

A foreword:

How are employees linked to the organization for which they work (or to which they belong)? Such a question has been with us for a long time in academia as well as in real life. Early management literature discussed the issue of employee loyalty. For example, to Barnard [1], loyalty is a willingness of persons to contribute efforts to the cooperative system of the organization, which he believed is an essential condition of organization. However, the controversies over the origin, nature, and creation of loyalty continued into and through the 1960s. By the early 1970s the concept of loyalty began to be discussed under a new description called organizational commitment and employee attitude.

Employee attitude illustrates relation of the worker to his organization. Employee attitude surveys allow an organization to understand employee perceptions. Perception is reality. Because employees at every organization act on the basis of their perceptions, management must be keenly aware of employees’ views. There are special employee attitude surveys that  deliver a successful means of measuring, and acting upon, employees’ current beliefs on many job-related subjects.

The information garnered from employee attitude surveys can give organization the management knowledge that directly impacts the bottom line and fosters positive employee relations in any or all of the following ways:

  • identifying cost-saving opportunities
  • improving productivity
  • reducing turnover
  • curbing absenteeism
  • strengthening supervision
  • evaluating customer-service issues
  • assessing training needs
  • streamlining communication
  • benchmarking the organization’s progress in relation to the industry
  • gauging employees’ understanding of, and agreement with, the company mission [1]

There is another concept strongly connected to employee attitude. It is organizational commitment. Kiesler [6] defined commitment as the dedication of an individual to a given behaviour. Brickman [5] asserted that such commitment allows for life to be fulfilling; it provides human beings with a purpose. An ample body of research demonstrates that at least 3 forms of commitment – organizational, job and project commitment – are linked to a number of significant individual, group and organizational outcomes.

According to Mathiew [2], organizational commitment is a psychological state in which individuals value their involvement, and desire to remain involved, in an organization. Accordingly, commitment to an organization often inspires individuals to invest substantial time and energy to their work. Randall [3] found that commitment served as a buffer against job turnover; not surprisingly, employees who reported low levels of commitment to an organization were more likely to leave than employees who were highly commited. Commitment is associated with effective individual and group performance.

There are two discrete forms of organizational commitment: affective and continuance commitment. Affective commitment is characterized by emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organization. This positive form of commitment is contrasted with continuance commitment, in which commitment is motivated by perceived costs of departing from the organization. Thus, high affective commitment  is associated with high job performance, whereas continuance commitment correlates negatively with performance. Some researches distinct also normative component of commitment, that includes feeling of obligation to remain with the organization. Also, there types of organization commitment according to the worker’s posts and features, appropriate to definite positions in organization:

1) Administrative Support

Actively supports the organization. – Respects and accepts what the organization defines as important.  Makes choices and sets priorities to meet the organization’s needs and fit the organization’s mission.  Explains to clients, partners and stakeholders the context for departmental actions.  Cooperates to achieve organizational objectives.

2) Professional

Anticipates and meets organizational needs. – Speaks up when a problem exists and offers solutions.  Willingly moves outside the boundaries of his/her job description if necessary to meet organizational and client needs.  Takes calculated risks where needed and offers ideas and suggestions to “fill the void”.  Shows initiative.

3) Managers

Takes tough stands – Stands by decisions that are perceived to be a benefit to the organization even if they are unpopular and controversial

4) Executive Managers

Focuses on long term good of organization. – Demonstrates willingness to sacrifice own unit’s short term good for the long term good of the organization.  Asks others to make sacrifices in order to meet the larger organization’s entire needs. [4]

And there one more concept left that is closely interrelated to the previous two – job involvement. Kanungo [5] defined job involvement as “a belief descriptive of the present job that tends to be a function of how much the job can satisfy one’s present needs”. Job involvement has also been described as the extent to which an individual’s self-esteem is affected by performance and the degree to which an individual is psychologically involved with job (Kanungo, 1982 in Scott et al., 1997).

Job involvement, which is the form of work commitment, is predominantly discussed within the American organizational behaviour and psychology literature, and is often viewed as an important part of a work life concept. Job involvement refers to an extent, to which workers identify with, and are absorbed in, their present jobs. The Job involvement literature may be grouped into social and psychological approaches.

Thus, as it was said before, employee attitude, work commitment and job involvement strongly influence the activity and productivity of organization. To finish, I’d like to notice, that assessing employee attitude, work commitment and job involvement has a number of benefits, namely:

  1. A source of quantifiable information that will provide an accurate representation of work force satisfaction drivers and productive activity
  2. More productive and satisfied employees
  3. Maximize employee performance
  4. Goodwill generated by taking the time to listen to employees
  5. More defined and effective training requirements
  6. Enhanced development of highly effective employees
  7. Reduced employee turnover
  8. Opportunity to measure manager effectiveness
  9. Opportunity to provide more focused and productive employee training


  1. Barnard C. I. The Functions of the Executive, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1938.
  2. Mathieu J. E. , Zajac D. M., A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of organizational commitment, Psychol. Bull., 108 (2) , (1990) 171–194.
  3. Randall D. A., The consequences of organizational commitment: Methodological investigation, J. Organ. Behav., 11 (1990) 361–378.
  4. Meyer J. P. , Allen N. J. Commitment in the Workplace; Theory, Research and Application, Sage Publication, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1997.
  5. Brickman P. Commitment, conflict and caring. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: prentice-Hall, 1987.
  6. Kiesler C. The psychology of commitment. New York: Academic press, 1971.
  7. Kanungo R. Measurement of job and work involvement. Journal of applied psychology, 67(3), 1982

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