Work-Value Orientation: Perspective to Analyze Employee Responses

Work-Value Orientation: Perspective to Analyze Employee Responses

Anshuman Bhattacharya (Sunbeam College for Women, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7470-7.ch020
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O'Reilly et al. (1991) defines value congruence as the match between the organization's culture and individual's values. The study is based on the same definition. It aims at determining the importance of rewards and resources for staff-members having different continuum of work values, association of work value congruence with organizational facilities, and assessing the impact of interpersonal interactional opportunity on attitudinal responses of employees. Significance of a particular aspect of job and organizational arrangements are correlated; further, significance of difference in the correlation coefficient is measured. The study reveals significant effect of work-value orientation on response to autonomy, organizational facilities, and organizational arrangements in terms of job satisfaction, citizenship and retaliatory behavior, intrinsic motivation, and job-involvement in employees. The chapter suggests that appropriate match between dominant values in individual employees and corresponding organizational arrangements is one of the significant antecedents of job satisfaction and involvement in the employees.
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There are two approaches to define values; one approach defines the construct as a specific stimulus, mode of behavior, or end state existence. The other approach defines value as the importance assigned to different needs. Former school of authors defines human values through its content aspect and emphasizes the motivating perspective in value systems. They believe that content of values was derived in order to cope with the challenges inherent in human existence, groups and individuals. These groups of individuals translate their needs and demands into communicable concepts expressing them in the language of values (Ros et al., 1999).

The other school of behavioral scientists refers human values as the importance attached to a goal. It serves as a scale of desirability of a particular conduct in comparison to the other (DuBrin, 2000, p. 38). Values are a particular class of motive that induces valance on certain environmental objects, behavior, or state of affairs (Feather, 1982; French and Kahn, 1962). Other behaviorists of the same school define the construct as elements that develop normative standards to judge the correctness and choice among alternative modes of behavior (Becker and McClintock, 1967; Kluckhohn, 1952; Dose, 1997).

Thus, the values are desirable, trans-situational goals that vary in importance as guiding principles to people's lives (Kluckhohn, 1952; Rokeach, 1973). Values are hierarchical sequence of responses to three universal requirements, namely needs of individuals as biological organisms, requisites of coordinated social interaction, and requirements for smooth functioning and survival of groups (Maslow, 1954).

After a value is learned, it becomes integrated into an organized system of values. The value system then guide particular act or sequence of acts (Williams, 1968, p. 287). Instrumental values govern individual's behavior towards attainment of desired end-goals; thus, these values, when coincides with organizational values, motivate the person (McDougal, 1926). Instrumental values, by virtue of adjustive functions, mould desirability of alternatives (Rokeach, 1973; pp. 323-329).

Work values are specific expression of values in context of vocation. These values are constellations of attitudes and opinions with which an individual evaluates his job and work environment (Pennings 1970). Work values, likewise general values, signify hierarchy of preference towards goals and criteria for choosing those goals (French and Kahn, 1962). Super (1962; and 1973) defines drives to work as personal orientation towards work or translation of cognitive representation of individual needs into social benefits.

Approaches to work values can be classified into single-dimensional, two-dimensional and multi-dimensional views. In single dimensional perspective of work value is measured with only one item. Morse and Weiss (1955) used only monetary gain from one's work to measure its motivating potential. Many researchers used two dimensional approach for dividing the work values into intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of work (Super, 1973; Wollack et al., 1971), protestant ethic and non-protestant ethic (Blood, 1969), moral importance to work and pride in craftsmanship (Cherrington, 1980), end state and behavior (Ros et al., 1999). Authors having multidimensional view of work values identified concurrent values as an additional one to intrinsic and extrinsic work values. They relate intrinsic values achieving goals in the workplace (responsibility and self-actualization), and extrinsic values with reward for performance (salary and prestige) and concurrent values with work situation, that is interpersonal relationships. In subsequent years of development the mostly used intrinsic-extrinsic dichotomy itself had been put to questioning (Elizur et al., 1991).Researchers, on the basis of broad orientation towards work and importance assigned to different occupational choices have identified a set of general types of work values. Most of the scholars identify intrinsic work values, extrinsic work values and social values.

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