Difference between attitude and value ~ Organizational Behavior


Attitudes are judgements or opinions about a certain person or an object. Attitude has three components- cognitive, affective and behavioural also called the ABC model.
Cognitive component of attitude refers to a person’s opinion, beliefs or thought about an object or an idea. For example the person is against the idea of a corrupted society.
Affective component is the part of attitude that drives our feelings. It reveals how one feels about an idea. For example, when a person says that he or she is against corruption and does not encourage it in any way or another might feel that it is sometimes more practical.
Behavioural component is about the behaviour one shows or how one actually reacts when they encounter the said object. The same person bribes a traffic policeman on his or her way to work. Here the behavioural component may or may not be consistent with the cognitive or affective component.

The ABC model explains the different aspects of the attitude spectrum. Usually a person’s attitude is said to be consistent but it is not always true. For example people who say they believe in honesty and ethical behaviour may also be the ones who act differently and use unethical means to get work done.

Functions of Attitude

The Adjustment function- Very often an employee has to adjust to their work environment and a positive attitude help them to do that.

Ego-defensive function- Attitudes help people maintain dignity and self-respect. A very common situation in most offices is that when managers or seniors feel threatened by someone younger with talent and new ideas they react by initially disapproving of them. Good managers however do acknowledge the better ideas ultimately.

Value-Expressive function- To people, attitudes act as a basis for expressing their values. Like someone who is hard working and strongly believes in work ethics, will disapprove of his colleague who slacks on his job and uses unethical means to get his work done.

Knowledge function- Attitude provides standards and parameters of reference so that it becomes easy for them to perceive their environment. If one’s attitude towards another object is constant then they will always perceive the object the same way.


Values are strong beliefs held by a person about what’s right and what’s wrong. Values can be terminal or instrumental.
Terminal values are end states that a person wants to achieve in life like wanting to be successful or growth in career.
Instrumental values are values through which a person achieves those end states.

Formation of values

Values present in a person are often a result of internal and external influences like family, culture, community and even television. Throughout childhood and even in adulthood one learns values from parents or a model figure and imitates them. Values are also formed through the process of socialising. Through socialising one borrows values from people he socialises with, compares his morals and values and filters them to form a set of values.

Values in the Workplace

At the end of the day values imbibed in a person affects behaviour even at the workplace because an employee comes to work as a whole person. Values are also important to be professional which is the reason why every organisation emphasises on having values. Also, an organisation hires those candidates that share the same values as the organisation. Values that are shared widely by the employees of an organisation overtime turns into organisational culture.

Every organisation has a mission statement. Through its mission statement the organisation shares its values with the public. The mission statement acts as a criterion for hiring candidates that share the same values, in hopes that while exhibiting these values they would help the organisation complete its mission as expressed in the mission statement.

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction determines how content an employee is with his work which also affects his attitude towards work. An employee asses his current job situation like the working conditions, salary, bonuses, promotions, other financial perks and also factors like level of responsibility, creativity and flexibility affect the level of job satisfaction. Presence of such elements in a job will bring a positive in an employee towards work as long as the elements meet the employee’s personal goals.

Read More:

Success and Failure in Life
How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One)
A Letter to Those Who Feel Hopeless About Life
How to make a slow day at work go by faster

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