How Attitude and Behavior Influence Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction
Posted on February 8, 2012 by Gail Danneman
The relationship between attitude and behavior has a strong impact on the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment. The relationship between attitude and behavior has been studied vastly and has been determined that the two exist on a continuum. Attitude and behavior also have moderators such as intention to change one’s attitude, which in turn changes one’s behavior. Attitude precedes behavioral action.
In terms of the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational commitment, there are several factors that can influence the relationship.
The first factor has to do with comparison levels. For example, I may be working at an organization and feel fairly committed to the organization as a whole, but not feel satisfied with the amount of pay that I receive for the work that I put into the job. Therefore, the balance between my behavior (organizational commitment) and my attitude (job satisfaction) are not in line with one another.
A second factor that influences the relationship between organizational commitment and job satisfaction has to do with the alternative options. This asks the question, “Is this organization the best for me? Or, can I do better?” In this example, the individual’s attitude toward his or her job may be satisfaction, but the individual may not feel committed to the organization. If the individual is not committed to the organization through behavior, the individual may begin to participate in counterproductive work behaviors because of the lack of commitment.
A third factor that influences the relationship between organizational commitment and job satisfaction has to do with the investment that one has placed in his or her job. An individual may feel that they have invested many years into working at an organization, but may not be happy at the organization. In this case, the individual may weigh whether or not it is a wise decision to leave the organization and risk possible consequences (losing retirement funds, promotions, seniority) or to stay at a job that one is not satisfied with.
All three of these factors have a significant role in whether or not our attitudes and behaviors will be in line with one another. If there is a discrepancy, cognitive dissonance is likely to occur. For example, the individual that is committed to their organization but not satisfied with his or her job may feel that the only way to elevate the experienced feeling of cognitive dissonance would be to leave the organization.