Industrial / Organizational psychology and consumer behavior

[13 abstracts]

1. Perception of stress, its sources, physical symptoms and specificity of police officers' work  
Baboselac Marić M., Tot B.
First author's affiliation: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zagreb, Croatia

With regards to job characteristics of police officers, it has been recognized that police work is a highly stressful job even within a group of other risk occupations. Organizational and operational aspects of a job place high expectations on a police officer. In addition to extraordinary events there are daily sources of stress affecting the psychophysical stability of police officers. In this research attempts are made to discover to what extent some of work features influence the perception of stress level, number of physical symptoms and perception of sources of stress in police officers' work. Furthermore, efforts are made in this research to ascertain differences within explored variables in regard to the level of responsibility, level of education and effective service as the police officer. Police officers (N = 590) who underwent periodical systematic medical examinations during 2007 and 2008 participated in this research. Research results reveal that job requirements and lack of social support at working environment contribute significantly to perceived level of stress. Those police officers who reveal higher number of physical symptoms have also higher stress level as well as higher number of perceived sources of stress. It has been determined that with higher level of responsibilities and education, requirements and possibility of control at work place also increases. Obtained results can be used to enhance working conditions of police officers.

2. Application of Winter's scoring system for measuring unconscious motives  [presentation, pdf, 776 kB]
Boštjančič E.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The purpose of the research was to get know Winter’s scoring method and analyze it results for recognition and evaluation of unconscious motives (of power, socialization, accomplishments, and moral responsibility) in the running text. This method was relatively unknown in Slovenia. The present randomized research included 60 executives employed in Slovenian and international companies with headquarters in Slovenia. We conducted a one hour structured interview with each individual. Winter’s motive scoring system for coding power, affiliation and achievement motives and expressions of responsibility was used to analyse the interviews. The evaluation method proved not to be sufficiently reliable; however, it has on the other hand opened new possibilities of qualitative measurement in the future. The results show that the achievement and power motivation are prevailing in entrepreneurs, whereas in managers the leader motive profile is more often (33%) noticed. An interesting finding is also that leader’s non-conscious need for power is in positive correlation with subordinate’s commitment, satisfaction and motivation.

3. Evaluation of workplace health promotion – how to counteract the well-known difficulties  [presentation, pdf, 990 kB]
Brunner E., Kada O., Jenull B.
First author's affiliation: Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Feldkirchen, Austria

Although there’s no doubt about the effectiveness of workplace health promotion (WHP) there are several well-known problems to be taken into account when evaluating WHP: The effectiveness of WHP is not precisely attributable to certain interventions (Lenhardt, 2005), the levels of evidence from evidence-based medicine are only in parts applicable (Bödeker, 2007), the generalisation of the results to other contexts is limited (Slesina, 2008), and the evaluation of lasting effects of WHP can only be captured using costly and time-consuming concepts and is thus hardly realized. A promising approach to overcome these difficulties is introduced on the basis of a WHP project implemented in a Carinthian hospital. The project uses health circles, an open space, and an employee survey for the as-is analysis which is the basis for the development of interventions. The project is accompanied by advisory board meetings. All interventions and the meetings of the advisory board are evaluated using adequate designs and methods: For example, the smoking intervention is evaluated using a pre-post control group design (summative evaluation); qualitative content analysis of the meeting protocols is used to evaluate and simultaneously improve the meetings of the advisory board in the sense of formative evaluation. Hence, based on the state of the art the present evaluation concept comprises multiple perspectives, qualitative and quantitative methods, is flexibly tailored to the particular interventions and combines different levels of evidence. It can be recommended that evaluation should be part of a WHP project from the very beginning so that formative and summative evaluation can be integrated. Regarding every single intervention the best applicable level of evidence should be realised and adequate methods for each research subject should be employed. In a successful WHP project the costs associated with evaluation must be precisely budgeted.

4. Perception of gender differences in competition in organizations  
Fülöp M., Sebestyén N.
First author's affiliation: Institute for Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Competition is an everyday context of the business life in a market economy. Most of the psychological results (developmental, social, personality) showed that males are more competitive than females. However, recent studies call the attention to an equally intensive competitive drive among women. Our study aimed at revealing if there are gender differences in terms of adapting and coping with a highly competitive environment, namely the business context. In order to examine this altogether 202 in-depth interviews were carried out with 50 business leaders from the capital of Hungary, Budapest and 152 from other cities of the country, 33% of them were females and 67% of them males. The age range was 23 to 60. The first part of the in depth-interviews aimed at revealing the personal attitude towards competition, winning and losing. The second half asked the respondents about the role they attribute to competition in the economic life in general, and in the Hungarian market specifically, and finally we asked the respondents to describe their views on gender differences (if any) in relations to competition in the business life, in the organizational realm. The approximately 70 minutes long interviews were transcribed and content analyzed and qualitatively different categories set up. The qualitative analysis was followed by a quantitative statistical analysis. This revealed – among others - an intensively negative view of female competition in organizations, and this negative view was shared both by our male and female respondents. Female-female competition was described in an especially negative way.

5. Risk-perception and risk-evaluation in the no-data-decision-making-situations  [presentation, ppt, 285 kB]
Fenzl T., Brudermann T.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Psychology, Department for Economic Psychology, Klagenfurt, Austria

In situations of uncertainty, for which people do not have any experiences, they seek for information in their environment, on which they can base their expectations. The concept of other-directedness (Riesman, 1952) implies that there are numerous situations in which people do not solely base their decisions on facts but rather react to the behavior of others. Evidence can be found by creating uncertainty or disorientation, panic or euphoria and by providing an environment that suggests explanations (Schachter & Singer 1962). To investigate the effects of other peoples´ behavior on perception and evaluation of risk our experimental design registered the risk-behavior of students in an oral exam under particular conditions. As a novelty we offered participants (n=59) to choose between an examiner, who is generally known at campus for risky and unpredictable exams, and an examiner who never took exams before. Our objective was to observe the different behavioral strategies in order to manage this situation. We focused on whether participants would perceive and evaluate risk using the behavior of other students passing the exam before them and to which degree a suspected bad performance of the first few candidates would influence their behavior. In this risky situation, where information is lacking and can´t be acquired from the environment, the majority of students rather chose the known evil than going for the completely unfamiliar alternative. Nevertheless one third of the students trusted in their abilities or the subjective appraisal of their skills and opted for the unfamiliar examiner. Faced with the bad outcome of the first few candidates taking the exam with him, a majority of the remaining participants that had originally chosen this alternative were rethinking their decisions, using the outcomes of these others to evaluate the risk faced anew, and 17% reversed their choice. Therefore the behavior and actions of other people in the environment plays an important role in perceiving and evaluating risk.

6. The relationship between locus of control and the three components of commitment to change among employees in the organization  
Jahanbakhsh Ganjeh S., Omidi Arjenaki N., Nouri A.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

The impact of locus of control on psychological reactions of employees to change was investigated. Actually the relationship between locus of control and the three components of commitment to a change was studied. A random sample of 80 employees was selected from all employees of a social service organization in Yasuj, Iran. The data were analyzed by using single group MANOVA. The results indicated that locus of control can significantly predict participant's commitment to a specific change. In particular it was shown that the relationship between locus of control and the three components of commitment to change were different. Participants with more internal locus of control were more likely to have high affective and normative commitment to change, whereas participants with more external locus of control were more likely to have high continuance commitment to change.

7. Dissemination of organizational values, mission and vision: An examination among contact personnel  
Musek Lešnik K., Arzenšek A.
First author's affiliation: Mednarodna fakulteta za družbene in poslovne študije, Celje, Slovenia

There is a common belief that clear organizational values, a clear sense of common mission, and a clear organizational vision are important elements of excellent corporate cultures. Moreover, even though reported research findings regarding these organizational issues differ, some strong evidence supports this belief. Organization can only communicate with the outside world those issues that are successfully communicated internally. Therefore the important question for many organizations is not whether they have written organizational values, mission, and vision, as mostly they have in some form. More important questions address the process in which these statements are born in organizations, the ability of their »authors« to guarantee their shared ownership across the organization, and the power of these statements to transcend from paper into hearts and minds among employees and other key stakeholders, and their contribution towards making work and other relations with organization meaningful. As several researchers found, the failure of many values, mission, and vision statements does not lie in weak innate power of these concepts, but in their poor understanding and implementation in organizations. In our research we investigated how able were contact persons in Slovene companies to represent their organization's values, mission, and vision. Our results show that less than 15% of people that are the first to pick up the phone in the company, failed at these simple tasks, suggesting that in many cases key organizational concepts are not »owned« among people who are employed to be the first contact of the outside world with the company. These results correspond to findings of other authors who warned that in many organizations values, mission and vision are vague concepts used for PR purpose and in lip-talk, failing to affect the wider corporate community. Such findings lead to conclusion that many organizations either do not understand the full power of these organizational concepts, or are poor in their implementation.

8. The relationship of personality characteristics and job burnout among nurses  
Omidi Arjenaki N., Jahanbakhsh Ganjeh S., Nouri A.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

This study aimed at investigating the relationship between personality characteristics and job burnout among nurses. A random sample of 75 nurses was selected from all nurses in the public hospital of Shahrekord. The measures were NEO Personality Characteristics Questionnaire and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). The data were analyzed by using multiple regression analysis. The results of this research indicated that personal characteristics can significantly predict the three components of job burnout. The most noteworthy finding is the predictability of nurses' job burnout from the agreeableness trait.

9. The personality antecedents and the organizational consequences of the organizational commitment in client’s companies  
Oreyzi Samani H., Tabesh N.
First author's affiliation: University of Esfahan, Esfahan, Iran

One of the today's most important problems in Iran is the outsourcing services. According to transition from public organizations to private ones, the third party in organizational commitment was born because of the outsourcing and contracting companies. Workers in the contracting companies have two fold commitments, to their own company and to their client's companies. Participants in this study were 500 workers in six contracting companies responsible for outsourcing services toward client companies. Personality antecedents of commitment were: locus of control, measured by Internal-External scale (Rotter, Mulry, 1965), five dimensions of personality, namely contentiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness, measured by Revised Neo personality Inventory (Neo-PI, 1992), and adult attachment (Hazan, Shaver, 1991). The organizational variables in client organizations were organizational climate (Becker, 1992) and organizational support measured by perceived organizational support scale (Eisenberger, Huntington and Sowa, 1986). Mediational analyses show that organizational commitment (Belfor, Wexler, 1996) mediates personal characteristics and organizational characteristics.

10. What motivates employee to perform organizational citizenship behavior?  [presentation, ppt, 1105 kB]
Rak I., Penezić Z.
First author's affiliation: Elementary School A. M. Petropoljskog, Drniš, Croatia

Organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) are defined as job behaviours that are discretionary, not explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, yet they contribute to organizational effectiveness. Examples of OCB may include helping a co-worker who has been absent from work, volunteering for extra duty when needed, representing the company enthusiastically at public functions, and acting in ways that improve morale, and resolve unconstructive interpersonal conflict. The aim of this study was to give some new clues in determining incentives for this type of behaviour. We questioned the importance of organizational justice that pertains to employees' views of whether they are being treated fairly by the organization. There are several components of organizational justice: distributive, procedural and interactional. We also evaluated employee's life satisfaction, work satisfaction and pay satisfaction. Our final variable was work values defined as goals that one wants to achieve in his work; using importance and realization of intrinsic and extrinsic work values in employees. The sample in this study consisted of full time bank employees (195; 172 female, 23 male). Questionnaire was collected in 25 bank offices. In our analysis we have used results of 172 female employees. Our results show the significant correlation between dimensions of organizational citizenship behaviour and all examined variables (dimensions of organizational justice, life, work and pay satisfaction and importance and realization of intrinsic and extrinsic work values). Regression analysis showed that the procedural justice, importance and realization of intrinsic work values were significant predictors of different dimensions of OCB. Our data suggest the further need for new studies on citizenship behaviour in organizations including some new variables which could give us new light on this interesting area of research.

11. The relationship between personality and the need for leadership of Iranian workers  
Salahian A., Oreizi H., Tabesh N.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

Need for leadership (NL) differs from other concepts in the leadership domain because it is not an asset of a leader but of subordinate in his situation, job, or organization. NL is the extent to which an employee wishes the leader to facilitate the path toward individual, group, or organizational goals. A subjective need for leadership (SNL) is associated with individual goals, while the objective one is associated with group or organizational goals. The aim of the current research is to investigate relationship between personality of workers and their need for leadership. The participants were 650 workers chosen from a large Iranian factory producing automobiles. Three measures were used: first, The Revised Hazan and Shaver (1994) that contains three categories (immune style, anxiety style and ambivalence style), second, Revised Inventory (NEO-PI) Costa and McCrae(1992), and third, The scale of need for (subjective and objective) leadership (De Vries, 1997). Findings indicate that contentiousness, immune attachment style and extraversion predict objective need for leadership, while openness, anxiety attachment style, and neuroticism (reversely) predict subjective need for leadership. Implications of these studies were discussed for practical use in the organizations.

12. Age-stereotypes and -discrimination concerning aging workforce on the Hungarian labour market  [presentation, ppt, 1393 kB]
Szaszvari K.
University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Ageing society of the European Union brings on increasingly compelling questions regarding social-, health- and labour market issues for the member states. This essay intends to reveal the effects of the age-stereotypes on the labour market eider on the employers’ or on the employees’ side. The organisations have to face how the knowledge of the aging employees could be used, how their work experience could be utilized, how their performance at standard level could be maintained. It is dominant question on the employees’ side as well, in spite of the increasing retiring age that how they could get on within the competition with younger employees, how they could increase their workforce value. The research studied the stereotypes about the aging workforce (above 45 years) on the Hungarian labour market, due to questionnaires on wide range of employees. The following questions were drawn: have the employees’ age-stereotypes, what is the content of it, what correlations could be established between the age and work-experience of the employees and leaders and the characteristics of age stereotypes, is there any correlation between the prejudiced personality and the usage of the age-stereotypes. Although there is very low number of researches in the field of the status of the aging workforce in Hungary, this research initiated the tangible step toward serving the aging employees work-force equal opportunity.

13. The relationship between motivation to manage and competencies of the top executive level managers in traditional and bureaucratic organizations in Iran  
Tabesh N., Oreyzi H.
First author's affiliation: University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

In the traditional organizations managers are selected according to power relations while in the bureaucratic ones executive managers are assigned by succession planning and career development. Most organizations in Iran are traditional ones. The aim of the current research is to investigate the relationship between the motivation to manage and competencies of top executive managers in these two different organizations. The construct of motivation to manage, reflex striving for power and domination associated with favourable attitudes toward father's figures, a tendency to assert oneself and interested in administrative works were measured by Miner's Sentence Completion Scale (MSCS), (Miner, 1964). Competencies were measured via role playing, in-basket and business game as part of the assessment center method. After applying, coefficient of manager's total scores were computed and correlated with their scores on MSCS. From 85 executive managers, 45 were bureaucratic and 40 were traditional ones. The findings indicate that only in the bureaucratic organizations there is positive significant relation between competency and motivation. Findings emphasize on the career development path and succession planning. The current research also shows that the psychological variable of managers depends on organizational structure.