An investigation of the influence of ethnic group membership on job attitudes and the relationship between these attitudes and job performance

Date

1973

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the interrelationships between ethnic group membership, expectancy attitudes and job behavior. The subjects were black (N=63), Mexican-American (N=63), and white (N=51) blue-collar employees of a food processing plant. The Lawler-Porter (1967) expectancy theory model provided the theoretical framework for the conceptualization and operationalism of attitude variables. Expectancy attitudes were assessed by, a written questionnaire and supervisory ratings were used as measures of job performance. Reliability data were collected on all independent and dependent measures. Hypotheses concerning the relationship between ethnic group membership and expectancy attitudes were investigated within an analysis of variance paradigm and correlational procedures were utilized to test hypothesized relationships between expectancy attitudes and job performance. Data analysis indicated that ethnic group membership did not have an appreciable influence on an employee's perception of the relation between job performance and work rewards. Although blacks perceived the highest performance-reward expectancies for 12 of the 16 work rewards, only three of these differences were statistically significant. In addition, it was found that ethnic group membership was not related to the value employees attributed to the work rewards included in the study. Finally, it was found that blacks received significantly lower ratings than whites on the job performance scales. Past research had consistently demonstrated positive relationships between expectancy attitudes and work behaviors. However, the present study did not discover any significant relationships between attitude and performance variables. This finding was consistent across all ethnic groups and for all possible combinations of the performance-reward expectancy and reward value variables. The discrepancies between this finding and the previous literature were discussed in terms of situational variables, such as type of pay system and job design, which may moderate expectancy job performance relationships in the organizational setting.

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Keywords

Job satisfaction, Ethnicity

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