orientation to work

orientation to work

the objectives and expectations that employees have of their work, and which influences their interpretation of their work experience, thereby determining to some extent their JOB SATISFACTION. The notion of orientations to work first gained currency in the SOCIOLOGY OF WORK in the late 1960s after the publication of a major study of workers’ attitudes (the Affluent Worker study) in a car assembly factory The researchers found that these workers assessed the satisfaction obtained from their jobs not in absolute terms but in relation to what they wanted from their employment. Thus the technology, for instance, did not directly determine the level of job satisfaction; the orientations developed out of people's social experiences outside work. Three types of orientation were identified.
  1. solidaristic, where the value of work lies in its capacity to provide intrinsic satisfaction and social contact with other workers. Work is a central life interest and work friendships extend outside the factory gate.
  2. bureaucratic, where the worker sees work in terms of a lifelong career, and work satisfaction depends on the extent to which work meets career and status aspirations.
  3. instrumental, where no intrinsic satisfaction from work is sought and work has primarily an economic value to the worker. Those with this orientation attach little importance to friendship with workmates and tend to lead a ‘privatized’ existence separate from the rest of the community.

It was argued that the ‘affluent workers’ had the latter orientation. Although the work was undeniably tedious these employees did not express dissatisfaction with their jobs as long as high incomes could be gained. The Affluent Worker study was a landmark in the sociology of work because it emphasized the importance of the meanings people attach to their work.

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, the Change orientation to work with women seeking abortion was defined by the statement, "I would be willing to be involved and would challenge agency policies or politics blocking access to services for this client group.
Helliwell continued: "Besides good English communication skills, whether it be Madrid, Sao Paulo, Beijing or Nairobi, wherever the selection teams go, we are looking for adaptable, confident and positive people who have the team orientation to work successfully alongside others in a truly international airline.
Jones was hired and received orientation to work in clinics in the Dallas area.
1,080,763 to help employ 233 with financial assistance toward the wages of EI-eligible participants for costs associated with their orientation to work.
In fact, relationship is at the center of Skerritt's orientation to work and life.
Since novice employees account for 18 per cent of the lost time injuries in construction, orientation to work hazards is crucial.