HowSystems Justification in the organization and Motivated Preferencefor the Status quo can affect Organizational Attitudes, Behaviors,and Outcome
Theenvironment in which contemporary organizations are operating ischaracterized by various developments that, on the overall, justifythe essence of thinking about ways to safeguard companycompetitiveness, resilience, survival, growth, and productivity (Markand Miles 825).Indeed, there are different examples of these challenges —increasing regulations, heightening competition, shrinking naturalresources, economic downturns, and the influx of generation Y areonly a few notable examples of why organizations must re-strategize.
Inlight of these developments, organizations have been encouraged toadopt different approaches to keep them abreast. One of theoutstanding suggestions has been the need to embrace supportive humanresource management techniques. As Sidaniuset al. observe,this developments trends tend to have coincided with the shift ofparadigm from the mechanistic to humanistic frameworks. Contrary tothe mechanistic thinking that treated human and nonhuman resourcesalike, the mechanistic paradigm acknowledges that human resourceshave certain unique and psychological requirements that needed to befulfilled for them to be productive (Sidaniuset al. 67).
Thisparadigm has been well received and different organizations acrossthe globe are engrossed in embracing suitable human resourcemanagement practices. However, many of these initiatives are dividedon just what activities should be embraced to enhance the capacityfor an organization to realize its intended goals. For concernedmanagers and scholars, such a scenario justifies the need to continueexploring the subject to understand it better.
Whilethere are different strategies that have been put forth, the systemsjustification, and motivated preferences for the status quo areperhaps one of the notable areas in strategic human resourcemanagement. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how systemsjustification in the organization and motivated preference for thestatus quo can affect organizational attitudes, behaviors, andoutcome.
Therest of the paper is organized as follows. First, the meaning of theterms system justification and motivated preferences for status quoare first set out. These definitions are followed by the discussionson the significance of two elements on organizational attitudes andbehaviors and outcome.
ConceptualizingSystem Justification and Motivated Preferences for Status Quo
Itis worth noting that defining systemjustification and motivated preferences for status quo is imperativeto illustrating the significance of the two elements onorganizational attitudes and behaviors and productivity outcome. Asdocumented by Connelly,system justification describes a process and course by whichdecisions are made based on reasons that accommodate thepsychological needs of the people concerned. The concept underscoresthe system justification theory, which hinges on the presuppositionthat individuals have different, varied needs that can be simplysatisfied by defending and justifying the status quo, even when thesystem actions might be inherently disadvantageous to certain groupsof people (Connelly589). As expounded by Jostet al. (34),people tend to have existential, relational and epistemic beliefsthat must be considered in decision-making processes, and that aretypically manifested in terms of ideologies underpinning political,economic and social norms.
Inessence, in the lens of system justification theory, people do notonly prefer holding positive attitudes about themselves and thegroups they are affiliated, but also the social structure to whichthey belong. There are different forms of examples to illustrate waysin which diverse groups of people, by virtue of system justification,accept and cling to their disadvantaged positions. For instance, theIndian Caste system has survived for years despite social reformsthat advocate for human equality, a scenario that is manifested interms of the notions that people from certain castes are untouchable.The institutions of slavery survived for long because it is fortifiedby system justification, which was advanced by the notion thatcertain races were might, while others were better of as servants.The system justifications are often advanced by motivated socialrecognition, stereotyping, ideologies, and legitimating myths (Jostet al. 34).
Accordingto Majorand Marksystem justification usually begets motivated preferences for statusquo, which is conceived as a preference for the current states ofaffairs. The status quo is often considered bottom line referenceupon which a change might be perceived as a loss. Therefore, amotivated preference status quo should not be mistaken with rationalchoice, which occurs when the current states of affairs are found tobe objectively superior to the existing alternatives, as well as whenimperfect information is an outstanding challenge (Majorand Mark 56).
Basedon these definitions, conceptualizing how systems justification inthe organization and motivated preference for the status quo canaffect organizational attitudes, behaviors, and outcome, it will beimportant to delve into various biased organization states and theresponse of members towards the state of affairs.
TheSignificance of Systems Justification and Motivated Preference forthe Status quo on Organizational Attitudes and Behaviors, andOutcome
Alook at the literature reveals different ways in which systemsjustification in the organization and motivated preference for thestatus quo can affect organizational attitudes, behaviors, andoutcome. To a certain extent, the significance of these elements canbe broadly approached from the role theory and work balance-orienteddiscussions.
Roletheories suggest that work-life balance is chiefly determined by theroles in which individuals play and the beliefs they hold about thestatus quo. The origins of role theory trace to the study by Jostet al. whosought to investigate the distress linked to balance of concerns ofsubjects towards their different roles as a paid worker, wife, andmother and associated rewards. The study established that perceivedrole quality, which was manifested by more rewards and less concernsattached to the roles and status quo, was linked to alleged less workoverload, anxiety and role conflicts. Basing on these researchfindings, the Jostet al. (34) proceeded to define role balance as reward less concerns (Connelly589).Another study, Sidaniuset al.also investigated the psychological distress linked to balance ofconcerns of subjects towards their different roles in business, butbased on the perspective of a typology of role perception and theorganization status quo. The study asserted employees, includingwomen and women, tend to perceive their roles and work in multipleways, including the intervening status quo (Sidaniuset al. 67).Therefore, Connellybasedtheir typologies on work enhancements and role conflicts hypotheses.Conflicts hypotheses state multiple roles with undefined requirementsare likely to strain and trigger wars among individuals because theresources they are endowed for these perceived requirements arescarce and limited (Connelly589).The enhancement hypothesis states that indulging in multiple rolesand have motivated preferences can provide status security,livelihood, positive energy, privileges, and personal developmentthat can create individual resource, as well as catalyze roleperformance (Connelly67).In particular, Connellyperceived role enhancement and role conflict as dimensions that areindependent. This study reported that, regardless of levels ofenhancements associated with work, subjects experiencing high roleconflicts and dissatisfaction with organization status quo exhibitedwork depression and were particularly dissatisfied with work. Thediscussions create the allowance to conclude that high enhancements,system justification, motivated preferences for status quo, andrewards combined with low levels of role conflict and concerns areimperative for the well-being and productivity of an individual andare correlates of role balance.
However,the theoretical approach by Houghand Janice isquite different — role balance should not be perceived as anoutcome, but as a behavioral pattern in which one attends to tasks,as well as cognitive-affectivemodelin which one perceives the status quo and organizes one’s innerlife of multiple selves. Houghand Janice envisagetwo ways in which individuals engage multiple roles positive ornegative role balance. In this case, positive role balance describesthe tendency of an individual to engage every role with devotion,care, dedication, and sacrifice, satisfied with the organizationenvironment and the prevailing state of affairs. On the contrary,negative role balance describes the tendency of an individual toengage in roles with low effort, apathy, and low attentiveness,dissatisfied with the organization environment and the prevailingstate of affairs. Considering these cognitive and behavioraltendencies, Positive role balance will ease roles, while negativebalance will strain roles. The terms ‘role ease’ and ‘rolestrain’ can be inferred as corresponding to role enhancement andconflict, respectively. In this context, role conflict can beprevented or even addressed before acute problems are translated intochronic problems. The problems are supposedly addressed by balancingthe role requirements, motivating preferences for status quo andproviding enhancements on time. For instance, the processes ofresolving the problems could entail prioritizing the responsibilityof jobs, avoiding breaks that are unnecessary and updatingprofessional skills and justifying the systems. Such measures canhelp one to be well placed in accepting and managing jobresponsibilities with efficiency and prevent conflicts anddisgruntlement. On the contrary, individuals with negative rolebalance are likely to accumulate incidents of role conflicts becauseof the indifferences developed towards the roles and tasks, thepeople in, which also results in a state of perceived unfulfilledrequirements. For instance, thinking that certain groups of peopleare earning much more than deserved results in negative perceptionsand attitudes towards work, translating to low productivity (Houghand Janice 45).
Severalauthors (e.g. Clanton,Greg and Jennifer)have suggested that when discussing work-life balance, one shouldconsider the directions, as well as the forms of work-life conflictsand organization status quo. Clanton,Greg and Jenniferdiscusses that motivated preferences have the upper hand in definingwork abilities, orientations and motivations, perceptions as well asthe requirements and emotional energies that people can bring atworkplaces. A work-life conflict is a form of role conflict, in whichthe requirements of roles at work and expectations not in tandem witheach other — so that engaging in one role can be seen as subvertingcertainly held ideals (Clantonet al. 34).
Wheneverone accords more time and energy to work roles, the status quo viewsare compromised. As can be inferred from various studies, pressurearising from family and work-related roles can result in conflictsbetween these two role domains. There pressure may have to do withtime and perceptions that one dedicates to family or work-relatedactivities, the stress experienced when one engages work orfamily-related activities, and levels of involvement that one directsto work and based on the status quo (e.g. Jostand Diana 78).
Literatureaddressing remedial approaches for addressing work related stress anddisgruntled status core has lauded motivated preferences, citing themto be effective
Kayand John havediscussed the theories supporting the motivated preferences, andconsequently noted the method to be advantageous because it offersemployees the training on constructive system ideologies. After beingequipped with the training, one is empowered to regulate stress andemotions on own way and perceive the prevailing status quo. Theorganization policies are often designed to foster awareness on thereal life events and justify the systems. Their designs areessentially tailored towards altering the attitudes and perceptionsof the employees towards stressing stimuli and unfavorable statusquo. In this regard, motivated preference aimed at enabling employeesto overcome the negative thoughts and emotions and partake work andfamily life with positive energy and dedication through coping andavoidance techniques (Kayand John 56).
Jostet al. hasfurther discussed that motivating employees is critical for work-lifebalance because it enhances the brain regulation capability andalters impulse reactions, and these are translated into improvedpsychological functioning. Over time, employees subjected to theorganization policy and training program tend to report gradualenhanced ability of learning and facing troubling stimuli withconfidence and open-mindedness. Training empowers employees to changetheir perspectives concerning working terms and conditions. Inessence, training will enable employees who are so psychologicallydisturbed that they cannot balance work and life to loosen theirgrips on stressing thoughts, and then create the allowance to fit tothe status quo (Jostetet al. 78).
Severalstudies have reported motivated preferences to be effective inresolving work-life balance problems. For instance, a study by Blasiand John investigatedthe significance organization’s training program carrying systemjustification ideologies on management of psychological stressrelated to work. By utilizing control studies of subjects, the studyreported many subjects under the training programs reportedsignificant positive outcomes in terms of their attitude prefers forthe status quo (Blasiand John 34).Another study, Houghand Janice performeda meta-analysis on the success rates of system justification inaddressing the work-life balance challenges in disgruntled employees.The study concludes system justification through organizationpolicies and training programs is an effective approach of addressingconcerns of people are likely to be disgruntled with theorganization’s status quo (Houghand Janice 56).
Anotherstudy by Kayand Johninvestigated the effects motivatedpreferences and system justification on work stressed and alcoholicvictims, reporting positive results (Kayand John 89).Similarly, the study by Connellyinvestigated the effectiveness of motivatedpreferences and system justification focusing on employees with HIVpositive health statuses. By adopting a quasi-experimental design.The study reports subjectssubjected to motivatedpreferences and system justification exhibited improved attitudesabout life, exhibited life-mindful behaviors, and had betterproductivity.Ideally, status quo can be conceived to be integral of two elements:endowment effects and loss aversion. Individuals usually evaluate thelosses and gain of the status quo more much more than they wouldexpect from potential gains. As a result, people may prefer not toalter the status quo. In essence, people have the tendency ofopposing change, until it reaches a level in which the benefitsovershadow the gains. Nevertheless, the status quo would still bemaintained even when the gains are missing, implying that lossaversion may not entirely explain the biases underlying status quo(Connelly589).
Basedon this discussion, several elements can be inferred. First is thatthe differences between people, as well as the ideologicalmotivations and preferences, are derivatives of system justificationprocesses. Secondly, the threats to systems often evoke responsesthat seek to defend the systems — for every reaction against thesystems, there are counteractions. Thirdly, individuals often adoptbiased information processing to favor the conclusion upon whichsystem justification is hinged. Fourthly, system justificationsprocesses and goal pursuit processes cannot exist separately — theyalways go together, fortifying each other. Lastly, the individualdesires of legitimatizing and justifying the status of systems oftentriggers the behavioral response, attitudes and goal-orientedoutcomes. Therefore, the conditions that support resistance or socialchange within organizations can be conceived as depending on theperceived goals, as well as the level by which a system can bejustified. System justification and motivated preference for thestatus quo is the primary reason why members in disadvantagedposition, such as those with poor working conditions, low pay,discriminations to tolerate the conditions.
Inconclusion, the aim of this paper has been to illustrate how systemsjustification in the organization and motivated preference for thestatus quo can affect organizational attitudes, behaviors, andoutcome. First, the system justification was defined as a process andcourse by which decisions are made based on reasons that accommodatethe psychological needs of the people concerned. The systemjustification is conceived as a driver for motivated preferences forstatus quo, which is conceived as the satisfaction for the currentstates of affairs. The social systems are often advanced by motivatedsocial recognition, stereotyping, ideologies, and legitimating myths.A look at the literature reveals different ways in which systemsjustification in the organization and motivated preference for thestatus quo can affect organizational attitudes, behaviors, andoutcome. It has been further established that, in the organization`ssettings, the effects of system justification are all too clear —theyare the solid reasons why employees subjected to poorworking conditions, low pay, discriminations to tolerate theconditions.The organization status quo are surviving for long because they arefortified by system justification, which was advanced by the notionthat certain members or employees deserve to be treated better orhold certain positions, while others earn low pay and serve as thesubordinates. Ashas been approached based on role theories, work-life balance ischiefly determined by the roles that individuals play and how systemare justified. Employees are motivated to work harder to nurtureorganization citizenship behaviors and loyalty because they arecontended with stratus quo.
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