|The influence of attitude toward labor on perception of work pace|
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Attitude (Psychology), Time study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of attitude toward labor on perception of work pace. Our model is the performance rating practice of industrial time study procedure, in which the observer rates a workerÆs performance in comparison to the pace expected of the normal operator.
Based on the directive-state and adaptation-level theories of perception, it is proposed that the time study observerÆs attitude toward labor is a determiner of his perception of normal worker performance, his adaptation-level for work pace. Within the context of establishing production standards, it is hypothesized that observers with a favorable attitude toward labor have lesser expectations of normal worker performance, and tend to rate observed worker performance relatively higher than neutral observers. Conversely, it is hypothesized that observers with an unfavorable attitude toward labor have greater expectations of normal worker performance, and tend to rate observed worker performance relatively lower than neutral observers.
To test these hypotheses, we measured the attitudes toward labor held by a sample of time study observers composed of college students enrolled in work measurement courses. In an experimental manipulation, which involved the use of performance rating films, subjects in an experimental condition were enabled to compare their ratings with those of an expert reference group identified as union time study engineers employed by the AFL-CIO. Subjects in a control condition were unable to compare their ratings with those of any reference group. It was predicted that subjects in the experimental condition would alter their adaptation-levels for work pace, hence their pace ratings for succeeding operations, in consonance with their expectations of the reference group. The hypotheses were not sustained.
Toward explaining why the hypotheses were not sustained, the data suggested that the magnitude of the relationship between attitude toward labor and attitude toward union time study engineers may not have been sufficient to create the necessary cognitive dissonance between observer ratings and their expectations of union time study engineer ratings. While the hypotheses were not sustained, the data indicated sufficient reliability and similarity of pace ratings to support the concept of commonly shared adaptation-levels of normal worker performance. As predicted by the adaptation-level theory reformulation of the Fechner law, pace ratings were found to be a logarithmic function of the elapsed time, and were manifested by consistent observer tendencies to underestimate fast paces and to overestimate slow paces.