Perceptions of social Context and Organizational Behavior [Tesi di dottorato]

With the present work, we contribute to the study of context in organizational research by presenting the concept of Perceptions of social Context (PoC; Borgogni, 2001) and its operationalization. We situate our proposal within Johns’s model (2006) and we refer to discrete context, specifically privileging the social aspects of context. With social context we consider the social structure, that is the set of the most relevant constituencies internal to the organization (i.e., immediate supervisor, colleagues and top management), the way they fulfill their social roles and reciprocally interact at work (Bales, 1953; Steiner, 1972). Moreover, we focus on perceptions of the prototypical behaviors enacted by each social constituency to include the lens through which context can be viewed by individuals and the role played by the person in catching the more salient aspects of the observed phenomena. In fact, with our proposal we intend to connect the study of context with a psychological theory, that is Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986; Wood & Bandura, 1989). According to the “reciprocal triadic determinism” posited by Bandura (1986), person, environment and behavior are involved in an interdependent casual structure. Thus, people are both products and producers of the environment, since they are active agents who intentionally influence the events of their life. Consistent with Bandura (1997), the main self-regulatory process responsible for this dynamic transaction is perceived self-efficacy, that is the belief in one’s ability to master specific domains (Bandura, 1986) which leads a person to adopt a “control over circumstances” mindset.Efficacy beliefs can influence how people think, feel, make decisions, motivate themselves and persevere in the face of difficulties and challenges. Furthermore, people with high self-efficacy are more able to perceive and exploit the opportunities offered by their own context, see the obstacles as avoidable and even control the events of their life. Accordingly, we intend to offer a sound rationale to the study of context by putting forward an integrated view of the individual in his/her organizational setting, and by investigating the individual agentive role in the construal process of the context, focussing on the relationship between self efficacy and Perceptions of social Context, and their concurrent role on individual behaviors and job attitudes. From this standpoint, three studies were developed which are presented as follows.The first study presents the construct of Perceptions of social Context and its operationalization, in order to provide a measurement proposal of context, rooted in a psychological perspective, that might preserve contextual specificity and, at the same time, allow to compare and generalize results in different contexts. Moreover, we investigated the role of the individual in the construal process of the context, examining the relationship between PoC and self-efficacy.The second study investigated the concurrent role of individual and social factors in predicting Work engagement over time, adopting a social cognitive perspective. Particularly, through a two-wave study, we examined how and to what extent self-efficacy predicts Work engagement directly and through the improvements in the Perceptions of the social Context (namely improvements in the perceptions of the immediate supervisor, of colleagues and of top management).Finally, the third study aimed to highlight the process through which contexts influence behavior. Thus, we focused on absence behaviors and its determinants, through the investigation of a conceptual model in which self-efficacy and Perceptions of social Context (i.e., immediate supervisor, colleagues and top management) concur to predict absences from work through the mediating role of Job satisfaction.

diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
In relazione con info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/hdl/11573/918699

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Inglese. | Paese: | BID: TD18047611