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Keywords:

  • implicit attitudes;
  • automatic processes;
  • well-being;
  • job performance

Abstract

Job attitudes, as indicators of well-being, vary within individuals across cognitive processes and not just time. Research on employee well-being has relied primarily on self-reported measures of explicit job and life attitudes. Our work takes a different perspective on this issue by examining the role of implicit attitudes regarding one's organization, coworkers, and supervisor as indicators of well-being. Implicit attitudes are automatic, introspectively inaccessible, and predict behavior in socially sensitive contexts in which self-report measures may be impaired by impression management. The results of a field study demonstrate that implicit and explicit job attitudes reflect relatively independent intra-individual processes. Additionally, this study demonstrates that job performance and citizenship behaviors are best predicted by a combination of implicit and explicit job attitudes, and that a dissociation between implicit and explicit attitudes impacts organizational identification. We conclude with a discussion of how capturing implicit cognition in the workplace can better describe and subsequently help improve employee well-being. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.