Having been taught to define ‘attitude’ as ‘a predisposition to form an opinion’ one can see how attitude may mould behaviour. But, especially in the context of ‘change management’, I was also taught there may be at least three quite different types of attitude:
- Cognitive (e.g. ‘I know that when April 6th comes round we shall have a new tax year’)
- Conative (e.g. ‘I know that when I put my hand in the fire, it will hurt’)
- Affective (e.g. ‘I #know# all managers are horrid’)
When times change, changing cognitive and conative attitudes can be relatively easy, but changing affective attitudes may be extraordinarily hard (even if essential! – to secure enduring change), and to do so, one has to go right back to identify what produced them, before they may be modified.