|dc.description.abstract||Learned helplessness (LH) syndrome is widespread in organizations. After repeated exposure to uncontrollable events, people come to expect that outcomes are not related to efforts. The expectation of uncontrollability leads to motivational, cognitive, emotional and self-esteem deficits.
These deficits have serious implications for individual's health and performance, which in turn affects the organization. Most of the LH research so far, has been confined to the laboratory setting in which subjects are exposed to induced uncontrollability. Progress in research on LH in organizations has been tardy. One of the main reasons for this has been weak measurement base for LH and its correlates.
This study aimed at studying LH in the banking sector. The scales available for measuring LH and its correlates were either new or untested in Indian conditions. Hence it was also aimed to test the various scales for their reliability and improve them, if required.
LH refers to a maladaptive learning by the individual. He is predisposed to being helpless by his personality and role characteristics. Perception of uncontrollability being the sine qua non of LH,
it was expected that those individual and role-related variables which relate to control, might be better predictors of LH. Hence, Desire for Control; Type A/B behaviour pattern; Attributional Style; Role Efficacy and Role Stress were hypothesized to explain LH in organizations. The sample consisted of officers in different grades and roles from two large public-sector banks in the country. Data relating to the role-related as well as demographic
mographic variables were collected using an eight part questionnaire. The seven scales used in the study were found to have satisfactory reliability.
No significant inter-bank differences emerged from the study. Most of the demographic variables failed to explain LH significantly. Officers characterized by high level of competitiveness, aggressiveness and a sense of time urgency (as measured by Type A/B scale) were found to have higher helplessness. Attribution style of the individual emerged significant in explaining LH. Officers who identified stable and global causes for unfavorable outcomes and external and unstable causes for favorable outcomes were associated with higher LH. The findings lent partial support to attribution formulation of LH. Higher role efficacy and lower role stress were associated with lower LH.
The result gives support to the hypothesis that LH in organizations is a result of interaction between individual and role characteristics. Between these two categories, role variables play a more dominant role. The study has important implications for management research and prac-tice. The scales can now be used for studying LH in organizations with greater rigour. Management practitioners will need to adopt an efficacy-based approach for reducing LH in organizations. Specific LH workshops may be designed where participants are briefed about LH, its causes, and impact. Interventions like debriefing, attribution retraining , and desensitization may be helpful in reducing LH in organizations.||en