Organizational behavior (OB) is about people in organizations and it covers a wide spectrum of human conduct. Everyone is a part of the organization while in the workplace and everyplace else. It is really important to understand the roots of (OB) theories and ways to implement it. Once we recognize these concepts in real-world events and understand that we have choices in how we react, we can be better in managing ourselves and others.
The OB theory which I am going to explain today is perception. (SOURCE: pajaree, 2018)) A process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. However, the perceived idea might not be the ultimatereality. There are many factors which bring changes in the perceived idea. (Wisdom Jobs, 2018)Attitudes, moods, expectations, time, background, novelty are some of the influencing factors of perception. The influencing factors are divided according to perceiver, situation and target. Perception is a really sensitive human thought which can instantly change depending on the information provided.
This is a short example of the implication of perception theory in real life. I had two good friends when I was in high school. We almost did everything together. High school was over but still, we managed to catch up at times. I organized a party with some of the high school friends for one of my friend as it was his birthday. The other friend didn’t show up to celebrate the birthday party and didn’t even answer to any of my calls. Later, I came to know about the real reason regarding why he actually did that. He was sad about the fact that I never organized his birthday party which was few months before the other friend’s birthday but I did everything for the other friend. He thought I didn’t care much about him and didn’t meet his expectations. We were really good friends but disappointment from expectation forced him to have a different perception regarding our friendship. After that day, we barely talked.
(Fiske, ; Taylor, 1991) “Attribution theory deals with how the social perceiver uses the information to arrive at causal explanations for events. It examines what information is gathered and how it is combined to form a causal judgment”. The judgment might be based on internal or external understanding. Internal theory believes that a person has the full control of his or actions and the external theory believes that something else might have caused the person to act that way.
With regard to the example above, the disappointed boy might have come to a conclusion where the weight of internal theory was much more than the external. He thought that I had full control over my actions.
Attribution theory has errors and biases. One way that our attributions may be biased is that we are often too quick to attribute the behavior of other people to something personal about them rather than do something about their situation. This is the general human tendency of underestimating how important the social situations really are in determining behavior. This called fundamental error. (Source: Pajaree, 2018)) Self – serving Bias occurs when individuals overestimate their internal influence on success and overestimate the external factors for failures.
Again with relation to the example, the disappointed friend might have made the fundamental error for giving the judgment for my actions. His birthday was during our final exams and we had really tough A-levels exam. Our schedule might have been so tight that we only had time to wish him normally without doing anything special. However, I might also be giving self-serving bias explanation at the moment. Though I am blaming the external influence for the failure of meeting up to his expectations, I could have just gathered some friends after the exams and arranged a small belated birthday thing. Hence, we both finalized our decision with the perception which might not be the objective reality. The concept of perception theory has made me understand the scenario better now and hopefully, I will have the right reaction while reaching out to my friend this time due to better understanding of human tendency.
Below are some of the articles related to perception that applies while managing an organization.
Duties and Expectation
( Regina Anaejionu ,22nd May,2018)Workers’ thoughts about her workload and the time she has to complete her assigned tasks may differ greatly from what supervisors or other coworkers think of their workloads. Reality may actually be somewhere in between, but owners and managers should take time to survey employees in a non-forceful way and allow them to feel that their responses are valuable. Many employees feel rushed or overwhelmed at work, but a little communication, reorganization and delegation can go a long way in changing this perception.
(Tara Duggan,2018)People commonly attribute success to skill, luck or chance. People tend to react to situations based on what they think caused the event. Just as perceptions can be faulty, attributions can be inaccurate as well. Organizations can ensure people attribute actions more effectively by providing diversity training. This helps prevent a hostile work environment for people from different cultures. By training people to make more accurate attributions, daily operations run more smoothly. This helps reduce faulty attributions, such as managers who attribute exceptional performance to chance as they resist assigning more challenging work to qualified individuals they view as lucky.
(Tara Duggan, 2018)Minimizing biases that distort attribution can help foster effective team work. Using tips, techniques, tools and resources available from websites such as the Cultural Navigator site, organizations can reduce the rate at which people selectively interpret events based on their experience, background and attitudes. Edward Thorndike, an American psychologist, observed that perception of one trait is influenced by other traits. Known as the halo effect, this bias causes people to judge people they find attractive as smart. Providing training to managers to make more accurate perceptions helps them conduct more effective employment interviews, performance reviews and daily management tasks.