Synopsis of the chapter on essential elements of individual behavior in organizations
The section on essential aspects of individual behavior in organizations is a critical overview of the features and attributions of an employee and the practices within the organization. The case that forms the baseline of the chapter relates to individuals such as Bernie Madoff whose psychopathic behaviors and narcissism attributes contributed to the fall of the NASDAQ corporation. The case exemplifies on the different elements of behavior in workplaces that motivate people and propel their success or failure to perform.
The chapter illustrates and highlights all the personal features that make up productive or unproductive behaviors in organizations. First, the chapter discusses the factors that help in understanding an individual within an organizational setting such as the psychological contract between the employee and the organization. Additionally, the person-job fit criteria are also addressed along with the individual differences.
Secondly, factors relating to individual behavior and personality are also highlighted such as the big five traits of personality, Myers-Brigs personality framework, emotional intelligence among other traits of character evident at work. The chapter also addresses individual behaviors and attitudes as part of the individual actions that affect work and productivity.
Additionally, concepts of perception such as basic perception and attribution processes are mentioned as individual elements in organizations that are critical to a normal and expected working role. At the same time, stress and creativity are cited as additional key individual behavior elements in organizations.
The chapter additionally states that work behaviors such as performance, withdrawal, citizenship, and dysfunctional behaviors entail the part of the core individual differences and attributions that determine the productive capacity of a person within the organization.
Questions for review
What is a psychological contract? A psychological contract refers to the underlying assumptions and activities that individual have regarding their working relationship with the organization. The psychological contract is a reflection of the contributions and role of the employee to the organization. Such include, effort, ability, competence, time and specific skills possessed (Cengae, 2013). The individual contract requirements always synchronize and match with organizations inducements such as salary, benefits, status, career and promotional opportunities.
Components of attitudes and how they are related.
Attitude is an element of individual behavior. It entails the perceptions that people have about certain specific ideas, beliefs, feelings and other people. The element is composed of three tenets, affective components that relate to feelings and emotions, the cognitive part that relates to knowledge a person has about something or situation and the intentional principle which pertains a person expectation on how to behave in particular circumstances (Cengae, 2013).
What is cognitive dissonance? How do individuals resolve cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance refers to the conflicts that individuals encounter as they try to balance their attitudes. For example, one may want to leave a company for personal business with no intention of getting back to the company but later find themselves working for a company due to financial setbacks. Individuals resolve the conflict by reassuring themselves that the situation is not going to last long so they may just bear with the situation for some time (Cengae, 2013).
Identify and discuss the steps in the creative process. What can an organization do to increase employee’s creativity?
Creativity encompasses the ability of an individual to conceive new ideas and perspectives and build on the existing ones. Steps followed in the creative process include preparation, here, the person receives formal education and training that prepares them for the vast and dynamic field of business and the following challenges. The process is highly intensive. Secondly, is the incubation, the period does not involve intense formal involvement but indirect activities that keep one pondering on the events ahead. For example, one may be walking to work or riding a car or bicycle while at the same time thinking about some business or work related issues that have to be solved. a practical case study is bill gates which takes time off from his big corporation and retreats to a wooden cabin where he ponders and silently explores his options and technology. Thirdly is insight, the stage occurs after preparation and incubation where certain activities, events or experiences trigger the maturation or conception of an idea. Lastly is verification where one examines the insight developed to determine validity, importance, and truthfulness of the same (Cengae, 2013).
Organizations that want to inculcate the attribute need to foster a culture of having predetermine goals. The employees will then slowly but steadily go through the creative process to meet the target. Additionally, the organization can conceive a policy on rewarding the creative thinkers.
Identify and describe several important workplace behaviors.
Workplace practices include performance behaviors; this relates to all the activities that an employee does that are part of the job description. Secondly are the withdrawal behaviors such as absenteeism where an employee fails to go to work and turnover where employees quit the job Thirdly is organizational citizenship which entails the practices and activities by an individual that promote growth and sustainability of the firm for example activities that pertain good work both in quality and quantity. Finally, the dysfunctional behaviors that detract and fail to meet the organizational goals for example absenteeism and turnover (Cengage, 2013).
Questions for analysis
Advantages and disadvantages of personality test on job applicants
Some of the advantages include: the tests serve as a baseline to determine which candidates will end up requiring extra training; therefore, it saves the firm from retraining employees. Secondly, the tests can identify suitable candidates from those who just exhibit perfect interview skills. The test offers the candidate a chance to prove themselves since they are standardized (Cengage, 2013). Offers even the poor interviewees with an opportunity to prove themselves. Some of the demerits include: candidates may warp information just to pass the test; hence the many firms end up hiring incompetent individuals, and the tests have no guarantee of delivering the best candidate
What can managers do to avoid potential pitfalls?
Managers need to be objective and rational. They must always ensure to look beyond the results of the personality tests.
How can a manager tell when an employee is experiencing job satisfaction?
Employees experiencing job satisfaction tend to be less agreeable, exhibit more introversion attributes, are less open and have moderate signs of consciousness to the job.
How can a manager tell that the employees are highly committed to the organization?
Highly committed individuals are open, extroverts, have high levels of intuition, are positively oriented even in problems and highly agreeable.
What can managers do to increase job satisfaction?
What can managers do to improve organizational commitment?
Managers need to ensure that person job fit requirements are observed, and that very employee understands their role and is placed at the work station that best suits their psychological contracts.
How does selective perception help managers?
Selective perception helps managers to see the right and top performers who end being highly productive to the firm.
How does selective perception create difficulty for the managers?
Poor selective perception prevents managers from looking at an employee wholesomely. It allows the manager to see only the bad or the good and ignore other important attributes of an individual.
How can managers increase good selective perception and reduce the bad?
Managers need to learn to look at individuals from all angles and avoid developing conclusions based on what they like or hate but rather look at individuals objectively.
Questions for application
Write the psychological contract you have in this class
For this class, the psychological contract is that I am supposed to study smart, do all assignments, attend all classes, do all assignments, CATS, and exams if I have to pass and get a good grade.
How does the professor’s intended contract compare with the one you wrote?
The contract of the professor directly compares with mine since my contract is aligned with the school requirements and the grading rubric.
Why do you think the difference exists?
The only difference is that the professor may expect greater performance which may be hard to achieve sometimes due to the high standards and the individual differences in perception and personalities.
Share your thoughts with the class
The reason as to why our personal psychological contracts yield different results is because we have primary individual differences that define us. Some of us have different course fits, and others are extroverts and introverts, the conduct of our behaviors is different, some are withdrawn. Therefore, no matter what the inducement the professor may have, it is must be ready to meet and cope with the various psychological contracts that we have.
What are the essential characteristics to achieve a good person-job fit?
For managers to make a good person-job fit, they must ensure that every employee has the right set job fit components. For my store, the following three departments will require the stated basic characteristics
The individual here must have a locus of control. Additionally, he must be open, agreeable and have a high level of consciousness.
Toy department management
The individual here must be a risk taker, exercise locus of control, have a high sense of control and exhibit high emotional intelligence.
The individual here must be a risk taker, display a high level of emotional control, must be a Machiavellian in nature and exercise locus of control (Cengage, 2013).
The big five personality trait case overview
The concept points out to people who are gentle and get along well with others. They never indulge in heated arguments or debate but are amicable and diplomatic in their approach to issues and solutions. I once worked in a grocery store, and the supervisor was very agreeable. The outcome was that he never quarreled to or with anyone. The trait earned him respect and authority in the store.
In this realm of personality trait, the individual can ensure that he or she focuses on as few goals as possible. Individuals here tend to be more organized and results oriented. The supervisor at the store was this kind of person. He ensured that the targets and focus were as minimal as possible to ensure thoroughness. The outcome was a near perfect scenario every time.
The trait encompasses the degree to which an individual is a flexible, calm and emotional response. I experienced the store supervisor to be calm and was always keen to keep quiet and withdrawn in case of arguments and debates. He ensured carefully to choose his words and a flexible approach to problems. He was always unreactive, secure and composed. The trait allowed him to gauge and evaluate events and circumstances before doing or saying anything.
The personality trait relates to people who are open and free to associate and connect with others. People who the exhibit the opposite are called introverts and are always withdrawn to relationships and social association. Extroverts are very sociable and enjoy talking and making new friends. The store supervisor, for instance, was an extrovert. He socialized and related positively with everyone regardless of whether the person was his boss or subordinate or customer. The outcome was a that he was always happy, outgoing and approachable.
The traits entail a personality of being rational and critical with life aspects such as beliefs, values, ideas, and interests. People with such personalities never dismiss anything or anyone without giving the situation a clean and rational thought. They even try to discuss the situation with other individuals in a bid to come up with the best solution. The store supervisor was one such person. You could approach him with any proposition, idea, correction or opinion and he would listen and discuss as appropriate. The trait made him grow fast professionally since he always implemented the good ideas. He promoted to be the manager of the store at some point.
Individual elements of behavior are vital in the development both personal and professional aspects of a person. It is the role of everyone to identify and relate to with their individual differences to maximize their potential be it in class, workplace, and social settings. It is of fundamental importance for managers to identify and utilize the advantages offered by individual differences in behavior and the various elements it entails to maximize productivity.
Cengae. (2013). Basic Elements of Individual Behavior in Organizations. In Management (p. 52). South Western: Meihong Chen