Organizational behavior entails research on individuals within an organizational setting. Such research requires particular focus on the behavior of persons while alone (private individuals) or behavior of individuals while working as a team or a group (Sing). Studies on organizational behavior aim at actuating an understanding of the factors influencing groups and individual dynamics within organizational settings for better efficiency and effectiveness of these groups. Organizational behavior draws heavily from sociological and psychological sciences.
Several levels of analysis are applied to understand individual behavior as the environment influences the acts of individuals working within it. These standards include the individual level, the organizational level, and the group level of analysis. This research paper will focus on the Individual level Analysis that centers on perception, creativity, personality, motivation, and cooperative behavior by drawing from medicine, engineering, and psychology sciences. Narrowing the discussion further, this research paper will specifically feature on perception and attribution dynamics in organizational behavior.
Perception can be defined broadly as one’s maintenance of contact with one’s environment as well as the internal state (Parikh & Gupta, 100). It is not difficult to realize the important role played by perception in determining organizational behavior considering that its consequences are essential for organizations at various levels. Individual perception influences individual behavior that in turn leads to personal, interpersonal, group, and organizational consequences. It is also important to incorporate an understanding of social perception as a category of factors that influence an individual’s perception of others and its impact on organizational behavior.
How we judge and interpret could be understood by studying perception and attribution. In this paper, I will give a detailed explanation of perception and its relationship to attribution. In doing so, the paper will describe behavior not only as a function of preferences, values, and individuality but also as a function of the situation. Behavior entails interpreting the environment, formulating reactions, and acting consequently. Therefore, the perception will be described as a process through which persons detect and construe their environmental stimuli.
Human perception is interesting in that it goes beyond the stimuli and information presented by the environment by paying prejudiced attention to some environmental aspects while ignoring others that could be directly ostensible to other people. How we perceive our environment is not wholly rational. This section will also discuss the nature of perception and indicate that it is a process comprising of various sub-processes such as selection, filtering, distortion, organizing, interpretation, feedback, and the resultant behavior (Singh, 99). Various elements of perception will also be briefly discussed such as the perceiver, the target, and the situation or perceptual context (Parikh & Gupta, 101) (Nelson & Quick, 47).
I will then explore on how perception influences organizational behavior by describing how humanity perceives visual objects and the effects that such tendencies have on behavior. The section will cover common tendencies engaged in by individuals and groups when perceiving other people and items and the consequences emanating from such perceptions. Kelley’s attribution model/theory in social perception will be used to explain fleetingly people’s behavior. Kelley used three factors in his theory that include consensus, distinctiveness, and consensus (Parikh & Gupta, 103).
The paper will then link attribution and perception to decisions and behavior. This explanation will be achieved by discussing Herold Kelley’s Attribution theory to define attribution and link it to perception (Singh, 106). The theory states that when we view a person’s behavior, we try to determine whether it was caused externally or internally. This section will also discuss Weiner’s explanation for attribution regarding the dimensions of controllability, stability, and location. Weiner’s model is significant as it links people’s feelings, attribution, and motivation that affect their efforts.
The next discussion will focus on understanding the common perceptual biases or errors concerning perception and attribution. Such biases could be related to self-perception such as self-enhancement bias, which is the tendency to overestimate one’s performance and abilities and see oneself more positively than as seen by others. The second self-perception error is the false consensus error that is a tendency to overestimate how similar one is to another person. Our perception of the environment is also predisposed to our personality, feelings, values, and emotions.
On attribution errors, the focus will be made on the fundamental attribution error that involves ‘taking’ credit for an achievement while blaming either the environment or other persons for failure. I will also cover optimistic bias, where an individual views himself more successful than the target. The third bias to be discussed at this stage will be the self-serving bias that is a tendency of persons to attribute their activities to situational factors when they fail but proclaims internal attributions for victory (Parikh & Gupta, 106).
Moreover, the manner in which we perceive others contributes to our behavior that in turn shapes another person’s behavior while interacting with him/her. This phenomenon is referred to as the social perception. Similar to self-perception, social perception also has its errors. Such an error includes stereotyping in which, the perceiver has a tendency of evaluating the target based on a group or class to which the target fits (Singh, 104). The second error is the halo effect that occurs during judgment when a target is judged favorably by the selective perception of a sole single positive trait. The third error is projection whereby a perceiver assumes that others feel and think in the same manner as he does in a particular situation.
The last part of the research paper will be exploring how perceptual, and attribution errors could be reduced. This section will focus on impression management to shape others’ perception to attain organizational success. Impression management is a tool that plays a significant role in managerial efficacy. Management deals with numerous constituencies comprising of differing expectations, demands, and interests. Therefore, it is necessary to keep those constituencies contented as they are the ones in control of the resources. Since such resources are important for the organization’s performance, it becomes imperative for management to manage impressions.
I will then give recommendations on the steps to control the perception process that include: self-awareness, avoiding regular perceptual distortions, avoiding inappropriate attributions, being empathetic, knowing oneself, and diversifying management programs (Singh, 109). The paper will then end with a conclusion of the research project and recommendation for further study on the topic. Such a proposal is calling for research on how perception and attribution could be nurtured to induce motivation within organizations fostering a conducive organizational behavior and success.
Dr. Hawa Singh. Organisational Behavior. 2010-11st ed. New Delhi, IN: FK Publications, 2011. Print.
Nelson, Debra L., and James C. Quick. ORGB 4. 200 First Stamford Place, 4th Floor, Stamford Place, CT 06902: Cengage Learning. Print.
Parikh, Margie, and Rajen K. Gupta. Organisational Behaviour. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill Education Pte., 2010. Print.