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PERCEPTION

Perception is the process by which informations enter our mind and are interpreted in order to give some sensible meaning to the world around us. It is the result of a complex interaction of various senses such as feeling, seeing, hearing etc... Sayings and proverbs like Things are not like they seem or All that glitters is not gold reflects a sense of perception. One mans mean is another mans position is, in a psychological sense, an indication that different people see and sense the same thing in a different way. Perception plays an important part in human as well as organizational behavior. For example, if a manager perceives a subordinates ability as limited, he will give him limited responsibility even if he has enough capability to accept the challenges. Similarly, we can lose good friends due to our changed perceptions about them. So, the understanding of perception is to recognize that it is a unique interpretation of the situation, not an exact recording of it. In short, perception is a very complex cognitive process that yields a unique picture of the world, a picture that may be quite from reality. An employees perception can be thought of as a filter. Because perception is largely learned and no one has the same learning and experiences, then every employee has a unique filter and the same situation or stimuli may produce very different reactions and behaviors. For example, your filter tells you which stimuli to notice and which to ignore; which to love and which to hate. Ultimately it creates your innate motivations are you competitive, altruistic(selfless) or ego driven? It creates in you all of your distinct patterns of thoughts, feelings and behavior..your filter, more than your race, sex, age or nationality, is you.

Factors affecting perception


Though every individual may look at the same thing, they may perceive it differently. There are a number of factors that operate to shape and sometimes distort perception. These factors can reside in the perceiver, in the object or target being perceived or in the contest of the situation in which the perception is made. When an individual looks at a target and attempts to interprete what he or she sees that interpretation is heavily influenced by the personal characteristics of the individual perceiver. Personal characteristics that affects perception include are:a) Attitudes:Attitudes are favorable or unfavorable evaluation statements or judgments concerning objects, people or events. They reflect how an individual feels about and are disposed towards something. Attitudes have a powerful influence upon what we pay attention to, what we remember, and how we interprete information. Different attitudes lead to different interpretations. b) Motives:A motive is an unsatisfied need. Human motives are created whenever there is a physiological or psychological imbalance. Motives stimulate individuals. They exert a strong influence on perception. For example, people who are hungry tend to see images of food even in ambiguous stimulus. c) Emotions:-

They are intense feelings directed at someone or something. An individuals emotional state strongly influences his perception. Anger, agitation and frustration distort perception. d) Interests:Individual interests differ considerably. Interests influence the focus of attention. Differences in individuals interests results in differing perception. e) Experiences:People see what they expect to see. Expectations can distort perception. Characteristics of the target being observed can affect what is perceived. Loud people are more likely to be noticed in a group than the quiet ones. So, too are extremely attractive or unattractive individuals. Because targets are not looked at in isolation, the relationship of a target to its back-ground also influences perception. a) Novelty:Novel targets are more likely to be noticed than the targets observed in the past. b) Motion, sound, size:They shape the way we see the target. Loud people are more likely to be noticed. c) Background:A target is not looked at in isolation. The relationship of a target to its background influences perception. d) Proximity:Objects that are close to each other tend to be perceived together. The proximity can be physical or time.

The context in which we see objects or events is also important. The time at which an object or event is seen can influence attention, as can location, light, heat or any number of situational factors. A teacher cannot teach his students in a party but in the classroom, he can do. Hence the perceivers are some but the situation is different. a) Time:The time at which an object or event is seen, affects perception. For example, a daily report arriving after two days may be ignored by the perceiver.

b) Work setting:The changing context of work setting influences perception. For example, stressful work situation distort perception. c) Social setting:The changing social-setting also influences perception. For example, a male student wearing earring maynot be noticed in a disco. But he will be highly noticeable in the classroom.

The link between perception and individual decision making


Individuals in organizations make decisions. That is, they make choices from among two or more alternatives, top managers, for instance, determine their organizations goals, what products or services to offer, how best to finance operations or where to locate a new manufacturing plant. Middle and lower level managers determine production

schedules, select new employees, and decide how pay raises are to be allocated. Of course, making decision is not the sole province of managers. Non- managerial employees also make decisions that affect their jobs and organizations for which they work. The more obvious of these decisions might include whether or not to come to work on any given day, how much efforts to put forth once at work and whether or not to comply with a request made by the boss. In addition, an increasing number of organizations, in recent years, have been empowering their non-managerial employees with jobrelated decision making authority that historically was reserved for managers alone. Individual decision making, therefore, is an important part of organizational behavior. But how individuals in organizations make decisions and the quality of their final choices are largely influenced by their perceptions. Decision making occurs as a reaction to a problem. That is, there is a discrepancy between some current state of affairs and some desired state, requiring the consideration of alternative courses of action. So, if your car breaks down and you rely on it to get to work, you have a problem that requires a decision on your part. Unfortunately, most problems do not come neatly packaged with a label problem clearly displayed on them. One persons problem is another persons satisfactory state of affairs. One manager may view his divisions two percent decline in quarterly sales to be a serious problem, requiring immediate action on his part. In contrast, his counterpart, in another division of the same company, who also had a two percent sale decrease, may consider that percentage quite acceptable. So, the awareness that a problem exists and that a decision needs to be made is a perceptual issue. Moreover, every decision requires the interpretation and evaluation of information. Datas are typically received from multiple sources and they need to be screened, processed and interpreted. Which data, for instance, are relevant to the decision and which are not? The perception of the decision maker will answer that question. Alternatives will be developed and the strengths and weaknesses of each

will need to be evaluated. Again, because alternatives do not come with red flags identifying them as such or with their strengths and weaknesses clearly marked, the individual decision makers perceptual process will have a large bearing on the final outcomes.

Improving perception
Perception can be improved with the help of following tools:a) Perceiving oneself accurately In order to perceive others accurately, one must perceive oneself accurately. Awareness about oneself can be increased by frequent interactions, open communication, mutual trust etc. a) Improving ones self-concept:Self-concept develops when people successfully accomplish what they want. It is also called self-esteem. People with self-concept tend to perceive others more accurately. b) Empathy It is the ability to perceive a situation as it is perceived by others. Looking at a problem from others point of view enables perception of the problem experienced by others. c) Positive attitude Positive attitudes make the perception positive and more accurate toward problems and situations. d) Open communication Effective communication of message and meaning improves perception about the problem
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e) Avoid perceptual distortion Avoid biases which distort perception. They can be attribution, stereotyping, halo effect and short cuts to perception. Attribution refers to how people explain the causes if behavior. The attribution provides explanations about people perception. It develops explanations of the ways in which we judge people differently, depending upon what meaning we attribute to a given behavior. Attribution depends largely on 3 factors. They are distinctiveness, consensus and consistency. Distinctiveness refers to whether an individual displays different behavior in different situations. If everyone who is faced with a similar situation responds in the same way, we can say, the behavior shows consensus. Finally, the consistency refers that the person responds the same way over-time. When we draw a general impression about an individual on the basis of single characteristics, such as intelligence, sociability or appearance, a halo system is operating. When we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs, it is called stereotyping.

ATTITUDE
The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.

Attitude can be viewed as; A--Always T--Try

believe in yourself

again if things go wrong positively in any situation a positive self image

T--Think

I--Initiate T--Trust

others and be trustworthy that people makes mistake

U--Understand D--Decide

you can do anything through hope, faith and love life like a winner

E--Enjoy

ATTITUDES Attitude is the concept of psychology. Attitudes are evaluative statements either favorable or unfavorable concerning objects, people or events. They reflect how we
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feel about something. When I say I like my job I am expressing my attitude about work. Attitudes are acquired from parents, teachers, peer and reference group members. Personal experiences, education, media and enviromental factors mould attitudes. Attitudes influence individual motivation in organization. Attitudes are positive, negative or neutral views of an attitude objects e.g. person, behavior or event. People can also be ambivalent towards a target, meaning they simultaneously possess a positive and negative bias toward the attitude. Attitudes are a persons learned predisposition to responds towards objects, people or events. They are specific, have consistency and are either favorable or unfavorable. However, they are less stable and can be changed. Attitude makes up the personality. They described people and explained their behavior. The characteristic of attitudes are a) They are strong and consistence. They tend to persists unless some thing is done to change them. They are less stable then beliefs. b) They can be favorable or unfavorable. c) They are directed toward objects, people or events about which a person has feelings. d) They are specially related to the behavior being predicted. e) They are based on and related to personal experience.

Component of Attitude

Attitude consists of there components 1) Cognitive component: - it is the opinion or belief segment of an attitude. It consists of belief and information about objects, people or events. 2) Affective Component: - it is the emotional or feeling segment of an attitude. This component is the most important part of attitude. Feeling can be positive negative or neutral. 3) Behavioral component: - it is the intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something. It can be directly observed.

Types of job related attitude

Job satisfaction

Job involvement

Organizational commitment

Types of attitude
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A person can have thousand of attitudes. However job related are important for understanding individual behavior in the context of OB. Job related attitudes can be of three types; 1) Job satisfaction: It refers to an individuals general attitude toward is job. A person with a high level of job satisfaction holds positive attitude about the job, while a person who is dissatisfied with his job holds negative attitude about the job. When people speak about employee attitudes, more often they mean job satisfaction. 2) Job involvement:The term job involvement is a more recent addition to the OB literature. While there is not complete agreement over what the term means, a workable definition stress that job involvement measures the degree to which a person identifies psychologically with his job and consider his perceived performance level important to self worth. So we can say, it is the degree which an employee; Identifies with his job Actively participate in it and Consider job performance important to self worth. An employee with high level of job involvement has favorable attitude toward his job. He is likely to be more productive. 3) Organizational commitment:It is defined as a state in which an employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in the organization. We can say that it is the degree to which an employee; Identifies with a particular organization and its goal. Wishes to maintain membership in the organization
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So, high job involvement means identifying with ones specific jobs, while high organizational commitment means identifying with ones employing organization. Importance of attitude Attitudes are important for understanding individual motivation and behavior. Their importance can be divided into following ways. Attitude determines job satisfaction and performance level of the individual employees. Positive attitude contributes to productivity. Attitude helps reduce absenteeism, turnover, grievances and accidents. Attitude provides a frame of reference to preserve specific aspects of work life, such as pays, hours of work, promotion etc. They help to organize and select facts. Attitude serves as a basis for expressing values. They also help to define self image. They reconcile contradictions in the option of people. Attitude helps people to adjust to their work environment. Events are perceived differently by people with different attitude. Attitude formation Attitudes make up the personality. An attitude is a persistence tendency to feel and behave in a particular way towards objects, people and events. Attitude formation is influenced by the following factors. 1) Situational determinants: Traditionally, the social context has been regarded important in attitude formation. It provides information to employees to form their feelings or emotions.
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2) Personality traits: Traits describe the nature of an individual personality. Personality traits or disposition have recently received increasing attention as determinants of work related attitude. 3) Components: Attitude formation has affective, cognitive and behavioral components. Barriers to attitude change Prior commitment: People feel a commitment prior to understanding the changing attitude. So, they act in the same way and are unwilling to change. Insufficient information: It is another hindrance in attitude change. People do not see any reason to change their attitude due to insufficient information. Overcoming barriers By providing new information. By using fear. This should be in high level. By using persuasion by friends and peers By resolving discrepancies between attitudes and behavior. By co-operating dissatisfied people to improve the things.

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Concept

Personality

Some people are quiet and passive, others are loud and aggressive. When we describe people using terms such as quiet, passive, loud, aggressive, ambitious, extroverted, loyal, tense or sociable, we are describing their personalities. An individual personality is the unique combination of psychological characteristics that affect how a person react and interact with others. Personality is most often describe in terms of measurable traits that a person exhibit. We are interested in looking at personality because just like attitude it too affects how and why people behave the way they do. When we talk of personality we dont mean that a person has a charm, a positive attitude towards life, smiling face. When psychologist talks of personality, they mean a dynamic concept describing the growth and development of a person whole psychological system. Rather looking at parts of the person, personality looks at some aggregate whole that is greater than sum of its parts. The most frequently used definition of personality was produced by Gordon All port more than 65 years ago. He said personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment. For our purposes, we should think of personality as the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts to and interact with others.
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Personality is a key factor that influences individual behavior in organizations. It looks at the whole person. It differs from person to person. Personality is a stable set of personal characteristic and tendencies that determine the commonalities and differences in people thoughts feelings and action. Personality means how people affect other, how they understand and view themselves as well as their pattern of inner and outer measurable traits and person situation interaction.

Personality and individual behavior


Personality traits represent some of the most fundamental sets of individual differences in organization today. Personality is relatively stable set of psychological and behavioral attributes that distinguish one person from another. Understanding basic personality attribute is important because they affect peoples behavior in organization situation and people perception and attitudes toward the organization. They also play a role in how people handle stress at work.

Personality formation
The basic personality of a manager or employee is formed before he or she ever becomes a member of an organization. Indeed personality formation starts at birth and continues throughout adolescence. Hereditary characteristics e.g. body shape and height and the social example friends and family and cultural example religion and values context in which people grow up all interact to shape their basic personality. As people grow into adult hood, their personalities become clearly define and stable.

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But a persons personality can still be change as a result of organizational experiences. From a more positive perspective, continued success, accomplishment and advancement may cause an individual to become increasingly self confident and outgoing. And situational influences can also affect a personality in unexpected ways. Thus a manager should recognize that they can do a little to change the basic personality of their subordinates. Instead, they should work to understand the basic nature of their personalities and how attributes of their personality affect subordinates work behavior

Personality attribute in organization


Over the past few decade, a considerable amount of research has been conducted to identify and further our under standing of personality attributes that are relevant to mangers. Several of the most important attributes that have been identify and studied are define below1. Locus of control Locus of control refer to the degree to which an individual believe that behave has a direct impact t on the consequences of the behavior. Some people for example believe that if they work hard they are certain to succeed. They also may believe that people who fail do so simply because they lack ability or motivation. Because this people believe that each person is in control of his or her life, they are said to have an internal locus of control. On the other hand, some people think that what happens to them is a result of fade, chance, luck, or the behavior of other people. This people think that forces beyond their control dictated what happens to them, they are said to have an internal locus of control.

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Individuals with an internal locus of control may have a relatively strong desire to participate in the governance of their organization and have a voice in how they do their jobs. Thus, they may refer a decentralize organization and a leader who gives them freedom and autonomy. They may also be more likely to resist control. And they may be most comfortable under a reward system that recognizes individual performance and contribution. People with an external locus of control, on the other hand, are more likely to prefer a more centralize organization where are decisions are taken out of their hands. They may also gravitate to structured jobs where standard procedure is defined for them. Similarly they may also prefer a leader who makes most of the decision and could prefer a reward system that a premium on sincerity 2.Self-efficiency Self efficacy is an individual belief about his or her capabilities to perform task. Individuals with high self efficacy believe that they can perform well on a given task or job. They consequently exhibit high self confident and seek out task that will challenge them and their abilities. On the other hand people with low self efficacy are more prone to doubt their capabilities will exhibit low self confident and may seek out task or job that are relatively easy and present little challenge 3. Authoritarianism Authoritarianism is the extent to which an individual believe that power and status differences are appropriate within hierarchical social system like organization. For e.g., a person who is highly authoritarian may accept directives or order from some one with more authority purely because the other person is the boss. A person who is not highly authoritarian may still carry out appropriate and reasonable directives from the boss, but he/ she is also more likely to question things express disagreement with the boss and even to refuse to carry out order if they are for some reason objectionable. A manager who is highly authoritarian may be

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a relatively autocratic and demanding and subordinates who are highly authoritarian are more likely to accept this behavior from their leader. On the other hand, a manager who is less authoritarian may allow sub ordinates a bigger role in making decisions and less authoritarian subordinates responds positively to this behavior. 4. Dogmatism:Dogmatism is the rigidity of a person beliefs and his or her openness to other view points. The popular terms for dogmatism are close minded and open minded. For e.g., suppose a manager has such belief about how certain procedure should be carried out that he is willing to even listen to a new idea for doing it more efficiently. We may say this person is close minded or highly dogmatic. A manager in the circumstances who is very receptive to listening to a try new ideas can be seen as more open minded or less dogmatic. Dogmatism can be either beneficial or detrimental to organization. Given the changing nature of organization and their environment, individuals who are not dogmatic are more likely to be useful and productive organizational members. 5. Self-Monitoring:Self-monitoring is the extent to which a person pays close attention to and subsequently emulates the behaviors of other. A highly self- monitoring person pays very close attention to the behaviors of others for cues on how to act in different situation. For e.g. this person may tend to dress like other and imitate their work behaviors .Thus he or she tends to be somewhat of a conformist and is not likely to initiate change .A less self-monitoring person in contrast is more independent and freely chooses different forms of behaviour.This person pays less attention to how others dress and their work behaviours.Such an individual is also more likely to be an initiator of change. 6. Self-esteem:-

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Self-esteem is the extent to which a person believes that he or she is worthwhile and deserving individual. A person with high self-esteem is likely to seek high status job have confidence in his or her ability to achieve high level of performance and derived great intrinsic satisfaction from his or her accomplishments. In contrast, a person with less selfesteem may be contained to remain in a lower job, be less confident of his or her ability and focus on extrinsic reward. 7. Risk Propensity:Risk propensity is the degree to which an individual is willing to take chances and make risky decisions. A manager with a high risk propensity. For e.g. might be willing to experiment with new ideas and gamble on new products. She might also lead the organization in new and different direction. This manager might also be a catalyst for innovation. But the same individual might also jeopardize the continued well being of organization if the risky decisions prove to be bad once. A manager with low risk propensity might lead to a stagnant and overly conservative organization or help the organization successfully weather turbulent and unpredictable times by maintaining stability and calm. Thus the potential consequences of risk propensity to an organization are heavily dependent on that organizations environment.

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