Social Perception, and Attribution, and Individual Decision Making Perception is the process of receiving information about and making sense of world around us. It involves deciding which information notice, how to categorize this information and how to interpret it within the framework of existing knowledge. Another definition of perception is “A process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment”.
We can summarize the perception with this sentence “We don’t see the things as they are, we see things as we are”. Why is perception important in the study of Organizational Behaviour? Simply because people’s behaviour is based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself. Virtually all management activities rely on perception.
In appraising performance, managers use their perceptions of an employee’s behaviour as a basis for evaluation. Factors that influence perception are categorized to three groups; 1)Factors in the perceiver: Attitudes, Motives, Interests, Experience, Expectations 2)Factors in the situation: Time, Work Setting, Social Setting 3)Factors in the target: Novelty, Motion, Sounds, Size, Background, Proximity, Similarity Shortcuts used in judging others; )Selective Perception: a characteristic that make someone stand out in our mind will increase the probability that it will be perceived 2)Halo Effect: drawing a general impression based on a single characteristic 3)Contrast Effects: our reaction is influenced by others we have recently encountered 4)Projection: the tendency to attribute our own characteristics to other people 5)Stereotyping: judging someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which they belong Attribution in Organizations
Attribution simply refers to how a person explains the cause of another’s or his or her own behaviour. Attribution thus is the most relevant application of perception concepts of organizational behaviour-the issue of person perception. The attributions or inferred causes we provide for behaviour have important implications in organizations. In explaining the causes of employee performance, good or bad, we are asked to explain the behaviour that was the basis for the performance.
Attribution Theory suggests that when we observe an individual’s behaviour, we attempt to determine whether it was internally or externally caused: Internally; believed to be under the personal control of the individual Externally; resulting from outside causes. Determinants of Attribution Distinctiveness; whether an individual displays different behaviors in different situations. Consensus; if everyone who faces a similar situation responds in the same way. Consistency; does the person respond the same way over time.
Individual Decision Making Individuals in organizations make decisions. That is, they make choices from among two or more alternatives. Decision-making is almost universally defined as choosing between alternatives. Decision-making is a critical activity in the lives of managers. The decisions a manager faces can range from very simple, routine matters for which the manager has an established decision rule(programmed decisions) to new and complex decisions that require creative solutions(non-programmed decisions). Decision-Making Process
Managers have to make decisions whether they are simple or extremely complex. Making a good decision is a difficult exercise. It is the product of deliberation, evaluation and thought. To make good decisions, managers should invariably follow a sequential set of steps. 1)recognize the problem and need for a decision 2)identify the objective of the decision 3)gather and evaluate data and diagnose the situation 4)list and evaluate alternatives 5)select the best course of action 6)implement the decision 7)gather feedback 8)follow up