Organizational Behavior – BSA 532
October 7, 2014
Perception allows us to experience the world around us and is very important in Organizational Behavior (OB). It is defined as “a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment” (Robbins, S., & Judge, T.). Some individuals may not be as conscious as they should be about perception because they may not realize how important it can be. However, perception is important simply because “people’s behavior is based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself” (Robbins, S. & Judge, T.).
There are a few factors that influence our perception; the perceiver, the situation, and the target. With the perceiver, our personal characteristics heavily influence our interpretation. For instance, our attitude, interests, motives, expectations, and experiences all influence our perception. The factors that influence the situation is time, work setting, and social setting. Last but not last is the factors in the target, which includes novelty, motion, sounds similarity, proximity, background and size. (Robbins, S. & Judge, T. - Exhibit 6.1. p.167).
Now that we understand the factors that influence perception we move forward to the application of perception relevant to Organization Behavior (OB). Upon observation our human perceptions attempts to understand why people behave the way they do. Leaving our perception of the person’s actions to influence our assumptions we made. When we observe individuals behavior, we determine if it’s internally or externally causes. Internally, is behavior that we believe is under the personal control by that individual. Externally caused, is what the situation forces the individual to do. Interesting enough, our perceptions will go beyond the information that is presented to us.
Motivation plays a strategic role in any organization, and appears to be one of the most frequently researched topic in OB. Stephen Robbins and Timothy Judge, defines motivations “as the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of efforts toward attaining a goal”. In its best form motivation keeps us going towards a goal. The textbook Organizational Behavior explains, that the best know theory of motivations is Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of five needs theory that some organization still use today;
Physiological – as in hunger, thirst,
Safety – security and protection
Social- belongingness, acceptance
Esteem – internal factors – self-respect/external factors, recognition & attention
Self-actualization – to achieve a goal, growth, self-fulfillment
According to Maslow theory, no need is fully satisfied, therefore it no longer motivates, and as each become significantly satisfied the next one becomes dominant. Meaning, if organizations want to motivate their employees they must first realize what hierarchy of needs that person is currently on and focus on satisfying that need above or beyond that level. Organizations can achieve a lot through motivation; however, some techniques’ to motivate can be positive, whereas others can be negative or counterproductive. If managers want to motivate employee the emphasizing factor must be associated with work itself. Motivating technique with and upside is promotional opportunities, educational support, recognition of a job well do, and on the job training can all be good forms of motivation. Employees do not like to be talk down too, so negative motivation can cause the downfall of an employee. For example, if your boss threaten to fire you as a form of motivation, you may work harder however, this to me would be a negative form of motivation. Financial motivations can be seen as a good or a bad thing. When salary is used to determine an employee worth based on sales, that employee can then see themselves as a negative worth