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Individual Behavior in Organization PDF
(308 votes, average 3.36 out of 5)
Written by Ashim Gupta   
Monday, 26 April 2010 17:55

Individual behavior in organization

Human behavior is complex and every individual is different from another, the challenge of an effective organization is in successfully matching the task, the manager and the subordinate. Under ideal situation, a manager would first analyze the task, then determine the required skills and assemble a team that complement each other skills; thereby creating an enriching & conflict free team. In reality, a manager has to use the existing resources for a given task, and must have the ability to understand the differences in individual behaviors and use them appropriately to increase the synergy.  

In order to understand individual behavior and personalities, it is important to understand the basics of human cognition. 

Integrated human behavior model

I have formulated an abstract model of human behavior which explains the process that produces the individual differences.  Cognition is the thought process in humans that describes how the information we constantly acquire is transformed, stored and used as knowledge in future decision making. It includes a wide range of mental processes like visual imagery, language, problem solving, decision making etc.  The brain receives the stimuli from the external environment through the sense, which is immediately registered in our sensory memory, which is large but keeps the information for few seconds only.  The observation process tries to match the information in the sensory memory with the previous knowledge and creates a perception of the stimuli, thereby abstracting useful information from the sensory memory.  This abstracted information then passes to the short-term memory or the working memory, which also caches the related knowledge from the long-term memory. The short-term memory has slightly longer latency than the sensory memory, it is needed only till the reaction of the stimuli. The long term memory has enormous capacity and is the primary knowledge base. Integrated Individual Behavior Model
                    The stimuli demands some action (even the decision to ignore the stimuli is an action), the perceived stimuli combined with a set of related and abstracted experiences forms the initial input to the mind’s analytical process. This input is also influenced by the emotional and rational factors which in turn depend upon individual’s values and beliefs. The other two important parameters are the desired outcome and the required response time to the stimuli. At the center of the analytical mind is a myriad of cognitive processes that operate sequentially or in parallel, in complex permutations in order to satisfy these primary constraints.  The consequence of this entire cognitive activity is a response to the environmental stimuli, which is the observed as the behavior of the individual. Person’s thought process is an internal activity while the behavior can be observed. Finally, the resulting behavior is feed backed into the memory; it modifies the existing perceptual knowledge, seeds a new one or the stimuli and its response is simply ignored

 

 

Dimensions of cognitive psychology

The cognition can be characterized by considering the process itself and its robustness.  At a higher level of abstraction, the thinking can be characterized as rational or emotional, while its robustness is determined by it stability.

Rational Vs Emotional Thinking

Rational thinking is a response based on process of logical reasoning; it involves some form of mathematical or statistical knowledge where the process has implicit proof of its validity. Attribution is one of the rational processes that involve determining the reason or cause of an observed behavior. 
Emotional thinking is a response based on how a person feels about the object in question. Neurologically, emotions follow a short cut pathway to limbic response, bypassing the other cognitive thought processes. It can be considered as most primitive response when dealing with incomplete and uncertain sensory data. However, emotions have considerable influence on decision making and other cognitive processes even with existence of alternate rational reasons. Emotions do bootstrap into prior emotional responses and it depends upon a person’s belief and values.

Stable Vs Evolving Experiences

Every stimuli creates a response which is stored in the long-term memory, repetition of the same stimuli over a period of time, hard wires the response.  These patterns of stimuli and response form a stable section of our cognitive processes, thus as the person ages, more and more responses get hard-wired.

On the other hand, stimuli that have little or no previously recorded responses are in the evolutionary stage, the response might change depending upon the cumulative degree of success of the previous responses.

Congruence between manager’s and individual’s behavior

Most of the text and research emphasizes the importance of individual behavior and how managers should use this knowledge for better task- to-employee matching, what they ignore is the importance of organization as a system.  In the organizational social system, the relationship between manager and the employees is not unidirectional but bidirectional. While the manager tries to assess the behavior of the subordinate, the subordinate also makes a continuous effort to evaluate the manager’s perspective and adapt to it. If this bi-directional process is successful, it would create a behavioral congruence between manager and subordinate and would be a positive outcome. Otherwise it would lead to dissatisfaction and frustration for both of them and would eventually lead to end of their relationship through job termination.Behavior Congruence

The subordinate will have a perception of his own job and non-work responsibilities and an expectation of how his manager would perceive the same. He will also have a selective and biased perception of his manager’s job and that would in turn influence his expectations and behavior.

Due to identification of this bi-directional relationship, the following discussion is adapted to reflect this concern.

Factors Influencing Individual Behavior

Abilities

Abilities of a person are the natural or learnt traits. Abilities can be classified into mental and physical abilities and different task requires different level of the two.  Mental abilities represent the intelligence, person’s deductive reasoning, and memory, analytical and verbal comprehension. Physical abilities include muscular strength, stamina, body coordination and motor skills. An individual’s self awareness of his own abilities determines how he feels about the task, while the manager’s perception of his abilities determines the kind of task he assigns to the individual.

Gender

Although, research concludes that men and women are equal in their mental abilities and job performance, society does emphasize differences. However, absenteeism is one area where differences are found and can be attributed to being primary caregiver to children. However, this creates a difference in self perception of one’s abilities, personal values and social behavior. Similarly, a manager’s personal values might influence how he considers gender as factor in his task assignment and evaluation.

Race

Race and culture exert significant influence when both workplace and society have considerable diversity.  Stereotyping and attributing behavior based on race and culture are common mistakes that influence individual behavior. It is important for both management and the staff of diverse workforce to learn about different cultures, their values, common artifacts and communication protocols.  This would create a more comfortable corporate culture and would subdue behaviors that might be perceived as insensitive and offensive.

Perception

Perception is the basic cognitive process that transforms sensory stimuli into meaningful information.  Most real life problems are multidimensional and the rational approach is often entwined with the gut feeling, resulting in individual perception. This quells the famous notion that reality is objective and thus everyone must perceive it the same way. Both managers and subordinates must recognize that perceptual differences exist and often are the reason for mutual dissatisfaction.

  • Stereotyping:  It is categorization of individuals on basis of single attribute, it ends up creating a generalized and simplified belief that do not take into account other significant characteristics. Age, race and sex are the three most common basis of stereotyping; not only they are unethical but can cost missing resources.  In general, stereotyping leads to decisions that are based on inaccurate data that can result in unfair performance evaluations, job design or promotion.
  • Selective Perception:  It is the process of selecting only the information that supports our pre-existing belief system, thereby eliminating the discomforting information. Selective perception acts like a catalyst to stereotyping because people tend to notice things that fit their existing notion and not notice things that don’t. 

Both stereotyping and selective perception can be beneficial only by chance since they are based on partial information. The specific situations in which they can be positively exploited cannot be used as reliable methods.

Attribution

Attribution is the process of observing behavior and then determining its cause based on individual’s personality or situation.  Attribution based on personality is due to internal causes and is termed as dispositional attribution. It includes personality traits like shyness, arrogance, intelligence, etc.  Attribution based on external influences and situations that are outside the control of individual are termed as situational attribution. The basic attribution framework uses three criteria mentioned below.

  • Consensus: It is the extent to which other people in the same situation might respond similarly.  When behavior is attributed to consensus, the individual is not rewarded or penalized due his personality.
  • Distinctiveness:  It is the extent to which the individual’s behavior can be attributed to situations or to his personality. If the person behaves the same way in seemingly different situations, then his behavior will be attributed to his personality.
  • Consistency: It is the measure of the frequency of the observed behavior, how often does the behavior occurs? High consistency is linked to dispositional attribution while low consistency is linked to situational attribution.

Attitude

An attitude is the abstract learnt response of an individual’s entire cognitive process over a period of time. It is experienced as a quick response to a familiar situation without any deep reasoning; it forms the basis of biases and attribution errors.  As an example, an individual who has worked in various organizations might develop an attitude of indifference towards organizational citizenship.

Personality

Personality is the relatively stable set of psychological attributes that distinguishes one individual from another. The `integrated individual behavior model’ proposed above, is a framework to understand the process by which the personality develops over a period of time.

 

Comments (55)
  • Anna Francis
    The article is so logical and made me new for real i like i!as a resource
    manager
  • sakshi tyagi  - wow.......................
    :P it`s too gud
    i appciate dis work of ur
    it`s mindbiloing
    it help me lot in my study
  • Anonymous
    The article is educative

    Thank you for the good work

    :roll:
  • kelvin sabas  - individual behaviour in organization
    so nice attempted
  • Nikhil Gautama  - Ability
    an individual 's capacity to perform the various task in a job
  • Moshi Balele Moshi  - re: human behavior
    enrique wrote:
    Ralph Baker was the office clown. He spent most of the day pulling practical
    jokes on co-workers and telling jokes and tall tales to anyone who would listen.
    His tall tales were becoming more unbelievable each day. Nobody took Ralph
    seriously, but most did admit that he kept them entertained and thought he was
    the funniest story teller in the whole office. While he did lighten up the day,
    many fellow workers felt that Ralph was not doing his share of work. A few
    others were just tired of the sometimes inconsiderable jokes and stupid tall
    tales. For example, one day he hid the key to the file cabinet and told everyone
    that their boss urgently needed certain files. Since the key is nowhere to be
    found, drove the office in chaos.*

    Using the various frameworks for understanding individual behavior, how would
    you explain Ralph’s behavior? Expound.

    Considering transactional analysis, identify what ego state is influencing
    Ralph? If you want to communicate with him, what ego state will you adopt? What
    are you going to say? Write the script of your statements as exactly as how you
    are going to say it.


    please do help me on this.
    Ashim Gupta wrote:
    The individual behavior and the factors influencing them forms the basis of the
    cognitive behavior. Managers tend to favor the subordinates who exhibit
    cognitive similarities to their own self, this provides them confidence in
    delegating task to them since they can relate to them. Objectively, this might
    not be the best use of resources & their potentials, but provides a better
    leader-member match or creates an in-group.
  • Adshar Jalani
    do you have reference in human behavior in organization and public relation?im
    so thankful if you can help me and send it to my email..thanks a lot..
  • frank chaka  - i have a questions
    individual expectations from an organization and an organization expectations
    from an individual
  • frank chaka  - thanks for your explanation
    i need to know the individual expectations from an organization and organization
    expectations from an individual
  • Lenos  - appreciation
    Most of the content here is helpful in one way or the other,however try to
    elaborate and differentiate things were possible.thank you.
  • charlo viloria
    Thank for the knowledge, this helps me a lot in my master degree.
  • janu  - individual behaivour
    it is most help full notes,
  • Bello olajide  - Mr
    Pls I will be very delight if this request can be sent to my mail box (concept
    of individual behaviour in an organisation).
  • enrique  - human behavior
    Ralph Baker was the office clown. He spent most of the day pulling practical
    jokes on co-workers and telling jokes and tall tales to anyone who would listen.
    His tall tales were becoming more unbelievable each day. Nobody took Ralph
    seriously, but most did admit that he kept them entertained and thought he was
    the funniest story teller in the whole office. While he did lighten up the day,
    many fellow workers felt that Ralph was not doing his share of work. A few
    others were just tired of the sometimes inconsiderable jokes and stupid tall
    tales. For example, one day he hid the key to the file cabinet and told everyone
    that their boss urgently needed certain files. Since the key is nowhere to be
    found, drove the office in chaos.*

    Using the various frameworks for understanding individual behavior, how would
    you explain Ralph’s behavior? Expound.

    Considering transactional analysis, identify what ego state is influencing
    Ralph? If you want to communicate with him, what ego state will you adopt? What
    are you going to say? Write the script of your statements as exactly as how you
    are going to say it.


    please do help me on this.
  • jessel
    what are the underlying issues /major ideas and concept on understanding and
    managing individual behavior particularly on staffing?
  • jessel
    What are the underlying issues /major ideas and concept on understanding and
    managing individual behavior.
  • Mamatha  - Nice one
    I like the info



    can you also give some details abt the organisational behaviour?
  • Anonymous
    this is an interesting topic..i lyk it
  • lovet  - why is working knowledge of organisational behavio
  • alice quaye
    A good work done
  • uthayamagen
    i need information about individuai behaviour
  • richard  - effects .
    what about attitude effect to an organization.
  • Anonymous  - re: APPRECIATION
    P SARAVANAN wrote:
    GOOD NOTES. THIS NOTES MORE USEFUL FOR PREPARATION OF PROJECTS. THANK U....
    mario ondo mbnasogo wrote:
    i need informaction about human behavior in the organizacion
  • anonymous  - i find this helpful
    thnks..this really helped me in doing my project..i find it very interesting and
    most of all comprehensive :)
  • Anonymous  - gratitude message
    :) a big thanxxxxxxxxx 2 u. really it helped me a lot. so many many congrats 2 u
    u have accomplished ur motto.
  • Anonymous  - How individaul behave in an org
    Bros hw far? Savour this.
  • JANET  - OB
    I WANT SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCE AMONG FOUR MODALS OF ORGANISATION BEHAVIOUR.
  • Georgina Amoasi
    this topic is interesting and i really appreciate it.
  • jeewanthi dilrukshi
    i need information about human behavior in organization.can you help me
  • jay b kaluarachchi  - OB human behavior notes &
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  • jeewanthi dilrukshi  - human behavior
    i wont information about human behavior in organization.can u give me?
  • Anonymous
    :shock: shockng notes yr.....
  • Gaspary E Mwakatuma  - Individual Behaviour in Organisation
    it is a well researched material and attract further reading.
  • anjeanette maravillas  - individual and group behavior
    :) its much better that you elaborate more its uses and how they differ,how they
    work w/ each other.....but nevertheless its good and useful...
  • mbogiseni  - how individual behaviour is important in the work
    :?: i cant find the importance of individual behaviour and the causes of the
    differences in the work
  • Ashim Gupta  - Individual behavior determines cognitive similarit
    The individual behavior and the factors influencing them forms the basis of the
    cognitive behavior. Managers tend to favor the subordinates who exhibit
    cognitive similarities to their own self, this provides them confidence in
    delegating task to them since they can relate to them. Objectively, this might
    not be the best use of resources & their potentials, but provides a better
    leader-member match or creates an in-group.
  • K.L.deVera RN  - Great...Helpful
    thanks a lot... this is really helpful
  • P SARAVANAN  - APPRECIATION
    GOOD NOTES. THIS NOTES MORE USEFUL FOR PREPARATION OF PROJECTS. THANK U....
  • mario ondo mbnasogo  - human behavior
    i need informaction about human behavior in the organizacion
  • dhana  - add beliefs
    :roll: :wink: yours note are very 9c bt add beliefs
  • jedah  - nice 1
    :P wow...nice its really helpful 2 me and to the other students.....tnx 2 u
  • shaks  - appreciation
    it is the best work i have ever seen since the time i started to search for
    individual differences notes, thank you guys! i just hope i will get more!
  • JOBIBS  - cognitive
    i need this information for my report
  • Protas
    I have appreciated your work, I is a duty well done. Thank you
  • oduah blessing  - i am kool with this
    :D nice job
  • Anonymous
    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ryzzelle gapuz  - individual behavior
    :) the things here are very good,really,but, you should elaboprate some things
    like the individual behavior in an organization.as a student its hard for me to
    catch up things like this and like that.especially on the definitions
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