Influence of Perception on Organizational Behaviour

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are"
Each of us has a schema, a collection of ideas, experiences, and associations that we bring to a
situation, and as humans we have a tendency to open ourselves far more readily to input that fits
in easily with what is already there. This means that information-gathering, an important part of
the decision-making process, can be skewed in ways that harm the process. At the most primitive
level, for example, I own a Yamaha R15 bike, and when I hit the road I see the same bike
everywhere, causing me to believe that there are now more R15 bikes on the road. That is not
going to affect very much, so it's not a problem. However, if I am a manager, and I have recently
read an article on wastefulness in the production process, if I need to cut costs somewhere, that is
likely to be my focus, possibly causing me to miss some more important aspect of cost-cutting.
So, selective perception can harm the decision-making process, cutting us off from observing
viable alternatives.
Perception is the process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order and meaning
to the environment. Among the most important perceptions that influence organizational
behaviour are the perceptions that organizational members have of each other.

Perceptual Process
(External &

Selecting Stimuli

External factors:
factors: Nature,
location, size,
size, contrast,
movement, repetition,
repetition, similarity
Internal factors:
factors: Learning,



Perceptual Grouping
(similarity, proximity,
closure, continuity)

Attribution ,Stereotyping,
Halo Effect,
Effect, Projection


Covert: Attitudes,
Overt: Behavior
Tirthankar Sutradhar
1421427, M, CUIM

different individuals may perceive the same thing differently.) or the situation (time. Sometimes. background. M. size. The manager then only notices good things done by the first worker and only bad things done by the second. Tirthankar Sutradhar 1421427. background and proximity. There are many factors that influence how something is perceived. background. etc. External attention factors include environmental influences like intensity.Why is this important? Behaviour in the workplace is based on people’s perception of the workplace. contrast. Differences may arise due to factors associated with the perceiver (attitudes. sounds. there are various ways that a person can perceive a situation in the work environment that can lead to problems. For instance. motion. So I project onto them that they do not like me. Finally. This is a reason why it is very important to make sure that managers are evaluating workers based on at least some sorts of objective measures rather than just subjective perceptions. etc. factors pertaining to the perceiver can involve the person’s attitudes. But what does this have to do with an Organization? Well. experience and attitudes. work setting and social setting. motion. interpretation and feedback. selective perception can often lead to unfair treatment of subordinates. Though people are continuously exposed to numerous stimuli. registration. motivation and personality. factors related to the actual target can involve novelty. motives. size. But I have a value that says I should like everyone. place. Factors associated with the context can involve time. Perceptual selectivity is affected by various internal set factors and external attention factors. size. interests. expectations.  Projection: The tendency to attribute one’s own characteristics to other people Example: I do not like my new colleagues. For example.) or the target (novelty. Some of the internal set factors are learning. repetition. The processes of perception consist of various sub processes such as confrontation. This allows me to avoid them and also to handle my own feelings of dislike. it is important to try to prevent those in a position of power in a given business from engaging in selective perception. and why people select only a few stimuli out of the many stimuli they keep encountering at any given time.  Selective perception: The tendency to selectively interpret what is seen based on one’s interests.  Self-serving bias: The tendency to attribute one’s own successes to internal factors and blame one’s own failures on external factors. sounds. For this reason. they tend to select only a few of them. experience and expectations. motives. etc. novelty and familiarity. In the business context. the following can occur among employees in the workplace on a daily basis:  Fundamental attribution error: The tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgments about the behaviour of others. A manager might perceive one worker as good and another as bad. The principle of perceptual selectivity seeks to explain how. CUIM .

Appraisals: One area where the halo effect is prevalent is in annual performance reviews. and many have taken their complaints to human rights agencies. and intellectual capabilities. M. frequently negative. It is a psychological phenomenon that allows a general opinion of something. Women are severely underrepresented in managerial and administrative jobs. or someone. women have not been able to advance as easily as men to higher management levels. Some managers take a relaxed approach to reviews and assume that if an employee is proficient in some elements of the appraisal. and salaries. This can Tirthankar Sutradhar 1421427. persistent. Women suffer from a stereotype that is detrimental to their hiring. fresh workers strong and unreliable brain storming. older people tend to be perceived as having less capacity for performance than younger people. and all fat workers are lazy. Gender Stereotypes. CUIM . Stereotypical views that “African Americans can't handle pressure” or that “Asian Americans are technical wizards” have interfered with their opportunities for advancement to upper management positions. Age Stereotypes: Knowing that a person falls into a certain age range. to be gathered from one element. Education: For instance all new hired fresh graduates are smart in workplace. Racial and Ethnic Stereotypes: Stereotypical views of other races and cultures are pervasive. Or a new employee from a less renowned college is pre assumed to be less capable of handling the work. and often self-contradictory. Nationality: For instance in workplace individualized as all Chinese are hard worker than other nationality. Stereotyping and workforce Diversity: The tendency to judge someone on the basis of the perception of a group to which that person belongs. promotion. many older people have experienced discrimination. then he is proficient in all of them. we have a tendency to make certain assumptions about the person’s physical. Age: All young. Since males dominate business and many males have a false stereotype of women's executive capabilities. no old workers want to think new ideas. development. Occupation: For example people perceive that all accountants are uninteresting. As a result of these false stereotypes. Physical: It’s assumed that workplace all people with brown hair have a burning temperament. For example. psychological.  Halo effect: The tendency to draw a general impression about an individual based on a single characteristic. They are also viewed as being less productive and lacking the potential for development.

These characteristics are subjectively judged based on an employer’s perceptions. The way a person perceives a job applicant during an interview can affect an organization. if one of the accountants from the accounting pool becomes familiar with the accounting software. Or interviewers may learn they have one thing in common with the interviewee and project that they are similar to the interviewee in every way. Alternatively. The same thing can happen in a corporate workplace. As well. For example. it may happen more often than one might think. it is necessary for employers to assess how workers perceive their jobs. but given human nature’s tendency to gather things and people into groups and make general impressions. Unfortunately. Tirthankar Sutradhar 1421427. by use of the halo effect. For example. For example. In terms of perceptions. Therefore. For example. he does not know the first thing about being a company executive. others ask for assistance in getting the software to work properly. It is then assumed that she knows a great deal about all the software titles in the company. one supervisor may consider an employee to be loyal. An employee seen as ineffective in one or two aspects of his job can be given the general label of incompetent. as well. The problem is that the hero does not possess any of the leadership qualities or administrative skills needed to be an effective the other way. research has shown that what employees perceive from their work situation influences their productivity most. Departmental Misconception: Incompetent employees in a department can. to influence productivity. an employee may not get a promotion because an employer has formed a negative impression about the employee simply because that person belongs to a particular religious group. A sales professional is proficient at bringing in new accounts and generating revenue. then the halo effect would allow the rest of the company to assume that no one in the accounting department can do their job properly. M. and then pursuant to the halo effect. while another supervisor may consider that same employee to be too conforming and insincere. This is stereotyping and is clearly contrary to human rights legislation. assume the interviewee is entirely a good fit with the company because of that one characteristic. Promotions: Movies and books may present the theme of a hero who performs one spectacular task and is asked to rule as king of the people he saved. interviewers may like one aspect of the interviewee. an employee may be considered to be disloyal or not putting enough effort into a project. CUIM . if the payroll group in the accounting department consistently makes mistakes on employee paychecks. and the halo effect in this situation could also get her labeled as a proficient in hardware repair as well. so he is promoted to the position of vice president of sales. making a good fit for the organization. Job Tasks: People build up a reputation in the workplace for being proficient at something when their actual area of expertise is much different. drag down the reputation for the rest of the group.

especially when making important decisions that affect the organization. we fill in gaps and extrapolate from the available information. Stereotypes may lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. we go beyond the objective information available to us. self. to conclude I will say that. stereotypes infect our behavior. The only way to influence these variables is to understand how an employee subjectively perceives the workplace. more frequent turnover and less job satisfaction. the attributions we make will determine how we respond to the situation. and others. When perceiving the physical environment. When perceiving others. Stereotypes are perpetuated because of our tendency to pay selective attention to aspects of the environment and ignore information inconsistent with our beliefs. perception influences decision-making within an organization. While perceiving our surroundings.Likewise. smaller. or faster than it really is. Take the example of an interview. In self-perception. Consequently. Those individuals who perceive their jobs as negative are likely to have increased absenteeism. M. turnover and job satisfaction have more to do with an employee’s perception of the job. and emotions. Tirthankar Sutradhar 1421427. Though we are all human and have a background and a particular perspective on which we rely when perceiving things in the work setting. The key takeaway of the paper is that perception is how we make sense of our environment in response to environmental stimuli. needs. depending on our personality. We also overestimate how much we are like other people. CUIM . the interviewer has learned some information about the interviewee and has formed an impression based on various perceptions. slower. it is important to be aware of the various factors that influence our perceptions. Sometimes it is a good idea to have a few decision makers provide an opinion when making big decisions to ensure that various perceptions are considered before taking the plunge. Understanding the perception process gives us clues to understand human behavior. The interviewer then decides whether the candidate is a good fit with the company. Within the first few minutes of the interview. we may commit the selfenhancement or self-effacement bias. There are many biases that affect human perception of objects. absenteeism. The remaining time in the interview is typically spent asking select information that supports the initial decision. When perceiving others. We also contrast physical objects to their surroundings and may perceive something as bigger. and our perception is affected by our values.

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