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Foundations of Individual

Behavior
Each of us is a
puzzle, unique in
shape and fit.
Every person is an
organization is
different from
everyone else.
Company to Employee Attitude
Change
Change in company attitude to employees:
Freeze on hiring or lay offs [not filling positions when employees
leave, etc]

Cutting of employee ‘perks’ [club memberships, company cars,
Stock options, etc.]

Cutting employee benefits [bonus, sick leave, holidays, housing,
health insurance, retirement, pension contributions, etc.]

Pay cuts [10% cut in basic pay, removal of allowances, etc]

‘Time Out’ [year at reduced pay and a guarantee of a job when employee returns]
Employee to Company Attitude
Change
Change in employee attitude toward
company:
Low level of morale
Less loyalty than 20 years ago
Easy movement from one company to another
Company vs Employee Battle: Each side wants
to get more from, but give less to, the other.
People in Organizations
The key to knowing how business-
employee relationships might or might
not work is an understanding of people in
organizations and the various elements
and characteristics that contribute to
determining how and in what form they
are willing to engage in behaviors that
will benefit the organization.
People in Organizations

Psychological Contract is a set of
expectations regarding what the
employee will contribute to the
organization and what the organization,
in return, will provide to the employee.
The Psychological Contract
People in Organizations
Contributions made by the employee
to the organization may include:
Effort
Ability
Loyalty
Skills
Time
Competencies
People in Organizations
Inducements are tangible and intangible
rewards provided by the organization to the employee
for contributions made, such as:
Pay
Benefits
Promotion Opportunities
Career Opportunities
Training Opportunities
Flexible Work Schedules
Status
Job Security
[See Figure 3.1, page 59]
People in Organizations
If organizations want value from their
employees, they need to provide the right
inducements.
Problems come up because:
Organizations can no longer promise permanent
jobs to employees.
Cultural differences due to globalization of jobs and
workforces cause difficulties.
Problems occur when international managers
return to their home workforce after a period of
time.
The Person-Job Fit

The Person-Job Fit is the extent to
which the contributions made by the
individual match the inducements offered
by the organization.
The Person-Job Fit
An employee has specific needs to be
filled and job-related behaviors and
abilities to contribute.
If the organization can take advantage of
those behavior and abilities and fulfill the
employee’s needs (through inducements),
then a person-job fit will be achieved.
The Person-Job Fit
Difficult to achieve the ‘perfect fit’ because:
Hiring procedures are not perfect.
Performance measures are very subjective
for different managers.
People and organizations change over the
years.
Each person is unique in attitude (which is
very difficult to measure) and personality.
Individual Differences

Individual Differences are personal
attributes that vary from one person to
another.

Differences may be physical, psychological or
emotional. These differences make individual
employees unique.
Individual Differences
Basic categories of individual differences
include:

Personality
Attitudes
Perception
Creativity
Personality and Organizations

Personality is the relatively stable set
of psychological attributes that
distinguish one person from another.
Nature vs Nurture argument: how much
do we inherit from our parents and how
much are we shaped by our
environment?
Personality and Organizations
The ‘Big Five’ Personality Traits are a
set of fundamental traits that are especially
relevant to organizations.
They include:
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Negative Emotionality
Extraversion
Openness
[See Figure 3.2, page 64]
Big Five” Personality Framework“
Personality and Organizations

Trait 1 – Agreeableness – the ability to
get along with others.

Highly agreeable people are likely to
develop good working relationships with
colleagues, customers, suppliers, and
others involved with the organization.
Personality and Organizations
Trait 2 – Conscientiousness – the number
of goals on which a person focuses.

More conscientious people tend to be higher
performers than less conscientious people.
People who concentrate on fewer goals at
one time seem to be organized, systematic,
careful, thorough, responsible and self-
disciplined.
Personality and Organizations

Trait 3 – Negative Emotionality – is
characterized by moodiness and
insecurity.

People who have little negative emotionality
are better able to deal with stress.
Personality and Organizations
Trait 4 – Extraversion – is the quality of
being comfortable with all types of
relationships.
People who are sociable, talkative, assertive, and
open to establishing new relationships.
More likely to be attracted to jobs in areas of sales
and marketing.
Introversion – people who are uncomfortable in
social situations which require developing
relationships.
Personality and Organizations
Trait 5 – Openness – the ability to accept
new ideas and to change as a result of learning
new information.
Shows a person’s rigidity of beliefs and range of
interests.
People with a high level of openness are willing to
listen to new ideas and to change their own ideas,
beliefs, opinions or attitudes in response to new
information.
Personality and Organizations
Importance of ‘Big Five’ Traits to Managers:
By identifying traits, managers are in a better
position to understand why employees behave as
they do and how they might react under certain
situations.
Managers must remember that this is not a ‘perfect
system’.
It has its roots in the US which may be culturally
different from other countries.
Other factors and traits are also likely to affect
behavior in organizations.
Personality and Organizations
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI]:
Carl Jung developed 16 personality classifications
by differentiating people in terms of four categories:
sensing, intuiting, judging and perceiving.
Some organizations use the MBTI questionnaire to
assess personality types.
Seen as very useful for determining communication
styles and interaction preferences.
However, whether it is a reliable measure of
personality attributes is questionable.
Personality and Organizations
Emotional Intelligence is the extent to which people are
self-aware, can manage their emotions, can motivate
themselves, express empathy for others and possess
social skills.
Self-Awareness – person’s capacity for being aware of how they are
feeling.
Managing Emotions – person’s ability to balance anxiety, fear and anger
so that they do not overly interfere with getting things done.
Motivating Oneself – person’s ability to remain optimistic and to
continue striving in the face of setbacks, barriers and failure.
Empathy – person’s ability to understand how others are feeling even
without being told.
Social Skill – person’s ability to get along with others and to establish
positive relationships.
Personality and Organizations
Other personality traits may influence
behaviors in organizations:
Locus of Control
Self-efficacy
Authoritarianism
Machiavellianism
Self-esteem
Risk Propensity
Personality and Organizations

Locus of Control – the extent to
which people believe their circumstances
are a function of either their own actions
or external factors beyond their control.
’If I work hard, I will succeed.’ [internal locus of control]
‘Everything is up to fate, chance, luck or
other people’s behavior.’ [external locus of control]
Personality and Organizations

Self-efficacy – a person’s beliefs about his
or her capabilities to perform a task.
Person does a self-assessment of his or her ability to
do a task.
Depending on my personality, I may have self-
confidence [or not] that I can do that task.
If I am confident, then I can concentrate my
attention on performance.
Personality and Organizations
Authoritarianism – is the belief that power and
status differences are appropriate within hierarchical social
systems such as organizations.

People who are highly authoritarian do what they are told
because ‘you are the boss’.
People who are less authoritarian are more likely to question
things, express disagreement with the boss and even refuse to
carry out orders if they are objectionable for some reason.
Managers will be perceived differently by employees who are
highly or less authoritarian.
Personality and Organizations
Machiavellianism – behavior directed at
gaining power and controlling the behavior of
others.
Named after Niccolo Machiavelli who taught 16th
century nobles how to gain power over people.
More Machiavellian individuals tend to be rational,
show no emotion, and may be willing to lie to get
what they want. They put little emphasis on loyalty
and friendship and enjoy manipulating others’
behavior.
Less Machiavellian individuals are the opposite.
Personality and Organizations
Self-esteem – is the extent to which an
individual believes he or she is a worthwhile and
deserving individual.

People who have high self-esteem are more likely to
seek higher-status jobs, be more confident in their
ability to achieve higher levels of performance and
derive greater intrinsic satisfaction from their
accomplishments.
People who have low self-esteem are the opposite.
Personality and Organizations
Risk Propensity – is the degree to which he or she is
willing to take chances and make risky decisions.

People who have high risk propensity are more likely
to experiment with new ideas or gamble with new
products.
Some managers may be ‘change agents’ trying to
take the organization in a new direction.
A manager’s ability to take risks depends on the
environment within the organization he or she is
working.
People who have low risk propensity are the opposite.
Attitudes in Organizations

Attitudes are a person’s set of beliefs
and feelings about specific ideas,
situations or other people.

They are the means through which people
express their feelings.
Good attitudes vs Bad attitudes
Attitudes in Organizations
Attitudes Are Formed by a Variety of Forces:
Our Personal Values
Our Experiences
Our Personality

Understanding the basic structure of an attitude
helps us to see how attitudes are formed and how
they can be changed.
Attitudes in Organizations
Attitude Structure:
Viewed as stable dispositions to behave
toward objects in a certain way [political candidates,
restaurants, certain brands, etc]

Attitudes contain three components:
Affect
Cognition
Intention
Attitudes in Organizations

Affect – a person’s affect is his or her
feelings toward something.
Similar to Emotion – it is something over
which we have little or no conscious control.
[love, hate, etc; liking one class, hating another or being indifferent]
Attitudes in Organizations

Cognition – a person’s belief about the
amount of knowledge he or she has about
something.

Cognitions are based on our perceptions of
truth and reality.
Attitudes in Organizations

Intention – the part of an attitude that
guides a person’s behavior.

You intend to do well in Mgt 233.
You intend to take another class with an
instructor you had last semester.
Attitudes in Organizations
Cognitive Dissonance – is the anxiety that
a person experiences when he or she
simultaneously possesses two sets of knowledge
or perceptions that are contradictory or
incongruent.
Are smoking and drinking alcohol dangerous?
I hate my job – why do I stay?
Cognitive dissonance will either have us stop the
behavior or change our attitude about it.
Attitudes in Organizations
Attitude Change – not as stable (fixed) as
personality attributes.
If the object of an attitude changes, a person’s
attitude toward that object may also change. [employee’s
lack of work experience, negative attitude toward some company policy, etc]
Attitudes can also change when the object of the
attitude becomes less important or less relevant to
the person. [health insurance, salary]
Deeply rooted attitudes have a long history and are
very difficult, sometimes impossible, to change. [black
vs white, family vs family, etc.]
Key Work-Related Attitudes
People in an organization will form attitudes
about many different things:
Boss
Employee benefits
Salary
Promotional opportunities
Cafeteria food

Obviously, some attitudes are more important than
others.
Key Work-Related Attitudes
Job Satisfaction – reflects the extent
to which people find gratification or
fulfillment in their work.
Personal factors which can affect job
satisfaction include an individual’s needs
and goals, relationships with coworkers
and supervisors, working conditions,
work policies, compensation, etc.
Key Work-Related Attitudes

Organizational Commitment –
reflects a person’s identification with and
attachment to an organization.
Sometimes referred to as job commitment.
Key Work-Related Attitudes
Organizations can help to create job
commitment by:

Treating employees fairly
Providing reasonable rewards
Providing job security
Giving employees a ‘say’ in management
Designing jobs to ‘fit’ employees
Affect and Mood in Organizations
People who possess positive affectivity are
upbeat and optimistic, have an overall sense of
well-being and see things in a positive light.

People who possess negative affectivity are
generally downbeat and pessimistic, see things
in a negative way and seem to be in a bad
mood.
Perception in Organizations

Perception is the set of processes by which
an individual becomes aware of and interprets
information about the environment.

Two perceptual processes relevant to
managers:
 Selective perception
 Stereotyping
Perception in Organizations
Selective Perception is the process of
screening out information that we are
uncomfortable with or that contradicts
our beliefs.

Stereotyping is categorizing or labeling
people on the basis of a single attribute.
[all women can do only certain tasks, all Arabs are rich, all Americans carry guns
with them]
Basic Perceptual Processes
Perception in Organizations

Attribution Theory suggests that we
attribute (give credit to) causes to
behavior based on our observations of
certain characteristics of that behavior.
Perception in Organizations
The Attribution Process:
Observe a behavior
Evaluate that behavior in terms of:
Degree of consensus – do other people in the same situation
behave the same way?
Degree of consistency – does the person behave in the same
way at different times?
Degree of distinctiveness - does the same person behave in
the same way in different situations?
We attribute the behavior to internal (something inside
the person) or external causes (by forces in the
environment).
Types of Workplace Behavior

Workplace Behavior is a pattern of
action by the members of an
organization that directly or
indirectly influences organizational
effectiveness.
Types of Workplace Behavior
Three types of workplace behaviors
that may influence organizational
effectiveness:

Performance Behaviors
Dysfunctional Behaviors
Organizational Citizenship
Types of Workplace Behavior
Performance Behaviors – total set of
work-related behaviors that the
organization expects the individual to
display.
For some jobs, performance behaviors can
be defined narrowly and easily assessed.
[factory assembly-line workers]
For other jobs, performance behaviors are
more diverse and difficult to assess. [research
scientists, etc]
Types of Workplace Behavior

Dysfunctional Behaviors – work-
related behaviors that detract from
organizational performance.
Most common ones are:
Absenteeism – individual not showing up for work.
Turnover – occurs when people quit their jobs.
Others causes may include: theft, sabotage,
harassment, workplace violence.
Types of Workplace Behavior
Organizational Citizenship – is the extent
to which the individual’s behavior makes an
overall positive contribution to the
organization.
Employees who refuse to do anything outside their
job [will not do overtime, train others, etc.] show poor
organizational citizenship.
Organizational ‘culture’ must be willing to promote,
recognize and reward those behaviors that
contribute to good organizational citizenship.