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Chapter Four

Understanding Social Perception and Managing Diversity

McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

After reading the material in this chapter, you should be able to:

Describe perception in terms of the social information processing model. Identify and briefly explain six managerial implications for social perception. Explain, according to Kelleys model, how external and internal causal attributions are formulated.


After reading the material in this chapter, you should be able to:

Demonstrate your familiarity with the demographic trends that are creating an increasingly diverse workforce. Identify the barriers and challenges to managing diversity. Discuss organizational practices used to manage diversity


A Social Information Processing Model of Perception

- the process of interpreting ones environment.


Social Perception: A Social Information Processing Model

Figure 4-1

Stage 1: Selective Attention/Comprehension

- being consciously aware of something or someone

People pay attention to salient stimuli Salient

- something that stands out from context


Beverly has $11,000 for investment. She speaks with various friends and neighbors to find out what stocks they have invested in. Beverly can be described as being on which stage of the social information processing model? A. Selective attention; comprehension B. Encoding C. Simplification D. Storage and Retention

Stage 2: Encoding and Simplification

- beliefs about the characteristics of a group

Not always negative May or may not be accurate


Stereotyping Process
1. Categorize people into groups according to various criteria 2. Infer that all people within a category possess the same traits 3. Form expectations of others and interpret their behavior according to our stereotypes

Stereotyping Process
4. Stereotypes are maintained by:
Overestimating the frequency of stereotypic behavior exhibited by others Incorrectly explaining expected and unexpected behaviors Differentiating minority individuals from oneself


Stage 3: Storage and Retention

Event memory
- information about both specific and general events

Semantic memory
- general knowledge about the world, mental dictionary of concepts

Person memory
- information about a single individual or groups of people

Stage 4: Retrieval and Response

Decisions are based:
- On the process of drawing on, interpreting, and integrating categorical information stored in long-term memory - Retrieving a summary judgment that was already made


Managerial Implications: Hiring

Interviewers make hiring decisions based on their impression of how an applicant fits the perceived requirements of a job
Inaccurate impressions in either direction produce poor hiring decisions


Managerial Implications: Performance Appraisal

Important for managers to accurately identify the behavioral characteristics and results indicative of good performance Characteristics serve as the benchmarks for evaluating employee performance


Managerial Implications: Leadership

Good leaders exhibit the following behaviors:
- Assigning specific tasks to group members - Telling others they had done well - Setting specific goals for the group


Managerial Implications: Leadership

Poor leaders exhibit the following behaviors:
- Telling others they had performed poorly - Insisting on having their own way - Doing things without explaining themselves


Which of these is (are) managerial implication(s) of perception? A. Interviewers with racist and sexist schemata can undermine the accuracy and legality of hiring decisions. B. Faulty schemata about what constitutes good versus poor performance can lead to inaccurate performance appraisal, which can erode work motivation, commitment, and loyalty. C. Research demonstrates that employees' evaluations of leader effectiveness are influenced strongly by their schemata of good and poor leaders. D. All of these. 4-17

Causal Attributions
Causal Attributions
- suspected or inferred causes of behavior


Performance Charts

Figure 4-2


Kelleys Model of Attribution

Internal factors
- personal characteristics that cause behavior

External behavior
- environmental characteristics that cause behavior


Kelleys Model of Attribution

- involves a comparison of an individuals behavior with that of his peers.

- involves comparing a persons behavior on one task with the behavior from other tasks.

- determined by judging if the individuals performance on a given task is consistent over 4-21 time.

Francesca has had stable performance and high quality from one task to another. This refers to:
A. B. C. D. Low consensus. High distinctiveness. High consensus Low distinctiveness.


Attributional Tendencies
Fundamental attribution bias
- ignoring environment factors that affect behavior

Self-serving bias
- taking more personal responsibility for success than failure


Managerial Implications
Managers tend to disproportionately attribute behavior to internal causes An employees attributions for his own performance have dramatic effects on subsequent motivation, performance, and self-esteem


Defining and Managing Diversity

- the host of individual differences that make people different from and similar to each other


Four Layers of Diversity

Figure 4-3

Defining and Managing Diversity

Affirmative action
- voluntary and involuntary efforts to achieve equality of opportunity for everyone

Managing diversity
- creating organizational changes that enable all people to perform up to their maximum potential


Increasing Diversity in the Workforce: Demographic Trends

Women and minorities are experiencing a glass ceiling Racial groups are encountering perceived discrimination Mismatch between educational attainment and occupational requirements The workforce is aging

Increasing Diversity in the Workforce: Demographic Trends

Glass ceiling
- invisible barrier blocking women and minorities from top management positions


Increasing Diversity in the Workforce: Demographic Trends

- the result of taking a job that requires less education, training, or skills than possessed by a worker


Mary Grace has a degree in nuclear engineering, but has been unable to find a job in her field. She is currently working at the drive-thru at McDonalds. This is an example of __________.
A. B. C. D. Degree inflation Over-employment Under-employment Hyper-employment

What Organizations Are Doing to Capture Retiring Workers Knowledge

Insert Figure 4.4


Barriers and Challenges to Managing Diversity

1. 2. 3. 4. Inaccurate stereotypes and prejudice Ethnocentrism Poor career planning An unsupportive and hostile working environment for diverse employees 5. Lack of political savvy on the part of diverse employees

Barriers and Challenges to Managing Diversity

6. Difficulty in balancing career and family issues 7. Fears of reverse discrimination 8. Diversity is not seen as an organizational priority 9. The need to revamp the organizations performance appraisal and reward system 10. Resistance to change


Jacques, a French national, is the CEO of French Global Empire with significant operations in Japan and the United States. Jacques recently announced that all employees of the company, no matter which part of the world they may be in, must learn French and communicate in French only. Which challenge to diversity does this represent? A. Cultural flexibility B. Polychronic time C. Cultural relativism D. Ethnocentrism

Organizational Practices Used to Effectively Manage Diversity

Option 1: Include/Exclude Option 2: Deny Option 3: Assimilate Option 4: Suppress


Organizational Practices Used to Effectively Manage Diversity (cont.)

Option 5: Isolate Option 6: Tolerate Option 7: Build Relationships Option 8: Foster Mutual Adaptation


A group of minority employees complained about alleged discriminatory practices to their manager. She told them to quit whining and get back to work. This is the use of _________ to manage diversity.
A. B. C. D. Denial Suppression Isolation Building relationships

Supplemental Slides
Slides 40-45 contain extra non-text examples to integrate and enhance instructor lectures
- Slide 40: Positive Contributory Value of Older Workers - Slides 41: How do gender stereotypes affect workrelated decisions? - Slide 42: Women in Gender-Typed Jobs - Slide 43: Glass Ceiling - Slide 44-45: Video discussion slide

Positive Contributory Value of Older Workers

Myth #1: Older workers are not top learners. Myth #2: Older workers are not top performers How to retain older worker human capital
- Flexibility in HR policies - Attitude Change - Knowledge Transfer Programs

How do gender stereotypes affect work-related decisions?

Stereotype: Women are more interpersonally savvy - Women 7 on 9-point scale - Men 5 on 9-point scale Scenario: - Male applicant for COO job is perceived to be a 5 on a 9-point scale - Female applicant is perceived to be a 6 on a 9point scale. Who is perceived to be more qualified on that dimension?

Women in Gender-Typed Jobs

Bias against women often results in their competence being denied. But what happens when their competence is acknowledged? - Recent research suggests that successful women in male gender-typed jobs are less liked, personally derogated - This social rejection affects promotions, raises, and other rewards.


Glass Ceiling
See an article on Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Wirth


Video Case: Andre Thornton

What attributes or experiences help Andre Thorton in being successful at GPI? In what ways can Thorton serve as an example for all minority individuals? Does GPIs size help or hinder them in serving the needs of their clients? Can you draw correlations between sports and business? What are they?

Video Case: Wal-Mart Faces Discrimination Lawsuit

How could sex-role stereotypes influence the hiring, evaluation, and promotion of employees at large retail stores such as Wal-Mart? In what ways could a giant corporation like Wal-Mart, with 5,000-some outlets worldwide, prevent or at least minimize sex discrimination throughout the organization? In Wal-Mart stores, women hold 93% of the cashier jobs, the lowest wage category. To what extent might the self-fulfilling prophecy affect female employees performance in a corporation where the lowest-paid jobs are done mostly by women?