Organizational Bahavior Notes



The way a in which a person or an individual sees and understands the world. In other words, perception is to recognize a unique interpretation of the situation, not the exact recording of it. Recognition of the difference between the perceptual and real world and real world is vital to the understanding of organizational behavior. So, we should know that there is a difference between real and perceptual world. Every person perceives the world in his own way and understanding. And sometimes when our perception is different from the real world it creates problems and misunderstandings. For example, many managers think and perceive that their subordinates always want promotions, when, in fact, many workers or subordinates feel uncomfortable and forced with the promotions. So, the perceptual world of managers is often quite different from that of subordinates and yet both may be quite different from the real world.

Sensation vs. Perception
Sensation is the way human beings use their sensory organs to experience color, loudness, taste, scent and smell and heat. There are five senses, vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. But perception is the complicated process of interaction of selection, organization, and interpretation of stimuli. Although, perception depends upon the senses for raw data, the cognitive process may filter, modify, or completely change these data.

Examples of the difference between sensation and perception are:

  • The purchasing agent buys a part that she thinks is best, not the part the engineer says is best.
  • The same worker may be viewed by one supervisor as a very good worker and by another supervisor as a very poor worker.
  • The same cooking oil may be viewed healthy by a doctor and not good by any other individual.

Perceptual Selectivity:
Numerous stimuli constantly confront everyone. The noise of air conditioners, the sound of other people talking and moving, and outside noises from cars and vehicles, planes, and many other sounds are heard by us every minute but why and how people select a specific stimulus or a few stimuli at a given time? The answers can be found in the principles of perceptual selectivity.

a) External attention factors
b) Internal set factors

External Attention Factors:

Many external factors affect perceptual selectivity. These factors are;

1. Intensity:
The intensity principle states that the more intense the external stimulus, the more likely it is to be perceived. A loud noise, strong odor, or bright light will be noticed more than a soft voice, weak odor or dim light. Advertisers use this principle to gain the attention of customers. Examples include bright packaging and TV commercials that are slightly louder to gain attention. So, supervisors may yell at their subordinates to get their attention but sometimes it may turn the subordinate off instead of gaining their attention.

2. Size:
It says that the larger the object, the more likely it will be perceived. The maintenance engineering staff may pay more attention to a big machine than a smaller one even the smaller may cost much more than the bigger one. Therefore, a 6-foot 5-inch, 250 pound supervisor gets more attention than a 5-foot 6-inch, 160 pound supervisor.