Content 4 Behavior of Individuals
Chapter 9Individual Behavior at Work • Personality • Perception • Attitude • Ability • Stress and change
Personality • Personality is the total pattern of characteristic ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that constitute the individual’s distinctive method of relating to the environment. • There are two different approaches regarding the factors that have influence on personality. • The nomothetic approach. • The idiographic approach.
Personality • Traits and types • Traits are consistently observable properties, or the tendency for a person to behave in a particular way. • Individual personality is a ‘pick and mix’ from a range of possible traits. • People who have one trait are most likely to have certain other compatible and related traits. • If you have to judge a person you must keep the following points in your mind.
Personality • We treat people as types on the basis of few observable traits: a process called stereo typing. Although it is not accurate but at least it is a starting point. • Such an approach is not accurate so trait tests are not appreciated. • An individual may score high on desirable traits in testing but behave rather differently in practice. • It is difficult for the organization to identify which traits are in fact desirable in employees. • There is a long list of traits and its been very difficult to pick the ones which will bring the desirable results to the organization.
Personality • Self and self image • Self: despite the social constraints people still display originality and individuality. Self has two components. • I: the unique active, impulsive part of the individual which rises above conformity • Me: the mental process which reflects objectively on the self and measures it against the social norms values and expectations which the individual has taken on board as the result of experience in society.
Personality • Self image: Is developed primarily through experience and interaction with other people. • People who are important in our lives, they way they treat us because of some of our traits for example hard work. So we tend to behave more in that way. • Personality development: is an internal psychological process. • As people mature is towards increasing diversity and complexity of different part which make up the personality, therefore an increasing sense of selfhood and the need to develop personal potential. • Organization where strict compliance is desired prevent people from maturing.
Personality • Psychological maturity does not happen with alongside physical ageing. • Personality and work behavior: although personalities are complex and individual but if categorize them broadly that can help us judging individual behavior at work. Adopting a contingency approach managers will have to consider the following aspects. • The compatibility of an individual’s personality with the task.
Personality • The compatibility of an individual’s personality with the systems and management culture of the organization. • Some people want to be controlled • Some people hate to be controlled • The compatibility of the individual’s personality with that of others in the team. Where incompatibilities occur, the manager will have to: • Restore compatibility • Achieve compromise • Remove the incompatible personality
Perception • Perception is the psychological process by which stimuli or incoming sensory data are selected and organized into patterns which are meaningful to the individual. • Different people see things differently and respond to them in different ways that is why we need to study perception. • Perceptual selection: the way our sensory organs have limitations and they can not sense everything. Perception is like a screen and it also filters the data a human being receives. This process of filtration is called perceptual selection.
Perception • Perceptual selection may be determined by any or all of the following. • The context • The nature of the stimuli • Internal factors • Fear or trauma • Perceptual organization: is a complimentary process of perceptual organization deals with the interpretation of the data which has been gathered and filtered. • The brain groups, separates and patterns stimuli to make them recognizable, intelligible and useful to individual. • Thus sound waves become music.
Perception • Mind is remarkably resourceful in organizing data to give it meaning. It tends to fill in the gaps in partial or confusing information, according to expectations or assumptions about what should be there. • Perception and work behavior: if human beings act in ways which seem illogical or contrary to you it is probably not because of stupidity but because they see things in a different way than you see.
Perception • You may misinterpret. • Others may misinterpret. • Misinterpretation should be cleared in teams. • Be aware of the most common clashes of perception at work • Managers and staff • Work cultures • Race and gender
Attitude • Technically speaking an attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related. • Attitudes are tough to contain three basic components • Knowledge, beliefs or disbeliefs, perceptions • Feelings and desires • Volition, will or the intention to perform an action
Attitude • Attitudes at work: behavior in a work context will be influenced by • Attitudes to work • Attitudes at work Positive, negative or neutral attitudes to other workers, or group of workers , to the various systems and operation of the organization, to learning or particular training initiatives to communication or to the task itself will obviously influence performance at work. In particular they may result in :
Attitude • Varying degrees of cooperation or conflict between individuals and groups, or between departments. • Varying degrees of cooperation with or resistance to management • Varying degrees of success in communication – interpersonal and organization wide • Varying degrees of commitment and contribution to the work Non work factors that might influence attitudes to work, or affecting work, include the following • Class and class consciousness • Age
Attitude • Race, culture or religion • Lifestyle and interests • Sex: attitudes to the quality of the sexes and their various roles at work and in society may be influential in in • Interpersonal relations at work • The self concept of the individual • Attitudes to work
Ability • Ability: things that people can do, or are good at – largely believed to be inherited. • Aptitude: the capacity to learn and develop abilities or skill. • Organizations attempt to assess the sphere of individual’s abilities and the level of required abilities which different individuals possess. • If a certain ability or aptitude is required for an individual to perform his job, or to perform it better, then it would be useful to test for and measure that ability or aptitude. • That way the right person can be selected for the jocb.
Ability • It may be essential to successful performance in a particular job but it is unlikely to be sufficient by itself. • Willingness to perform the task and suitable task design and working conditions will also be required. • Intelligence: is a wide and complex concept. The more scientists explore the idea of creating artificial intelligence the more they realize that how complex is human intelligence.
Ability Human intelligence can take form of • Analytic intelligence • Spatial intelligence • Musical intelligence • Physical intelligence • Practical intelligence • Intra personal intelligence • Inter personal intelligence
Ability • Learning: is the process of acquiring, through experience, knowledge which leads to changed behavior. • Learning changes behavior. The test of whether you have learnt how to do something is whether you can perform an action , when you could not do so before. • There are two main approaches to learning based on very different theories about how people know things.
Ability • The behaviorist or stimulus response suggests that we behave in response to sensory stimuli or influences from the environment. Depending whether our experience is positive or negative we will repeat or modify that response next time. This shaping of behavior through reinforcement is called conditioning. • The cognitive or information processing approach to learning suggests that the human mind actively interprets sensory information, analyses experience and takes it into account in making decisions about how to behave in future.
Ability • Learning cycle • Concrete experiences • Observation and reflection • Formation of abstract concepts and generalizations • Applying/testing the implications of concepts in new situations
Stress & Change • Stress: is a term loosely used to describe feelings of tension or exhaustion usually associated with too much work. • In fact it is simply the product of demands made on an individual’s physical and mental energies. • Boredom can be as stressful as pressure. • Stress can be harm full but on the same time it can be helpful. • Stress should be managed and not eliminated.
Stress & Change • Symptoms of stress include • Nervous tension • Withdrawal • Low morale • Causes of stress: stress can be caused by a no of work and non work factors. • Too many demands on the individual • Too few demands on the individual • Uncertainty and therefore insecurity • Personality factors: emotional sensitivity, flexibility, interpersonal competence, sense of responsibility.
Stress & Change • Change: change affects individuals in all sort of ways. • A change in shift-work patterns or work conditions may affect worker’s bodies. • Office relocation will change their circumstances • Changes in office lay out or work organization may change their network of relationships. • Changes affect individuals psychologically. • Feelings of disorientation or lostness • Individual’s self concept
Stress & Change • Insecurity caused by uncertainty • New relationships to be established • Change can be perceived to be threatening • Resisting change means attempting to preserve the existing state of affaires – the status quo against pressure to alter it. • Where people do resist change it self, it may be partly because of inflexibility or strong needs for security and structure
Stress & Change • Overcoming resistance to change: it is an issue and following are a few ideas about it. • The pace of change. • Changes should be introduced slowly • There will be more time to ask and answer • There will be more time to establish new relationships • The scope of change • Greater the change greater will be the insecurity • If there is a culture of innovation then there can be excitement as well.
Stress & Change • The manner of change: individuals should be encouraged to adopt changes • Resistance should be welcomed and not denied. • There should be free circulation of information about the reasons for the change, its consequences and expected results. • The change must be sold to the people as important, necessary or desirable. • People must be assured that they will be given the skills and resources to implement the change successfully
Diagnosing Problems • What are behavioral problems? • Anything in behavior which causes dysfunction or prevents them from fulfilling their personal or work objectives. • Some of the problems are following regarding work. • Forgetfulness/inattention • Apathy/depression/anxiety • Lack of anger management • Addiction/substance abuse • Poor interpersonal skills • Poor self management/discipline
Diagnosing Problems • Poor goal setting over controlling/compulsive behavior • Victim thinking/lack of responsibility • Learning difficulties • Psychological disorders • Above mentioned might not be labeled behavioral problems because • Behavior itself might not be a problem rather it can be a symptom • A problem behavior may be a problem in some contexts but positive or functional behavior in others • A problem behavior might be a problem outside workplace
Diagnosing Problems • Concept of diagnosis: diagnosis is the thorough analysis of facts or problems in order to gain understanding. In medical terms, diagnosis is the identification of diseases through the examination of symptoms. • Symptoms: a symptom is an outward sign indicator, phenomenon or circumstances which suggests the existence of a problem or disease. • It accompanies and points to the problem/disease: it is not the thing itself.
Diagnosing Problems • Causes: are underlying factors or events which produce an effect. • Does this mean cause and the problem is the same thing? • For example stress and absenteeism. • Human behaviors are complex in nature and difficult to understand. • If absenteeism is a symptom and stress is the cause then stress might not be the only reason for it.
Diagnosing Problems • Problems: for one person something might be a problem but the same thing can be a perfectly harmless characteristic. It becomes a problem when it prevents that person from doing what he/she wants to do. • Organizations try to label and fix so called problems of employees even when they are helpful for that person to create a culture of the organization.
Diagnosing Problems • Principles of diagnosis • Distinguish the symptom from problem • Look at the facts • Don’t be simplistic about causes • Focus on the problem, not the person • Don’t impose your own judgments • Respect privacy or confidentiality
Methodologies • Observation: management by wandering around is actually a technique. • Critical incidents • Patterns of behavior • Trends in behavior • Interview: observation may identify possible symptoms, but in order to investigate further, discussion is required. For that interviews are conducted to explore the problem.
Methodologies • Questionnaires: A tool used to judge the personality type, traits, emotional intelligence etc. • Can be biased but still it gives a starting point. • Reports: behavioral problems can come to the light via • Complaints from colleagues, customers, suppliers or other parties with whom the concerned deals. • The appraisal system • Routine performance reports and work performance. • Employment records
Counseling • Counseling: can be defined as a purposeful relationship in which one person helps another to help himself. It is a way of relating and responding to another person so that that person is helped to explore his thoughts, feelings and behavior with the aim of reaching a clearer understanding. • The role of counseling: counseling not only helps that person but it is also in the interest of organization.
Counseling • Appropriate use of counseling can prevent under performance…… • Effective counseling demonstrates an organization’s commitment to and concern for its employees….. • The development of employees is of value to the organization….. • Workplace counseling recognizes that the organization may be contributing to its employees problems…..
Counseling • The counseling process: the counselor may offer guidance in identifying the problem and its causes, and resources for managing it, but still this is essentially a supportive and enabling role. No solution can be imposed on the individual. • Confidentiality • The counseling session • Counseling skills: counselors need to be
Counseling • Observant enough to note behavior which may be symptomatic of a problem. • Sensitive to beliefs and values which may be different from their own. • Empathetic • Impartial • Non directive, willing to refrain from giving advice • Skilled in questioning and active listening
Appraisal • Why have a formal appraisal? Because in the absence of a formal appraisal following problems can arise • Managers may obtain random picture • Managers may have a fair idea of their subordinates short comings but they have not done anything for it. • Judgments are easy to make but difficult to justify in detail, in writing, or to the subject’s face. • Different managers may have different criteria and standards.
Appraisal • Managers rarely give their subordinates adequate feedback on their performance. • A typical system: would involve • Identification of criteria for assessment • The preparation for appraisal report • The appraisal interview, discussing results, targets, solutions and so on. • The preparation and implementation of action plans to achieve improvements and changes agreed, and • Follow up
Appraisal • Methods of assessment • Overall assessment • Guided assessment • Grading • Results oriented schemes • Perspective on appraisal: there are three ways of approaching appraisal interviews • Tell and sell method. • Tell and listen method. • The problem solving approach
Appraisal • Many organizations waste the opportunity of upward communication. • Do you fully understand your job? • What parts of your job you do best? • Could any changes be made in your job which might result in improved performance? • Have you any skills, knowledge, or aptitudes which could be made better use of in the organization? • What are your career plans?
Discipline • Discipline: a condition in an enterprise in which there is orderlines in which the members of the enterprise behave sensibly and conduct themselves according to the standards of acceptable behavior as related to the goals of the organization • Disciplinary action can be taken if the behavior is not desired. Disciplinary action can be
Discipline • Punitive • Deterrent • Reformative • Types of disciplinary situations • Excessive absenteeism • Excessive lateness in arriving at work • Defective or inadequate work performance • Poor attitude which hinders in the performance of others
Discipline • Disciplinary action • It must be taken with sensitivity and sound judgment • Its purpose is not the punishment but the betterment of future behavior • Managing disciplinary situations • Immediacy • Advance warning • Consistency • Impersonality • Privacy