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MGTO120s Understanding Human Behavior. Jian Liang MGTO, HKUST. Where We Are . Management . Basic Concepts (Ch1). Basic Concepts (Ch1). Basic Concepts (Ch1). Organize (Ch10,11 & 13) . Organize (Ch 10, 11,12,13) . Retrospect (ch2). Retrospect (ch2). Retrospect

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where we are
Where We Are













& 13)


(Ch 10,









(ch3,4,& 5)


(ch3,4,& 5)


(ch3,4,& 5)



7,8,& 9)



7,8,& 9)



7,8,& 9)


(Ch 10







Foundation of



learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Why Look at Individual Behavior?
    • Describe the focus and the goals of organizational behavior.
    • Explain why the concept of an organization as an iceberg is important to understanding organizational behavior.
    • Define the five important employee behaviors that managers want to explain, predict, and influence.
  • Attitudes
    • Describe the three components of an attitude.
    • Discuss three job-related attitudes.
    • Describe the impact of job satisfaction has on employee behavior.
learning objectives cont d
Learning Objectives (cont’d)
  • Attitudes (cont’d)
    • Explain how individuals reconcile inconsistencies between attitudes and behavior.
  • Personality
    • Understand the Big Five Model and MBTI of personality.
    • Describe the five personality traits that have proved to be most powerful in explaining individual behavior in organizations.
    • Explain how emotions and emotional intelligence impact behavior.
learning objectives cont d5
Learning Objectives (cont’d)
  • Perception
    • Explain how an understanding of perception can help managers better understand individual behavior.
    • Describe the key elements of attribution theory.
    • Discuss how the fundamental attribution error and self-serving bias can distort attributions.
    • Name three shortcuts used in judging others.
managing employees behavior
Managing Employees’ Behavior
  • A manager’s success depend on
    • To explain why employees engage in some behaviors rather than others
    • To predict how employees will respond to various actions the manager might take
    • To influence how employee behave
important employee behaviors
Important Employee Behaviors
  • Employee Productivity
    • A performance measure of both efficiency and effectiveness
  • Absenteeism
    • The failure to report to work when expected
  • Turnover
    • The voluntary and involuntary permanent withdrawal from an organization
important employee behaviors9
Important Employee Behaviors
  • Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)
    • Discretionary behavior that is not a part of an employee’s formal job requirements, but which promotes the effective functioning of the organization.
    • Help others, constructive involvement in organizational activity, volunteering for extended job activities.
psychological factors affecting behavior




Psychological Factors Affecting Behavior
  • Employee Productivity
  • Absenteeism
  • Turnover
  • Organizational Citizenship
  • Job Satisfaction

Cognitive ComponentThe opinion or belief segment of an attitude.


Evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events.

Affective ComponentThe emotional or feeling segment of an attitude.

Behavioral Intention An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something.

types of attitudes
Types of Attitudes

Job SatisfactionA collection of positive and/or negative feelings that an individual holds toward his or her job.

Job InvolvementIdentifying with the job, actively participating in it, and considering performance important to self-worth.

Organizational CommitmentIdentifying with a particular organization and its goals, and wishing to maintain membership in the organization.

job involvement
Job involvement

Mean Score of the Work Centrality Index in Japan, USA and Germany

Note: Adapted from MOW, 1987, p83.

measuring job satisfaction
Measuring Job Satisfaction
  • Global
    • Job in General Scale
    • and others…
  • Facets
    • Job Descriptive Index
    • Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire
    • and others…

Why job satisfaction is important?

The good Samaritan study

  • A pay telephone
  • Psychologists randomly put coins in the coin return slot, so that some of the people used the phone actually did discover money.
  • A young woman walks by the phone with her arms full of books. She pretended to stumble and drop them on the group.
  • People who found money were four times as likely to stop and help the woman pick up the books
  • When we feel good, we tend to do good!
how employees can express dissatisfaction
How Employees Can Express Dissatisfaction


Active and constructive attempts to improve conditions.


Behavior directed toward leaving the organization.


Passively waiting for conditions to improve.


Allowing conditions to worsen.

how about people s job satisfaction in hong kong

How about people’s job satisfaction in Hong Kong?

Small thinking: How can we explain the change of job satisfaction?

don t overestimate job satisfaction
Don’t Overestimate Job Satisfaction
  • Correlation analyses: satisfaction and performance are weakly related
  • Causal analysis suggests that performance is more likely to cause satisfaction than vice versa (a productive worker is a happy worker)
  • Happy workers may not be productive workers!
cognitive dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance
  • Any incompatibility or inconsistency between attitudes or between behavior and attitudes.
    • Any form of inconsistency is uncomfortable and individuals will try to reduce the dissonance.
  • The intensity of the desire to reduce the dissonance is influenced by:
    • The importance of the factors creating the dissonance.
    • The degree to which an individual believes that the factors causing the dissonance are controllable.
    • Rewards available to compensate for the dissonance.
an example expatriates in china
An Example: Expatriates in China

Expatriates in China earn 20 to 50 times what the local Chinese earn (Leung, Smith, Wang, & Sun, 1996) and, in some cases, the housing allowance of a foreign employee is more than the salary of a local employee of similar rank (DeLisle & Chin, 1994:19).

Image a local HR manager, who provide such offering package to expatiates, will he has any dissonance? How to reduce it?

an application attitude surveys
An Application: Attitude Surveys

Attitude Surveys

Eliciting responses from employees through questionnaires about how they feel about their jobs, work groups, supervisors, and the organization.

an example survey in a hong kong firm

An Example Survey in a Hong Kong Firm

Chun Wo Holdings Limited

  • The unique combination of psychological characteristics (measurable traits) that affect how a person reacts and interacts with others.
  • It affects how and why people behave the way they do

The Big Five Model of Personality Model

ExtroversionSociable, gregarious, and assertive

AgreeablenessGood-natured, cooperative, and trusting.

ConscientiousnessResponsible, dependable, persistent, and organized.

Emotional StabilityCalm, self-confident, secure (positive) versus nervous, depressed, and insecure (negative).

Openness to ExperienceImaginativeness, artistic, sensitivity, and intellectualism.

myers briggs type inventory mbti
Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)
  • A personality type diagnostic instrument
  • Indicates
    • Communication style
    • Decision-making style
    • Attitudes towards time, goals, conflict
    • Social preferences
think ing vs judg ing
Thinking vs. Judging
  • 60 percent of the world’s leaders are T-Js
  • Even in systems that are very feeling oriented (clergy),T-Js managers rise to the top
    • because most decisions must be handledobjectivelyin organizations
    • TJ strengths: organized/carry through and get the job done
thinking t vs feeling f
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
  • Thinking

-Impersonal, objective, logical judgments

-Rely on argumentation and objective criteria

-60% of all men

  • Feeling

-Subjective, personal judgments

-Good at persuasion

-60% of all women

mbti and job preferences
MBTI and Job Preferences
  • Certain types lend themselves to certain professions
    • INFJ Doctor
    • ENFP Psychologist
    • ESTP Police and detectives
    • ISTP Engineers
    • INTP Computer programmers
    • ENTJ Managers, Scientists
    • ENFJ Clergy, writers/artists
    • ESFP Receptionist, salesperson, child care workers
    • INTJ University professors, Lawyers, Life scientists
major personality attributes
Major Personality Attributes
  • Locus of control
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-monitoring
  • Risk taking
  • Type A personality
locus of control
Locus of Control

The degree to which people believe they are masters of their own fate.

InternalsIndividuals who believe that they control what happens to them.

ExternalsIndividuals who believe that what happens to them is controlled by outside forces such as luck or chance.

self esteem and self monitoring
Self-Esteem and Self-Monitoring

Self-Esteem (SE)

Individuals’ degree of liking or disliking themselves.


A personality trait that measures an individuals ability to adjust his or her behavior to external, situational factors.

risk taking
  • High Risk-taking Managers
    • Make quicker decisions
    • Use less information to make decisions
    • Operate in smaller and more entrepreneurial organizations
  • Low Risk-taking Managers
    • Are slower to make decisions
    • Require more information before making decisions
    • Exist in larger organizations with stable environments
  • Risk Propensity
    • Aligning managers’ risk-taking propensity to job requirements should be beneficial to organizations.

Personality Types

Type A’s

  • are always moving, walking, and eating rapidly;
  • feel impatient with the rate at which most events take place;
  • strive to think or do two or more things at once;
  • cannot cope with leisure time;
  • are obsessed with numbers, measuring their success in terms of how many or how much of everything they acquire.

Type B’s

  • never suffer from a sense of time urgency with its accompanying impatience;
  • feel no need to display or discuss either their achievements or accomplishments;
  • play for fun and relaxation, rather than to exhibit their superiority at any cost;
  • can relax without guilt.
personality job fit theory holland
Personality-Job Fit Theory (Holland)
  • An employee’s job satisfaction and likelihood of turnover depends on the compatibility of the employee’s personality and occupation.
  • Key points of the theory:
    • There are differences in personalities.
    • There are different types of jobs.
    • Job satisfaction and turnover are related to the match between personality and job for an individual.
achieving person job fit
Achieving Person-Job Fit

Personality Types

  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Social
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Artistic

Personality-Job Fit Theory (Holland)

Identifies six personality types and proposes that the fit between personality type and occupational environment determines satisfaction and turnover.

personality assessment
Personality Assessment
  • Personality inventories
  • Projective techniques
  • The Rorschach techniques
  • The TAT
  • Physiological, perceptual and cognitive measures
a small test

A Small Test

Which kind of person are you?

human perception
Human Perception
  • Perception
    • A process by which individuals give meaning (reality) to their environment by organizing and interpreting their sensory impressions.
  • Factors influencing perception:
    • The perceiver’s personal characteristics—interests, biases and expectations
    • The target’s characteristics—distinctiveness, contrast, and similarity)
    • The situation (context) factors—place, time, location—draw attention or distract from the target
a small test49

A Small Test

What Do You See?

how we perceive people
How We Perceive People

Attribution Theory

When individuals observe behavior, they attempt to determine whether it is internally or externally caused.

  • "The devil made me do it
  • "I'm guilty, grant me forgiveness."
why attribution is important
Why attribution is important

Consider this chain of events.

  • The world asks me, "Why?"
  • I provide an attribution.

If you get 65 percent, how to interpret the result? What if 95 percent?

  • My future behavior depends on the type of attribution.
how do individuals make attribution
How do individuals make attribution?

Consensus: do all or only a few people respond to the stimulus in the same way as the target person?

Distinctiveness: does the target person respond in the same way to other stimuli as well?

Consistency: does the target person always respond in the same way to this stimulus?

how we perceive people cont d
How We Perceive People (cont’d)
  • Attribution Theory (cont’d)
    • Fundamental attribution error
      • The tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and to overestimate the influence of internal or personal factors.
    • Self-serving bias
      • The tendency of individuals to attribute their successes to internal factors while blaming personal failures on external factors.

Frequently Used Shortcuts

Selective Perception

People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests, background, experience, and attitudes.

Assumed Similarity

Assuming that others are more like us than they actually are.


Judging someone on the basis of our perception of a group he or she is a part of.

Halo Effect

Forming a general impression of a person on the basis of a single characteristic of that person

an illustration

An Illustration

How are people biased at the workplace?

  • Important working behavior
  • The importance of job satisfaction and its impacts on employees
  • How to apply personality models to achieve person-job fit
  • How do people make attribution, and why we usually make mistakes in our perception