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HND – 2. Individual Behavior. Lim Sei Kee @ cK. Introduction. How biographical characteristics (such as age and gender) and ability (which includes intelligence) affect employee performance and satisfaction. . Biographical Characteristics.

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How biographical characteristics (such as age and gender) and ability (which includes intelligence) affect employee performance and satisfaction.

biographical characteristics
Biographical Characteristics

Objective and easily obtained personal characteristics.

  • Age
    • Older workers bring experience, judgment, a strong work ethic, and commitment to quality.
  • Gender
    • Few differences between men and women that affect job performance.
  • Race (the biological heritage used to identify oneself)
    • Contentious issue: differences exist, but could be more culture-based than race-based.
other biographical characteristics
Other Biographical Characteristics
  • Tenure
    • People with job tenure (seniority at a job) are more productive, absent less frequently, have lower turnover, and are more satisfied.
  • Sexual Orientation
    • Federal law does not protect against discrimination (but state or local laws may).
    • Domestic partner benefits are important considerations.

An individual’s capacity to perform the various tasks in a job.

  • Made up of two sets of factors:
    • Intellectual Abilities
    • Physical Abilities
intellectual abilities
Intellectual Abilities

The abilities needed to perform mental activities- for thinking, reasoning, and problem solving.

General Mental Ability (GMA) is a measure of overall intelligence.

No correlation between intelligence and job satisfaction.

Examples: IQ (Intelligence quotient) tests, GCE ‘O’ level.

dimensions of intellectual ability
Dimensions of Intellectual Ability
  • Number Aptitude
  • Verbal Comprehension
  • Perceptual Speed
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Spatial Visualization
  • Memory
physical abilities
Physical Abilities
  • The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity, strength, and similar characteristics.
nine basic physical abilities
Nine Basic Physical Abilities
  • Strength Factors
    • Dynamic strength
    • Trunk strength
    • Static strength
    • Explosive strength
  • Flexibility Factors
    • Extent flexibility
    • Dynamic flexibility
  • Other Factors
    • Body coordination
    • Balance
    • Stamina
ability job fit
Ability-Job Fit
  • Jobs make differing demands on people and that people differ in their abilities.
  • Employee performance is enhanced when there is a high ability-job fit.
poor ability job fit
Poor ability-job fit?
  • Employees are likely to fail.
  • Organizational efficiencies and possible declines in employee satisfaction.

Any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience

  • Learning components:
    • Involves Change
    • Is Relatively Permanent
    • Is Acquired Through Experience
theories of learning
Theories of Learning
  • Classical Conditioning
    • A type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response.
  • Operant Conditioning
    • A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behavior leads to a reward or prevents a punishment.
  • Social-Learning Theory
    • People can learn through observation and direct experience.
classical conditioning
Classical Conditioning

Experiments to teach dogs to salivate in response to the ringing of bell, conducted in the early-1900s by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.

Meat: Unconditioned stimulus

Reaction that took place: Unconditioned response

Bell: Conditioned stimulus

Behavior of the dog: Conditioned response

classical conditioning1
Classical Conditioning
  • Pavlov’s Dog Drool
  • Key Concepts:
    • Unconditioned stimulus
      • A naturally occurring phenomenon.
    • Unconditioned response
      • The naturally occurring response to a natural stimulus.
    • Conditioned stimulus
      • An artificial stimulus introduced into the situation.
    • Conditioned response
      • The response to the artificial stimulus.

This is a passive form of learning. It is reflexive and not voluntary – not the best theory for OB learning.

examples of classical conditioning
Examples of Classical Conditioning

# Your romantic partner always uses the same shampoo. Soon, the smell of that shampoo makes you feel happy.

# You have a meal at a fast food restaurant that causes food poisoning. The next time you see a sign for that restaurant, you feel nauseous.

# The nurse says “Now this won’t hurt a bit” just before stabbing you with a needle. The next time you hear “This won’t hurt” you cringe in fear.

operant conditioning
Operant Conditioning
  • B. F. Skinner’s concept of Behaviorism: behavior follows stimuli in a relatively unthinking manner.
  • Key Concepts:
    • Conditioned behavior: voluntary behavior that is learned, not reflexive.
    • Reinforcement: the consequences of behavior which can increase or decrease the likelihood of behavior repetition.
    • Pleasing consequences increase likelihood of repetition.
    • Rewards are most effective immediately after performance.
    • Unrewarded/punished behavior is unlikely to be repeated.
operant conditioning1
Operant conditioning
  • Behavior is a function of its consequences. People learn to behave to get something they want or to avoid something they don’t want.
examples of operant conditioning
Examples of Operant Conditioning
  • A child learns to clean his/her room after being rewarded with TV time, every time he cleans it.
  • A person stops teasing his fiance about an issue after she gives him the silent treatment.
social learning theory
Social-Learning Theory
  • Based on the idea that people can also learn indirectly: by observation, reading, or just hearing about someone else’s – a model’s – experiences.
examples of social learning
Examples of Social learning
  • Advertisements are prime examples of Social Learning Theory. We watch them, then copy them.
  • If your a new person to IGS and it's lunch time, and you finish with your lunch but you don't know where to put the tray you would follow someone who knows what their doing. So you learn off of other peoples examples.
shaping behavior
Shaping Behavior
  • Systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves an individual closer to the desired response
  • Four ways
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Punishment
  • Extinction
methods of shaping behavior
Methods of Shaping Behavior:

Positive Reinforcement

Following a response with something pleasant.

Negative Reinforcement

Following a response by the termination or withdrawal of something unpleasant.


Attempts to decrease the probability of specific behaviours being exhibited (eliminate undesirable behavior.)


Eliminating any reinforcement that is maintaining a behavior.  its purpose is to reduce unwanted behavior.

schedules of reinforcement
Schedules of Reinforcement
  • Two Major Types:
    • Continuous Reinforcement
      • A desired behavior is reinforced each time it is demonstrated
    • Intermittent Reinforcement
      • A desired behavior is reinforced often enough to make the behavior worth repeating but not every time it is demonstrated
      • Multiple frequencies.
types of intermittent reinforcement
Types of Intermittent Reinforcement
  • Ratio
    • Depends on the number of responses made.
  • Interval
    • Depends on the time between reinforcements.
  • Fixed
    • Rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals or after a set number of responses.
  • Variable
    • Rewards that are unpredictable or that vary relative to the behavior.

Schedules Of Reinforcement : The timing of the behavioural consequences that follow a given behavior.

behavior modification ob mod
Behavior Modification (OB Mod)

The application of reinforcement concepts to individuals in the work setting.

  • Follows the Five-Step Problem-Solving Model:
    • Identify critical behaviors
    • Develop baseline data
    • Identify behavioral consequences
    • Develop and apply intervention
    • Evaluate performance improvement
problems with ob mod
Problems with OB Mod
  • OB Mod ignores thoughts and feelings.
  • OB Mod may not explain complex behaviors that involve thinking and feeling.
  • Stimuli may not be consciously given as a means of shaping behavior.

Modern managers and OB theorists are using cognitive approaches to shaping behavior.