Role of Perception

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The Role of Perception in the Decision Making Process
According to Robbins, S. (2005) “Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment”. The role of perception in the decision-making process goes beyond the five senses, touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste. The representation of perception in decision-making is based on a person’s internal understanding and personal analysis of environmental observations combined with past experiences. Consequently, perception varies from one individual to the next. Many factors can influence or shape a person’s perception during the decision-making process. Robbins, S. (2005) identifies three types of aspects that manipulate perception: 1.)Factors in the Perceiver: Personal Characteristics

Attitudes: feelings, beliefs or behavioral tendencies towards specific people, ideas, objects etc. •Personality: individual behaviors, temperament, emotions or state of mind. •Motives: reasoning toward problem-solving or achieving a goal •Interests: selective concentration on personal likes or dislikes •Experience: knowledge gained from past involvements or exposure. •Expectations: what is hoped to be achieved.

2.)Factors in the Target: Observed Characteristics
Novelty: uniqueness.
Motion
Sounds
Size
Background
Proximity
Similarity
3.)Factors in the Situation:
Time
Work setting
Social setting
According to Robbins, S. (2005) organizational behavior (OB) is defined as “a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organization’s effectiveness.” Human beings, not machines, run organizations. For that reason, a person’s perception can have either a positive or a negative impact on an organizations behavior depending on the factors that influence his or her perceptions. Ones perception of other individuals within an organization can influence the level of commitment as well as cooperation of employees within an organization. Take family-owned and operated (managed) businesses for instance. According to Barnett, T. and Kellermanns, F. (2006) “Securing the commitment and cooperation of nonfamily [sic] employees is likely to be more difficult if they do not perceive that decision outcomes, decision processes, and decision makers are fair or just”. Clearly, a person’s perception of others can influence an organization’s behavior in many different ways because the overall organizational behavior is not just based on one person’s perspective but rather a collective perspective of all the employees within the organization. However, it is possible for a single person or a small group of people to affect an organization’s behavior i.e. the CEO, family members etc. depending on their level of influence or control over the organization. Perceptive shortcuts can affect the quality of a person’s decision-making and performance. According to Robbins, S. (2005) some of the most frequently used shortcuts include: •Selective perception: selective interpretation based on ones expectations. •Halo Effect: bias opinion based on first impression or single attribute. •Contrast effects: assessment of persons qualities based on others with similar qualities. •Projection: “Attributing one’s own characteristics to other people”. •Stereotyping: preconceived notion about an individual based one’s perception of the group to which that person belongs. Positive effects of using perceptive shortcuts when judging others: •Simplify the amount of information being received.

Having express knowledge of individual characteristics allows interviews to go quickly. •Grouping people based on similar characteristics can help interviewers to extract applicants with specialized skills quickly. •It is easier to judge an applicant positively if the interviewer...
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