The Role of Perception in the Decision-Making ProcessWhat is perception? How can a person's perception of others impact an organization's behavior? What are the positive and negative effects of using perceptive shortcuts when judging others? How are decisions in real world organizations actually made? How can our perceptions shape ethical or moral decisions? These are the questions that will be attempted to be answered in this essay.
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 (1) sight, (2) hearing, (3) smell, (4) taste, and (5) touch. 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.
There are many factors that can influence or shape a person's perception during the decision-making process. Robbins, S. (2005) identifies three types of factors that influence 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•Similarity3.Factors in the Situation:•Time•Work setting•Social settingHow can a person's perception of others impact an organization's behavior? To find the answer to such a question one must first understand organizational behavior. 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." Organizations are run by human beings, not machines. For that reason, a person's perception can have either a positive or 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".
Non-family employee's perceptions of the fairness of human resource (HR) practices in such areas as: positions of authority, wages, promotions, discipline and so on within family-owned businesses may vary depending on the existent of family influence within the organization. Barnett, T. and Kellermanns, F. (2006) identifies non-family perceptions of HR practices at three different levels of family influence as:1.Low levels of family influence tend to have little impact on the fairness of HR practices.
2.Moderate levels of family influence tend to have positive effects on the fairness of HR practices.
3.High levels of family influence tend to have negative effects on the fairness of HR decision processes and outcomes.
Clearly, a person's perception of others can impact 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...
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