Organizational Behavior - Perception


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Perception is an intellectual process of transforming sensory stimuli to meaningful information. It is the process of interpreting something that we see or hear in our mind and use it later to judge and give a verdict on a situation, person, group etc.

It can be divided into six types −

  • Of sound − The ability to receive sound by identifying vibrations.

  • Of speech − The competence of interpreting and understanding the sounds of language heard.

  • Touch − Identifying objects through patterns of its surface by touching it.

  • Taste − The ability to receive flavor of substances by tasting it through sensory organs known as taste buds.

  • Other senses − They approve perception through body, like balance, acceleration, pain, time, sensation felt in throat and lungs etc.

  • Of the social world − It permits people to understand other individuals and groups of their social world. Example − Priya goes to a restaurant and likes their customer service, so she will perceive that it is a good place to hang out and will recommend it to her friends, who may or may not like it. Priya’s perception about the restaurant is good.

Perceptual Process

Perceptual process are the different stages of perception we go through. The different stages are −

  • Receiving
  • Selecting
  • Organizing
  • Interpreting

Receiving

Receiving is the first and most important stage in the process of perception. It is the initial stage in which a person collects all information and receives the information through the sense organs.

Selecting

Selecting is the second stage in the process. Here a person doesn’t receive the data randomly but selectively. A person selects some information out of all in accordance with his interest or needs. The selection of data is dominated by various external and internal factors.

  • External factors − The factors that influence the perception of an individual externally are intensity, size, contrast, movement, repetition, familiarity, and novelty.

  • Internal factors − The factors that influence the perception of an individual internally are psychological requirements, learning, background, experience, self-acceptance, and interest.

Organizing

Keeping things in order or say in a synchronized way is organizing. In order to make sense of the data received, it is important to organize them.

We can organize the data by −

  • Grouping them on the basis of their similarity, proximity, closure, continuity.

  • Establishing a figure ground is the basic process in perception. Here by figure we mean what is kept as main focus and by ground we mean background stimuli, which are not given attention.

  • Perceptual constancy that is the tendency to stabilize perception so that contextual changes don’t affect them.

Interpreting

Finally, we have the process of interpreting which means forming an idea about a particular object depending upon the need or interest. Interpretation means that the information we have sensed and organized, is finally given a meaning by turning it into something that can be categorized. It includes stereotyping, halo effect etc.

Importance of Perception in OB

We need to understand what the role of perception in an organization is. It is very important in establishing different role of perceptions like −

  • Understanding the tasks to be performed.
  • Understanding associated importance of tasks allotted.
  • Understanding preferred behavior to complete respective tasks.
  • Clarifying role perceptions.

For example, every member in a group has to be clear regarding the role allotted to them. Programmer writes the code, tester checks it, etc.



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