The Individual and the Organization notes – Organization Behaviour


By the end of this topic the learners should demonstrate an understanding of:­

  • Personality
  • Values
  • Perception
  • Attitudes and jobs satisfaction
  • learning

People are the organization’s most valuable and expensive resource but they are most difficult element of organization to manage.
Individuals are almost infinitely different, they act differently in different circumstances and are in many ways , entirely unpredictable.
Organizations are interested in the way which people behave at work for them to perform effectively in pursuit of the organizations goals.
It is important first to understand what makes people behave in the way rather do by looking into the following determinants;


“Personality is defined as the “relatively stable traits possessed by an individual”. (Aamodt, 2010). Personality is the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts to and interacts with others .Personality describes the growth and development of a persons whole psychological system. A personality inventory is a psychological assessment designed to measure various aspects of a job applicant’s personality

Personality Determinants

1. Heredity
Heredity refer to those factors that were determined at conception e.g. physical structure , facial attractiveness , gender , temperaments , muscles composition &reflexes
,energy level and biological rhythms are characteristics that are influenced by biological parents either completely or substantially.

2. Environment

Environmental factors play a role in shaping personalities .They include; the norms among family, friendship and social groups. These factors determine what individual experience in life.

3. Situation
These influences the effects of heredity and environment on personality .An individual personality while generally stable and consistent , does change in different situation.
Different demands in different situations call forth different aspects of one’s personality.

Personality Traits and Types
Those characteristics describes an individuals behavior .The more consistent the characteristics, the more frequently it occurs in diverse situations ,the more important, that trait is in describing the individual.
According to Myers ­Briggs Type Indicator personality has been classified as follows .

Extraverted vs.introverted
Extraverted individuals are outgoing , sociable and assertive while introverts are
quit and shy.

Sensing vs.Intuitive
Sensing types are practical and prefer routine and order focusing on details
while intuitive rely on unconscious processes and look at the “Big picture”.

 Thinking vs.feeling
Thinking type use reason and logic to handle problems while feeling types rely
on their personal values and emotions.

Judging vs.perceiving
Judging types want to control and prefer world to be ordered and structured
while perceiving types are flexible and spontaneous.


Major Personality Attributes Influencing Organization Behaviour

1. Core self evaluation
These is the degree to which individuals like or dislike themselves whether they see themselves as capable and effective and whether they feel they are in control of their environment or powerless over it .an individual core self evaluation is determined by:

  • Self esteem:­ which is to individuals degree of liking or disliking themselves and the degree to which they feel worthy or unworthy as a person.
  • Locus of control :­ which is the degree to which people believe that they are masters of their own fate.
  • Internals:­ Individuals who believe that they control what happens to them.
  • Extends:­ individuals who believe that what happens to them is controlled by
    outside factors such as luck or chance.

2. Machiavellianism
Machiavellianism (Mach) is named after Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote on how to gain and use power. Machiavellianism is the degree to which an individual is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance and believes that ends in justifies means.

3. Narcissism
Narcissism is the tendency to be arrogant, have a grandiose sense of self importance, require excessive admiration and have sense of entitlement. Narcissism’s are not effective especially when dealing with people. Such leaders take most, if not all, of the credit for the success of their group – but they avoid all blame for failure (Aamodt, 2010).

4. Self monitoring
Self monitoring refers to an individual ability to adjust his/ her behavior to external or situational factors. Individual’s high in self monitoring show considerable adaptability in adjusting their behavior to external situational factors.

5. Risk taking
People differ in their willingness to take chances. This propensity to assume or avoid risk has been shown to have an impact on how long it takes managers to make a decision and how much information they require before making their choice. High risk taking managers are said to make more rapid decision compared to low risk taking managers

6. Type A personality
A person with type A personality is aggressively involved in a chronic , incessant struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time and if necessary against the opposing efforts of other things or other people .Type A’s operate under moderate to high levels of stress .They subject themselves to more or less continuous time pressure
,creating for themselves a life of deadlines.

7. Proactive personality

These are people who identify opportunities , show initiative ,take caution and persevere until meaningful change occurs .They create positive change in their environment , regardless or even in spite of constraints or obstacles.

8. Passive­ Aggressive/ Paranoid Behavior
According to Aamodt (2010), these are people who are insecure – usually attributed to some incident in their life in which they felt betrayed. This paranoid/passive­ aggressive leader has deeply ­rooted, but perhaps unconscious, resentment and anger. On the surface, these leaders are charming, quiet people who often compliment their subordinates and fellow workers. But they resent the success of others and are likely to act against subordinates in a passive aggressive manner; that is, on the surface they appear to be supportive, but at the same time they will “stab” another person in the back.

9. Likability
These high ­likability floaters are people (or leaders) who are also insecure and seldom rock the boat or cause trouble. Such a person goes along with the group, is friendly to everyone, and never challenges anyone’s ideas. Thus, (s)he has many friends and no enemies because he never does anything, challenges anyone, or stands up for the rights of his employees. Such leaders will be promoted and never fired because even though they make no performance advances, they are well liked (Aamodt,2010).

Values represent basic convictions that “ a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence.
A value systemis a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based.
Values contain a judgmental element in that they carry an individual idea as to what is right, good or desirable.

Values are broadly (i) personal and (ii) organizational.

A personal value is absolute or relativeand ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. Ethics studies the moral behavior in humans and how one should act.

In organization behaviour values are important study because they lay on foundation for the understanding of attitudes , perceptions and motivation

Sources of value systems
ズ The values people hold are essentially established in their early years from parents , teachers , friends and relatives .However as one grows up ,he gets exposed to other value systems and this alters some of his values.
ズ Values can be reactive ,tribalism , egocentric , conformity , manipulative ,socio centric , existential.

Types of Values
ズ Ethical /moral values: Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. In philosophy, ethics studies the moral behavior in humans and how one shouldact.
ズ Doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values: An ideology is a set of conscious and unconscious ideas that constitute one’s goals, expectations andactions.
ズ Social values/Norms: Social norms are group­held beliefs about how members should behave in a given context. Sociologists describe norms as informal understandings that govern society’sbehaviors
ズ Aesthetic values: Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with thenature
of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more

scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori­emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.

Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment.
Factors that influence perception

ザ These factors can reside inthe perceiver ,inthe object or target being perceived or in the context of the situation in which the perception ismade.
ザ When an individual looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he/she sees that interpretation is heavily influenced by the personal characteristic ofthe
individual perceiver .Personal characteristic that affect perception include;a person’s attitudes, personality motives , interests, past experience andexpectations.
ザ Characteristicofthetargetbeingobservedcaneffectwhatisperceived e.g.loud
people are more likely to be noticed in a group than quite ones .
ザ The context in which objects are seen is important .The time at which an object or event is seen caninfluenceattentionaslocations,light,heatandany
number of situational factors.

Reasons as to why people see things differently.
­ Their physical senses vary e.g. color blindness , ,lessthan perfect vision
,poor hearing , imperfect sense of smell .
­ Healthydifferences.
­ Their general intelligence levelsvary.
­ Nature and effects of past experienced are different for individuals.
­ Individual values and attitudes cause people to see thingsdifferently
­ Personality differs and thus individuals tend to adopt particular stancestowards
outside events.
­ Individuals aspirations and goals also differ widely and these affect the relative importance attached to outsideevents.
­ Status also effect onperception.
­ Thesituation or context in which perception take place can have amajor
bearing on the behavior of the perceiver.
­ The perceptual process can also be affected by the number of partiesinvolved.

Attitude is defined asa persistence tendency to feel and believe in a particular way towards some object.
Attitudes are complex cognitive process but can be characterized in three ways:
­ They tend to persist unless something is done to changethem
­ Attitudes can fall anywhere along the continuum from very favorableto
­ Attitudes aredirected towards some object about which a person has feelings andbeliefs.

Dimensions for attitude
a. Basiccomponents
Attitudes can be broken into basiccomponents
­ Emotional
Emotional component is the person’s feelings about an object i.e. Positive, negative or

ズ Expressions of emotions, either positive like a customerrepresentative.
ズ Negative, like a bill collector or a policeofficer.
ズ Neutral, Like an academic administration orpublic.
ズ Servant is all important to workbehavior.
­ Informational
These consists of the beliefs and information the individual has about the object
­ Behavioral
Theseconsistofapersontendenciesto believe in a particular way towards an

b. Attitudeformation
­ Pastexperience
People come to believe or not to believe things on the basis of what they have seen happen or experienced in the past. Example;If everyone who has held job A has been promoted within six months , current job A holders are likely to believe that they also will be promoted within sixmonths.
­ Availableinformation
If employees hears from personnel department that job A holders are going to be promoted rapidly ,this will influence without they believe.
­ Generalization

This comes from similar events or situations Examples ;if no one has held closely related job B has never been promoted ,this may lead job A holders to believe that they will not be promoted either.
The important thing about attitude formation is that it is learned. Employees learn attitude from experiences, co­workers, group membership, family and friends.

Functions of Attitude
1. The adjustmentfunction
Helps people adjust to their work environment .When the employees in an organization are well treated by the boss, they will develop a positive attitude toward supervision and the organization .When the boss treats the employees negatively , the opposite is thetrue.

2. The ego­defensivefunction
Attitudes help employees to defend their self images .Examples, an older manger whose decision are continually challenged by a younger sub­ordinate manager may feel that he is brash ,cocky, immature and inexperienced, though the manager may be ineffective and poor in hisstrategies.
3. The valueexpressive
Attitudes provide people with a basis for expressing their values. Example .A manager who believes strongly in the work ethics will tend to voice attitudes toward specific individuals or work practices as a means of reflecting thisvalue.
4. Knowledgevalue
Attitude help supply standards and names of reference that allow people to organize and explain the world around them e.g. a union organizer may have a negative attitude towardmanagement.
Changing Attitudes
Employees attitudes can be changed and sometimes, it is in the best interest of management to try to do so.
Attitude change is sometimes difficult to accomplish because of certain barriers
.After the barriers are examined , ways of overcoming them and effectively changing attitudes will be examined.

The barriers can be overcome by providing new information ,use of fear and through dissolving discrepancies ,use of influence of friends or peers and the co­optingapproach.

Job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience .It is a result of employees perception of how well their job provides those things which are reviewed as important.
Dimensions of job satisfaction
ズ Job satisfaction is an emotional response to a jobsatisfaction.
ズ Job satisfaction is often determined by how well outcomes meet orexceed
ズ Job satisfaction represents several related attitude namely; work itself ,pay
,promotion opportunity , supervision andco­workers.

Source and Consequences of Job Satisfaction
1. Pay
Wages are a significant factor in job satisfaction .Money not only helps people to attain their basic needs, but it is instrumental in providing upper level need satisfaction
2. Workitself
The content of the work itself is another major source of satisfaction .Work should be challenging not boring and a job that providesstatus.
3. Promotions
Promotional opportunities seem to have a varying effect on job satisfaction .This is because promotions take a number of different forms and have a variety ofaccompanying rewards.

4. Supervision
Supervision is another moderately important source of job satisfaction .A participative climate created by the supervision has a more substantial effect on workers satisfaction than it does in participation a specific decision.

5. Workgroup
The nature of work groups will have an effect on job satisfaction. Freindly co­operative co­workers are a modest source of job satisfaction to individual employees.
6. Workingconditions

Working conditions are another factor that have a modest effect on job satisfaction
e.g. clean and attractive surroundings for instance will enable the personnel to find its easier to carry out theirjobs.

Learning is a process in which experience brings about permanent changes in behaviour or attitudes .The study of learning has had to concentrate on observablechanges.
Learning is a process by which human beings becomes aware of themselves and their environment and the need to adopt the one to the other in order to survive, grow and prosper.
Learning is a process by which people acquire knowledge , understanding skills and values and apply them to solve problems throughout their dailylife.

Results of learning
­ Learning usually implieschange.
­ Learning implies relatively permanentchange.
­ Learning usually manifests itself throughbehavior.
­ Learning involves some stimulus orexperience.
­ Learning is influenced by personalcharacteristics.
­ Learning is influenced by others (teacher’s rolesmodel)
­ Learning requiresfeedback.
­ Learning is aided bysuccess.
­ People can also learn their mistakes orfailures.

Factors affecting learning
Human learning is a complex process involving numerous internal and external factors
Internal Factors
­ Health
­ Intellectualcapacity
­ Motivation
­ Specialaptitudes
­ Temperament
­ Personalvalues
­ Pastexperiences
External factors
­ Ability of teacher’srole
­ Learningconsent

­ Teaching methods
­ Feedback ofresults
­ LearningAids
­ Learningcontext

Theories of learning
1. Classicalconditioning
Classical conditioning grew out of experiments to teach dogs to salivates in response to the ringing of a bell , conducted in the early 1900’s by Ivan Pavlov .A simple surgical procedure allowed Pavlov to measure accurately the amount of saliva secreted by a dog .When Pavlov presented the dog with a piece of meat ,the dog exhibited a noticeable increase in salivation .When Pavlov withheld the presentation of meat and merely rang a bell , the dog did notsalivate

Then Pavlov proceeded to link the meat and the ringing of the bell .Then Pavlov withheld the presentation of meat and merely rang a bell , the dog did not salivate. Then he proceeded to link the meat and the ringing of bell. After repeatedly hearing the bell before getting the food ,the dog began to salivate as soon as the bell rang. After a while the dog would salivate merely at the sound of the bell, even if no food was offered .The meat was an unconditioned stimulus that caused the dog to react in a specific way .The bell was an artificial stimulus. Learning a conditioned response involves building up an association between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus .Classical conditioning is passive, meaning if something happens one reacts in a specificway

Revision questions
i. What are the factors that determinepersonality?
ii. What is the major Personality Attributes Influencing OrganizationBehaviour
iii. Why do people see thingsdifferently?
iv. Describe the factors that affectlearning

Robert. A. Baron and Jerald Greenberg 1989, Behaviour Organizations Third Edition