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What Is the Connection between Perception and Organizational Behavior?

Esther Ejim
Esther Ejim

The relationship between perception and organizational behavior stems from the role that the perception of an employee regarding factors in an organization influence the manner in which he or she reacts or performs in the organization. This process of perceiving something is a truly complicated one that is often shaped by individual preconceived notions regarding certain factors. As such, it is possible for two people to look at the same object and still manage to perceive it in wholly different ways. Sometimes, there are certain aspects that lend themselves to a more uniform sort of perception than others, even if there will still be some variations as a result of individual characteristics and cognitive processes. To this end, the link between perception and organizational behavior can be seen in the manner that employees perceive the social life in the organization, the formal aspects of the organization, and other factors like the ethical standards in the organization.

One of the ways in which perception and organizational behavior are connected is through the manner in which the employees that make up the organization view the formal factors in the organization, such as the corporate goals and their expected roles. Assuming a parcel delivery company has stated its main corporate goal is to gain the trust and confidence of its clients, based on its promise to deliver parcels to their destinations as promised no matter what, the manner in which the employees perceive this goal will affect the way in which they work toward attaining the goal. As such, an employee who may have come from a company that gives one statement but means something different may not have the same respect or regard for company goals as one who is used to organizations that say exactly what they mean. In this sense, the two employees are faced with the same corporate goals, but they choose to perceive it in different manners that lead to various reactions to the expectations by the company that its employees will comply with this goal. The relationship between the perception and organizational behavior can be seen in this instance due to the fact that the employee who respects goals will try as much as possible to conform, while the one who does not will most probably not go out of his or her way to respect the company goal.

Organizational behavior describes the habits people develop during interactions in an organization.
Organizational behavior describes the habits people develop during interactions in an organization.

Another manner in which perception and organizational behavior are linked is in the way employees perceive the ethical standards in the company. A company that employs a double standard in its treatment of employees will have different perceptions from different groups, leading to different outputs. For instance, a company that treats minorities or females with less regard than others will be perceived in various ways by them. The employees who are treated well will feel that the company is a good place to work, while those who are treated unfairly will harbor feelings of resentment toward the organization.

Discussion Comments


@ZipLine-- I know you asked someone else, but I would like to answer.

Also perception and specifically experiences, are factors that affect organizational behavior, they are not the only ones. I actually don't believe that we can predict an employee's behavior based on these factors. Personality and what people seek from their jobs also has to do with how they behave. Someone who wants to do a good job because he enjoys it and feels rewarded when he succeeds will not behave the same way as someone who comes into work just because he needs the money. So personality, motivation and goals are also very important. We can't predict behavior just based on experiences.


@serenesurface-- That's an interesting post. So do you think that organization behavior can be predicted and even enforced by selecting people who perceive things in a particular way?


Past experiences definitely affect our perception of things and indirectly, how we behave in an organization.

I see past experiences as sort of a filter that gives shape and meaning to knowledge we receive from the outside world. What we make of that information is based on what we have seen and experienced before. That's why, given the same circumstances, two employees may act very differently in an organization. And this is why some people are better suited for organizations than others.

Employers have different assessments that they use to determine how good a fit an individual is for that organization. This is actually more to do with how the employee behaves or is likely to behave in the organization. No wonder, employees care so much about work experience and call a potential employee's previous employers before hiring them.

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    • Organizational behavior describes the habits people develop during interactions in an organization.
      By: opolja
      Organizational behavior describes the habits people develop during interactions in an organization.