Yönetim Esasları - II Understanding People Attitudes, Perception, and Learning 1 Chapter 18-Understanding People: Attitudes, Perception, and Learning 1. What Are Attitudes? An attitude is a predisposition to react to a situation, person, or concept with a particular response. This response can be either positive or negative. It is a learned reaction—one that results from an individual ’ s past observations, direct experiences, or exposure to others ’ attitudes. Attitudes have three primary components: Cognitive—information or beliefs about a particular person or object ? Affective—a positive or negative feeling about a particular person or object ? Behavioral—an intent or desire to behave in a certain way toward a particular person or object ? 1a. How Beliefs and Values Create Attitudes Overall, an individual ’ s attitudes are a result of the beliefs and values held by the individual. Beliefs are accepted facts and truths about an object or person that have been gained from either direct experience or secondary source. Values are the levels of worth placed by an individual on various factors in the environment. They are broad views of life and are influenced by parents, peer groups, and associates. They guide one ’ s actions and judgments across a variety of situations. In the workplace such factors as compensation, recognition, and status are often regarded as common values. 1b. Attitude Surveys Managers use attitude surveys for such employee problems as excessive turnover and absenteeism, low productivity, and poor quality work, in order to predict employee behavior or determine the sources of existing problems. On the workplace they are also called pooling-attitude-surveys or job-satisfaction surveys. They make clear the employee dissatisfaction, boost employee morale, and increase productivity. Theory of Reasoned Action According to the model, when a behavior is matter of choice, the best predictor of the behavior is the person ’ s intention to perform it. Intention is best predicted from two factors: Person ’ s attitude toward performing the behavior ? Person ’ s subjective norm —the perception that he or she is expected by peers or others to perform ? a certain behavior Then, the attitude is a person ’ s positive or negative feeling toward performing a behavior. The model further suggests that the person ’ s attitude can be predicted by his or her belief that a certain behavior will lead to certain outcomes. Employee Attitudes There are three theories concerning the primary determinations of employee attitudes: Human Resource Approach: it focuses on the design of the job and stresses such factors as task ? design, work autonomy, and level of challenge. Social Influence Approach: it considers that employees ’ attitudes toward their jobs are affected by ? the attitudes or beliefs of their peers. Dispositional Approach: it stresses the personal characteristics that are fairly stable over time. ? People are generally predisposed to like or dislike both the overall quality of their jobs such as work itself, supervision, and compensation and work rules. People enter the workplace with predisposed job attitudes formed from past experiences and personal beliefs. Changing Attitudes Behaviors and attitudes can best be predicted by knowing two factors: A person ’ s beliefs ? The social norms that influence a person ’ s intentions ? Managers may strive to change attitudes, intentions, and behaviors by changing workplace situations such as changing compensation, job design, and work hours. However, managers should realize that it is difficult to change stable attitudes. A ‘bad attitude ’ is often not a problem; rather the problem is usually unacceptable behavior. Although attitude influences behaviors, there are two good reasons why managers should not focus too sharply on attitudes. Attitudes are internal and thus cannot be accurately measured or observed ? The beliefs, values, and norms that affect attitudes are complex and have been constructed over ? lifetime. Behaviors, on the other hand, are both observable, can be documented and measured. Most importantly, managers can deal successfully with unacceptable performance. Determining exactly why an employee is performing at an unsatisfactory level is critical because problems cannot be corrected unless their causes are known. According to human resource specialists, there are four major causes of behavior problems:2 Lack of skills—skills-deficiency problem can be remedied in one of three ways: (a) train the ? employee to remove the skill deficiency, (b) transfer the employee to a job that better uses his or her current skills, (c) terminate the employee. Lack of positive attitude—determine what the employee needs and offer it a s a reward for good ? performance. Rule breaking—occasionally absent or late to work without good reason, violating dress codes, or ? refusing to follow safety procedures. Applying positive discipline that is providing a written policy of expected behaviors and a written program detailing progressive disciplinary steps (first offence—oral warning, second offence —written warning, third offence—suspension, fourth offence—termination). Personal problems—troubled employee may suffer from variety of problems such as emotional ? illness, financial crisis, alcohol or drug dependency, chronic physical problems or family unrest. 2. Perception 2a. Perception and the Perceptual Process Perception is the psychological process of selecting stimuli, organizing data into recognizable patterns, and interpreting the resulting information. The perceptual process is the series of actions that individuals follow in order to select, organize, and interpre t stimuli from the environment. 2b. Attribution Theory: Interpreting the Behavior of Others Attribution is the process by which people interpret the behavior of others by assigning to it motives or causes. For example, if an employee is routinely late to work, a manager might try to determine the cause of the behavior. Is it lack of motivation or lack of ability? Is it some personal factor or a situational factor such as the way the job is structured or scheduled? By making greater effort to see situations as they are perceived by others ? By guarding against perceptual distortions ? By paying more attention to individual differences among subordinates ? People generally consider three factors when making attributions: Consensus—Person being observed behaves in a manner consistent with the behavior of his or ? her peers. High consensus exists when person ’ s actions are similar to the actions of groups; low consensus exists when the person ’ s actions do not (If other employees behave the same way situation). Consistency—Person being observed behaves consistently or in a similar fashion when confronted ? on other occasions with the same or similar situations. High consistency exists when the person repeatedly acts in the same way when faced with similar stimuli (If the employee behaved the same way in similar situations in past situation). Distinctiveness—Person being observed behave consistently when faced with different situations. ? Low distinctiveness exists when the person acts in a similar manner in response to different stimuli. High distinctiveness exists when there is different response in different situations (If this behavior is highly unusual or distinctive situation). 2c. Perceptual Distortions If managers desire that their decisions and judgments are worthwhile, they should following common perceptual distortions: Stereotypes: A stereotype is a fixed, distorted generalization about members of a group. They ? derive from aspects of diversity such as race, gender, age, physical abilities/qualities, social background, and occupation. Stereotyping results from the nature of our information-processing tendencies. A stereotype is learned through outside sources rather than through direct individual experiences. Halo Effect: When a manager allows one particular aspect of an employee ’ s behavior to influence ? his or her evaluation of all other of that employee ’ s behavior. For example, the manager who knows that a particular employee always arrives at work early and helps to open the business may let the halo of the employee ’ s dependability influence his or her perceptions of the employee in other areas such as customer relations or products knowledge. Even if the employee is mediocre in these areas, the manager perceives overall strength. Projection: This is the unconscious tendency to assign one ’ s own traits, motives, beliefs, and ? attitudes to others. For example, consider a manager who enjoys working as part of a quality- improvement team. This manager may strongly encourage subordinates to join similar teams, and then be disappointed in those who refuse to do so. It is an assumption that one assumes that others have the same needs and desires as oneself. Self-Serving Bias and Attribution Error: Managers usually relate employees ’ poor performance to ? internal causes such as motivation ability or effort. This tendency to overestimate internal causes 3 of behavior and underestimate external ones is called attribution error. Interestingly, many of the same managers make reference to external causes, when asked to identify the causes of their own performance. This form of perceptual distortion is called self-serving bias—attributing personal success to internal causes and personal failures to external causes. Selective Perception: Managers have a tendency to attend to stimuli that are consistent with their ? own motives, beliefs, and attitudes. Thus, managers are prone to collect information that not only supports their perceptions, but also minimizes the emotional distress caused by unfamiliar stimuli. This form of perceptual distortion is called selective perception. Recency: a manager notices a few unusually negative comments in the weekly stack of customer ? comment cards. However, because the majority of the cards contain positive comments about the service that the manager believes accurately reflect the work of her staff, she ignores the negative messages. A few weeks later, she notices substantial number o negative comments. An investigation reveals that one newly hired employee is the cause of the negative comments —but this discovery comes too late to prevent negative impressions of the service among a good many customers. 3. Learning Learning is more or less a permanent change in behavior resulting from practice, experience, education, or training. Behavioral change includes the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and ability. In organizations people learn specific job-related skills, knowledge and organizational norms. Both of them affect employee beliefs, attitudes, intentions and behaviors. In this section we consider two of the traditional approaches to learning that are of particular value in the workplace: operant and cognitive learning Operant Learning: also called operant conditioning is an approach that holds the behavior leading ? to positive consequences is more likely to be repeated. For example, a salesperson that has taken a client to lunch at a favorite restaurant and has always subsequently received a large order from the client is likely to arrange a similar lunch meeting on the client ’ s next visit. Cognitive Learning: this is an approach that focuses on thought processes and assumes that ? human beings have a high capacity to act in a purposeful manner, and so to choose behaviors that will enable them to achieve long-run goals. Goal-Setting Strategies Cognitive learning theory is the basis for goal-setting strategies. Goal setting is the basis for individual incentive plans like commissions or piecework, group incentive plans, and organization wide incentive plans like profit sharing. There are several advantages of these strategies: Directed behavior—goals help people focus their daily decisions and behaviors in specific ways. ? Challenges—more motivation and higher levels of performance can be achieved, when given ? specific objectives. Resource allocation—resources such as people, time, equipment, and money will be consistent ? with organizational goals when goal setting strategies are used. Structure—the formal and informal structure can be shaped to set communication patterns, ? provide each position with a degree of authority and responsibility that supports individual and organizational goals. Goal setting is also used to correct problems. For example, if the manager of a video store is told in her annual review that she should cut down on the total number of employee hours, how will she react? The manager either lays off several employees or forgets the problem. The problem is her supervisor did not give her a specific measurable goal, require a plan of action, and provide a framework for feedback to see if the plan is working. Learning Strategies Managers often use the principle of reinforcement when attempting to shape employee behavior. The theory based on the operant conditioning theory: It is assumed that employees will repeat behavior that is reinforced or rewarded. Reinforcement includes positive recognition by a supervisor, a pass on a checklist- training item or even simple praise. The manager can select any combination of the following four reinforcement strategies: Positive reinforcement—any stimulus that causes a behavior to be repeated is a positive ? reinforce. Examples are praise, recognition, pay, and support. It is essential that reinforces directly follow the desired behavior. For example, if an employee superbly handles an irate customer, immediate praise is much more effective. Avoidance strategy —behavior that can prevent the onset of an undesired consequence often ? results from avoidance learning. For example, many employers have adopted strict policies regarding the use of illegal drugs by employees. Escape strategy —this is an arrangement in which a desired response will terminate an undesired ?4 consequence, that the manager is using an escape strategy. For example, a manager may first set employees the least desired task, such as cleaning and setting up equipment, and inform them that once the equipment has passed inspection, they can move on to a more desirable task. Punishment strategy —when an undesired behavior by an employee is followed an undesired ? response by management; a punishment strategy is being used. They are disciplinary actions such as oral and written warnings, demotion, suspension, and termination.