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Organization behavior is defined as the knowledge and application of how individuals, groups or the whole organization relate to each other within the context of the organization. It is an important area of study more so for persons seeking to understand how people relate to each other as individuals or groups with the aim of achieving organizational, self, and social objectives (Newstrom & Davis, 1993).
There are different elements of organization behavior that encompass the different attributes of the organization. These include organization change, organization culture, and communication in the organization, group dynamics, and organizational leadership.
This paper presents the different organizational aspects that Joe could incorporate to ensure success of the organization he heads. It discusses the individual perceptions, learning theories, and how to leverage on the value of self efficacy to ensure a holistic success in the management of the organization
Individual perception is a psychological term that is used to refer to how persons form opinion about themselves and/ or others. It is an important aspect of organizational behavior since it shows how people relate to one another (Lent & Hackett, 1987). Individual perception is often used together with social perception to show how people relate to each other more so how they form opinion about each other whether within the organization or without.
There are various ways in which individual form perception. In most cases, perception is formed based on individual personality and the self efficacy. An individual behavior can be determined by identifying a particular trait that is born by that particular individual.
These traits are used to determine the individual’s behavior through association of the trait with other related traits. Once as individual’s behavior is determined, the attributes of that particular are known this is used to infer additional facts and predict future behavior (Wood & Bandura, 1989).
There are two major determinants of perception that Joe could employ to make attributions about others with his employees. These determinants are functional and structural determinants. Bandura (1986), notes that structural factors are those factors that originate from the nervous system of the individual.
These factors are independent of the individual’s needs or external environment. They are therefore formed by the individual’s personal attribute that originates from the natural effects evoked from the nervous system (Bandura, 1986).
The importance of appreciating these perception factors in the organizational context is that when dealing with different persons, an individual should expect to face subjective opinions from different persons. This is helpful to Joe since an understanding of these perceptions will ensure that the sales persons in the field get prepared to meet individual customers who do not have an objective evaluation of the quality of services offered to them.
An understanding of their traits is therefore important since dealing with such persons can be both tasking and may often lead to strained relationships. The other factors that contribute to individual perception are the functional factors. These are perceptions that are based on an individual past experiences, present needs, and memory and so on (Wood & Bandura, 1989).
These factors are largely determined and influenced by contact with the external environment. They originate from a continuous repetition of a certain aspect or a past experience that determines how individuals expect a certain outcome to be. Functional factors can help understand the individual perception in Joe’s case in that a market study of the different needs of different customers can be established.
Once the needs are established, products that satisfy the needs can be availed to the customers thus enhancing the perception of the products. This can go a long way in identifying market segmentation of the consumers as well as ensuring that the individuals’ perceptions of the products get enhanced.
Both functional and structural factors can be used together to achieve a proper learning of the perceptions of both the employees and the customers. This will go a long way in ensuring that employees are positioned at areas where the perception between them and the customers complement each other.
This, together with the understanding of the different traits born by employees can be successfully used to ensure that the sales strategies formed by organization are customer oriented.
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Learning theories applicable
Learning is defined as the process of bringing together cognitive, emotional and environmental influences to a person with the aim of acquiring knowledge, skills, and information on a particular area of interest (Wood & Bandura, 1989). Learning theories are therefore the hypotheses that have been designed to explain how learning takes place (Bandura, 1986).
The most common learning theory used in is behaviorism. The other major ones are cognitive and the theory of constructivism. Behaviorism deals with those aspects of learning that can be observed and hence acquired.
Cognitive theory looks at a person’s mind and brain while constructivism regards the learning as a process in which a person develops new ideas therefore learning from these new ideas (Newstrom & Davis, 1993). This paper proposes the behaviorism learning theory as the most appropriate for Joe in this case.
This is because the theory posits that people learn through observing the behaviors of others. This theory is the most appropriate in the marketing environment more so where there are different types of individuals being observed. Observing the behavior of the customers would go a long way in ensuring that the sales strategies employed are congruent with the customers’ needs and expectations.
This learning theory is also a more realistic approach to learning than the other theories. By nature, individuals like portraying behavior that presents them in the most admirable way. This is a powerful tool that can therefore be used to make observations on how persons view different matters thus enhancing the learning process.
The above learning theory can be used to enhance employees’ performance in various ways. In his research, Bandura found out that individual’s behavior causes environment (Wood & Bandura, 1989). This means that a certain way of conduct depicted by an individual in some way affects how the environment is.
Therefore persons who display undesirable behaviors cause an unfavorable environment. The theory continues to explain the aspect of reciprocal determinism. This is defined as a belief system where the behavior causes the environment and the environment causes behavior.
The applicability of this behaviorism theory comes in where Joe can explain to the employees the relationship between the behavior and the environment.
The concept of reciprocal determinism can be useful in explaining how the employees should display behaviors that will ensure that the consumer environment reacts in the most desirable manner. This concept can also be used to show employees on the means and ways of reacting to the environment so as to result in desired outcomes.
Using behaviorism, learning is acquired through conditioning; either classical or operant conditioning (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). Classical conditioning is where an individual’s behavior is modeled through predetermined actions. Joe could apply the use of classical conditioning to motivate his sales personnel.
This can be achieved through setting up motivating incentives such as commissions, bonuses, and so on. Employees who know that they will be paid according to their productivity will definitely increase their work rates so as to earn more from the incentives.
This theory can also be used as a de-motivator against undesired behaviors. This is because of the proposition that behaviors cause environment and therefore undesirable behaviors result in unfavorable environment. Employees can be exhorted to uphold high standards of desired behavior so as to achieve the set organizational goals and objectives.
Since such behaviors result in the desired outcomes, they also influence how the environment reacts and applying the concept of reciprocal determinism results in mutual benefit both to the employees and the organization.
The value of self Efficacy
Albert defines efficacy as the way individuals believe about their ability to produce certain levels of performance that impacts their lives (Bandura, 1986). This is an important area of personal development since it entails individuals self belief and self motivation. A strong sense of self efficacy results in an individual having a high sense of achievement and confidence.
This is important in self motivation since a person always believes in himself and faces challenges with a winning mentality. Individuals displaying this characteristic are usually have higher energy level during work, they also depict high motivation levels and are always self driven and goal oriented.
In contrast people who doubt their self efficacy usually refrain from challenging tasks and this always results in below average results. Such individual depict the laissez faire attitude where a difficult task is considered sources of personal threats (Lent & Hackett, 1987).
Self efficacy is an attribute that can be boosted in employees through various ways such as the use of vicarious experiences given by the social models, social persuasion, and through use of mastery experiences (Newstrom & Davis, 1993). Managers can therefore boost the self efficacy of employees through the one or all of the methods above.
As such, Joe can leverage on the understanding of the self efficacy to hire most successful people. He can achieve this by the use of the various models that determine the personal attributes of individuals. Sales job require individuals who are self driven, motivated and strong willed.
Joe could therefore use the self efficacy as a benchmark to hire individuals who are self motivated and those who display the self efficacy characteristics. This will go a long way in ensuring that the kind of sales personnel he hires bears these important attributes.
Since self efficacy is concerned with the people’s beliefs in their abilities and confidence to exercise self control, Joe can use it as a powerful tool of ensuring that the kind of sales personnel he hires control their own functioning, and the various events that revolve around them.
This is an important aspect of personal behavior that ensures excellence in the various facets of life. Employees who have self efficacy often will result in high productivity for the company and subsequently receive higher rewards in terms of job satisfaction, remuneration and other benefits than the ones who do not have these characteristics.
Joe’s understating of the organization behavior and the different elements of organization behaviors will go a long way in ensuring that he inculcates individual behaviors which result in desirable outcomes.
This knowledge will also ensure that the marketing and the sales environments are to a large extent influenced by the behaviors born by the various employees. These factor coupled with other organizational related factor are crucial in ensuring a long term success of Joes business and his employees.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J. W. (2011). Organizational Behaviour. Michigan: Cengage Learning.
Lent, R. W., & Hackett, G. (1987). Career self-efficacy: Empirical status and future directions. Journal of Vocational Behavior , 347-382.
Newstrom, J. W., & Davis, K. (1993). Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wood, R. E., & Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory of organizational management. Academy of Management Review , 361-384.