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Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Human Resources
Course Code
MHR 405
Sharon Matthews

of 4
Social perception: is the process of interpreting information about another person
Virtually all management activities rely on perception
Perception is also culturally determined
Factors That Influence Our Perception of Others
Characteristics of the Perceiver
These characteristics include; mood, attitude, familiarity with the target, self-concept, and cognitive
Characteristics of the Target
These characteristics include; physical appearance, verbal communication, nonverbal cues and
Characteristics of the Situation
These characteristics include; social context of the interaction, strength of situational cues
Discounting principle: the assumption that an individuals behaviour is accounted for by the situation
Barriers to Social Perception
Selective Perception
This is the process of selecting information that supports our individual viewpoints while discounting
information that threatens our viewpoints
Is a generalization about a group of people. Stereotypes can be accurate, but most of the time they are
First Impression Error
The tendency to form lasting opinions about an individual based on initial perceptions
Overestimating the number of people who share our own beliefs, values and behaviors
Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
The situation in which our expectations about people affect our interaction with them in such a way that
our expectations are fulfilled.
Attribution in Organizations
Attribution theory: explains how individuals pinpoint the causes of their own behaviour and that of
Attribution Biases
-Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to make attributions to internal causes when focusing
on someone elses behavior
-Self-serving bias: the tendency to attribute ones own success to internal causes ones failures to
external causes
Implications of attribution theory in the workplace
-Helps determine cause of job performance
-Can affect individuals behavior and motivation
The Importance of Managing Perception
The process by which individuals try to control the impressions others have of them
Some impression management techniques are self-enhancing and others ore other-enhancing
Personality: a relatively stable set of characteristics that influence an individuals behavior
Although debatable, heredity and environment are cited as having a significant influence on personality
Personality Theories
Trait Theory
The personality theory that states that in order to understand individuals, we must break down behavior
patterns into a series of observable traits
The big five traits are
1. Extraversion: the person is gregarious, assertive and sociable
2. Agreeableness: the person is cooperative, warm, generous and agreeable
3. Conscientiousness: the person is hardworking, organized, decisive, dependable
4. Emotional Stability: the person is calm, self confident, cool
5. Openness to Experience: the person is creative, curious, perceptive, cultured
Psychodynamic Theory
Emphasizes the unconscious determinants of behaviour (3 elements: id, ego and superego)
The id is the most primitive element which is the source of drives and impulses, the superego is similar
to what we know as conscience which contains values and the should and should nots
Humanistic Theory
The personality theory that emphasizes individual growth and improvement
Contributes an understanding of the self to personality theory and contends that the self concept is the
most important part of an individuals personality
Integrative Approach
The broad theory that describes personality as a composite of an individuals psychological processes
Personality Characteristics in Organizations
Locus of Control
An individuals generalized belief about internal (self) versus external (situation or others) control is
called locus of control
People who believe they control what happens to them are said to have an internal locus of control and
those who believe that circumstances or other people control their fate have an external locus of control
Self Efficacy
An individuals beliefs that expectations about his or her ability to accomplish a specific task effectively
Employees with high self efficacy have more confidence in their job related abilities
Previous success or performance is one of the most important determinants of self efficacy
Self Esteem
This is an individuals general feeling of self worth
Individuals with high self esteem have positive feelings about themselves, perform better on the job and
are more satisfied with their jobs
Evaluations from other people affect our self esteem
Self Monitoring
The extent to which people base their behaviour on cues from other people and situations
High self monitors pay attention to what is appropriate in particular situations and to behaviour of
others, and they behave accordingly
High self monitors, because their behaviour varies with the situation, appear to be more unpredictable
and less consistent
Positive/Negative Affect
Positive affect: an individuals tendency to accentuate the positive aspects of himself or herself, other
people, and the world in general
Negative affect: an individuals tendency to accentuate the negative aspects of himself or herself, other
people and the world in general
Measuring Personality
Projective Test: a personality test that elicits an individuals response to abstract stimuli. The rationale
behind this test is that each individual responds to the stimulus in a way that reflects his or her unique
Behavioral Measures: involves observing an individuals behaviour in a controlled situation
Self-report Questionnaire: individuals respond to a series of questions, usually in an agree/disagree or
true/false format
A Popular Application of Personality Theory in Organizations: The Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: An instrument developed to measure Carl Jung’s theory of individual
Proposed that the population was made up of two basic types; extraverted and introverted. He went on to
indentify two types of perception (sensing and intuiting), and two types of judgment (thinking and
feeling). Perception (how we gather info) and judgment (how we make decisions) represent the basic
mental functions that everyone uses
The Preferences
The combination of the following preferences make up an individuals psychological type; extraversion
vs introversion, sensing vs intuiting, thinking vs feeling, judging vs perceiving