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Organizations are found in all walks of life. Government offices, banks, schools, colleges, hospital,
factories, shops, institutes, political parties and so on. This is necessary to carry on activities of each
one of them. Organizing is a basic function of management. It refers to the process involving the
identification and grouping of activities to be performed, defining and establishing the authority-
responsibility relationship. This enables people to work most effectively together in achieving the
organizational objectives. In general, organizing consists of determining and arranging for men,
materials, machines and money required by an enterprise for the attainment of its goals. In its
operational sense, the term organizing means defining responsibilities of the employed people and
the manner in which their activities are to be related. The final result of organizing is the creation of a
structure of duties and responsibilities of persons in organizational different positions, grouping them
according to the similarity, behavior and interrelated nature of activities. In brief, organizing process
results in the outcome called “organization”, consisting of a group of people working together for the
achievement of one or more common objectives.
A few definitions of given by some authors. Money and Reiley: “Organization is the form of every
human association for the attainment of a common purpose”. Puffier and Sherwood: “Organization is
the pattern of ways in which large numbers of people have intimate face to face contact with all
others, are engaged in a variety of tasks, relate themselves to each other in conscious, systematic
establishment and accomplishment of mutually agreed purposes”.

The basic feature of any organization is the hierarchy of persons in it. It, therefore, distinguishes
among different persons and decides who will be superior and the subordinate. All the organizations
allow an unwritten rule that the subordinate cannot defy the orders of the superiors.
Need for Organization
We need organization to execute the management function. Study of organization has to be made
necessarily for following reasons:
a. It provides an ideal setting for the study of human behavior. The study of organization leads
to man’s important discoveries that are vital for the continued well-being of the institutes
particularly and the society in general.

b. Knowledge of organization helps managers to effectively, know various things, such as how
to run the organization and protect the environment needs, how to motivate run the
organizational subordinates, how to manage conflicts, how to introduce behavioral changes
and so on.
c. Organizations pervade in all the important phases of man’s life. A man is born in
organizations (hospitals, clinics etc.); he is educated in organizations (schools, colleges etc.),
and works in organization (factories, office etc.).

Organizational Behavior

Each of us is a student of behavior. We are aware that certain types of behavior are linked to certain
types of responsibilities. As we mature, we expand our observations to include the behavior of others.
We develop generalizations that help us to predict and explain what people do and will do. How
accurate are these generalizations? Some may represent extremely sophisticated appraisals of
behavior and prove highly effective in explaining and predicting the behavior of others. Most of us
also carry about with us a number of beliefs that frequently fail to explain why people do what they
do. As a result, a systematic approach to the study of behavior can improve an individual’s
explanatory and predictive abilities.


Organizational Behavior (OB) is a study involving the impact of individuals, group and structure or
behavior within the organization. This study is useful for the effective working of an organization. It
is a study of what people do within an organization and how their behavior affects the performance of
an organization. Organizational Behavior is concerned mainly with employment related matters such
as job, work, leaves, turnover, productivity, human performance and management. Organizational
Behavior also includes the core topics like motivation, leader behavior and power, interpersonal
communication, group structure and process, learning attitude, perception, conflicts, work design and
work stress.
Organizational Behavior introduces you to a comprehensive set of concepts and theories, it has to
deal with a lot of commonly accepted ‘facts’ about human behavior and organizations that have been
acquired over the years, like “you can teach an old dog new tricks”. “Two heads are better than one”.
These facts are not necessarily true. Then one off-line objective of Organizational Behavior is to
replace popularly held notions.

Organization Behavior does offer challenges and opportunities for managers since it focuses on ways
and means to improve productivity, minimize absenteeism, increase employee job satisfaction, etc.
Organization Behavior can offer managers guidance in creating an ethical work climate. This is
because organizational behavior cam improve prediction of behavior.

Need for Organizational Behavior

Organizational Behavior is an applied behavioral science that is built on contribution from a number
of other behavioral disciplines like psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology and
political science. Understanding Organizational Behavior is becoming very important for managers.
Due to global competition, it is becoming necessary for the employees to become more flexible and
to cope with rapid changes. It is becoming challenging for the managers to use Organizational
Behavior concepts. Organizations are no longer constrained by national borders. Burger King is
owned by a British firm, and McDonald’s sell hamburgers in Moscow. Exaction Mobile, an
American company receives 75% of its revenue from sales outside US. All the major automobile
manufactures build their cars outside their border, for example, Honda builds cars in Ohio, USA,
Ford in Brazil and Mercedes and BMW in South Africa. This shows that the world has become a
global village. Hence, managers have to diversify work force. Work force diversity means the
organizations are becoming more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race and ethnicity.

Nature and Scope of OB

Organizational Behavior is concerned with the understanding, prediction and control of human
behavior in organizations. It focuses on the individuals, the groups and the organization and also on
their interactional relationships. It is the study and application of knowledge about how people act
with organizations.

It is a human tool for human benefit. It applies broadly to the behavior of people in all types of
organizations. Wherever organizations are, there is a need to understand organizational behavior.
Features (Characteristics) of OB

1. OB is a part of general management and not the whole of management. It represents

behavioral approach to management.

2. OB contains a body of theory, research and application associated with a growing concern for
people at the work place. It helps in understanding human behavior in work organizations.

3. OB is a human tool for human benefit. It helps in predicting the behavior of individuals.

4. OB is inter-disciplinary field of study. It tries to synthesize knowledge drawn from various

behavioral and social sciences such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Political-
science, Economics, etc. In fact, OB is an applied behavioral sciences.

5. OB involves three levels of analysis of behavior-individual behavior, group behavior and

behavior of the organization itself.

6. OB is an action-oriented and goal-directed discipline. It provides a rational thinking about

people and their behavior

7. OB is both a science and an art. The systematic knowledge about human behavior is a
science. The application of behavioral knowledge and skills clearly leans towards being an

8. OB seeks to fulfill both employees’ needs and organizational objectives.

Scope of OB

The scope of OB may be summed up in the words of S.P.Robbins as follows:

“OB is a field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups, and structure on behavior
within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an
organization’s effectiveness”.

The scope of OB involves three levels of behavior in organizations: individuals, groups and structure.

1. Individual Behavior
(i) Personality
(ii) Perception
(iii) Values and Attitudes

(iv) Learning
(v) Motivation
2. Group Behavior
(i) Work groups and group dynamics
(ii) Dynamics of conflict
(iii) Communication
(iv) Leadership
(v) Morale
3. Organization: Structure, Process and Application
(i) Organizational Climate
(ii) Organizational Culture
(iii) Organizational Change
(iv) Organizational Effectiveness
(v) Organizational Development

Diversity if managed positively, can increase creativity and innovation in organizations as well as
improve decision making by providing different perspective on preplans. Quality management is
driven by the constant attainment of customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of all
organizational processes (productivity, absenteeism, turnover, job satisfaction and recently added
fifth dependent variable is organizational citizenship).
Key Elements in OB

The key elements in organizational behavior are people, structure technology and the environment in
which the organizations operate. When people join together in an organization to accomplish an
objective, some kind of structure is required. People also use technology to help get the job done, so
there is an interaction of people, structure and the technology as shown in fig.1. In addition, these
elements are influenced by the external environment, and they influence it.


Environment Environment
Fig. 1: Key elements in organizational behavior




Each of the four elements of organizational behavior will be considered briefly.

People: People make up the internal social system of the organization. They consist of individuals
and groups. There are formal and informal groups. Groups are dynamic. They form, change and
disband. Organizations exist to serve people, rather than people existing to serve organizations.

Structure: Structure defines the formal relationships of people in organizations. Different jobs are
required to accomplish all of an organization’s activities. There are managers and employees,
accountants and assemblers. These people have to be related in some structural way so that their
work can be effectively co-ordinate. These relationships create complex problems of co-operation,
negotiation and decision-making.

Technology: Technology provides the resources with which people work and affects the tasks that
they perform. The technology used has a significant influence in working relationships. The great
benefit of technology is that it allows people to do more and better work, but it also restricts people in
various ways. It has costs as well as benefits.

Environment: All organizations operate within an external environment. Single organization does
not exist alone. It is part of a larger system that contains many other elements such as Govt., the
family, and other organizations.

All of these mutually influence each other in a complex system that creates a context for a group of
people. Individual organizations, such as factory or a school, cannot escape being influenced by this
external environment. It influences the attitudes of people, affects working conditions, and provides
competition for resources and power. It must be considered in the study of human behavior in


Organizational behavior starts with a set of six fundamental concepts revolving around the nature of
people and organizations. They are as follows:

The Nature of people:


 Individual differences
 A whole person
 Motivated behavior
 Value of the person (human dignity)

The Nature of organizations

 Social systems
 Mutual Interest


 Holistic organizational behavior

1. Individual Differences: People have much in common (they become excited, or they are grieved
by the loss of loved one), but each person in the world is also individually different. Each one is
different from all others, probably in millions of ways, just as each of their fingerprints is different, as
a far as we know. And these differences are usually substantial rather than meaningless. All people
are different. This is a fact supported by science.

The idea of individual differences comes originally from psychology. From the day of birth, each
person is unique, and individual experiences after birth tend to make people even more different.
Individual differences mean that management can get the greatest motivation among employees by
treating manager’s approach to employees should be individual, not statistical. This belief that each
person is different from all others is typically called the Law of Individual Differences.
2. A Whole Person: Although some organizations may wish they could employ a person’s skill or
brain, they actually employ a whole person, rather than certain characteristics. Different human traits
may be separately studied, but in the final analysis they are all part of one system making up a whole
person. Skill does not exist apart from background or knowledge. Human life is not totally separable
from work life and emotional conditions are not separate from physical conditions. People function
as total human beings.
3. Motivated Behavior: From psychology we learn that normal behavior has certain causes. These
may relate to a person’s needs and / or the consequences that result from acts. In the case of needs,
people are motivated not by what we think they ought to have but by what they themselves want. To

an outside observer a person’s needs may be unrealistic, but they are still controlling. This act leaves
management with two basic ways to motivate people. It can show them how certain actions will
increase their need fulfillment, or it can threaten decreased need fulfillment if they follow an
undesirable course of action. Clearly a path towards increased need fulfillment is the better approach.

4. Value of the Person (Human Dignity): This concept is of a different order from the other three
because it is more an ethical philosophy than a scientific conclusion. It asserts that people are to be
treated differently from other factors of production because they are of a higher order in the universe.
It recognizes that because people are of a higher order they want to be treated with respect and
dignity – and should be treated this way. The concept of human dignity rejects the old idea of using
employees as economic tools.

5. Social Systems: From sociology we learn that organizations are social systems; consequently
activities there-in are governed by social laws as well as psychological laws. Just as people have
psychological needs, they also have social roles and status. Their behavior is influenced by their
group as well as by their individual drives. In fact, two types of social systems exist side by side in
organizations. One is the formal (official) social system, and the other is the informal social system.

The existence of a social system implies that the organizational environment is one of dynamic
change rather than a static set of relations. All parts of the system are interdependent and subject to
influence by any other part. Everything is related to everything else. The idea of a social system
provides a frame work for analyzing organizational behavior issues. It helps make organizational
behavior problems understandable and manageable.

6. Mutual Interest: Mutual interest is represented by the statement “organizations, need people, and
people also need organizations”. Organizations have a human purpose. They are formed and
maintained on the basis of some mutuality of interest among their participants. People see
organizations as a means to help them reach their goals, while organizations need people to help
reach organizational objectives. As shown in the following figure, mutual interest provides a
superordinate goal that integrates the efforts of individuals and groups. The result is that they are
encouraged to attack organizational problems rather than each other.


Superordinate Mutual accomplishment of goals

goal of
mutual interest
Organization 9

Fig. 2. Mutual interest provides a super ordinate goal for organization.

7. Holistic Organizational Behavior: When the six fundamental concepts of organizational

behavior are considered together, they provide a holistic concept of the subject. Holistic
organizational behavior interprets people-organization relationships in terms of the whole person,
whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. It takes an across-the board view of
people in organizations in an effort to understand as many as possible of the factors that influence
their behavior. Issues are analyzed in terms of the total situation affecting them rather than in terms
of an isolated event or problem.

Role of Information Technology on OB

Information technology systems are used by organizations to perform various tasks. Some use IT to
provide for the basic processing of transactions, while others enable customers, distributors and
suppliers to interact with the organization through various communication technology systems such
as the internet.
The term ‘’information technology systems in an organization ‘’ is composed of four distinct parts
which include: an organization, information in an organization, and information technology and
information technology systems in an organization.  Below listed are the some of the impacts of
information technology in an organization.

 Flow of Information:  Information is a key resource for all organizations. What information
describes might be internal, external, objective or subjective.  External information describes the
environment surrounding the organization. Objective information describes something that is
known. Subjective information describes something that is currently unknown. With information

technology the flow of all these four types of information is made simple by use of centralized
data centers where all this data can be retrieved.  Information in an organization can flow in four
direction and these include upward flow of information, downward flow of information, outward
flow of information and horizontal flow of information.

 Transaction processing:  Information technology simplifies the transaction process of an

organization. A transaction process system (TPS) is a system that processes transactions that
occur within an organization.  At the heart of every organization are IT systems whose main role
is to capture transaction information, create new information based on the transaction
information.  TPS will update any transaction process and store that information in a database, so
any concerned party in the organization can access that information via a centralized information
storage network of internet.
 Decision support:  A decision support system (DSS) is a highly flexible and interactive IT
system that is designed to support decision making when the problem is not structured.  A DSS
works together with an artificial intelligence system to help the worker create information
through online analytical process (OLAP) to facilitate decision making tasks that require
significant effort and analysis.

 Workgroup support: Since information technology facilitates in the creating an information

sharing environment, workers can easily consult each other across different department without
any interruption. They can use emails, text chatting services to inquire something related to a
given task at work. With work group support systems, group decision making becomes easier.

 Executive support:  An executive information system (EIS)  is an interactive management

information system (MIS) combined with decision support systems and artificial intelligence for
helping managers identify and address problems and opportunities. An EIS allows managers to
view information from different angles. Yet it also provides managers with the flexibility to
easily create more views to better understand the problem or opportunity at hand.
 Data Management:  With the help of database software, an organization stores all its relevant
data on a database. This infrastructure can be designed when it is internal or external.  An internal
centralized system can only be accessed within the organization while an external centralized
system allows data to be accessed outside the organization using a remote internet protocol (IP)
Address or a domain name. In this case, employees or managers can use a company website to

access relevant company data by use of passwords. This data is not exposed to the public and
search engines.
 Communication: Information technology accounts in the development of communication
technology. Services like electronic mail make communication within and outside the
organization easy and first. Now days email communication is a default communication
technology used by every organization. Communication is a great tool in business develops, with
advanced communication tools, employees and managers can easily make beneficial decisions in
the organization.
Role of Globalization
Globalization has many dimensions. OB studies are now increasingly becoming complex due to the
effect of globalization. Some of the important areas of concern are changing technology with a sharp
increase in cross-border technology transfers, the mobility of organizations and people in the global
world, the competition for markets and customers on a global scale, etc.
Globalization can be taken to mean the increasing trend to interact beyond physical boundaries. The
causes of globalization include deregulation and privatization of public sectors in certain countries,
technological convergence, and increased competition. Furthermore, globalization has taken many
forms such as foreign investment and international partnerships.
From the perspective of business organizations, there are three different types of globalizations—
multinationals, global, and international companies. The cascading effect of globalization even
transcends to the tasks or the operational environments of business organizations.
Changes in the operational environment not only require focus on new products or service
developments, but also on the skills and competency sets, attitudes, values, and cultures of the
people. Such changes are primarily attributable to the shift in the expectations of customers and the
behaviour of competitors.
The consequential effect of globalization on organizations is an increase in alliances and partnerships
rather than on authority and control. This is characterized by the breakdown of tall hierarchies,
increase in use of teams, reorganization of functional departments into cross-functional groups,
reduction in centralized control, and allowing more local autonomy.
Another key aspect, from the perspective of a business organization, is the harvesting of the
knowledge of the people. This is facilitated by knowledge management practices, using various tools,
techniques, and values. Through knowledge management, organizations can acquire, develop
measure, distribute, and provide a return on their intellectual assets.

Globalization has also changed the nature of managerial work, requiring managers, in the globalized
era, to increase their judgmental power, use of persuasion and influence, shaping of the behaviour of
the people, etc.
Role of Diversity on OB
Diversity is a word that gets tossed around in society without any real explanation as to what it is and
what it can do for an environment. In short, diversity is defined as the different traits and
backgrounds of the people present in a group. This can apply to age, gender, educational background,
religion, language and culture, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, and orientation. The diversity
of a business' staff members will often depend on the business' location, size, and industry.

Managing diversity is going to be dependent on any of those factors, which means that businesses
need to be able to handle things on a case by case basis. There are significant benefits and challenges
to diversity in the workplace, and management needs to be trained properly in order to handle either.
When properly addressed, diversity does present some advantages for businesses:

 Learning-Diversity in any situation is a chance for others to learn about people who are different
from themselves. In business, this can aid in the growth of individual employees and for the
business as a whole by exposing them to new ideas and perspectives.  Interactions between co-
workers of different backgrounds can help reduce prejudice and make it easier for them to work
 Experience and Knowledge-The experiences a person has often are impacted by their
background and cultural traits, which allows each employee to bring a unique set of skills and
strengths into the business. Teams that have members with different skill sets tend to be able to
combine their strengths to offset any weaknesses that prevent them from being efficient. Together,
this can boost their productivity and make them adaptable to changes.
 International Skills-With globalization become an integral part of business, it's more important
than ever for companies to be able to interact in the global market.  The diversity in a business may
include employees who speak other languages and can work on customers and business partners
directly. Diversity can also help when a company has multiple branches throughout the world, as
the traits of an employee's cultural background can help them navigate in those locations.
 Reputation-Since the diversity of the workforce is increasing, job seekers want to know that the
businesses they are looking to work with can effectively handle issues of diversity. Employers who

have a reputation for being fair to workers from all walks of life and having no tolerance for
discrimination are far more appealing than employers who do not. It should be noted that those are
also traits that other companies look for when the want to collaborate with another business, both
locally and abroad.

Unfortunately, there can be some disadvantages for businesses when it comes to diversity:

 Discrimination-Despite the business' best efforts, instances of discrimination can still occur with
diversity. They are often based in prejudices, stereotyping, and misinformation and can have
serious consequences for both those involved and the company itself.  It is the business'
responsibility to establish what the policies are in regards to discrimination and to ensure that
they follow any and all anti-discrimination laws.
 Poor Interaction-It is not unheard of for workers of different backgrounds to clash culturally. A
lack of understanding or misconceptions about a particular demographic can generate a ton of
issues between the affected employees and their interactions. It damages communication and
brings productivity and group cohesiveness down. In serious cases, it can create a hostile
environment that damages the workplace culture and the business' organizational behavior
regardless of if it's isolated to a few people.
 Authority and Training-While it's a good that business takes the initiate in training their staff on
diversity, it can be problematic if mishandled. There may be some resistance to diversity from staffers and
they may see training as forcing them to accept unnecessary (to them) changes.  This may result in
backlash and a breakdown in the relationship between staff and management. There's also no guarantee
that those in places of authority will follow through on what they learned in training-strong-held beliefs
and prejudices can be difficult to break through. As a result, diversity issues like discrimination can be left
unresolved or worsened by someone with authority abusing their power.
Role of Ethics on OB
In the simplest sense, business ethics is being able to identify the difference between right and wrong
and then consciously choosing to do the right thing. Another way to define business ethics is written
guidelines or standards used to hold a company accountable to moral actions and just decisions.
Business ethics is an extremely valuable part of every company and can impact a company’s
reputation and the community in which it serves. How companies choose to practice and enforce
business ethics can differ from one company to the next, however, there is no denying that an ethical
work environment is an essential key to success.

Like organizational behavior, business ethics impact a company at three different levels. These levels
are personal, professional, and organizational. Also similar to organizational behavior, they three
levels are all linked together and each one influences the other two.
 Personal Ethics: Personal ethics are determined by each individual. Personal ethics may be
determined by religious practices or how someone was raised. While professional and
organizational guidelines may influence personal ethics, they are not one and the same. Personal
ethics is the most diverse level of business ethics because each individual person has a different
set of values and beliefs. Since personal ethics differ from person to person, professional and
organizational ethics help to establish parameters and guidelines for individuals to follow in the
 Professional Ethics: Professional ethics is the idea that individuals in their job field have
extensive knowledge and experience which prepares them to work within certain industries. This
training equips them to know business ethics standards for their line of work. For example, a
doctor knows better than to violate Medical Council of India (MCI) by sharing a patient’s
medical information. And a teacher is taught to never be alone with a student. Neither of these
examples may be something considered on a personal ethics level, however, they are expected on
a professional level since their schooling and training has covered the information.
 Organizational Ethics: Lastly, an organization’s ethics are established and then implemented
company wide. Organizational values are external indicators used to ensure a company is
behaving ethically. However, the foundation of organizational values is grounded within the
internal culture of the company. Organizational values can positively or negatively impact
productivity, morale, the community, and the list goes on and on.

There are a wide range of company policies, behaviors, and practices that can fall into an ethical
category. Let’s explore a few of them.
 Fraud. Fraud is a big ethical no-no for companies. Fraud is participating in any type of
bribery, insider trading, misrepresentation of a product, etc.
 Sustainability. Sustainability is another ethical idea many companies are participating in
today. Helping to minimize a company’s carbon footprint is an important ethical decision for

 Diversity. Diversity is another example of business ethics. Think back to the diversity

lawsuits we discussed in the last module. Each of those examples was in violation of business
 Exploitation. Exploitation can include the environment, the population, the government, etc.
Taking advantage of questionable situations can lead to ethical dilemmas. Finding a tax
loophole for example may be legal, but it doesn’t mean it is ethical.
If not handled ethically, each of these categories can have a harmful effect on the community and the
organization. It is also important to consider how each individual within the organization can have an
impact on a company’s reputation. Establishing a code of ethics and training employees to fully
understand the importance of making ethical decisions is essential to a successful company. We will
explore how to implement these things in the upcoming sections. For now, let’s move onto the next
section to explore recent ethical investigations.

Role of Culture
Organizational culture can be defined as the group norms, values, beliefs and assumptions practiced
in an organization. It brings stability and control within the firm. The organization is more stable
and its objective can be understood more clearly.
Organizational culture helps the group members to resolve their differences, overcome the barriers
and also helps them in tackling risks.
Elements of Organizational Culture
The two key elements seen in organizational culture are −
 Visible elements − These elements are seen by the outer world. Example, dress code,
activities, setup, etc.
 Invisible elements − These inner elements of the group cannot be seen by people outside the
group or firm. Example, values, norms, assumptions, etc. Now let us discuss some other
elements of organizational culture. They are −
 Stories − Stories regarding the history of the firm, or founder.
 Rituals − Precise practices an organization follows as a habit.
 Symbol − The logo or signature or the style statement of a company.
 Language − A common language that can be followed by all, like English.
 Practice − Discipline, daily routine or say the tight schedule everyone follows without any

 Values and Norms − The idea over which a company is based or the thought of the firm is
considered as its value and the condition to adopt them are called norms.
 Assumptions − It means we consider something to be true without any facts. Assumptions
can be used as the standard of working, means the employees prepare themselves to remain
above standard.
Different Types of Organizational Culture
The culture a firm follows can be further classified into different types. They are −
 Mechanistic and Organic culture
 Authoritarian and Participative culture
 Subculture and Dominant culture
 Strong and Weak culture
 Entrepreneurial and Market culture
Mechanistic and Organic Culture: Mechanistic culture is formed by formal rule and standard
operating procedures. Everything needs to be defined clearly to the employees like their task,
responsibility and concerned authorities. Communication process is carried according to the direction
given by the organization. Accountability is one of the key factors of mechanistic culture.
Organic culture is defined as the essence of social values in an organization. Thus there exists a high
degree of sociability with very few formal rules and regulations in the company. It has a systematic
hierarchy of authority that leads towards free flow of communication. Some key elements of organic
culture include authority, responsibility, accountability and direct flow towards the employee.
Authoritarian and Participative Culture: Authoritarian culture means power of one. In this
culture, power remains with the top level management. All the decisions are made by the top
management with no employee involvement in the decision making as well as goal shaping process.
The authority demands obedience from the employee and warns them for punishment in case of
mistake or irregularity. This type of culture is followed by military organization.
In participative culture, employees actively participate in the decision making and goal shaping
process. As the name suggests, it believes in collaborative decision making. In this type of culture,
employees are perfectionist, active and professional. Along with group decision making, group
problem solving process is also seen here.

Subculture and Dominant Culture: In subculture, some members of the organization make and
follow a culture but not all members. It is a part of organizational culture, thus we can see many
subcultures in an organization. Every department in a company have their own culture that gets
converted to a subculture. So, the strength and adaptability of an organizational culture is dependent
on the success of subculture.
In dominant culture, majority of subculture combine to become a dominant culture. The success of
dominant culture is dependent on the homogeneity of the subculture, that is, the mixture of different
cultures. At the same point of time, some cold war between a dominant culture and a minor culture
can also be seen.
Strong and Weak Culture: In a strong culture, the employees are loyal and have a feeling of
belongingness towards the organization. They are proud of their company as well as of the work they
do and they slave towards their goal with proper coordination and control. Perception and
commitment are two aspects that are seen within the employees. In this culture, there is less
employee turnover and high productivity.
In a weak culture, the employees hardly praise their organization. There is no loyalty towards the
company. Thus, employee dissatisfaction and high labor turnover are two aspects of this culture.
Entrepreneurial and Market Culture: Entrepreneurial culture is a flexible and risk-taking culture.
Here the employees show their innovativeness in thinking and are experimental in practice.
Individual initiations make the goal easy to achieve. Employees are given freedom in their activity.
The organization rewards the employees for better performance.
Market culture is based on achievement of goal. It is a highly target-oriented and completely profit-
oriented culture. Here the relationship between the employees and the organization is to achieve the
goal. The social relation among the workers is not motivating.
How to Create an Organizational Culture:
An organizational culture is created with the combination of certain criteria that are mentioned
below −
 The founder of the organization may partly set a culture.
 The environment within which the organization standards may influence its activities to set a
 Sometimes interchange of culture in between different organizations create different new
 The members of the organization may set a culture that is flexible to adapt.

 New cultures are also created in an organization due to demand of time and situation.
The culture of an organizational can change due to composition of workforce, merger and
acquisition, planned organizational change, and influence of other organizational culture.


Meaning and Definition of Perception:
“Perception is the process through which the information from outside environment is selected,
received, organized and interpreted to make it meaningful to you. This input of meaningful
information results in decisions and actions.”

“Perception may be defined as a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory
impressions in order to give meaning to their environment.”

According to Joseph Reitz, “Perception includes all those processes by which an individual receives
information about his environment—seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. The study of these
perpetual processes shows that their functioning is affected by three classes of variables—the objects
or events being perceived, the environment in which perception occurs and the individual doing the

In simple words we can say that perception is the act of seeing what is there to be seen. But what is
seen is influenced by the perceiver, the object and its environment. The meaning of perception
emphasizes all these three points.

Nature of Perception:

“Perception refers to the interpretation of sensory data. In other words, sensation involves detecting
the presence of a stimulus whereas perception involves understanding what the stimulus means. For
example, when we see something, the visual stimulus is the light energy reflected from the external
world and the eye becomes the sensor. This visual image of the external thing becomes perception
when it is interpreted in the visual cortex of the brain. Thus, visual perception refers to interpreting
the image of the external world projected on the retina of the eye and constructing a model of the
three dimensional world.”

From the above explanation it becomes clear that perception is something more than sensation. It
correlates, integrates and comprehends diverse sensations and information from many organs of the
body by means of which a person identifies things and objects, the sensations refer to.

Perception is determined by both physiological and psychological characteristics of the human being
whereas sensation is conceived with only the physiological features. Thus, perception is not just what
one sees with the eyes it is a much more complex process by which an individual selectively absorbs
or assimilates the stimuli in the environment, cognitively organizes the perceived information in a
specific fashion and then interprets the information to make an assessment about what is going on in
one’s environment.

Perception is a subjective process, therefore, different people may perceive the same environment
differently based on what particular aspects of the situation they choose to selectively absorb, how
they organize this information and the manner in which they interpret it to obtain a grasp of the

Importance of Perception:

(i) Perception is very important in understanding the human behaviour, because every person
perceives the world and approaches the life problems differently- Whatever we see or feel is not
necessarily the same as it really is. It is because what we hear is not what is really said, but what we
perceive as being said. When we buy something, it is not because it is the best, but because we take it
to be the best. Thus, it is because of perception, we can find out why one individual finds a job
satisfying while another one may not be satisfied with it.

(ii) If people behave on the basis of their perception, we can predict their behaviour in the changed
circumstances by understanding their present perception of the environment. One person may be
viewing the facts in one way which may be different from the facts as seen by another viewer.

(iii) With the help of perception, the needs of various people can be determined, because people’s
perception is influenced by their needs. Like the mirrors at an amusement park, they distort the world
in relation to their tensions.

(iv) Perception is very important for the manager who wants to avoid making errors when dealing
with people and events in the work setting. This problem is made more complicated by the fact that
different people perceive the same situation differently. In order to deal with the subordinates
effectively, the managers must understand their perceptions properly.

Thus, for understanding the human behavior, it is very important to understand their perception, that
is, how they perceive the different situations. People’s behavior is based on their perceptions of what
reality is, not on reality itself. The world as it is perceived is the world that is important for
understanding the human behavior.
Perceptual Selectivity and Organization
We process and interpret the incoming raw data in the light of our experiences, in terms of our
current needs and interests, in terms of our knowledge, expectations, beliefs and motives. Perception
may be defined as the dynamic psychological process responsible for attending to, organizing and
interpreting sensory data. The main elements in the perceptual process are illustrated in Figure 1.
From a psychological point of view, the process of sensation, on the one hand and perception, on the
other, work together through what are termed respectively `bottom-up' and `top-down' processing.
The bottom-up phase concerns the way in which we process the raw data received by our sensory
apparatus. One of the key characteristics of bottom-up processing concerns the need for selectivity.
We are simply not able to process all of the sensory information available to us at any given time.
Bottom-up processing screens or filters out redundant and less relevant information so that we can
focus on what is important.
On the other hand, `top-down' phase concerns the mental processing that allows us to order, interpret
and make sense of the world around us. One of the key characteristics of top-down processing
concerns our need to make sense of our environment and our search for meaning.
This distinction between sensation (bottom-up) and perception (top-down) can be illustrated in our
ability to make sense of incomplete or even incorrect sensory information. For example, the missing
letter or comma, or the incorrectly spelled term, does not normally interfere with the comprehension
of the human reader:
This sentnce us incorrect, bit yoo wull stell bi abl to understa d it
In the above example, our top-down conceptual processing ability means that we are able to fill in
the gaps and correct the mistakes and thus make sense of `imperfect' incoming raw data.

Figure – 1Perceptiion Process

All of us have a similar nervous system and share more or less common sensory equipment.
However, we have different social and physical backgrounds which give us different values, interests
and expectations and therefore different perceptions. We do not behave in, and in response to, the
world `as it really is'. This idea of the `real world' is somewhat arbitrary. In fact, we have, and in
response to, the world as we perceive it. We each live in our own perceptual world.
Perception is a dynamic process because it involves ordering and attaching meaning to raw sensory
data. Our sensory apparatus is bombarded with vast amounts of information. We are not `passive
recorders' of this sensory data. We are constantly shifting and sorting this stream of information,
making sense of it and interpreting it. Therefore, it can be said that perception is an information-
processing activity. This information processing concerns the phenomena of selective attention
(perceptual selectivity) and perceptual organization.
Selective attention is the ability, often exercised unconsciously, to choose from the stream of sensory
data to concentrate on particular elements and to ignore others. The internal and external factors
which affect selective attention are illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure: 2 External and Internal Factors Influencing Selective attention

The external factors affecting selective attention concern stimulus factors and context factors. With
respect to the stimulus factors, for example, our attention is drawn more readily which are described
in Table 1.

Table - 1
Large Small
Bright Dull
Loud Quiet
Strong Rather than Week
Unfamiliar Familiar
Moving y

However, it may be noted that we do not merely respond to single feature rather we respond to the
pattern of stimuli available to us.
Our attention is also influenced by context Factors. For example, the naval commander on the ship's
bridge and the cook in the kitchen may both have occasion to shout "fire", but these identical
utterances will mean quite different things to those within earshot and will lead to radically different
forms of behaviour (involving the taking and the saving of lives respectively). Thus, it is clear that
knowledge of the context also affect our attention.
The internal factors affecting perception are:
• Learning: Our past experience leads to the development of perceptual expectations or perceptual
sets which give us predispositions to perceive and to pay attention to some stimuli and to ignore
other information.

• Personality: Our personality traits also predispose us to perceive the world in particular ways, to
pay attention to some issues and events and human characteristics and not others.
• Motivation: We are more likely to perceive as important, and thus to respond to, stimuli that find

Much of perception can be described as classification or categorization. We categorize people as

male or female, lazy or energetic, extrovert or shy. We classify objects as cars, buildings, furniture
and crockery and so on and we refine our classification schemes further under these headings. It may
be noted here that these categories are learned. They are social constructs. What we learn is often
culture-bound or culture-specific. For example, the British revulsion at the thought of eating dog
(classified as pet), the Hindu revulsion at the thought of eating beef (classified as sacred) and the
Islamic aversion to alcohol (classified as proscribed by the Koran) are all culturally transmitted
emotions based on learned values.
However, different people within the same culture have different experiences and develop different
expectations. The internal factors - our past experience and what we have learned, our personalities,
our motivations - contribute to the development of our expectations of the world around us, what we
want from it, what will happen in it and what should happen. We tend to select information that fits
our expectations and pay less attention to information that does not.
Our categorization process and the search for meaning and pattern are key characteristics of
perception. This perceptual work is captured by the concept of perceptual organization. Perceptual
organization is the process through which incoming stimuli are organized or patterned in systematic
and meaningful ways.
Max Wertheimer first identified the principles by which the process of perceptual organization
operates. The `proximity principle' states that we tend to group together or to classify stimuli that are
physically close to each other and which thus appear to `belong' together. For example, note how you
`see' three pairs rather than six blobs here:

The ‘similarity principle’ states that we classify or group together stimuli that resemble each other in
appearance in some respect. For example, note how you `see' four pairs here, not eight objects:

The fact that we are able to make use of incomplete and ambiguous information by `filling in the
gaps' from our own knowledge and past experience is known as the `principle of closure'.

Social Perception
Social perception (or person perception) is the study of how people form impressions of and make
inferences about other people as sovereign personalities. Social perception refers to identifying and
utilizing social cues to make judgments about social roles, rules, relationships, context, or the
characteristics (e.g., trustworthiness) of others. This domain also includes social knowledge, which
refers to one’s knowledge of social roles, norms, and schemas surrounding social situations and
interactions. People learn about others' feelings and emotions by picking up information they gather
from physical appearance, verbal, and nonverbal communication. Facial expressions, tone of
voice, hand gestures, and body position or movement are a few examples of ways people
communicate without words. A real-world example of social perception understands that others
disagree with what one said when one sees them roll their eyes. There are four main components of
social perception: observation, attribution, integration, and confirmation.
Observations serve as the raw data of social perception interplay of three sources: persons, situations,
and behavior. These sources are used as evidence in supporting a person's impression or inference
about others. Another important factor to understand when talking about social perception is
attribution. Attribution is expressing an individual's personality as the source or cause of their
behavior during an event or situation. To fully understand the impact of personal or situational
attributions, social perceivers must integrate all available information into a unified impression. To
finally confirm these impressions, people try to understand, find, and create information in the form
of various biases. Most importantly, social perception is shaped by an individual's current
motivations, emotions, and cognitive load capacity. Cognitive load is the complete amount of mental
effort utilized in the working memory. All of this combined determines how people attribute certain
traits and how those traits are interpreted.
The fascination and research for social perception date back to the late 1800s when social
psychology was first being discovered. As more and more research on social perception is done, the
realization of its significance in understanding and predicting our social world continues to grow.
This overview article aims to inform readers about the processes of social perception along with brief
descriptions to relevant and related theories.
The processes of social perception begin with observing persons, situations, and behaviors to gather
evidence that supports an initial impression.

 Persons – physical influence: Although society tries to train people not to judge others based
on their physical traits, as social perceivers, we cannot help but be influenced by others' hair,
skin color, height, weight, style of clothes, pitch in voice, etc., when making a first
impression. People have the tendency to judge others by associating certain facial features
with specific personality types. For example, studies indicate that people are perceived as
stronger, more assertive, and competent if they have small eyes, low eyebrows, an angular
chin, wrinkled skin, and a small forehead. People tend to associate baby-faced people with
impotence and harmlessness.
 Situations – context from prior experiences: People are able to easily predict the sequences
or results of an event based on the extent and depth of their past experiences with a similar
event. The ability to anticipate the outcomes of a situation is also greatly influenced by an
individual's cultural background because this inevitably shapes the types of experiences.
Situational observations either lead humans to have preset notions about certain events or to
explain the causes of human behaviors.
 Behaviors – nonverbal communication: Nonverbal communication helps people express
their emotions, attitudes, and personalities. The most dominant form of nonverbal
communication is the use of facial expressions to channel different emotions. According to
Charles Darwin's research on facial expressions and book The Expression of the Emotions in
Man and Animals (1872), it is believed that all humans, regardless of culture or race, encode
and decode the six "primary" emotions, (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and
disgust), universally in the same way. To encode means to communicate nonverbal behavior,
while to decode means to interpret the meaning or intention of the nonverbal behavior.
Decoding sometimes is inaccurate due to affect blend, (a facial expression with two
differently registered emotions), and/or display rules, (culturally dictated rules about which
nonverbal behaviors are acceptable to display). Other nonverbal cues such as: body language,
eye contact, and vocal intonations can affect social perception by allowing for thin-slicing.
Thin-slicing describes the ability to make quick judgments from finding consistencies in
events based only on narrow frames of experience.

Humans are motivated to assign causes to their actions and behaviors. In social
psychology, attribution is the process by which individuals explain the causes of behavior and events.
Models to explain this process are called attribution theory. Psychological research into attribution
began with the work of Fritz Heider in the early 20th century, and the theory was further advanced
by Harold Kelley and Bernard Weiner.

Humans are rational creatures and always behave in a balanced and coherent and analytic way. This
highly influential view was presented by Heider who said that people are motivated by two primaries.
They are need to form a coherent view of the world and the need to gain control over the
environment. Heider believed that this desire for consistency, stability and the ability to predict and
control make us in particular this need to attribute causes to effects. (observed behaviours and event)
and to create a meaningful, stable world, where things make sense was the basis for a theoretical
approach which become highly influential in how social psychologist viewed social cognition. This
was referred as the attribution theory.
Heider believed that a ‘basic need to attribute’ make the world a clear, definable and predictable
place, thereby reducing uncertainty.

Types of Attributions


External attribution, also called situational attribution, refers to interpreting someone's behavior as
being caused by the situation that the individual is in. For example, if one's car tyre is punctured, it
may be attributed to a hole in the road; by making attributions to the poor condition of the highway,
one can make sense of the event without any discomfort that it may in reality have been the result of
their own bad driving.

Ex. A child attributes their feelings to the weather outside their house; it is raining outside, because it
is raining outside the child feels sad.


Internal attribution, or dispositional attribution, refers to the process of assigning the cause of
behavior to some internal characteristic, like ability and motivation, rather than to outside

forces. This concept has overlap with the Locus of control, in which individuals feel they are
personally responsible for everything that happens to them.

Ex. A child attributes the weather to their feelings; the child is feeling sad, because the child is
feeling sad it is raining outside.

Theories of Attribution
Common sense psychology
From the book The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations (1958), Fritz Heider tried to explore the
nature of interpersonal relationship, and espoused the concept of what he called "common sense" or
"naïve psychology". In his theory, he believed that people observe, analyze, and explain behaviors
with explanations. Although people have different kinds of explanations for the events of human
behaviors, Heider found it is very useful to group explanation into two categories; Internal (personal)
and external (situational) attributions. When an internal attribution is made, the cause of the given
behavior is assigned to the individual's characteristics such as ability, personality, mood, efforts,
attitudes, or disposition. When an external attribution is made, the cause of the given behavior is
assigned to the situation in which the behavior was seen such as the task, other people, or luck (that
the individual producing the behavior did so because of the surrounding environment or the social
situation). These two types lead to very different perceptions of the individual engaging in a

Correspondent inference
Correspondent inferences state that people make inferences about a person when their actions are
freely chosen, unexpected, and result in a small number of desirable effects.  According to Edward E.
Jones and Keith Davis' correspondent inference theory, people make correspondent inferences by
reviewing the context of behavior. It describes how people try to find out individual's personal
characteristics from the behavioral evidence. People make inferences on the basis of three factors;
degree of choice, expectedness of behavior, and effects of someone's behaviors. For example, we
believe we can make stronger assumptions about a man who gives half of his money to charity, than
we can about one who gives Rs.5 to charity. An average person would not want to donate as much as
the first man because they would lose a lot of money. By donating half of his money, it is easier for
someone to figure out what the first man's personality is like. The second factor, that affects
correspondence of action and inferred characteristic, is the number of differences between the

choices made and the previous alternatives. If there aren't many differences, the assumption made
will match the action because it is easy to guess the important aspect between each choice.

Co-variation Model
The co-variation model states that people attribute behavior to the factors that are present when a
behavior occurs and absent when it does not. Thus, the theory assumes that people make causal
attributions in a rational, logical fashion, and that they assign the cause of an action to the factor that
co-varies most closely with that action. Harold Kelley's co-variation model of attribution looks into
three main types of information from which to make an attribution decision about an individual's
behavior. The first is consensus information, or information on how other people in the same
situation and with the same stimulus behave. The second is distinctive information, or how the
individual responds to different stimuli. The third is consistency information, or how frequent the
individual's behavior can be observed with similar stimulus but varied situations. From these three
sources of information observers make attribution decisions on the individual's behavior as either
internal or external. There have been claims that people under-utilize consensus information,
although there has been some dispute over this.

There are several levels in the co-variation model: high and low. Each of these levels influences the
three co-variation model criteria. High consensus is when many people can agree on an event or area
of interest. Low consensus is when very few people can agree. High distinctiveness is when the event
or area of interest is very unusual, whereas low distinctness is when the event or area of interest is
fairly common. High consistency is when the event or area of interest continues for a length of time
and low consistency is when the event or area of interest goes away quickly.

Three-dimensional model
Bernard Weiner proposed that individuals have initial affective responses to the potential
consequences of the intrinsic or extrinsic motives of the actor, which in turn influence future
behavior. That is, a person's own perceptions or attributions as to why they succeeded or failed at an
activity determine the amount of effort the person will engage in activities in the future. Weiner
suggests that individuals apply their attribution search and cognitively evaluate casual properties on
the behaviors they experience. When attributions lead to positive affect and high expectancy of future
success, such attributions should result in greater willingness to approach to similar achievement
tasks in the future than those attributions that produce negative affect and low expectancy of future

success. Eventually, such affective and cognitive assessment influences future behavior when
individuals encounter similar situations.

Weiner's achievement attribution has three categories:

1. stable theory (stable and unstable)

2. locus of control (internal and external)

3. controllability (controllable or uncontrollable)

Stability influences individuals' expectancy about their future; control is related with individuals'
persistence on mission; causality influences emotional responses to the outcome of task.

Attribution - Errors

While people strive to find reasons for behaviors, they fall into many traps of biases and errors. As
Fritz Heider says, "our perceptions of causality are often distorted by our needs and certain cognitive
biases". The following are examples of attributional biases.
Fundamental attribution error: The fundamental attribution error describes the habit to
misunderstand dispositional or personality-based explanations for behavior, rather than considering
external factors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain and assume
the behavior of others. For example, if a person is overweight, a person's first assumption might be
that they have a problem with overeating or are lazy and not that they might have a medical reason
for being heavier set. When evaluating others' behaviors, the situational context is often ignored in
favor of the disposition of the actor to be the cause of an observed behavior. This is because when a
behavior occurs attention is most often focused on the person performing the behavior. Thus, the
individual is more salient than the environment and dispositional attributions are made more often
than situational attributions to explain the behavior of others. However, when evaluating one's own
behavior, the situational factors are often exaggerated when there is a negative outcome while
dispositional factors are exaggerated when there is a positive outcome.
The core process assumptions of attitude construction models are mainstays of social cognition
research and are not controversial—as long as we talk about "judgment". Once the particular
judgment made can be thought of as a person's "attitude", however, construal assumptions elicit
discomfort, presumably because they dispense with the intuitively appealing attitude concept.

Culture bias: Culture bias is when someone makes an assumption about the behavior of a person
based on their cultural practices and beliefs. An example of culture bias is the dichotomy of
"individualistic" and "collectivistic cultures". People in individualist cultures, generally Anglo-
America and Anglo-Saxon European, are characterized as societies which value individualism,
personal goals, and independence. People in collectivist cultures are thought to regard individuals as
members of groups such as families, tribes, work units, and nations, and tend to value conformity and
interdependence. In other words, working together and being involved as a group is more common in
certain culture that views each person as a part of the community. This cultural trait is common in
Asia, traditional Native American societies, and Africa. Research shows that culture, either
individualist or collectivist, affects how people make attributions.
People from individualist cultures are more inclined to make fundamental-attribution error than
people from collectivist cultures. Individualist cultures tend to attribute a person's behavior due to
their internal factors whereas collectivist cultures tend to attribute a person's behavior to his external
Research suggests that individualist cultures engage in self-serving bias more than do collectivist
cultures, i.e. individualist cultures tend to attribute success to internal factors and to attribute failure
to external factors. In contrast, collectivist cultures engage in the opposite of self-serving bias i.e.
self-effacing bias, which is: attributing success to external factors and blaming failure on internal
factors (the individual).
Actor/observer difference: People tend to attribute other people's behaviors to their dispositional
factors while attributing own actions to situational factors. In the same situation, people's attribution
can differ depending on their role as actor or observer. For example, when a person scores a low
grade on a test, they find situational factors to justify the negative event such as saying that the
teacher asked a question that he/she never went over in class. However, if another person scores
poorly on a test, the person will attribute the results to internal factors such as laziness and
inattentiveness in classes. The theory of the actor-observer bias was first developed by E. Jones and
R. Nisbett in 1971, whose explanation for the effect was that when we observe other people, we tend
to focus on the person, whereas when we are actors, our attention is focused towards situational
factors. The actor/observer bias is used less frequently with people one knows well such as friends
and family since one knows how his/her close friends and family will behave in certain situation,
leading him/her to think more about the external factors rather than internal factors.

Dispositional attributions: Dispositional attribution is a tendency to attribute people's behaviors to

their dispositions; that is, to their personality, character, and ability. For example, when a normally
pleasant waiter is being rude to his/her customer, the customer may assume he/she has a bad temper.
The customer, just by looking at the attitude that the waiter is giving him/her, instantly decides that
the waiter is a bad person. The customer oversimplifies the situation by not taking into account all the
unfortunate events that might have happened to the waiter which made him/her become rude at that
moment. Therefore, the customer made dispositional attribution by attributing the waiter's behavior
directly to his/her personality rather than considering situational factors that might have caused the
whole "rudeness". Self-serving bias: Self-serving bias is attributing dispositional and internal factors
for success, while external and uncontrollable factors are used to explain the reason for failure. For
example, if a person gets promoted, it is because of his/her ability and competence whereas if he/she
does not get promoted, it is because his/her manager does not like him/her (external, uncontrollable
factor). Originally, researchers assumed that self-serving bias is strongly related to the fact that
people want to protect their self-esteem. However, an alternative information processing explanation
is that when the outcomes match people's expectations, they make attributions to internal factors. For
example, if you pass a test you believe it was because of your intelligence; when the outcome does
not match their expectations, they make external attributions or excuses. Whereas if you fail a test,
you would give an excuse saying that you did not have enough time to study. People also use
defensive attribution to avoid feelings of vulnerability and to differentiate themselves from a victim
of a tragic accident. An alternative version of the theory of self-serving bias states that the bias does
not arise because people wish to protect their private self-esteem, but to protect their self-image (a
self-presentational bias). This version of the theory would predict that people attribute their successes
to situational factors, for fear that others will disapprove of them looking overly vain if they should
attribute successes to themselves.
For example, it is suggested that coming to believe that "good things happen to good people and bad
things happen to bad people" will reduce feelings of vulnerability. This belief would have side-
effects of blaming the victim even in tragic situations. When a mudslide destroys several houses in a
rural neighborhood, a person living in a more urban setting might blame the victims for choosing to
live in a certain area or not building a safer, stronger house. Another example of attributional bias
is optimism bias in which most people believe positive events happen to them more often than to
others and that negative events happen to them less often than to others. For example, smokers on
average believe they are less likely to get lung cancer than other smokers.

Defensive attribution hypothesis: The defensive attribution hypothesis is a social

psychological term referring to a set of beliefs held by an individual with the function of defending
themselves from concern that they will be the cause or victim of a mishap. Commonly, defensive
attributions are made when individuals witness or learn of a mishap happening to another person. In
these situations, attributions of responsibility to the victim or harm-doer for the mishap will depend
upon the severity of the outcomes of the mishap and the level of personal and situational similarity
between the individual and victim. More responsibility will be attributed to the harm-doer as the
outcome becomes more severe, and as personal or situational similarity decreases.
An example of defensive attribution is the just-world hypothesis, which is where "good things
happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people". People believe in this in order to avoid
feeling vulnerable to situations that they have no control over. However, this also leads to blaming
the victim even in a tragic situation. When people hear someone died from a car accident, they decide
that the driver was drunk at the time of the accident, and so they reassure themselves that an accident
will never happen to them. Despite the fact there was no other information provided, people will
automatically attribute that the accident was the driver's fault due to an internal factor (in this case,
deciding to drive while drunk), and thus they would not allow it to happen to themselves.
Another example of defensive attribution is optimism bias, in which people believe positive events
happen to them more often than to others and that negative events happen to them less often than to
others. Too much optimism leads people to ignore some warnings and precautions given to them. For
example, smokers believe that they are less likely to get lung cancer than other smokers.
Impression Management
Impression management is a conscious or subconscious process in which people attempt
to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event by regulating and
controlling information in social interaction. It was first conceptualized by Erving Goffman in 1959
in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, and then was expanded upon in 1967.
An example of impression management theory in play is in sports such as soccer. At an important
game, a player would want to showcase themselves in the best light possible, because there are
college recruiters watching. This person would have the flashiest pair of cleats and try and perform
their best to show off their skills. Their main goal may be to impress the college recruiters in a way
that maximizes their chances of being chosen for a college team rather than winning the game.
Impression management is usually used synonymously with self-presentation, in which a person tries
to influence the perception of their image. The notion of impression management was first applied

to face-to-face communication, but then was expanded to apply to computer-mediated

communication. The concept of impression management is applicable to academic fields of study
such as psychology and sociology as well as practical fields such as corporate
communication and media.
Motives: A range of factors that govern impression management can be identified. It can be stated
that impression management becomes necessary whenever there exists a kind of social situation,
whether real or imaginary. Logically, the awareness of being a potential subject of monitoring is also
crucial. Furthermore, the characteristics of a given social situation are important. Specifically, the
surrounding cultural norms determine the appropriateness of particular nonverbal behaviours. The
actions have to be appropriate to the targets, and within that culture, so that the kind of audience as
well as the relation to the audience influences the way impression management is realized. A person's
goals are another factor governing the ways and strategies of impression management. This refers to
the content of an assertion, which also leads to distinct ways of presentation of aspects of the self.
The degree of self-efficacy describes whether a person is convinced that it is possible to convey the
intended impression.
A new study finds that, all other things being equal, people are more likely to pay attention to faces
that have been associated with negative gossip than those with neutral or positive associations. The
study contributes to a body of work showing that far from being objective, human perceptions are
shaped by unconscious brain processes that determine what they "choose" to see or ignore—even
before they become aware of it. The findings also add to the idea that the brain evolved to be
particularly sensitive to "bad guys" or cheaters—fellow humans who undermine social life by
deception, theft or other non-cooperative behavior.
There are many methods behind self-presentation, including self disclosure (identifying what makes
you "you" to another person), managing appearances (trying to fit in), ingratiation, aligning actions
(making one's actions seem appealing or understandable), and alter-casting (imposing identities on
other people). Maintaining a version of self-presentation that is generally considered to be attractive
can help to increase one's social capital, and this method is commonly implemented by individuals at
networking events. These self-presentation methods can also be used on the corporate level as
impression management.

Self-presentation: Self-presentation is conveying information about oneself – or an image of oneself

– to others. There are two types and motivations of self-presentation:
 presentation meant to match one's own self-image, and
 presentation meant to match audience expectations and preferences.
Self-presentation is expressive. Individuals construct an image of themselves to claim personal
identity, and present themselves in a manner that is consistent with that image. If they feel like it is
restricted, they often exhibit reactance or become defiant – try to assert their freedom against those
who would seek to curtail self-presentation expressiveness. An example of this dynamic is the
"preacher's daughter", whose suppressed personal identity and emotions cause an eventual backlash
at her family and community.
 Boasting – Millon notes that in self-presentation individuals are challenged to balance
boasting against discrediting themselves via excessive self-promotion or being caught and being
proven wrong. Individuals often have limited ability to perceive how their efforts impact their
acceptance,and likeability by others.
 Flattery – flattery or praise to increase social attractiveness
 Intimidation – aggressively showing anger to get others to hear and obey one's demands.
Self-presentation can be either defensive or assertive strategies (also described as protective versus
acquisitive). Whereas defensive strategies include behaviours like avoidance of threatening situations
or means of self-handicapping, assertive strategies refer to more active behaviour like the verbal
idealisation of the self, the use of status symbols or similar practices.
These strategies play important roles in one's maintenance of self-esteem. One's self-esteem is
affected by their evaluation of their own performance and their perception of how others react to their
performance. As a result, people actively portray impressions that will elicit self-esteem enhancing
reactions from others.
In 2019, as filtered photos are perceived as deceptive by users, PlentyOfFish along with other dating
sites have started to ban filtered images.

Social interaction: Goffman argued in his 1967 book, Interaction ritual, that people participate in
social interactions by performing a "line", or "pattern of verbal and nonverbal acts", which is created
and maintained by both the performer and the audience. By enacting a line effectively, the person
gains positive social value, which is also called "face". The success of a social interaction will depend
on whether the performer has the ability to maintain face. As a result, a person is required to display a
kind of character by becoming "someone who can be relied upon to maintain himself as an
interactant, poised for communication, and to act so that others do not endanger themselves by
presenting themselves as interactants to him". Goffman analyses how a human being in "ordinary
work situations presents himself and his activity to others, the ways in which he guides and controls
the impression they form of him, and the kinds of things he may and may not do while sustaining his
performance before them”.
When Goffman turned to focus on people physically presented in a social interaction, the "social
dimension of impression management certainly extends beyond the specific place and time of
engagement in the organization". Impression management is "a social activity that has individual and
community implications". We call it "pride" when a person displays a good showing from duty to
himself, while we call it "honor" when he "does so because of duty to wider social units, and receives
support from these duties in doing so".
Another approach to moral standards that Goffman pursues is the notion of "rules of conduct", which
"can be partially understood as obligations or moral constraints". These rules may be substantive
(involving laws, morality, and ethics) or ceremonial (involving etiquette). Rules of conduct play an
important role when a relationship "is asymmetrical and the expectations of one person toward
another are hierarchical."

Dramaturgical analogy: Goffman presented impression management dramaturgically, explaining

the motivations behind complex human performances within a social setting based on a play
metaphor. Goffman's work incorporates aspects of a symbolic interactions perspective, emphasizing a
qualitative analysis of the interactive nature of the communication process. Impression management
requires the physical presence of others. Performers, who seek certain ends in their interest, must
"work to adapt their behavior in such a way as to give off the correct impression to a particular
audience" and "implicitly ask that the audience take their performance seriously". Goffman proposed
that while among other people individual would always strive to control the impression that others
form of him or her so that to achieve individual or social goals.
The actor, shaped by the environment and target audience, sees interaction as a performance. The
objective of the performance is to provide the audience with an impression consistent with the
desired goals of the actor. Thus, impression management is also highly dependent on the situation. In
addition to these goals, individuals differ in responses from the interactive environment some may be
non-responsive to an audience's reactions while others actively respond to audience reactions in order
to elicit positive results. These differences in response towards the environment and target audience
are called self-monitoring. Another factor in impression management is self-verification, the act of
conforming the audience to the person's self-concept.
The audience can be real or imaginary. IM style norms, part of the mental programming received
through socialization, are so fundamental that we usually do not notice our expectations of them.
While an actor (speaker) tries to project a desired image, an audience (listener) might attribute a
resonant or discordant image. An example is provided by situations in which embarrassment occurs
and threatens the image of a participant.
Goffman proposes that performers "can use dramaturgical discipline as a defense to ensure that the
'show' goes on without interruption."] Goffman contends that dramaturgical discipline includes:
1. coping with dramaturgical contingencies;
2. demonstrating intellectual and emotional involvement;
3. remembering one's part and not committing unmeant gestures or faux pas;
4. not giving away secrets involuntarily;
5. covering up inappropriate behavior on the part of teammates on the spur of the moment;
6. offering plausible reasons or deep apologies for disruptive events;
7. maintaining self-control (for example, speaking briefly and modestly);
8. suppressing emotions to private problems; and

9. suppressing spontaneous feelings.

Manipulation and ethics: In business, "managing impressions" normally "involves someone trying
to control the image that a significant stakeholder has of them". The ethics of impression
management has been hotly debated on whether we should see it as an effective self-revelation or as
cynical manipulation. Some people insist that impression management can reveal a truer version of
the self by adopting the strategy of being transparent, which is a kind of openness.
Because transparency "can be provided so easily and because it produces information of value to the
audience, it changes the nature of impression management from being cynically manipulative to
being a kind of useful adaptation".
Virtue signalling is used within groups to criticize their own members for valuing outward
appearance over substantive action (having a real or permanent, rather than apparent or temporary,
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior
or perception of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded tactics. By advancing the interests
of the manipulator, often at another's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative,
abusive, devious, and deceptive. The process of manipulation involves bringing an unknowing victim
under the domination of the manipulator, often using deception, and using the victim to serve their
own purposes.
Machiavellianism is a term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person's
tendency to be unemotional, and therefore able to detach him or herself from conventional morality
and hence to deceive and manipulate others. 
Sophism In modern usage sophist and sophistry are redefined and used disparagingly. A sophism is
a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone. A sophist is a
person who reasons with clever but fallacious, willful and deceptive arguments.
Corporate jargon variously known as corporate speak, corporate lingo, business speak, business
jargon, management speak, workplace jargon, or commercialese, is the jargon often used in large
corporations, bureaucracies, and similar workplaces. The use of corporate jargon, also known as
"corporatese", is criticized for its lack of clarity as well as for its tedium, making meaning and
intention opaque and understanding difficult.