Perception in Organization
1. Definition: A cognitive information processing
process that enables us to interpret and understand our environment
2. How Perception functions: the Social Information Processing
Model. Four Stages:
Social perception: the information processing process of interpreting
and understanding other people.
Key concept: bounded rationality
(1). Selective Attention/Comprehension
Cognitive structure/mental models: patterns of information processing
Salient stimuli: novel, unusual, bright, contrast, cues.
(2). Encoding and Simplification: raw information is interpreted and
translated into meaningful mental constructs
Limited interpretation capability:
Mental models/basic assumptions
Cognitive categories: beautiful
Schema: a mental picture of a particular event/object
(3). Storage and Retention:
(4). Retrieval and Response
Limited short-term memory capability
Long-term memory: modular/connectivity
3. Fallacies in Social Perception
Stereotype: a generalization of a group of people: stereotype toward
the powerless: women, elder people, gay, minority.
Implicit personality theory: judging other people based on our own
mental models about how people behave: attractiveness, selfishness, worm.
First-impression error: the tendency to form lasting opinions about
an individual based on initial perceptions.
Self-fulfilling prophecy: the situation in which our expectations about
people affect interaction with them that our expectations are fulfiled.
Man is a rationalizing animal
Selective perception: selectively gather, interpret, store, and
retrieve information in a way that fits one’s self-concept, viewpoints,
attitudes, values, self-interests, and emotions: illusion and escape from
4. Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Leon Festinger,
5. Impression management: the process of enhancing
other people’s impression about oneself – short-term orientation
Cognitive Dissonance: an uncomfortable situation when a person
simultaneously holds inconsistent/conflicting congnitions (ideas, beliefs,
Festingers: people will reduce cognitive dissonance in the easiest way
possible, usually by changing one or both cognitions.
Facework: preserving, enhancing, and saving the face of self and others.
– long-term orientation
Self-enhancing: name dropping, appearance, dress.
Other-enhancing: flattery, agreement
6. Organizational Perception and Memory
Attributions in Organization
Organizational mental model
Division and specialization in perception
Organizational common knowledge base
Attribute Theory: how people trace the causes of the behavior
of themselves and others
Internal attribution: attribute the individual internal factors
as the causes of behavior.
External attribution: attribute external factors as the causes
Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to make attributions
to internal causes when explaining the behavior of others.
Self-serving bias: the tendency to attribute one’s own successes
to internal causes and one’s failure to external causes.
Cultural Differences: Japan may be the opposite
Kelley’s Attribution Theory
Consensus: other people’s behavior on the same situation or tasks
Consistency: one’s behavior over time on one given tasks
Distinctiveness: one’s behavior in other situations or tasks