Concept of Understanding Individual Behaviour (UIB)
From the OB point of view, managers need to understand and analyze the behaviour of people at three different levels. It is true because people behave differently when they:
- Work individually.
- Work in a group.
- Work with the organization
The major concern of OB (Managers) at UIB is at (a) individual-level analysis, (b) Determinants (causes), (c) outcomes, and (d) managing the person’s behaviour if it is deviated or can be further improved to attain the organizational efficiency and goal attainment.
It is a long search of a man in interest (quest) of finding oneself. Human behaviour is the most complex phenomenon, is the most difficult to assess in quantifiable terms. It is primarily a combination of responses to internal and external stimuli. These responses would reflect the psychological structure of the person and maybe a result of a combination of biological and psychological processes.
Psychologist Kurt Lewin has conducted considerable research on human behaviour and its causes. He believes that people are influenced by a number of diversified factors, both genetic and environmental. The influence of these factors determines the pattern of behaviour. He called his conception of these influences “the field theory” and suggested that:
So, behaviour (B) is a function (f) of the person (P) and environment (e) around him.
Similarly, it has been observed that each person’s behaviour is the product of intelligence, creativity, personality and adaptability, etc. it is these qualities that hold the key too many of the enduring (long-lasting) mysteries of life such as:
- Are humans unique?
- How do people become what they are?
- Why are some people more intelligent than others?
- What forces of heredity or environment or both interacts produce the contradiction and complexities of human personality.
Both personal and environmental characteristics serve as the foundations of individual behaviour. What includes in the person and the environment in the context of human behaviour is shown in the table below.
Behaviour as an Input-Output System
It is clear from the above discussion that human behaviour is influenced by both internal and external factors. Also, human behaviour is considered as a system-consisting of input-process and output. It is evident that without a stimulus, there is no output. In other words, in the absence of a stimulus, there is no information which can be handled by the internal process to cause the behaviour to take place. There are mainly two view-points to see human behaviour as a system.
1.Traditional Viewpoint :
SR model agrees that stimulus leads to response – as input leads to output in the machine. Later on, it has been modified by injecting organism (O) in between S – R. this second view tells that with the same stimulus, the responses are different because an organism is active, not passive. This ‘O’ is affected by a person’s values, attitudes, needs and expectations (VANE).
this viewpoint is much more comprehensive and realistic than a traditional viewpoint. This model represents a causal sequence between S-O-B (see the figure). Here, we discuss in short, the three components of it and its interaction pattern.
(a). Situation (S):
As against to traditional model, ‘S’ stands for a situation in the behavioural model. The situation includes all environmental aspects: immediate stimulus (overt and covert i.e., exposed and hidden) and environment (i.e. physical, socio-cultural and technological environment). This situation influences the organism and also affected by it.
(b). Organism (O):
This aspect is highly complex in nature and plays a very import role. It includes four sub-functions: (a) physiological (heredity, nervous system, five sense organs and muscles), (b) cognitive processes (thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, perception, conceptualization, judgement, and creativity), (c) psychological processes (motivation and learning), and (d) personality.
The letter ‘O’ denotes interaction which takes place between the situation and the individual before behaviour results. This type of interaction (cognition or mental process) is usually called perception which forms a part of ‘O’ along with personality and psychological processes of learning and motivation.
(c). Behaviour (B):
Behaviours are responses which come in the form of overt (easy to see) and covert (not easy to see) and ultimately individuals show a pattern of behaviour. There exists a two-way interaction between ‘S’ and ‘O’ and between ‘O’ and ‘B’. thus, there is an interactive relationship between the variables.
A Simple Mental Process
(Steps in the process of Human Thinking)
A person’s behaviour is affected by the mental process or process of his/her thinking. In simple words, the mental process is the performance of some composite cognitive activity, an operation that affects mental contents; the process of thinking and cognitive operation of remembering. The six-step mental process according to J.L. Reed is:
Six-Step Mental Process
this is the first step in the six-step mental process. Analysing means to examine critically, so as to bring out the essential elements or give the essence of. You use the first step of the six-step mental process to critically examine your personal life.
It is the second step in the six-step mental process. Research is the diligent and systematic inquiry (or investigation) into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc. you use the second step of the six-step mental process to investigate the thought you have captured and to ultimately change the belief in your belief system that the thought supports, provided you determine the thought is life. How do you begin the investigation?
The third step in the six-step mental process is hypothesized. It means to form a hypothesis – a proposition or set of propositions (assumptions) guided towards an explanation for the occurrence of some specific group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture (assumption) to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts. You use this step to “make sense” of how something works, what something is about, what actions are appropriate, and so forth.
The fourth step in the six-step mental process is purpose. It means to offer or suggest (a matter, subject, case, etc.) for consideration, acceptance, or action. You use this step to propose a hypothesis to yourself.
It is the fifth step in the six-step mental process. It means to pronounce (declare) a judgement; come to conclusion. You use this step to actually make the decision to try your hypothesis.
It is the last step in the six-step mental process. Initiate means to begin; get going. You use this step to direct yourself to act on your hypothesis by either placing it directly into your belief system or conducting a “trial run” to determine how it works.
How the Mental Processes (Human Thinking) Work Together by combining those 6 Steps?
This six-step process enables you to examine your life (analyse), review new information and consult known information (research), consider alternatives to what you are doing and believing (hypothesize), offer yourself a new plan (propose), determine if the hypothesis something to try (decide), and put the plan into action (initiate). How does the six-step mental process influence the beliefs in your belief system? The hypothesis becomes a belief when you have practised your hypothesis and proved its value, worth, and application. You take the results of your actions, process them through the six-step mental process and initiate the new belief at the end of the cycle.
The six-step mental process provides you with the means by which you can intervene in your own mind to capture, evaluate, and change any and every thought that comes to you. Your own intervention gives you the power of self-control and enables you to control your emotions and behaviours.
A special kind of six-step mental process is the feeling thinking pattern. A feeling thinking pattern is thoughts or patterns of thoughts that are charged with feelings such as anger, fear, anxiety, and depression. These feeling thinking patterns are generally classified as NEGATIVE. However, there are also POSITIVE feeling thinking patterns such as love, trust, faith, hope, and rejoicing.