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The interaction provided in the weekly assignment drew upon our knowledge of perception in each business situation. Perception is an idea of the reality in the world we know. The problem is what we perceive to be true, may be clouded by irrelevant information. Thus, devouring our perceived reality: as figment of our imagination. Perception can have negative and positive connotations. Perception in management needs to be free of biases, stereotypes, discrimination.
An excellent and common example of the fallacy of negative perception is an abundance of people who joke that blondes are unintelligent and flighty. If an employer hires two blonde workers, and finds them to be like the preceding stereotypes of blondes; meaning unintelligent and flighty. The employer might perceive all blondes to fit that particular mold. The negative perception is both a fallacy and stereotypical. All people regardless of race, gender, or age are unique. One person may be highly intelligent, whereas another person may be exceptionally creative. People do not fit into a particular mold, and each person should be treated the same regardless of race, gender, or age. Management has the tedious job of researching the facts in relation to disciplinary function, interviewing applicants, and ethical conduct with an organization.
In this week's assignment, we are analyzing perception and its role in effective management. The first scenario pertains to an employee who is late to work three days in a row. The manager has only been recently promoted, and does not have familiarity with the late employee's routine or work habits. The immediate sensory perception would be to assume the employee is chronically late, making excuses, and needs to be reprimanded. The perception of the employee can be related to the Attribution Theory, which is defined by Robbins (2005) as “the explanation of the ways in which we judge people differently, depending on the meaning we attribute to a given behavior (Robbins, 2005, p. 136).
An effective manager must do research to gain a better understanding of the employee's normal routine and the facts related to the occurrences of tardiness to date. The first step is to look into the employee's personnel file, and find any written reprimands relating to being tardy. The conclusion to checking the file was no written reprimands and performance reviews were all positive. The option of speaking with coworkers about the late employee's previous tardy behavior was deemed unprofessional. The organization has plenty of information available to verify the employee's tardiness to date. The author believes that subordinates should never be included in management research, unless they are directly affected by the actions or specific research.
As a precautionary step, the manager needs to check other time records to make sure that the previous manager had not overlooked his tardiness in the past. The review of time record review indicates that the employee was only late the previous week. The immediate sensory perception of a chronically late employee who is making excuses has been distinguished through effective management and research. The manager at this point can sit down and have a conversation with the employee and have a firm understanding of what is going on and take action to correct the tardiness. After discussing the tardiness with the employee, the manager has determined that the tardiness is linked to external factors. External factors are outside causes, such as the car breaking down. The internal factors would be causes that were under the employee's personal control; such as personal inability to wake up on time.
The first scenario could have had an alternate chain of events had the new manager made an immediate response and reprimanded the employee. The employee could have resigned or promoted a negative attitude amongst other employees; therefore validating the need for all managers to base decisions regarding discipline on facts rather than an immediate perception.
The second scenario is the new manager sitting in for an employment interview with a potential employee. In the interview, the applicant states he was born in another country. He additionally received his degrees in another country. After receiving his master's degree, he moved to the United States. The applicant has significant college credentials, but lacks experience with the specific designs he would be hired for. Though the applicant has deficits in the design experience, he does have experience in working with teams for other designs. The applicant was approved for hire.
A shortcut of judging others was avoided in this interview. The new manager could have easily pointed out that the applicant was not from the United States, nor did he receive his education in the United States. The selective perception could make the applicant stand out, because he is different by birthright. The applicant would presumably have a strong accent, which would be another shortcut for judging in the selection perception. The new manager subjectively listened to the information the applicant had, and made an unbiased opinion based on the best candidate for the position.
The third scenario is about an employee who has access to the private plans of a competitor. Indulging in the information could benefit the manager's company extensively: though the consequences for this action could be indistinguishable. The idea of accessing a competitor's private information is unethical. The ethical choice to not access the information is the utilitarian criterion (Robbins, 2005, p. 157). The utilitarian criterion takes into account the consequences for the unethical action.
In conclusion, the illustration of how perception applies to each scenario is astounding. A manager has to look at each workplace incidence with objectivity, being cautious not to judge each situation immediately. The research the manager did in the first scenario; was beneficial to the company and the late employee. The non-judgemental selection of applicant in scenario two helped bring an exceptional employee to the design team. The third scenario dealt with an unethical method of retaining a competitor's private information. The idea was thwarted by management, and the possibility of lawsuit was extinguished. The utilitarian criterion was used; which likes the negative consequences to the unethical action. The three scenarios revolve around perception and the options a manager has.
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