Questions on perception in the business environment


Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals select, organize and interpret their sensory impressions, so as to give meaning to their environment. Perception is a complex cognitive process and differs from person to person. People's behavior is influenced by their perception of reality, rather than the actual reality.

Perception is a cognitive process wherein an individual collects, organizes, and interprets data from the environment to obtain a meaning from it. In fact, perception differs from person to person for the same situation. Each person interprets the data in their own way and may come up with different meanings. For instance, when the boss comes to each employee's desk, one employee might think that he/she is trying to be friendly with the employees; another might think that the boss is keeping an eye on the employees.

It is also possible that people's perception of events or situations is nowhere close to reality. People react to situations based upon their perception of reality rather than the reality itself. Therefore, understanding the variations in the perceptions of individuals will help in understanding their organizational behavior better. Similarly, the perception of members in one organization differs from that of people in another organization. It is these differences in perception that make some organizations employ strict control over employees (as they believe that a disciplinarian environment will ensure success in business), while others encourage team culture and cooperation to enhance the performance of the organization.

Sub-processes of Perception

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The perceptual process of individuals passes through several sub-processes. They are stimulus or situation, registration, interpretation, feedback, behavior, and consequence. Stimulus or situation is the first sub-process in the process of perception. Here people are confronted with an external or internal stimulus. As a result, they might experience an immediate sensual stimulation or the confrontation may take place with the entire physical and socio-cultural environment.

In Registration, the individuals record in their minds the stimulus they have received from the environment. Physiological mechanisms such as listening, hearing, etc. play an active role in the perception of individuals. During Interpretation, people analyze the stimulus they have received. It is a cognitive process that is influenced by learning, motivation, and personality. Feedback is the response individuals receive from the stimulus i.e. environmental situations. Feedback has an impact on the perception of individuals. For instance, if employees receive appreciation (feedback) from the manager for their work, then they perceive that the manager is satisfied with their performance. Registration, interpretation, and feedback occur within a person and are in response to a given stimulus from the external environment. These sub-processes lead to a certain behavior by the individual, which again leads to a certain consequence.

Role of perception in decision making in manufacturing sector

Manufacturing is the backbone of any industrialized nation. Recent worldwide advances in manufacturing technologies have brought about a metamorphism in the industry. Fast-changing technologies on the product front have created a need for an equally fast response from manufacturing industries. To meet these challenges, manufacturing industries have to select appropriate manufacturing strategies, product designs, manufacturing processes, work piece and tool materials, and machinery and equipment. The selection decisions are complex as decision making is more challenging today. Decision makers in the manufacturing sector frequently face the problem of assessing a wide range of options and selecting one based on a set of conflicting criteria.

Decision Making in the Manufacturing Environment will be very useful to decision makers in the manufacturing sector as it makes decision making easier, more logical, systematic, efficient and effective. It is intended for designers, manufacturing engineers, practitioners, managers, institutes involved in design and manufacturing related projects, applied research workers, academics, and graduate students in mechanical, industrial, and manufacturing engineering.

Organizations rely heavily on the choices made for their success. The right choices can bring triumph and negative choices can cause failure. Perception plays a very important role in the choices individuals make. People make decisions every day, every hour and every minute based on the perceptions they interpret. Perception can cause several people to make wrong choices based on false information. In an organization incorrect decisions can cause a great deal of negative effects.

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Perception plays a vital role in the choices humans make. People make decisions every day, every hour and every minute based on the perceptions they construe. Each individual perceives situations, places, people and so forth with one's own five senses. However, what one perceives is not always accurate. People's perceptions can be misleading and can cause negative effects. Perception can cause numerous people to make the wrong choices based on non-factual information. In organizations wrong decisions can cause a tremendous amount of negative effects. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand perception; how one's perception of others impacts an organizations behavior; the positive and negative effects of using perceptive "shortcuts" when judging others; how decisions in real world organizations are made; and how perceptions shape one's ethical decisions.

Q1. Whether companies consider perception before decision


Ans.: Direct Attention Thinking Tools (DATT) is now Power of Perception. DATT gives us 10 simple strategies for sharpening an individual's perception and focusing our thinking in a more comprehensive, effective, and efficient way. DATT tools will enable us to have a broad and inclusive viewpoint. Using the DATT tools helps we can create a framework for defining a situation and improves our ability to consider consequences before we take action. So companies should consider perception before decision making with the help of DATT.

Q2. How does perception affects decision making?

Ans.: 1. Individuals in organizations make decisions; they make choices from among two or more alternatives.

Top managers determine their organization's goals, what products or services to offer, how best to finance operations, or where to locate a new manufacturing plant.

Middle- and lower-level managers determine production schedules, select new employees, and decide how pay raises are to be allocated.

Non-managerial employees also make decisions including whether or not to come to work on any given day, how much effort to put forward once at work, and whether or not to comply with a request made by the boss.

A number of organizations in recent years have been empowering their non-managerial employees with job-related decision-making authority that historically was reserved for managers.

Decision-making occurs as a reaction to a problem.

There is a discrepancy between some current state of affairs and some desired state, requiring consideration of alternative courses of action.

The awareness that a problem exists and that a decision needs to be made is a perceptual issue.

3. Every decision requires interpretation and evaluation of information. The perceptions of the decision maker will address these two issues.

Data are typically received from multiple sources.

Which data are relevant to the decision and which are not?

Alternatives will be developed, and the strengths and weaknesses of each will need to be evaluated.

Q3. Why perception is included in the process of decision making?

Ans.: Perception is a cognitive process by which individuals organize, interpret, and understand their surroundings and environment which also includes impressions formed objects, events, and people. In the process of making decisions, we must fully understand the situation along with its facts to come to a resolution. Without consuming all the factors, the wrong decision may be made. Every decision requires interpretation and evaluation of information. The perceptions of the decision maker will address these two issues.

Perception in manufacturing sector

India's manufacturing sector has registered a balanced growth across different industries over the last six months with even the old economy companies turning the corner, says a new study.

The CII manufacturing-ASCON survey, carried out by the Associations Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), states that 65 percent of the companies in 125 sectors tracked have been registering growth during the last six months.

The Indian economy is poised to reap the benefits that come with a strong manufacturing base in an economy.

The relentless emphasis that Indian companies have placed on continuously enhancing design and engineering skills, building new capabilities for product and technology innovation and in leveraging resources from around the world to provide value to customers are contributing in transforming 'Made in India' into a global brand.

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The India advantage is fast changing from that of cost arbitrage to include sustainable factors such as skilled labour, design and research and development capability, a large consuming middle class, besides a growing and liberalizing economy, states the survey for April-September 2006.

The manufacturing sector is clearly benefiting from this changing perception.

In fact, manufacturing in India is now acquiring a whole new dimension. While many low-end jobs are being outsourced to India, the manufacturing sector is also turning into the design and manufacturing hub of the world.

Be it industrial robot manufacturer Gudel or auto giant BMW or South Korean consumer goods giant LG, India has become a key manufacturing destination for a large number of global players. It is already a preferred destination for the manufacture of auto components, bulk drugs and producer services such as software, finance and several others.

The manufacturing sector had recorded a growth of 9.1 percent in 2005-06, compared to 9.2 percent in the previous year. This is being strengthened quarter-on-quarter during the current fiscal.

The manufacturing sector seems set to enhancing its share in the GDP to the targeted 30 percent.


The Perception and Reality of Business Effectiveness

The Perception of Business Effectiveness -

Let's talk about the "perception" and "reality" of business growth.

You know the difference between perception and reality. Perception gives you an "impression". Reality is the experience of the truth of the matter. Reality is what counts. Perception/impression may not to give you results that you would expect, or like.

The perception of where your company is with regard to growth is based on your increasing sales and profitability, the company perspective of itself, and it as compared to your competition and industry standard.

You could ask yourself "What is the perception of my corporate growth?, "Is my corporate growth bringing me the long-term results I am looking for? And, what are the costs of my company not fulfilling its growth potential?

It is important to note here that the "reality" of a company's achievement and growth could be quite different based on another perspective. The perception of your business condition could be deceiving, and could include a number of unseen losses.

"Your perception is verified by its comparison to another perspective."


Opportunity Analysis -

We can focus on a company's position by asking these questions -

What is the perception of how we are doing as a company?

How can I "see" what to do to know where to go to do better?

What would it take to improve the outcome of my results?

What would the reality look like of what I could achieve?

How would the improved results put the company in a more profitable and secure position?

Am I committed to produce the results I envision?

What can I do now to start gaining better business results?


"What we are addressing here is turning a perception into a new reality by understanding where we are at and creating a path to a reality of improved business development and greater profitability results."

The Reality of Business Effectiveness -

Cutting Costs and Building Profitability -

As we know building profitability can often be focused on cutting costs.

The problem and limitation to building profitability by cutting costs is that you can only cut costs until you have no more costs to cut, and then you might be out of business. Obviously you cannot build company growth on out of business; you cannot build company growth on cutting costs.

You can build on opportunities. The key is seeing the opportunities and knowing how to address them. In perceiving opportunities "the forest and the trees", the being to close to see it, can come into play. The advantage of an outside business development professional is that they can see the opportunities clearer.

A business development professional unveils possibilities for companies by revealing business building opportunities through the background of extensive business experience and a natural talent in business clarity and ideas, coupled with a valuable outside perspective, that creates business results that are effective - looking in from outside of the current perception.

Creating improved business outcomes for company growth requires a prudent combination of successful cost consciousness and business building that provides the most effective long-term profitability results.

At a last, perception is very important for decision making in manufacturing business it also help in sustaining and attaining goals of business ..