Individual Behaviors in an Organization


The influence on employees within an organization predetermines their performance and general level of job satisfaction. The manager’s mission is to distribute tasks between his/her employees taking into consideration their skills and experience. In other words, a manager should give a task to an employee only if the employee is able to perform it well and on time. However, in practice, a manager often faces a dilemma because tasks do not always correspond to the employees’ work potential or a manger does not have enough resources to perform all tasks according to the requirements. Consequently, a manager is forced to give tasks to employees who are not experienced enough or do not have skills needed to perform that particular task. Finally, it leads to conflicts in the workplace and new problems in addition to the failure to perform tasks.

The reason for such situation is ignoring individuals’ behavior in a manager’s work. Every employee is an individual; he/she has some principles, values, beliefs and a manner of communication. If a manger fails to establish an adequate contact with an employee by not taking into consideration the aspects introduced above, it leads to conflicts and challenges in the workplace. Accordingly, individual behavior in an organization not only creates an adequate working atmosphere; it predetermines the effectiveness of work performance and ability of different individuals to work in one team in order to achieve common goals.

Individual Differences, Values, and Diversity

As it was mentioned above, every employee is an individual who has some position in life, culture and values. Thus, individual’s behavior in an organization should include three key points, which are individual differences, values and diversity. Every person has individual features that distinguish him/her from others (Ghosh, 2014). Even those people who are very similar in their behavior do not have the same attitude to things in life. For instance, some people are more stress-resistant while others are able to work longer without rest; some people prefer working in the morning, and others feel well working at midnight. These individual specifics make one person different from another; a good manager considers employees’ individual preferences and tries to satisfy their demands for the mutual wellbeing.

Values are also an essential part of every individual. Every person has some values that are predetermined by his/her code of ethics. As a result, values of one person do not always match values of another. The things viewed as normal from the perspective of one person may be totally inappropriate for another person (Kamps & Engelbrecht, 2011). In order to avoid conflicts based on the values differences, an organization should implement a specific code of ethics that will reflect the values common for the majority of employees. To these values, one may refer adequate attitude to others, politeness, and absence of verbal or physical abuse.

Apart from respecting employees’ values, an employer should also take into consideration such aspect as diversity. Diversity can be introduced in various ways; it can be a cultural, gender, age or origin diversity. An organization should pay special attention to this issue because the effective performance of employees is impossible if their diversities lead to conflicts (Katsaros & Nicolaidis, 2012). For instance, the cultural diversity may become one of the core challenges for an organization. People with different cultural origin perceive the same situation differently. Hence, if an organization works with foreign partners, especially with those who represent Eastern countries, it should be very careful because the perception of the world in different cultures is dissimilar.

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Emotions, Attitudes and Job Satisfaction

The psychological state of employees also contributes to the working process. Emotions are the essential part of people’s life, and it is impossible always to keep emotions under strict control. Positive emotions make a person happier; as a result, a happy person is more willing to carry out his/her duties and, as a rule, performs them better than a person with negative emotions. Employees’ emotions predetermine attitude to work, colleagues, clients, partners and boss and shape the general level of job satisfaction (Cedfeldt et al., 2010).

According to this fact, emotions prevailing among employees have a direct impact on an organization as they are connected with well-being of the employees. The goal of an organization is to create conditions in the workplace that promote the development of positive emotions and, as a result, positive attitude to what employees do and an increase in job satisfaction (Maniam, 2013).

Job satisfaction is possible when employee’s needs and values are satisfied. As a rule, this phenomenon includes the great number of factors such as positive work environment, good salary, adequate colleagues, not stressful work, and others. Nevertheless, job satisfaction is a person’s perception of his/her work. The same work can be viewed by people differently; while somebody may find it a pleasure to work in an organization, another person perceives it as a boring routine. Therefore, job satisfaction is only a perception, which can be changed if one uses the right motivation for the task.

Perception, Attribution, and Learning

Perception is the way a person views the environment where he/she lives, works or studies. This aspect can be defined as a process when a person selects, analyzes, interprets and responds to information that he/she received from the environment. Perception is very important for organizational behavior because it predetermines the way a person perceives the reality, but not what the reality is. A person’s perception predetermines his/her vision of a particular situation and, as a result, the way he/she responds to this situation (Park, 2014). Perception includes factors that shape person’s perception, which include past experience, character, motives, values, and, as a result, his/her attitude. Thus, perception is an important aspect of employee’s motivation, which should be directed in a necessary way in order to bring positive benefits to an organization and change an attitude to the job and to the environment where an employee works.

Attribution is a logical consequence of a person’s perception and attitude. The way a person perceives is reflected in his/her attribution; people describe a situation from their perception. According to this fact, one may learn how to change his/her way of perception for his/her personal well-being. Learning helps to control one’s perception or influence perception of other people. Ability for learning is very important in any organization; it shows whether a person is ready to bring some changes in order to improve his/her personal skills or even attitude to things.

Motivation Theories

A good motivation predetermines more than simple cheering up or good words from an employer. Motivation is a complex phenomenon that includes psychological influences on a person, using person’s threats and values in order to make him/her do something better than he/she could. The basic model of motivation can be introduced in a following way: needs – behavior – satisfaction. Hence, if one has some needs, he/she uses certain behavior to satisfy them. This model is used as one of the simplest and the most widespread, but a good employer should also be aware of other models that will better suit in his/her situation because every team requires its own unique approach.

For instance, Alderfer’s ERG theory classifies all needs into three categories, which are growth needs, relatedness needs and existence needs (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2002). According to the Alderfer’s model, the more one receives, the more he/she wants. In other words, when a person satisfies one of his/her needs, he/she wants something more or higher. A good example is a salary; when a person thinks about what salary he/she wants to receive, he/she imagines some figures that will make him/her satisfied. However, when the person receives such money, he/she starts thinking about a higher salary. When the person receives a higher salary, he/she is still not satisfied with a current salary and wants more. Nevertheless, if a person takes a look at his/her initial demands, he/she will find that he/she has already satisfied his/her initial needs long ago.

In such a way, Alderfer wants to say that a person’s will for the needs’ satisfaction is unlimited. This theory can be used in order to identify to what hierarchy of needs a person belongs. Hence, it shows that every person requires different methods of motivation. For instance, employees of a low class need to be motivated by managers, managers require motivation from top managers, while top managers are able to provide self-motivation in order to achieve target goals.

Another motivation theory was introduced by Douglas McGregor. He stated that all employees can be divided into two categories. The first category is those employees who are not satisfied with their work, and thus employer should provide control over them in order to inspire better work. The second group is employees who are satisfied with their work, but they need more authorities to reveal their skills and experience in the working process. According to this theory, an organization should define which employees should be strictly controlled and which should be allowed to act according to their own vision.

One of the most famous motivation theories, however, is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow divided all needs into five categories, which were presented in a form of a pyramid. When an organization satisfies one level of needs, it should move to the next one. The lowest levels introduce physiological demands such as sleep, food or shelter. The highest levels of the pyramid refer to self-actualization. The goal of an organization is to target the top individual needs in order to make employees believe that they do a valuable work.

Motivation and Performance

The success of a chosen motivation model can be viewed during the work performance. If a manger provides an effective model, his/her employees should improve their performance and demonstrate better results in the nearest future. However, if a manager fails to provide an adequate motivation model or a chosen model had little effect or did not have any positive effect at all, the performance will be on the same level.

In this way, it can be said that motivation is more than good words from a manager or cheering-up during the working process. Motivation is a complex process that predetermines the analysis of every employee individually and in a team. In order to find a perfect model that can be applied individually for every employee and in general for all employees together, managers often mix the models in order to satisfy the required demands (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2002).

The connection between motivation and performance is more than obvious. Motivated people experience a willing to do their work better, faster and longer if it is necessary. Besides, they feel less tired or this feeling causes pleasant emotion, which often means that they do something that earlier was difficult or even impossible for them. As a result, the work performance becomes better without any additional resources or hiring more employees.


Individual behavior in an organization is a complex phenomenon that includes many different aspects. Every employee is an individual with some values, principles and lifestyle. Every person has his/her perception of the world and, as a result, some people are more emotional, while others are calm. The task of a manager is to analyze the individual specifics of every employee in order to create an environment where he/she will demonstrate his/her best performance. However, it is quite difficult to create a working atmosphere that will satisfy everybody. In this case, one may use motivation as the main tool of influence on employees’ performance. Finally, if a manager finds a way to use all these tools effectively, he/she will be able to influence the inner process within an organization and to change the organizational behavior according to his/her needs.

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