Feb 142011

Perception Definition: A perception is a belief held by a person, or many people, based upon how they see the world around them.

What is Perception?

the process of selecting, organising and interpreting information in order to make sense of the world around us

(Bratton: 2010, 500)

the dynamic and complex way in which individuals select information (stimuli) from the environment, interpret and translate it so that a  meaning is assigned which will result in a pattern of behaviour or thought

(Mullins: 2010, 829)

Perception in Organisations

Often the main aspects of perception in an organisation is how an individual views others, as this can be a major point in how that person will behave within the business. It is also a aspect of how an individual is motivated within an organisation. If they preserve people in a certain way than they may believe they are disliked, not listened to or ignored by this person and therefore their motivation to do anything will be far smaller. This is why in organisations there needs to be a way of making sure employees fit before being hired and then when they are hired their first perceptions of others need to be good.

To achieve a good first impression companies will often introduce new employees and current employees in ways which show off key skills, highlight the importance of these people to the team, so that perceptions are built around positives instead of negatives. The perceptual process is how organisations cope with the aforementioned.

Perception Process

  1. Receiving Stimuli – Picking up all external and internal factors.
  2. Selecting Stimuli – Selecting the stimuli which will be most important – This is where the introduction of new employees is important, they need to be presented in a way where the selected stimuli are positive.
  3. Organising – Grouping and selecting which are the perceptions to keep.
  4. Interpreting – Fundamental Attribution Error, stereotyping, Halo Effect and projection.
  5. Response – The perception is then turned into attitudes, motivation, feelings and beliefs, which will change the behaviours of the individuals.

Theories of Perception

Learn more about perception in organisations by looking at the following theories;

Key Learning Points

  1. What is the Definition for Perception?
  2. What is the Fundamental Attribution Error Theory?
  3. What are the Gestalt Principles?

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