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Workplace behaviors and the role of motivation in the work environment - Essay Example

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Work psychology can be generally described as the study of human behavior in work environments. Following World War II, work psychology was explained simply as “fitting the person to the job” and “fitting the job to the person” (Furnham, 2005)…
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Workplace behaviors and the role of motivation in the work environment
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Download file to see previous pages Work psychology can be generally described as the study of human behavior in work environments. Following World War II, work psychology was explained simply as “fitting the person to the job” and “fitting the job to the person” (Furnham, 2005). Over the years, this has evolved to become vocational/occupational psychology, organizational psychology, management and ergonomics. This is a study of how people behave individually and in groups, how leaders emerge and how “the thoughts, feelings and behaviour” of the employees are affected by the “actual, imagined or implied behaviour of others in the organization” (Furnham, 2005).The Classic Styles of Behavior
Dalton (2007) identifies seven classic styles of behavior of individuals in any workplace: Commander, Drifter, Attacker, Pleaser, Performer, Avoider and Analytical. Commanders are domineering and matter of fact to the point of rudeness. Their initiative and drive might be viewed as a threat by others in the organization. They, however, have the extraordinary ability “to overcome obstacles, to implement and to achieve results” (Dalton 2007). Drifters are easygoing and impulsive. Disorganized as they are, they cannot conform to rules and routines. To make the most out of them, they have to be given short assignments on flexible schedules. They are innovative and creative and can improvise at short notice. Attackers are cynical and have a demoralizing effect on the others in the organization. This category of workers should be assigned jobs that require minimum interaction with others. However, attackers are adept at tackling unpleasant assignments and making decisions unemotionally. Pleasers are pleasant and helpful, and incapable of saying "no" to others. Hence they are unable to face conflicts and try to escape having to tackle them. They protect people, often concealing critical information, which could be detrimental to the organization. Performers are entertainers who are often the center of attraction. They have great conversational skills. Performers are ready to falsify facts to project their own importance; however, they shy from accepting any kind of serious responsibility. They have immense ability to strike new relationships. Avoiders are quiet introverts who are reluctant to take initiative and are comfortable working by themselves. They fear criticism, responsibility and accountability. They cling to the security of status quo at the cost of their own betterment. Avoiders, on the other hand, are highly reliable in that they give attention to instructions and get their jobs done "the first time, every time" (Dalton, 2007). Analyticals are cautious, hard-working and obsessed with detail. They are great sources of information; however, they always come up with a valid reason why any new idea cannot work. This hinders the efficiency of a team, especially in times of emergency. They are, however, dependable for their commitment, knowledge and farsightedness. Though human behaviors cannot be strictly categorized under these classic styles, as there can be combinations of two or more of these traits in an individual, understanding these traits can help in smoothing relationships and ensuring positive results.
Perception and Conflict
The individuals in a workplace, besides in their behavior, could differ in their physical appearance, their social and educational backgrounds, their skills, etc. But the most important difference that has a telling impact in any workplace could be the difference in perceptions. Perception may be defined as "the process by which an individual selects, organizes and interprets stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the environment in which he lives" (Organizational Behavior, 2004). Perceptions vary even while exposed to the same stimuli depending on the needs, values and expectations of every individual. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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