May 8, 2022
Understanding Individual Behaviour (UIB) 

Concept of Understanding Individual Behaviour (UIB)

From the OB point of view, managers need to understand and analyze the behavior of people at three different levels. It is true because people behave differently when they: 

  • Work individually.
  • Work in a group.
  • Work with the organization

The major concern of OB (Managers) at UIB is at

  1. individual-level analysis,
  2. Determinants (causes),
  3. outcomes, and
  4. managing the person’s behaviour

 if it is deviated or can be further improved to attain organizational efficiency and goal attainment. 

It is a long search of a man in interest (quest) of finding oneself. Human behavior is the most complex phenomenon, is the most difficult to assess in quantifiable terms. It is primarily a combination of responses to internal and external stimuli. These responses would reflect the psychological structure of the person and maybe a result of a combination of biological and psychological processes. 

Psychologist Kurt Lewin has conducted considerable research on human behavior and its causes. He believes that people are influenced by several diversified factors, both genetic and environmental. The influence of these factors determines the pattern of behavior. He called his conception of these influences “the field theory” and suggested that: 

B=f(P,E) 

So, behavior (B) is a function (f) of the person (P) and environment (e) around him. 

Similarly, it has been observed that each person’s behavior is the product of intelligence, creativity, personality, and adaptability, etc. it is these qualities that hold the key to many of the enduring (long-lasting) mysteries of life such as: 

  • Are humans unique?
  • How do people become what they are?
  • Why are some people more intelligent than others?
  • What forces of heredity or environment or both interacts produce the contradiction and complexities of human personality.

Both personal and environmental characteristics serve as the foundations of individual behavior. That includes the person and the environment in the context of human behavior is shown in the table below. 

the foundation of organizational behavior

Behaviour as an Input-Output System

It is clear from the above discussion that human behavior is influenced by both internal and external factors. Also, human behavior is considered a system consisting of input-process and output. It is evident that without a stimulus, there is no output. In other words, in the absence of a stimulus, no information can be handled by the internal process to cause the behavior to take place. There are mainly two viewpoints to see human behavior as a system.

Understanding Individual Behaviour 

1.Traditional Viewpoint : 

SR model agrees that stimulus leads to response – as input leads to output in the machine. Later on, it has been modified by injecting organism (O) in between S – R. this second view tells that with the same stimulus, the responses are different because an organism is active, not passive. This ‘O’ is affected by a person’s values, attitudes, needs, and expectations (VANE). 

2.Behavioural Viewpoint:

this viewpoint is much more comprehensive and realistic than a traditional viewpoint. This model represents a causal sequence between S-O-B (see the figure). Here, we discuss in short, the three components of it and its interaction pattern. 

conceptual framework of ob

(a). Situation (S):

As against to traditional model, ‘S’ stands for a situation in the behavioral model. The situation includes all environmental aspects: immediate stimulus (overt and covert i.e., exposed and hidden) and environment (i.e. physical, socio-cultural, and technological environment). This situation influences the organism and is also affected by it. 

(b). Organism (O): 

This aspect is highly complex and plays a very important role. It includes four sub-functions:

(a) physiological (heredity, nervous system, five sense organs and muscles),

(b) cognitive processes (thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, perception, conceptualization, judgment, and creativity),

(c) psychological processes (motivation and learning), and

(d) personality. 

The letter ‘O’ denotes interaction that takes place between the situation and the individual before behavior results. This type of interaction (cognition or mental process) is usually called perception which forms a part of ‘O’ along with personality and psychological processes of learning and motivation. 


(c). Behaviour (B): 

Behaviors are responses that come in the form of overt (easy to see) and covert (not easy to see) and ultimately individuals show a pattern of behavior. There exists a two-way interaction between ‘S’ and ‘O’ and between ‘O’ and ‘B’. thus, there is an interactive relationship between the variables. 



A Simple Mental Process

(Steps in the process of Human Thinking)

A person’s behavior is affected by the mental process or process of his/her thinking. In simple words, the mental process is the performance of some composite cognitive activity, an operation that affects mental contents; the process of thinking, and the cognitive operation of remembering. The six-step mental process according to J.L. Reed is: 

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