In business, what is the leading reason for conflict? The answer is perception and
its effect on the decision-making process. Many executives approach situations half-
cocked only knowing half the facts. Having a perceived view of what is happening and
depending on how well that manager is at perceiving the situation, his or her reaction can
make the situation worse. Perception, like many other managerial skills, is a learned
reaction practice and can be improved over time. How the manager controls their
awareness will determine how successful they are as a manager.
Perception is one of the oldest subjects within scientific psychology, and there are
equally many assumptions about its original development. In psychology, perception is
the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting and organizing. Systems of learning
perception range from biological or physical approaches, through psychological
approaches to the often-abstract use of mental philosophy. Awareness in business can
speak about how a customer, manager, owner, or corporation views what is happening
within a certain team or company. How the activity is meant is often what causes the
response and how the situation is handled. This is not automatically the correct way of
dealing with a situation. Administrators in any size business must take into consideration
all sides and views of a situation before reacting.
Judgment can easily affect ones decision-making process. When coming into a
situation, as a manager or otherwise, one must take into account what is happening and
this is considered first perception or view. If an employee walked into a fight that was
taking place within the company, a first decision may be to punish all individuals
involved, but after investigating the situation and gathering all the facts that perception
may change. Mind state also influences perception and judgment. These are all things
that a manager must consider before making the call.
Positive and Negative Effects of Perception Usage
Does the practice of perception have both positive and negative effects in the
decision making-process? The answer to that question is yes. Not only does individual
perception of a situation change ones judgment but it also weighs heavily on how people
will react to the situation. Imagine walking into a situation at work involving people
speaking of someone and as an individual walks up, the talking ceases. Now also
imagine that same individual is unhappy with his or her current job. What would one do?
Now a person first thought would be that the other employees are speaking of him or her,
without knowing all the facts the individual decides to stop working before finding
another job. This would be a negative affect of perception in the decision-making
process, because without taking the time to investigate the situation, anger takes over and
a bad decision is made.
Now, imagine a similar situation but this time the other employee takes the time
to fill one in on what is going on. The employee now feels like part of the team because
coworkers explained that they were planning to get together after work and wanted to
invite him or her. This is a sign that conditions are improving and this could be a place
where one could grow. Based on that observation the individual is prepared to give it a
while longer before making the final decision to quit. This is an example of positive
judgment because now one has motivation to give things one last chance. Knowledge
and attitude can make all the difference in the world, especially the world of business.
Real World Decisions
How are decisions in a business organization made? It is based on one manager’s
opinion and then taken to the management team for a final decision. When a situation
takes place at a time when all managers cannot be present in the decision-making
process, it is customary to wait until all members of management are available to sit
down and discuss what should be done. During this time that the major decisions are
made, and on the spot decisions made throughout the week are discussed.
Perceptions and Ethics
Do ethics affect individual views? Most people would say yes. Highbeam
Encyclopedia defines ethics as “the study and evaluation of human conduct in the light of
moral principles. Moral principles may be viewed either as the standard of conduct that
individuals have created for themselves or as the body of responsibilities and duties that a
specific society requires of its members, and Business ethics as “the study and evaluation
of decision making by businesses according to moral concepts and judgments. Ethical
questions range from practical, narrowly defined issues, such as a company’s
commitment to be honest with its customers, to broader social and philosophical
questions, such as a company’s responsibility to protect the environment and protect
employee rights.” Managers of businesses all have different forms of ethics, which
causes conflict between them during times of crisis or decision-making. One person’s
ethical beliefs may not include any of the other person’s principles. Our perceptions of
today’s society and how we were raised often cause our decisions to be based on the
morals and ethics instilled in us as children.
In conclusion, our beliefs often shape the way we see the world and when something
conflicts with our beliefs we are forced to make snap decisions that may not be based
entirely on fact. Perception can differ from situation to situation, and can often time
leave us feeling as if we have made the wrong choice. The decision-making process
allows us carefully to see through common misconceptions and make the right decision
based on fact. Our moral principles often shape our view of situations. We must learn to
do what is right for everyone involved, not just ourselves.