Foundations of Individual Behavior

by Krity Gulati on Saturday 19 February 2011, 1:31 PM | Category: Human Resources| View: 1506 views

 Foundations of Individual Behavior


Mr. Narayan Murthy, founder of Infosys. Murthy father was a schoolteacher, while his mother came from a family of zamindars. Murthy topped his school examinations, passed the IIT entrance test and secured a scholarship. Murthy thus enrolled at the local engineering college in Mysore.

Personal factors:

There are different types of personal factors which include age, sex, abilities, marital status, and number of dependents.


Foundations of Individual Behavior:


1.)           Age-: the issue of age is multifaceted and individualistic. It has impact on performance, turnover, absenteeism, productivity, and satisfaction.


2.)           Sex: The issue of male and female employee has received considerable attention from academics, sociologists, and researchers. Research has proved that problem solving ability, analytical skill, competitive drive, motivation, leadership, sociability, or learning ability are not gender- dependent. However, in our male-dominated society, the presence of women employees in organization not appreciated or encouraged.

        Sex also has an impact on turnover and absenteeism. It has been proved that the tendency change jobs and to abstain from work is likely to be higher among female than among male employees.


3.)           Education: this has its effect upon individual behaviour, largely through the level and type of education received. Increased levels of education serve to increase an individual's expectations about positive outcomes. These outcomes are generally perceived to be a more satisfying job higher income level, greater, alternative sources for occupational choices, i.e., the ‘good life'. Disillsionment to occurs when outcomes do not match expectations.


4.)           Abilities: it reefer's to an individual capacity to perform various task in a job. The ability of an individual is made up of two sets of skills- intellectual and physical. Intellectual abilities are needed to perform mental activities. Physical abilities manifest in one's stamina, manual dexterity, leg strength and the like.

Ability- job fits

It is widely known that employees differ in their physical and intellectual abilities and the jobs they perform demand varied abilities. Employee performance is enhanced where there is high- ability job fit.

5.)           Marital status: this has an influence on absents, turnover, and satisfaction. Married employees have fewer absences, undergo less turnover, and are satisfied with their jobs the unmarried ones. Marriage imposes additional responsibility, hence the need for a steady job and steady income. 

6.)           Number of dependants: There is a co-relation between the number of dependents an employee has and his or her absences and satisfaction. The number of children an employee has is positively related to absence, especially among females. Similarly, there is positive correlation between number of dependants and satisfaction.

7.)           Creativity: this yet another personal factors that influence individual's behavior. Creativity refers to the cognitive activity that results in a new or normal way of viewing back- ground experience, personal traits and cognitive abilities.


8.)           Background experience matter much to make individual creative


9.)           Personal traits: have also been lined to creativity in individuals. The traits shared by most creative people are openness; an attraction to complexity; high level of energy


10.)     Cognitive abilities: are an individual's power to think intelligently and to analyze situations and data effectively.


Environmental factors:

Environmental factors include such variables as economics, social, political, and the like. These factors are mainly external.

Economic environment is a synthesis of several factors, prominent among them being the employment level, wage rates, economic outlook, and technological change.


Employment opportunities will have a strong influence on individual behavior. Fewer jobs opportunities increase the emphasis on job security and can change the basic motivation pattern of the individual.

The behavior of a professor in a university will be different from an executive in an industrial enterprise.


Wages satisfy various individual needs. They provide food and shelter, are measures of achievement, and can serve as a status symbol. Money is a complex variable and its effect on behavior varies tremendously. It is well known that wages attract people to certain organizations and determine their level of job satisfaction. The general economic outlook also influences.


Cultural environment: cultural environment is made up of institutions and other's forces that affect's society's basic values, perceptions, work ethics, preferences, and behaviors. People grow up in a particular society that shapes their values and behavior.


Work ethics is tinged with morals. In the context of job ethics, it implies hard work and commitment. Strong work ethics ensure motivated employee, and the opposite is true when work ethics is weak.

Achievement need too, influences employee behavior, a person with a high need to achieve tends to have a high degree of personal responsibility, sets realistic goals, tasks moderate risks, and uses personal performance feedback in satisfying his or her need to achieve.

When the individual perceives that he or she has been treated unfairly, his or her performance suffers.


Political factors: the political climate in which an individual lives can affect individual behavior in several ways. The stability of the government can affect employment opportunities, both in quantity and quality. A political unstable environment has difficulty in attracting industry and therefore experiences problems in maintaining steady level of employment. The quality of job can also be affected by low capital investment. The relative freedom available can affect career choice, job design, motivation methods, and finally individual performance.


Organizational system and resources:

Facilities physical facilities such as lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, décor, space provided for each employee, equipment, and the like. Have an influence on employee's performance.

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