Perception, Motivation & Leadership

Organizational management is a widely developed process which includes activities such as planning, leading, controlling and coordinating. Plenty psychological concepts are involved in analyzing the organizational behavior and the relationship between the members of one. However, the purpose of this essay is to discuss the role of perception, motivation and leadership in relation to the given case study. We begin by identifying the main problems in the case study and describe them according to the three concepts mentioned above.

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The case study “The abrasive consultant” presents the problem between Cathy, a anger for a consulting firm, and Julia, one of the consultants. Cathy receives two complaints about Cilia’s inappropriate behavior towards different clients, but every time she accepts Cilia’s explanations. One of the most important client complains and this convinces Cathy to replace Julia. After receiving a call to pack her things and return to head office, Julia becomes angry and much stressed. She sustains that the call reminded her of the manner of finding out about her father’s death.

Impressed by Cilia’s level of distress Cathy avoids the conversation tit her about her inadequate behavior and she gives up the official warning. This situation deserves to be analyzed according to the main concepts which are involved in the organizational management: perception, motivation and leadership. Perception is the psychological process which implies receiving stimulus from the environment or from the inner insides in order to be able to draw a conclusion about a certain thing.

There are a lot of factors which can influence perception and the way we perceive them is not always right or accurate. In the organizational environment perception can influence any situation or legislation. There is a very wide range of factors which can affect perception: psychological, sensory limits, each ones’ needs, cultural differences, closure and grouping. (Mullions, 2010) Each one’s way of perceiving is also influenced by subjective experience. We have a lot of examples of ways of perceiving in the given case study.

The client perceives Cilia’s behavior abrasive. When Julia receives the call and she is announced that she needs to return to head office she perceives this situation as being a very scary one. Bad memories come in her mind and she reacts aggressively. Cathy perceives Cilia’s reaction in an emotional way, she is impressed by the situation and she feels bad for bringing out memories about that sad event. She perceive the situation as being inappropriate for telling Julia about her rude behavior at work.

Everything is about perceiving and reacting according to the situation, feelings and needs. Motivation is made by internal and external factors which stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested in and committed to a job, role or subject, and to exert persistent effort in attaining a goal. Motivation is the energize of behavior. It results from the interactions among conscious and unconscious factors such as the intensity of desire or need, incentive or reward value of the goal and expectations of the individual and of his or her significant others.

Cilia’s behavior seems a good example for a lack of intrinsic motivation. She does not care if she is doing her job in the right way, she is not looking for positive recognition, she does not care if here work is appreciated or not and she is not willing to change her behavior towards the clients or to improve. She s aware that her behavior is not appropriate for the job and she tries to avoid the warnings. Her extrinsic motivation can be the reason for her continuous attempt to seem innocent.

This is only an assumption because the case study does not present details about her interest in gaining benefits, promotion or more money. Leadership is a combination of skills and personal qualities which can persuade people to do work in an enthusiastic, effective and cohesive way. (Darlington, Wightman, 1994) Literature presents a large number of classifications of leaders’ qualities and ways of leading. Fiddler (1967) develops a contingency model of leadership effectiveness in which he argues that any leadership style may be effective, according to the situation.

Therefore the leader needs to be adaptive. He also states that is difficult for the individuals to change their leadership style according to each particular situation. The factors which will determine the leaders effectiveness are the leader-member relations (how well is the leader accepted by the subordinates), the task structure (the type of activity which needs to be done by the subordinates – how precise, routine ague or undefined are the jobs) and the position power (the formal authority that the leader’s position confer).

In the case study it’s easy to notice that Cathy has serious problems with controlling her subordinates. Considering the three factors which determine the leaders’ effectiveness it can be stated that Cathy is not being seen as a leader by her subordinate. Julia does not take responsibility for her mistakes, she is not punished for her rude behavior and she is allowed to use any kind of excuse to avoid an official warning. As a manager, Cathy tries to have a democratic style but she is easily impressed by Cilia’s arguments and she becomes unable to address the appropriate complaints.

She is not using her position power even though she has the authority to punish or demote her subordinate. We all need to be aware that we are different and we all have personal ways of acting in certain situations. Therefore we perceive things differently and we are motivated by different things. Leadership also involves being in a permanent process of adjusting behavior towards people’s needs. All these three concept applied in an organizational context can determine the effectiveness of all the situations, interactions and processes.

As I presented above, all these concepts are essential in analyzing the situation between Julia and Cathy. Therefore paying attention to all details will ease the managing process and will create solutions for each type of problem. Cathy should develop her leadership skills in order to be able to deal with her subordinates. It would be a great idea to get to know the people she is working with better to find out what she can use to motivate them. Communication rules can also be introduced to avoid all the misunderstandings which might appear.