Interpersonal Perceptions within Organisations: An Exploratory Study
The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, Vol. IV, No. 4, 2010
Posted: 14 Jul 2010 Last revised: 12 Jan 2011
Date Written: July 13, 2010
Perceptions play an important role in the process of interpersonal communications within organizations. It is postulated that an individual’s perceptions lead to behaviour and that behaviour in turn affects perceptions. Researchers state that perception is an internal process that results from the interplay between the perceiver, the target and the situation. It is also believed that interpersonal perception (when people judge each other during an interaction) happens pretty quickly and is therefore riddled with errors and biases. This paper reports some of the findings from an elaborate exploratory study of interpersonal communications within selected organizations in India, with the aim of investigating the effectiveness of interpersonal communications within organizations. The study also involved a detailed investigation of the interpersonal perceptions of employees within the organizations. This paper focuses on the prevalence of stereotyping and other perceptual biases in interpersonal communication within organizations as revealed from the research. The findings are intriguing, to say the least. While some findings are in accordance with established theories of interpersonal perception, others provide new insights and possible themes for further research.
Keywords: Interpersonal perception, Interpersonal communication, perceptual errors, biases, stereotyping, first impressions, consistency, organizational communication, self-fulfilling prophesy, self-biased perception, attribution theory, cognitive dissonance, mirror effect, communication, effectiveness
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