What is Individual Behavior? Definition and Factors Influencing

What is Individual Behavior?

Individual behavior refers to the actions, responses, reactions, and behaving ways of the individual in a particular position. It is the combination of responses to internal and external stimuli.

Each Individual/human behavior is different from others. Understanding human behavior helps to know how particularly people respond to some situations and express themselves.

By birth people, behavior is affected by different factors both genetic and environmental. The influence of these factors greatly determines the patterns of human behavior. In fact, by Kurt Lewin, behavior is the function of the person and the environment around him.

In an organizational setting, there seems great influence of individual behavior on organizational performance. It is important to understand how a person behaves, reacts, and expresses which let to come up with a solution and what types of duties handling capabilities he/she holds.

Positive behavior of people greatly and positively influences the performance of the company whereas the negative one adversely affects even creates losses. A manager should appreciate the positive behavior of his people and ask, force, or even punish those who show unhealthy behavior for the organization.

Factors Influencing Individual Behavior

It is obvious that we behave differently in different situations. It is all agreed that human behavior is caused, motivated, and goal-directed.

We behave and respond to something based on our knowledge, experience, and environment around us. In fact, these are the factors that form individual behavior.

There are diversified factors affecting individual behavior however they are broadly classified into four categories.

  • Personal biographical factors.
  • Psychological factors.
  • Environmental factors.
  • Organizational factors.

Personal Biographical Factors

Individual biographical factors are inherited in nature. These are inherited by individuals from their parents. From the date they come to the earth they are characterized by biographical factors. They are:

Sex. Sex or gender is an inherited characteristic that is determined by birth as male or female. Found, males are emotionally stronger than women. Even physically males are stronger. Traditionally, females are mainly involved in household work and males are in work. But, this has changed men and women equally involved in jobs.

Age. Age is the length of time that determines the time a person lived. The age of an individual start to increase from the day he/she is born. At a young age, people tend to be more creative and energetic and are curious to explore things.

Education. By birth, people learn to speak, walk, behave, and respond to their surroundings. Parents and other family members are the first educators of people. From the parents, children learn the basic education, and morality, and become socialized human beings.

Abilities. It is the personal strength people have. The inherited ability of individuals is greatly influenced by the health of parents, nutrition, and the environment around them. Abilities can be inherited or learned.

Marital Status. Married people seem more responsible towards family than other unmarried. For them steady jobs become important and such employees are expected to devote their best effort to the workplace.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors are the learned characteristics of the individual. These are the factors individuals have to learn from the environment and built concepts about the world. Major psychological factors are:

Personality. Everyone’s personality is unique. Personality refers to the ways a person thinks, feels, acts, and behaves and which are unique from others. The unique nature of individuals is the psychological characteristics that they gained from experience and knowledge.

Perception. Perception is the viewpoints of individuals around the world and the interpretation of the things they see. It is the psychological process of seeing objects and constructing conclusions. Two persons’ perceptions are different their seeing way of the world probably can not be the same.

Attitudes. Attitude is the belief system that directs our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Attitude can be positive or negative as so we differently respond to people, situations, and ideas.

Values. Values are the moral belief and structures of people that guide their actions. Values consist of an individual’s philosophy as to what is good, right, or desirable and they contain moral flavor.

Learning. Humans are learning beings. From birth to death people never stops learning. It takes place during interaction with the environment and relatively permanently changes the thinking, behavior, and actions of people.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors are inevitable factors that have a greater influence on individual behavior. Such as:

Economic Conditions. A person with a stable job and a good salary will definitely seem fit and clean than a person who doesn’t have one. When there are more employment opportunities the economic conditions of people seem to be good and living standards also improve.

Political Conditions. Politics have a great influence on organizations, people, and the whole nation. People are knowingly and unknowingly affected by the political system. A stable political system is required to operate stables jobs opportunities, provide freedom to people, and make different choices as they want.

Cultural Values. Every society’s cultural values are different. Whenever a person shifts to the next society he must understand and adapt their cultural ties. Similarly, different organizations have different cultures that employees must assume.

Organizational Factors

In organizational settings, there are also different factors that affect individuals i.e. employees’ behavior working there. Such as:

Physical Facilities. Physical facilities of an organization refer to the physical condition consisting of office furnishing, the comfort of working, etc. The physical environment of the organization positively influences employees – they feel physically safe working there.

Organizational Structure. It refers to how an organization is structured, and how different roles, responsibilities, and duties are divided. A sound organizational structure clearly defines the how-to functions freeing employees’ from roles conflicts and achieving greater efficiency.

Leadership Styles. Today managers are leaders also. Being a manager he should have to influence and encourage his employees for better performance. In an encouraging working environment, employees tend to stay longer and reduce turnover.

Reward System. It is agreed that individual behavior is goal-directed. Employees feel motivated, stay longer, and contribute their best effort in an organization that has a fair pay system.

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