“Using examples to illustrate the perceptual errors that individuals may make in organisations, describe the potential consequences of these errors, and define what steps you would advise to reduce their impact.”
Perception is the selection and organisation of environmental stimuli to provide meaningful experiences for the perceiver (Hellriegel, D. et al. 1995). Individuals mostly perceive things differently, depending on what they selectively perceive and how they organise and interpret the things perceived. The process of how we receive stimuli from the environment happens through our five senses: taste, smell, hearing, sight and touch. The perceptual process however may result in errors (perceptual errors); especially in our working environment we have to cope with perceptual errors. Three of perceptual errors we have to deal with in our daily life, are stereotyping, perceptual defence, and the halo effect.
One of a common perceptual error in organisations is stereotyping between men and women, also called gender stereotyping. Stereotyping is defined as the tendency to assign attributes to someone solely on the basis of a category in which that person has been placed (Hellriegel, D. et al., 1995). The reason for this perceptual error is to be due to the fact that we were taught and some may have been grown up with the fact that men and women “play” different roles in our society. For example the woman has to be at home taking care of the household and the children. However the man is responsible for making money.
In addition to that there are certain jobs which are labelled to be suitable for women only, such as nurses or jobs in social care. Because of that and due to little acceptance from male managers, women face difficulties in climbing up the career ladder and getting the recognition they may deserve.
A survey by ´Online Recruitment´ (September 2004), shows that over half of male managers feel that more wo...