Here is a term paper on ‘Individual Behaviour’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Individual Behaviour’ especially written for school and college students.

Term Paper # 1. Introduction to Individual Behaviour:

Behaviour is a way of action. It is basically goal oriented. In other words our behaviour is generally motivated by a desire to attain a goal. The specific goal is not always consciously known by the individual. Many times we wonder “why did i do that”? The reason for our action is not always apparent to the conscious mind. The drives that motivate distinctive individual behavioural patterns are, to a considerable degree, subconscious in nature and therefore not easily susceptible to examination and evaluation.

The basic unit of behaviour is an activity. In fact, all behaviour is a series of activities. As a human being, we always do something as walking, talking, sleeping etc. and sometimes we do more than one activity at a time. Sometimes, we decide to change from one activity to another. Why do we do so? Or why do people engage in one activity and not another? A manager must understand, predict and control the activities of a person at a given moment. To predict behaviour, manager must know which motives or needs of people evoke a certain action at a particular time.

Term Paper # 2. Concept of Individual Behaviour:

Organisations are composed of individuals. Each individual is an island in him, each subject to particular motives, aspirations, perceptions and abilities. Individual behaviour means some concrete action by a person. For instance, how a teacher behaves in the class reflects his behaviour. The behaviour of an individual is influenced by various factors.


Some of the factors lie within himself e.g., his instincts, personality traits, internal feelings etc., while some lie outside him comprising the external environment of which he is a part, e.g., weather conditions, events conveying some information, and other peoples’ behaviour that directly influence his behaviour. The environment acts as a stimulus and the person responds to it.

The process of human behaviour may thus be regarded as a stimulus-response process. The teacher is affected by student’s behaviour and in turn affects their behaviour. This takes place through interaction between/among them, and is subject to the environment in which they interact. Thus, individual behaviour is not a self-induced phenomenon, but is affected by a larger system e.g., group, family and the society within which one functions.

Individuals behave differently to different stimuli because of a multitude of factors. These include an individual’s age, sex, education, intelligence, personality, physical characteristics, experience, values, family and cultural background. For instance, a young railway ticket collector would behave differently from one who is more experienced and mature. Situational variables affecting individual behaviour include organisational and social variables e.g., type of organisation, nature of supervision, and physical job variables like method of work, design of work, and physical work environment.

Term Paper # 3. The Nature of People:

With regard to people there are four basic assumptions:


(a) Individual Differences:

People have much in common (they become excited or they are grieved by the loss of loved one), but each person in the world is also individually different. The idea of individual differences comes originally from psychology. From the day of birth, each person is unique and individual experiences after birth make people even more different.

Individual differences mean that management can get the greatest motivation among employees by treating them differently. Individual differences require that justice and Tightness with employees shall be individual not statistical. Because of the individual differences, organisational behaviour philosophy like democratic political philosophy begins with the individual.

(b) A Whole Person:


Although some organisations may wish they could employ only a person’s skill, all that they can employ is a whole person, rather than certain separate characteristics. Different human traits may be separately studied, but in the final analysis they are all part of one system making up a whole person.

Skill does not exist apart from background or knowledge. Home life is not totally separable from work life and emotional conditions are not separate from physical conditions. People function as total human beings.

(c) Caused Behaviour (Motivation):

Behaviour has certain causes. These may relate to a person’s needs and/or the consequences that results from acts. In case of needs, people are motivated not by what they think they ought to have but by what they themselves want. To an outside observer, a person’s need may be illusory or unrealistic, but they are still controlling.


This fact leaves management with two basic ways to motivate people. It can show them how certain actions will increase their need fulfillment, or it can threaten to decrease need fulfillment unless they follow a required course of action. Clearly a path towards increased need fulfillment is the better approach.

Motivation is essential to the operations of an organisation. No matter how much machinery and equipments an organisation has, these things cannot be put to use until they are released and guided by people who have been motivated.

(d) Value of the Person (Human Dignity):

It is more an ethical philosophy than a scientific conclusion. It confirms that people are to be treated differently from other factors of production because they are of a higher order in the universe. It recognizes that people are of a higher order; they want to be treated with respect and dignity and should be treated this way. Every job, however simple, entitles the people who do it to proper respect and recognition of their unique aspirations and abilities. The concept of human dignity rejects the old idea of using employees as economic tools.


Ethical philosophy is reflected in the conscience of human mind confirmed by the experiences of people in all ages. It has to do with the consequences of our acts to ourselves and to others. It recognizes that life has an overall purpose and accepts the inner integrity of each individual. Since organisational behaviour always involve people, ethical philosophy is involved in one way or another in each action. Human decisions cannot, and should not, be made apart from values.

Term Paper # 4. Factors Influencing Individual Behaviour:

The following factors influence the individual behaviour:

1. Organisational Factors:

Individual behaviour is influenced by a wide variety of organisational system and resources. Systems such as the organisational structure and hierarchy strongly influence and constrain both what individuals do and how they do. In addition, individual behaviour is influenced by various types of resources provided by the organisation such as advice and directions from leaders, physical support in terms of facilities and technology etc.


2. Personality:

Personality refers to personal traits such as dominance, aggressiveness, persistence and other qualities reflected through a person’s behaviour. An individual’s personality determines the type of activities for that he is suited for and the likelihood that the person would be able to perform the task effectively. Thus, personality factors must be taken into account in determining the suitability of an individual for a position in an organisation.

3. Motivation:

Motivation refers to all the forces operating within a person to cause him to engage in certain kinds of behaviour rather than others. Even if all the factors are present to facilitate effective individual behaviour on a particular job, these factors would amount to nothing unless the person is motivated to perform well. Motivation may be internal e.g., a person’s skill, ability and intelligence; or external e.g., incentives, training, etc. Further, a person’s motivation is influenced by his attitudes, beliefs, values and goals.


4. Values:

According to Milton Rokeach, a leading researcher of values, a value is ‘an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence.’ An individual’s values system is defined by Rokeach as an enduring organisation of beliefs concerning preferable modes of conduct or end states of existence along a continuum of relative importance.

Extensive research supports Rokeach’s contention that different value systems go a long way toward explaining individual difference in behaviour. Value-behaviour connections have been documented for a wide variety of behaviours, ranging from weight loss to shopping selections, to political party affiliation, to religious involvement, to choose a college etc.

5. Attitude:

Attitude is a perception with a frame of reference. It is a way of organising a perception. In other words, it is more or less a stable tendency to feel, think, perceive and act in a certain manner towards an object or a situation. It is a tendency to act in a certain way, either favourably or unfavourably concerning objects, people or events. For example, if we say that Ramesh likes his job, means that Ramesh is expressing his attitude about work.

Attitude has three elements in it that leads to measurable outcomes. These are feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Feelings and thoughts can be measured by simply asking individuals about their feelings and opinions. Behaviour can be measured either by actual overt actions or simply by asking the person how he would act in a certain situation. By measuring and integrating these three elements, a person’s attitude towards a given situation can be established.


In general, a person may have a positive attitude which means a good outlook of life, or negative attitude which means continuous complaining about problems in life. Organisationally speaking, an employee’s negative attitude about work may be reflected by sub-standard work performance, excessive absenteeism, excessive complaining about work environment or disobedience of rules or authority. These attitudes can be changed either by simply persuation or by training and coaching.

6. Economic Factors:

Economic factors play a very important role in determining individual behaviour. All work is performed within economic framework that both directly and indirectly influence the individual behaviour.

Economic factors that influence individual behaviour are:

(i) Employment opportunities have strong influence on individual behaviour. Fewer job opportunities create fear of losing the present job and increase the emphasis on job security and can change the basic motivation pattern of the individual.

(ii) The job an individual holds, itself has significant influence on his behaviour. The behaviour of a professor in a university will be different from an executive in industrial enterprise. Similarly, the behaviour of a worker in a factory will not be the same as the behaviour of a rickshaw-puller in the street.


(iii) Wages satisfy various individual needs. They provide food and shelter, are measures of achievement and can even serve as status symbol. Money is a complex variable and its effects on behaviour varies tremendously It is well known that wages attract people to certain organisations and determine their satisfaction on jobs.

(iv) The general economic outlook also influences individual expectations, especially of those employed in industries severely affected by economic cycles. In fact, some employees experience layoffs and recalls during their entire working life, while others are insulated from the economy (e.g., public sector employees). Individuals who experience frequent layoffs are more likely to be motivated by factors that affect job security; other individuals would consider job security to be relatively unimportant and would be motivated by other factors.

(v) Technological change is included as an economic factor because of its potential effects upon individual job opportunities. Technological change has its strongest impact at lower level jobs, although increased automation, robotics, computerisation and more sophisticated production technologies can affect individuals at all levels. In addition to changing employment opportunities, technological change has its effect on job design. Although the individual may stay employed, the skill required to perform the job may be reduced, thus increasing the downward pressure on wage rates.

7. Abilities:

Ability refers to the actual skills and capabilities that a person possesses and is required for the effective performance of activities. Railways need to ensure that its employees possess the necessary abilities to engage in the behaviour required for effective performance. This is accomplished either by careful selection of people or by a combination of selection and training.

Abilities of an individual is made up of two sets of skills i.e., intellectual abilities and physical abilities.


Individual abilities are needed to perform mental activities. IQ tests, for example are designed to ascertain one’s intellectual abilities. So, too are popular college admission tests like GRE, GMAT and CAT. Some of the more relevant dimensions making up intellectual abilities include number aptitude, verbal comprehension, perceptual speed, and intuitive reasoning.

Physical abilities manifest one’s stamina, manual dexterity etc. Management must identify an employee physical ability if those are the major inputs required to perform a task.

The basic physical abilities include:

(i) Ability to exert force against external objects.

(ii) Ability to exert muscular force repeatedly or continuously over time.

(iii) Ability to exert muscular strength using particularly abdominal strength.


(iv) Ability to expend a maximum of energy till one or a series of explosive acts.

(v) Ability to make rapid and repeated flexing movements.

(vi) Ability to move the trunk and back muscles as far as possible.

(vii) Ability to continue maximum effort requiring prolonged effort over time.

(viii) Ability to co-ordinate the simultaneous actions of different parts of the body.

(ix) Ability to maintain equilibrium despite forces pulling off balance.


Individuals differ in the extent to which these physical abilities differ in the extent to which they have each of these abilities. A high score on one is no assurance of a high score on others. High employee performance is likely to be achieved when management ascertain the extent to which a job requires each of the nine abilities and then ensures that employees in that job have those abilities.

8. Socio-Cultural Factors:

The social environment of an individual includes relationship with family members, friends, co-workers, supervisors and subordinates. The behaviour of others (as distinct from the individual’s relationship with them.) is also part of an individual’s social environment. Similarly, every individual has a cultural background which shapes his values and beliefs. The socio-cultural factors moderate the effect of other factors to determine the behaviour of an individual.

9. Perception:

Perception is the viewpoint which one interprets a situation. For instance, a railway booking clerk facing a well-dressed person perceives him to be a high status and talks to him nicely, whereas he tends to ignore an ill-dressed person, or make him wait, though both the passengers want first class tickets.

In an organisational setting, messages that the organisation sends to its members regarding the kind of behaviour and activities expected of them are significant. The messages are communicated in a variety of ways (job descriptions, policies, procedures and discussion with supervisors etc.). A key factor is that an individual’s behaviour is influenced not by the organisation’s actual expectation of him, but by how these are perceived by the person.

10. Personal Factors:

Every individual brings to the workplace a variety of personal characteristics and attributes like age, sex, education, intelligence, marital status, religion and number of dependents etc.

i. Age:

Performance depends on age. As age advances performance is likely to decline. Similarly, aging has impact on turnover. The older people (in 40s and 50s) are less likely to quit the job. Age absence relationship depends on whether absenteeism is avoidable or unavoidable. Generally, older employees have lower rates of avoidable absence than do younger employees.

However, they have high rates of unavoidable absence. This is probably because of poor health associated with old age. With regard to productivity, older age results in reduced productivity. This is because of the decline in individual’s skills as he grows older in age. There is a positive association between age and satisfaction. However, changes in technology may alter this equation.

ii. Sex:

Man is expected to be tough while a woman is expected to be gentle and highly emotional, are some of the stereotyped assumptions that have no basis in genetic influences. These behaviours are developed, if at all, due to differences in treatment that the boys and girls receive in the family environment.

Even though some work roles are assumed to be the exclusive domain of woman, such as nurses or air lines stewardesses, these roles are being modified to accommodate man in these positions. As far as the administration of the management process is concerned, women in general do not differ from men in their operative behaviours.

iii. Education:

Education 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, and greater alternative sources for occupational choice i.e., the good life. Disillusionment occurs when out comes do not match expectations.

iv. Intelligence:

Intelligence is primarily an inherited trait, even though children of some very intelligent parents have turned out to be less intelligent and vice-versa. It is also known that intelligence can be enhanced by proper environment or by proper motivation. Einstein was not considered very intelligent during his earlier years. In any case, intelligence as a trait is related to certain behaviours. Intelligent people are easy to convince if the point is right and they can be expected to be much more stable and predictable.

v. Marital Status:

Marital status has influence on absenteeism, turnover and satisfaction. Married employees have fewer absences, undergo less turnover, and are more satisfied with their jobs than the unmarried ones. Marriage imposes additional responsibility hence the need for steady job and steady income.

vi. Religion:

Religion and religiously based cultures play an important role in determining some aspects of individual behaviour. Specially those who concern morals, ethics and a code of conduct. Highly religious people have high moral standards and usually do not tell lies or talk ill of others. They are highly contented and thus strive for the goal of achievement and self-fulfillment. Additionally, the religion and culture also determine attitude towards work and towards financial incentives.

vii. Number of Dependents:

There is correlation between number of dependents an employee has and his absences and satisfaction. Number of children an employee has is positively related to absence, especially among females. Similarly, there is positive correlation between number of dependents and satisfaction.

11. Cultural Factor:

The cultural factors are made up of institutions and other forces that affect society’s values, perceptions, work ethics, preferences and behaviours. People grow up in a particular society that shape their basic beliefs, values and behaviours. Culture varies from country to country (between two regions within a country too), and these variations produce different behaviours across the countries. Work ethics, achievement need, effort reward expectations and values are important cultural factors having behavioural implications.

The work ethic is tinged with moral. In the context of job ethic it implies hard work and commitment to work. Strong work ethic ensures motivated employees, and the opposite is true when work ethic is weak.

Achievement need too has influence on employee behaviour. A person with a high need to achieve tends to see a high degree of personal responsibility, set realistic goals, take moderate risks and use personal performance feedback in satisfying his need to achieve.

A perfect match between effort and reward produce better performance from an indi­vidual. When the individual perceives that he has been treated unfairly, the performance suffers. This phenomenon is observed in most of the cultures.

Value is tinged with moral flour involving an individual’s judgement of what is right, good and/or desirable. Values influence one’s perception, attitudes and through these his behaviour.