Perceptual Mapping in Human Resource Management: An Insight

Author: Mukulika Manna

It is very difficult for human being to understand the defects of their own perception. The result is inevitably leads to lack of confidence in the concerned field or area of specialization. Organizations from late 90's started a special method of determining someone's ability and skills required for a specific job or task is termed as conceptual mapping or perceptual mapping. But why conceptual or perceptual mapping is so important? The answer lies beneath of the behavioral expression of human being like attitude, personality, biographical characteristics etc.

Individual Need Analysis:
There are two main ways of identifying individual needs by the HR Department like- individual performance deficiencies can be identified either by comparing with the actual performance with the expected standard of performance and, by opting for an comparative evaluation of individual proficiency of each required skill with the skill required.

Knowledge ------------ï'  Attitude -------------ï'  Skills = GAP IDENTIFICATION

Individual Need Identification ---------- GAP Identification ---------- HRD Needs

Knowledge = what one knows
Attitude = what one knows
Skill = what one knows


Environment = factors = Controllable < > Uncontrollable

Contingency in NEED factor:
Different types of situation demands different characteristics and demand for leadership skills because each person faces different situation in his or her work place. A professional becomes successful in one situation may be unsuccessful in another situation. So it can be stated in a diagrammatic representation-

The Professional -----------ï' 
The Organization ----------ï'  Behaviour and Action ------------ï'  Performance
The Situation ---------------ï' 
The Group -----------------ï' 

Nature of Task:
If a manager having required number of subordinates and equally competent to perform any kind of task it can be assumed that only one or two subordinate will have the full knowledge about the required task. So it depends on the manager that whom he or she should choose from a group. Nature of task and selection of right kind of people for it is the task of concerned manager. But the question is how he/she is going to choose right kind of people? The answer is perceptual mapping.

It is difficult to rely on a particular type of leading because situations keep on changing. Managers adopt different leadership styles to tackle different situations. But it can not be concluded that one leadership style which is helpful for one situation can also help in any other situation because no two situations are alike. Henceforth leading needs to be situation oriented in this rapidly changing environment. When it comes to leading prevention is always less time consuming than. With the increased awareness and focused participation to tackle different potential damages, managers can protect themselves from different forms of misleading.

Leading -------ï'  Situation ------ï'  Adaptation
Adaptation ---ï'  Flexibility -----ï'  Organic Structure
Freedom = Right Decision making = Right way =
perceptual mapping

Conceptual mapping can provide knowledge about a person but how and in which manner he or she will react and choose to perform depends on the situation completely. Hence it can be stated that perceptual mapping is vital for organizations to the way of business success.

About Author / Additional Info:
Mukulika Manna passed her MBA in HRM from WBUT. She is interested in pursuing Ph.D in HR Management.