Ability : Nature and Types

Ability: Nature and Types

Individual Ability

So students let‘s see how an individual’s ability is related to Organizational behavior

Organizational behavior is traditionally considered as the study of human behavior in the work place. According to this view organizations, representing collective entities of human actions and experiences, are dependent upon the extent to which such actions/ experiences, are effectively coordinated. To understand human action, one needs to have a fundamental understanding of human behaviors and the underlying stimuli. The behavior of individuals is influenced significantly by their abilities. The following diagram presents the various individual factors affecting the final behavior of a person


An individual‘s overall abilities are essentially made up of the following factors:
  1. Intellectual Abilities, and
  2. Physical Abilities.

Intellectual Abilities

Intellectual Abilities are those that are needed to perform mental activities. Mental activities can be measured by intelligent quotient (IQ) tests, that are designed to ascertain one‘s general Mental abilities. Some familiar examples of such tests in are Common Admission Tests (CAT), Management programs admission tests (GMAT), law (LSAT), and medical (MCAT), etc. Usually these tests try to measure and evaluate one‘s mental abilities on various academic areas pertaining to the success in the relevant courses, such as mathematics, English, General knowledge etc. It is believed that there are a few different dimensions of mental abilities. Some of the most frequently cited dimensions of intellectual capacities are:


  1. Number Aptitude (Mathematics),
  1. Verbal Comprehension (English),
  1. Perceptual Speed,
  1. Reasoning,
  1. Deductive Reasoning,
  1. Spatial Visualization,
  1. Memory

Physical Abilities

To the same degree that intellectual abilities play a larger role in complex jobs with demanding information-processing requirements, specific physical abilities gain importance for successfully doing less skilled and more standardized jobs. For example, jobs in which success demands stamina, manual dexterity, leg strength, or similar talents require management to identify an employee‘s physical capabilities. Research on the requirements needed in hundreds of jobs has identified nine basic abilities involved in the performance of physical tasks. These are described in Exhibit . Individuals differ in the extent to which they have each of these abilities. Surprisingly, there is also little relationship between them: A high  score on one is no assurance of a high score on others. High employee performance is Likely to be achieved when management has ascertained the extent to which a job requires each of the nine abilities and then ensures that, employees in that job have those abilities.
Generally speaking, the more information processing is required in a job, the more general intelligence and verbal abilities will be necessary to perform the job successfully. Of course, a high IQ is not a prerequisite for all. In Fact, for many jobs in which employee behavior is highly routine and there are little or no opportunities to exercise discretion, a high IQ may be unrelated to performance. On the other hand, a careful review of the evidence demonstrates that tests that assess verbal, numerical, spatial, and perceptual ability are valid predictors of job proficiency at all levels of jobs. Therefore, tests measure specific dimensions of intelligence have been found to be strong predictors of future job performance.