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Book Notes


Department
Management (MGH)
Course Code
MGHD27H3
Professor
txtbooknote

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Chapter 2 Personality and Learning
Pages 37-48
What is Personality?
Personality: The relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that
influences the way an individual interacts with his or her environment and how he
or she feels, thinks, and behaves.
Personality consists of a number of dimensions and traits that are determined in a
complex way by genetic predisposition and by ones long-term learning history.
Personality is susceptible to change through adult learning experiences.
Personality and Organizational Behaviour
Dispositional Approach: Focuses on individual dispositions and personality. It was
believed that personality was an important factor in many areas of organizational
behaviour such as motivation, attitudes, performance, and leadership. Individuals
are predisposed to behave in certain ways.
Situational Approach: Characteristics of the organizational setting, such a rewards
and punishment, influence peoples feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.
Interactionist Approach (Interactionism): Organizational behaviour is a function of
both dispositions and the situation. Most widely accepted perspective within
organizational behaviour. Personality has a different role in different situations:
oIn weak situations (e.g., a newly formed volunteer community organization),
personality has the most impact because there are loosely defined roles, few
rules, and weak reward and punishment contingencies so it is not clear how a
person should behave.
oIn strong situations (e.g., routine military operations), personality has less
impact because there are more defined roles, rules, and contingencies.
Key concept is fit: Putting the right people in the right job, group, or organization
and exposing different employees to different management styles.
The Five-Factor Model (FFM) of Personality (Big Five Dimensions)
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Extraversion: The extent to which a person is outgoing versus shy. High extraverts
enjoy social situations while introverts avoid them. Important for jobs that require a
lot of interpersonal interaction, such as sales and management, where sociable,
assertive, energetic, and ambitious is important for success.
Emotional Stability/Neuroticism: The degree to which a person has appropriate
emotional control. People with high emotional stability (low neuroticism) are self-
confident and have high self-esteem. Those with lower emotional stability (high
neuroticism) tend toward self-doubt and depression. Persons with high emotional
stability are likely to have more effective interactions with coworkers and customers
because they tend to be more calm and secure.
Agreeableness: The extent to which a person is friendly and approachable. More
agreeable people are warm and considerate. Less agreeable people are cold and
aloof. Important in jobs that require interaction and involve helping, cooperating,
nurturing others, teamwork and cooperation.
Conscientiousness: The degree to which a person is responsible and achievement
oriented. More conscientious people are dependable and positively motivated. Less
conscientious people are irresponsible, lazy, and impulsive. Conscientious people
perform well on all jobs.
Openness to Experience: The extent to which a person thinks flexibly and is receptive
to new ideas. More open people tend toward creativity and innovation. Less open
people favour the status quo. Open people perform well in jobs that involve learning
and creativity.
You could be higher or lower in any combinations of dimensions. The dimensions
apply across different cultures and have a genetic basis.
Research Evidence
Big Five personality dimensions are linked to organizational behaviour.
The dimensions that best predict job performance depend on the occupation.
Conscientiousness is related to retention and attendance at work and is an important
antidote for counterproductive behaviours such as theft, absenteeism, and
disciplinary problems.
Extraversion is related to absenteeism; extraverts tend to be absent more often than
introverts.
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Dimensions are related to work motivation: Conscientiousness and neuroticism are
the strongest predictors of motivation (positively and negatively related
respectively).
Dimensions are related to job satisfaction: Higher neuroticism is associated with
lower job satisfaction while higher conscientiousness, extraversion, and
agreeableness are associated with higher job satisfaction. Openness to experience is
not related to job satisfaction.
Individuals with higher conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and
emotional stability perform better on a team in terms of their cooperation, concern,
and courtesy to team members.
Dimensions are related to job search and career success: Neuroticism is negatively
related while the other four dimensions are positively related. Conscientiousness is
positively related to the probability of obtaining employment.
High conscientiousness and extraversion and low neuroticism are related to higher
income and occupational status.
The Five-Factor Model of Personality:
Extraversi
on Emotional
StabilityAgreeablen
ess Conscientious
ness Openness
to
Experienc
e
Performan
ce
Sociable,
Talkative
Vs.
Withdraw
n, Shy
Stable,
Confident
Vs.
Depressed,
Anxious
Tolerant,
Cooperative
Vs.
Cold,
Rude
Dependable,
Responsible
Vs.
Careless,
Impulsive
Curious,
Original
Vs.
Dull,
Unimaginati
ve
Better job
performanc
e
Locus of Control
Locus of Control: A set of beliefs about whether ones behaviour is controlled
mainly by internal or external forces.
Internals:
oBelieve that the opportunity to control their own behaviour resides within
themselves.
oSee stronger links between effort and performance level achieved.
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