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Chapter 2


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University of Ottawa

Chapter 2I What is PersonalityPersonality is the relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the way an individual interacts with his or her environment It is reflected in the way people react to other people situations and problems II Personality and Organizational BehaviourPersonality has a rather long and rocky history in organizational behaviour that is demonstrated by the personsituation According to the dispositional approach individuals possess stable traits or characteristics that influence their attitudes and behaviours According to the situational approach characteristics of the organizational setting such as rewards and punishment influence peoples feelings attitudes and behaviour According to the interactionist approach organizational behaviour is a function of both dispositions and the situation The interactionist approach is the most widely accepted perspective within organizational behaviour The role of personality in organizational settings is strongest in weak situations where there are loosely defined roles and few rules In strong situations which have more defined roles rules and contingencies personality tends to have less impact Thus the extent to which personality influences peoples attitudes and behaviours depends on the situation A The FiveFactor Model of Personality Psychologists have discovered that there are about five basic but general dimensions that describe personality Extraversion Sociable talkative vs withdrawn shy Emotional StabilityNeuroticism Stable confident vs depressed anxious Agreeableness Tolerant cooperative vs cold rude Conscientiousness Dependable responsible vs careless impulsive Openness to Experience Curious original vs dull unimaginative There is evidence that each of the Big Five dimensions is related to job performance High conscientiousness is related to performance for all occupations and the best predictor of performance of all the Big Five dimensions The Big Five dimensions have also been found to be related to motivation job satisfaction and career success B Locus of Control Locus of control is a set of beliefs about whether ones behaviour is controlled mainly by internal or external forces High externals see their behaviours controlled by factors like fate luck and powerful people High internals see stronger effects on their behaviour as a consequence of selfinitiative personal actions and free will Locus of control influences organizational behaviour in a variety of occupations Internals are more satisfied with their jobs earn more money and achieve higher organizational positions In addition they seem to perceive less stress to cope with stress better and to engage in more careful career planning
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