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MGHB02H3 (269)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2-Personality and Learning.docx

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Management (MGH)
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 2- Personality and learning  More and more companies are focusing on fitness and wellness in an effort to lower health care costs, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and attract and retain talent  Learning is a critical requirement for effective organizational behaviour and employee learning must be continuous and life-long  Studies in organizational behaviour has shown that behaviour is also a function of people’s personalities  Personality: the relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the way an individual interacts with his or her environment. It’s reflected in the distinctive way that people react to others, situations and problems  Dispositional approach: this approach of organizational behaviour focuses on individual dispositions and personality by conducting personality tests. According to this approach, individuals are predisposed to behave in certain ways  Situational approach: factors in the work environment that might predict and explain organizational behaviour. According to this approach, characteristics of the organizational setting such as rewards and punishments influence people’s feelings, attitudes and behaviour  Interactionist approach (interactionism): organizational behaviour is a function of both dispositions and the situations. In order to predict and understand organizational behaviour, one must know something about an individual’s personality and the setting in which he/she works o Situations can either be weak or strong. In weak situations it’s not always clear how a person should behave, whereas in strong situations, there are clear expectations for appropriate behaviour. As a result, personality has the most impact in weak situations  The key concept is fit: putting the right person in the right job, group, or organization and exposing different employees to different management styles The five factor model of personality 1. Extraversion: the extent to which a person is outgoing versus shy. High extraversion leads to a liking of social situations and vice versa. Jobs that require extraversion for success involve a lot of interpersonal interaction such as sales and management 2. 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. People with a high score on emotional stability are likely to have more effective interactions with co-workers and customers because they tend to be more calm and secure 3. Agreeableness: the extent to which a person is friendly and approachable. This contributes more to job performance in jobs that require interaction, helping, cooperating, and nurturing others, as well as in jobs that involve teamwork and cooperation 4. Conscientiousness: the degree to which a person is responsible and achievement oriented. People who are high on conscientiousness are likely to perform well on most jobs given their tendency towards hard work and achievement 5. 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.  Research has linked these personality dimensions to organizational behaviour since it leads to good predictions of job performance  Locus of control: a set of beliefs about whether one’s behaviour is controlled mainly by internal or external forces o people who are high on internal control are more satisfied with their jobs, earn more money and achieve higher organizational positions  self-monitoring: the extent to which people observe and regulate how they appear and behave in social settings and relationships o High self monitors tend to be more involved in their jobs, perform at a higher level, and are more likely to emerge as leaders. But they’re also likely to experience more role stress and show less commitment to t heir organization  Self-esteem: the degree to which a person has a positive self-evaluation o Differences between people with high and low self esteem has to do with the plasticity of their thoughts, attitudes and behaviour, also known as “behavioural plasticity” o Behavioural plasticity theory: people with low self-esteem tend to be more susceptible to external and social influences than those who have high self esteem Recent developments in personality and organizational behaviour POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE AFFECTIVITY  Positive affectivity: propensity to view the world, including oneself and other people, in a positive light  Negative affectivity: propensity to view the world, including oneself and other people, in a negative light  Positive and negative affectivity are emotional dispositions that predict people’s general emotional tendencies and can influence their emotions, and mood states at work and influence job attitudes and work behaviour  There’s evidence that positive affect is a key factor that links happiness to success in life and at work PROACTIVE PERSONALITY  Proactive behaviour: taking initiative to improve current circumstances or creating new ones  Proactive personality: a stable personal disposition that reflects a tendency to take personal initiative across a range of activities and situations and to effect positive change in one’s environment  People with proactive personalities are more successful in searching for employment and career success and are more likely to find a job, receive higher salaries and more frequent promotions and have more satisfying careers GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY  General self-efficacy: a general trait that refers to an individual’s belief in his/her ability to perform successfully in a variety of challenging situations o it’s a motivational trait rather than an affective trait because it reflects an individual’s belief that he/she can succeed at a variety of tasks rather than how they feel about him/herself  People with more successes in their lives have high GSE and vice-versa CORE SELF-EVALUATIONS  Core self-evaluations: a broad personality concept that consists of more specific traits that reflect the evaluations people hold about themselves and their self-worth  There are 4 traits that make up a person’s core self evaluation: 1. self-esteem 2. general self-efficacy 3. locus of control 4. neuroticism (emotional stability)  Learning: a relatively permanent change in behaviour potential that occurs due to practice or experience  There are 4 primary categories of learning content: 1. Practical skills: include job-specific skills, knowledge, and technical competence 2. Intrapersonal skills: problem solving, critical thinking, learning about alternative work processes and risk taking 3. Interpersonal skills: interactive skills such as communicating, teamwork, and conflict resolution 4. Cultural awareness: involves learning the social norms of organizations and understanding company goals, business operations, and company expectations and priorities OPERANT LEARNING THEORY  Operant learning (B.F. Skinner): learning by which the subject learns to operate on the environment to achieve certain consequences o can be used to increase the probability of desired behaviours and to reduce or eliminate the probability of undesirable behaviours Increasing the probability of behaviour  reinforcement: the process by which stimuli strengthen behaviours o reinforcer: a stimulus that follows some behaviour and increases or maintains the probability of that behaviour  positive reinforcement: the application or addition of a stimulus that increases or maintains the probability of some behaviour
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