Textbook Notes - Chapter 2

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10 Nov 2010
MGTB27 / 01 Week 2
continuous learning from employees
What is Personality?
- Personality is the relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the
way an individual interacts with his/her environment & how he/she feels/thinks/behaves
- Personality consists of genetics and long-term learning history
Personality and Organizational Behaviour
- Dispositional Approach ± focus on individual disposition and personality
o According to this approach, individuals are predisposed to behave in certain ways
o Initially thought that personality was an important factor in many areas of O.B.
including motivation, attitudes, performance and leadership
o After WWII, personality tests were used for the selection of military personnel
o 1950s/60s, personality tests were popular in business organizations
- Situational Approach ± focused on work environment that might predict and explain O.B.
o Characteristics of the organizational setting such as rewards and punishment
- Interactionist Approach ± O.B. is the function of both dispositions and situation
o Over the years, arguments erupted about which approach was correct which
o The interactionist approach says that both approaches should be considered in
which he/she works)
on the situation
Weak: not always clear how a person should behave (e.g. new volunteer
community; personality has the most impact in weak situations)
Strong: clear expectations for appropriate behaviour (e.g. military
operations; personality tends to have less impact)
- Most important implication of the interactionist perspective is fit: putting the right person
in the right job, group, or organization and exposing different employees to different
management styles
characteristics into five general dimensions
The Five-Factor Model of Personality
o Extraversion
Extent to which a person is outgoing versus shy
Important for jobs that require a lot of interpersonal interaction (e.g. sales)
High: enjoy social situations, sociable, outgoing, energetic, joyful
Low: introverts avoid being sociable, outgoing, energetic, assertive
o Emotional Stability/Neuroticism
Degree to which a person has appropriate emotional control
Chapter 2 ± Personality and Learning (pg. 38 ± 64)
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MGTB27 / 02 Week 2
Persons which low emotional stability tend to suffer and persons with high
emotional stability are likely to have more effective interactions
High: low neuroticism, self confident and have high self-esteem
Low: high neuroticism, tend toward self-doubt and depression, insecure
o Agreeableness
The extent to which a person is friendly and approachable
Likely to contribute to job performance in jobs that require interaction and
involve helping, cooperating, nurturing others and involve teamwork
High: agreeable, warm, considerate, friendly, cooperative, sympathetic
Low: less agreeable, cold, inflexible, uncaring, intolerant, argumentative
o Conscientiousness
Degree to which a person is responsible and achievement-orientated
Person with high conscientious are likely to perform well on jobs assigned
High: dependable, positively motivated, hard working, self-disciplined
Low: less conscientious, irresponsible, lazy, impulsive
o Openness to Experience
Extent to which a person thinks flexibly and is receptive to new ideas
People high on openness experience doing well in jobs that involve
learning and creativity given they tend to be intellectual, curious etc...
High: more open, creativity, innovation
Low: less open, favour status quo
area than another and they hold up well cross-culturally)
o Relates to job performance (higher level characteristics led to better performance)
o Job performance depending on occupation (eg high extraverts are good managers)
o Relates to work behaviour (e.g conscientiousness is related to attendance at work)
o Predictors of motivation (strongest were neuroticism [-ve relationship] and
conscientiousness [+ve relationship])
o Predictors of job satisfaction (strong to weak: neuroticism [high, -ve relation],
conscientiousness[+ve], extraversion[+ve] and agreeableness[+ve])
o Job search/career success (extraversion, conscientious, openness to experience,
Locus of Control
by internal or external forces
o High internals: believe that the opportunity to control their own behaviour resides
within themselves
o High externals: believe that external forces determine their behaviour. See the
world as unpredictable where fate, luck or powerful people control their destines
- Internals tend to see stronger links between the effort the put into their jobs and the
performance level that they achieve; more likely to perform effectively
- Locus control influences O.B. by how employees perceive themselves as being able to
control what happens to them. People with high internal control are more satisfied with
their jobs, earn more money, and achieve higher organizational positions
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MGTB27 / 03 Week 2
- Self-monitoring is the extent to which people observe and regulate how they appear and
behave in social settings and relationships
scoping out and fitting in with those around them
o High self-monitors: take great care to observe and control the images that they
project; behave somewhat like actors (monitoring and regulating their behaviour)
- Self-monitoring affects O.B. because high self-monitors tend to gravitate to jobs that
require a degree of role playing and the exercise of their presentation skills (e.g. sales,
law, public relations, politics)
- High self-monitors perform particularly well in occupations that call for flexibility and
adaptiveness in dealings with diverse constituencies (most managers)
- High self-monitors tend to be more involved in their jobs, perform at a higher level, and
be more likely to emerge as leaders but experience more role stress and show less
commitment to their organization
- Self-esteem is the degree to which a person has a positive self-evaluation
o High self esteem ± have favourable self-images
o Low self-esteem ± unfavourable self-images, uncertain about the correctness of
their opinions, attitudes, and behaviours
- Behavioural plasticity theory tells us that people with low self-esteem tend to be more
vulnerable to external and social influences than those who have high self-esteem. This is
because low self-esteem people are unsure of their views and behaviours so they look to
others for confirmation and information
- Employees with low self-esteem react badly to negative feedback (lowers their
subsequent performance) and do not react well to ambiguous and stressful situations
- Organizations benefit from a workforce that has high self-esteem since they exhibit
higher job satisfaction and job performance and resilient to strains of everyday work life
- Opportunity for participation in decision making, autonomy, and interesting work have
been fairly consistently found to be positively related to self-esteem
Recent Developments in Personality and Organizational Behaviour
- There are five variables that have been found important for organizational behaviour:
- Positive and Negative Affectivity
o Positive affectivity (PA) and negative affectivity (NA) are enduring personality
characteristics that might of stem from genetic and biological basis to them
o People with positive affectivity experience positive emotions and moods and view
the world in a positive light, including themselves and other people
o People with negative affectivity experience negative emotions and moods and view
the world in a negative light. Tend to be distressed, depressed, and unhappy
tendencies that make influence job attitudes and work behaviour
o High with PA: high job satisfaction/performance, more creative, success in life/work
o High with NA: low job satisfaction/performance, more stress, withdrawal behaviours
(e.g. absenteeism), experience counterproductive work behaviours (e.g. harassment)
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