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Chapter 2

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University of Toronto St. George
Rotman Commerce

Chapter 2 – Personality and Learning personality: the relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the way an individual interacts with his or her environment o determine by genetics + learning history Personality and OB o different approaches: o dispositional: individuals’ characteristics that influence their behaviour o situational: characteristics of the organizational setting influence people’s behaviour o interactionism: function of dispositional and situational o weak situations: not clear how a person should behave o personality has the most impact o strong situations: clear expectation for appropriate behaviour o personality has less impact Five Factor Model of Personality 1. Extraversion: extent to which a person is outgoing vs. shy a. important for jobs that require interpersonal interaction e.g. sales and management 2. Emotional stability/neuroticism: degree to which a person has appropriate emotional control a. low neuroticism (high emotional stability): self-confident + high self esteem i. more likely to have effective interactions with co-workers + customers b. high neuroticism (low emotional stability): self-doubt + depression 3. Agreeableness: extent to which a person is friendly and approachable; agreeable people are warm, considerate, altruistic, e.g. a. less agreeable people are cold, aloof, uncooperative, etc. b. agreeableness contributes to jobs that require interaction, helping others, teamwork, cooperation 4. Conscientiousness: degree to which someone is responsible + achievement oriented a. strongest predictor for overall performance across all jobs b. dependable and positively motivated c. likely to perform well on jobs that require hard work d. low on conscientiousness: irresponsible, lazy, impulsive people 5. Openness to experience: degree to which a person thinks flexibly + is receptive to new ideas; more creative and innovative a. less open people favour the status quo Locus of Control o a set of beliefs about whether one’s behaviour is controlled mainly by internal or external forces o high: believes that the opportunity to control their own behaviour resides within themselves  more satisfied with jobs, earn more money, higher positions, less stress o low: believe that external forces determine their behaviour e.g. luck, fate Self-Monitoring o the extent to which people observe and regulate how they appear and behave in social settings and relationships o low self-monitors: those who “wear their heart on their sleeves” o high: take great care to observe + control the images that they project o gravitate towards jobs that require presentation, leadership and role playing skills e.g. sales, law, politics Self-Esteem o the degree to which a person has a positive self-evaluation o behavioural plasticity theory: people with low self-esteem tend to be more susceptible to external and social influences than those with high self esteem o they tend to look to others for info and social approval (interactionism) o low self-esteem: people react badly to negative feedback – lowering performance o organizations benefit from a workforce with high self-esteem b/c they make more fulfilling career decisions, have higher job satisfaction + performance, and are more resilient to strains of everyday work life Recent Developments in Personality and OB Positive and Negative Affectivity o positive affectivity: viewing the world, including oneself and others, in a positive light o cheerful, enthusiastic, energetic o people high on PA report higher job satisfaction and performance o negative affectivity: views world and oneself in a negative light o distressed, depressed, unhappy o people high on NA report lower job satisfaction and performance o counterproductive work behaviours, withdrawal behaviours, occupational injury Proactive Personality o proactive behaviour: taking initiative to improve current circumstances or creating new ones; challenging the status quo o 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 o unconstrained by situational forces o associated with higher performance evaluations and are more successful in searching for jobs, getting promotions, and having satisfying careers o those who don’t have a proactive personality and more passive and adapt to the environment rather than changing it General Self-Efficacy o a general trait that refers to an individual’s belief in his/her ability to perform successfully in a variety of challenging situations o considered a motivational trait o developed over one’s life span with repeated successes and failures (high GSE = high number of success) o high GSE = ability to adapt to adverse situations, higher job satisfaction + performance Core Self-Evaluations o a broad personality concept that consists of more specific traits that reflect the evaluations people hold about themselves and their self-worth o made up of self-esteem, general self-efficacy, locus of control and neuroticism: best predictors of job satisfaction and performance o core evaluations in childhood and early adulthood = job satisfaction in middle adulthood o higher CSE = less tress + conflict at work b/c they are more satisfied with their jobs What is Learning? o learning: a rel
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