MOS 2181 Organizational Behaviour - Chapter 2.docx

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B
Victoria Digby

Chapter 2 – Personality and Learning What is Personality? • Personality is relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the way an individual interacts with his or her environment and how he/she feels, thinks and behaves o Personal Style in dealing with world, everyone has a different approach o Reactions to people, situations and problems o Variety of personality characteristics o Comes from Genetic and learning history o Relatively stable but susceptible to change in adult life Personality and Organizational Behaviour • DispositionalApproach – focus on individuals dispositions and personality o Predisposed to behave a certain way, stable traits affect attitudes and behaviors o Initially believed that personality affected motivation, attitudes, performance and leadership  Second World War military recruitments required to take personality test o Inconclusive research • SituationalApproach – environmental approach, characteristics in the organizational setting like reward and punishment, influence peoples attitudes, feelings and behavior • Interactionist Approach – OB is function of both dispositions and situations • Situation Types o Weak Situations – clear answer or behavior is not always clear, so personality is a major factor  Loosely defined roles, few rules, weak reward and punishment outcomes o Strong Situations – situations where the behavior is clear, therefore personality plays less of a role  More rules and defined contingencies o Trait Activation Theory – personality traits influence people’s behavior when the situation calls for a particular personality characteristic  Some personality characteristics are valuable in certain organizational situations  Putting right people in right job and exposing different employees to Five Factor Model of Personality • 5 basic, and general dimensions that psychologists have used to describe personality • Found they have a genetic basis • Hold up cross culturally o Extraversion – outgoing versus shy  People who score high: sociable, outgoing, energetic, joyful, and assertive  Introverts are opposite: avoid social situations o Emotional Stability/Neuroticism – degree someone has appropriate emotional control  Low Neuroticism – have high emotional stability, are confident high self esteem  High Neuroticism – self doubt and depression, more prone to stress, hostile, impulsive  More calm and secure, better interaction with customers o Agreeableness – degree someone is friendly and approachable  More agreeable – warm, considerate, altruisitic, friendly, sympathetic, cooperative and eager to help others  Less agreeable – cold, and aloof  Most beneficial for jobs that include interaction and cooperating or nurturing others o Conscientiousness – responsible and achievement-oriented  More contentious – dependable and positively motivated, orderly, self-disciplined, hard-working,  Less – irresponsible, lazy, and impulsive o Openness to Experience – thinks flexibly and is open to new ideas  Openness tends to lead to creativity and innovation  Less open people favor the status quo  Tend to fit in jobs where learning and creativity are crucial, intellectual, curious an imaginative and have broad interests Research Evidence – Big 5 • Related to job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors o Can help predict overall job performance  E.g. extroversion predicts good managers and sale
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