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Chapter 2

Lecture 3 - Ch. 2. Personality & Learning.docx

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Ali Zaidi

BU288 Lecture 3 Ch. 2: Personality & Learning Tues. Sept. 18. 2012. Learning  Learning is critical for effective OB; for organizations to remain competitive in today’s changing environment, worker learning must be continuous and life-long  While learning is necessary for knowledge, skills, and behaviours, studies in OB show that behaviour is also a function of personalities Personality and OB  Personality: relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the way someone interacts with the environment. Someone’s personality summarizes their personal style of dealing with the world  reflected in the distinctive way that we react to people, situations, and problems  Personality consists of many dimensions and traits that are determined in a complex way by genetic predisposition and by long-term learning history  relatively stable, but can change  There is a significant amount of variability in personality, and people vary in how variable they are  Using personality in hiring is not straightforward – there are a lot of issues to consider  Dispositional approach to OB focuses on individual dispositions and personality, and how it affects attitudes and behaviours  we are predisposed to behave in certain ways most of the time - But research failed to support the usefulness of personality as a predictor of job performance. Thus, there was a decrease in personality research & the use of personality tests for selection. - Problem with early research was the use of inadequate measures of personality characteristics. Advances in measurement and trends in organizations prompted renewed interest. - Increased emphasis on service jobs with customer contact, concern about ethics and integrity, and contemporary interest in teamwork point to the potential contribution of personality. - The development of the Five-Factor Model also renewed interest in personality  Situational approach: focus on factors in work environment that predict/explain OB. Characteristics of the organizational setting (reward, punishment) determine people’s attitudes & behaviour. - Same person acts differently in different situations  not useful to describe using traits - Ex: job satisfaction and other work-related attitudes are largely determined by situational factors such as the characteristics of work tasks  Interactionism: After debate, it is agreed that OB is a function of both dispositions and the situation. To predict and understand OB, one must know something about an individual’s personality and the setting in which he/she works.  most widely accepted perspective within OB - Weak situations: not always clear how a person should behave  Personality has big impact as weak situations have loosely defined roles, few rules, weak reward & punishment system. - Strong situations: there are clear expectations for appropriate behaviour - It is useful to describe people using a frequency distribution - Some personality characteristics are useful in certain organizational situations. There’s no one best personality  managers must appreciate employee diversity - Fit (Person-Organziation): key concept of putting the right person in the right job/group/organization that exposing different employees to different management styles Five-Factor Model (FFM) of Personality (Big Five)  Provides a framework for classifying personality characteristics into 5 general dimensions  makes it easier to understand and study role of personality in OB  Researchers identified 1000s of adjectives used to describe people. These traits were analyzed to see how they could be grouped together. Several researchers came up with the same 5 clusters.  The dimensions are relatively independent  you can be higher/lower in any combination Extraversion  Extent to which someone is outgoing vs. shy. 1 BU288 Lecture 3 Ch. 2: Personality & Learning Tues. Sept. 18. 2012.  High scores here = sociable, outgoing, energetic, joyful, assertive  Extraverts enjoy social situations, while introverts avoid them  important for jobs requiring interpersonal interaction (sales and management) Emotional  degree to which a person has appropriate emotional control stability /  high stability (low neuroticism) = self-confident and high self-esteem, calm, Neuroticism secure  likely to have effective interactions with co-workers and customers  high neuroticism = self-doubt, depression, anxious, hostile, impulsive, stressed Agreeableness  extent to which a person is friendly and approachable, respect others  Agreeable = warm, considerate, altruistic, friendly, sympathetic, cooperative, and eager to help (vs. cold and aloof, argumentative, inflexible, intolerant, etc.)  contribute to job performance in jobs that require interaction & helping, cooperating, and nurturing others, as well as jobs involving teamwork. Conscientiousness  degree to which a person is responsible and achievement-oriented  conscientious people are dependable and positively motivated, orderly, self- disciplined, hard-working, and achievement-striving (vs. irresponsible, lazy)  good performance in all jobs across occupations, and strongest predictor Openness to  extent to which a person thinks flexible and is receptive to new ideas Experience  open people tend toward creativity and innovation (vs. status quo), believe in the importance of art, have a vivid imagination (vs. conservative)  do well in jobs that involve learning and creativity given that they are intellectual, curious and imaginative and have broad interests  people in different cultures use these same dimensions to describe friends/acquaintances  how the dimensions affect performance depend on the occupation  compared to managers, entrepreneurs have higher conscientiousness & openness to experience, and lower neuroticism and agreeableness  the dimensions are related to other work behaviours - ex: conscientiousness is related to retention and attendance at work, and is an important antidote for counterproductive behaviours like theft and disciplinary problems - ex: extraverts tend to be absent more often than introverts - performance, attendance, counterproductive behaviours, motivation, career success, organizational citizenship behaviour, leadership, turnover, burnout, ethical, job satisfaction  the Big Five are related to work motivation and job satisfaction - emotional stability & conscientiousness are strongest predictors of motivation (positively related) - Strongest predictor of job/life satisfaction was emotional stability, then conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness.  openness is unrelated to job/life satisfaction - People with higher extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, and conscientiousness perform better on a team due to cooperation, concern, and courtesy to team members  The Big Five are all positively related to the intensity of a job seeker’s job search and career
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