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CHAPTER

Self Concept,
Personality, and Emotions

Canadian Students
Have High Selfesteem and Believe
They Deserve More
What kind of person
are you? What sorts of
abilities do you have? What
expectations do you have
for a job upon graduation?
Ask your friends these three
questions and youll probably
get a variety of answers.
Thats because individuals
have different self-concepts,
abilities, and expectations.
What we think of ourselves
(self-esteem) and what we
think we deserve in
this world become the
foundation of our goals
(I want this because I know
I can achieve it!) and how
well accomplish them.

Some students expect theyll have


to work hard for many years before
I did not spend
earning an annual salary above the
all that money and
Canadian average for individuals,
(approximately $30 000 average
years in school to
income after tax, according to
make $12 per hour
Statistics Canada). Others expect
it within months of graduation.
working phone
One recent computer science
support and resetting
graduate expressed it this way, I
did not spend all that money and
passwords all day!
years in school to make $12 per
hour working phone support and
resetting passwords all day!
According to a recent Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) study,
nearly a quarter of young Canadians are working at low-paying jobs beneath
their skill levelsuch as pouring coffee and answering phonesthe highest
rate among the 16 nations that belong to the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development. There appears to be a mismatch between
what young Canadians are being trained for and the jobs that are offered,
says the survey report.
According to Amanda Aziz, national chairwoman of the Canadian
Federation of Students, the cost for post secondary education is the highest
it has ever been in this country. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect
higher than average salaries upon graduation. Aziz believes there is an unfair
societal attitude toward the current generation of students, labelling them as
spoiled. But Aziz takes exception to this belief. Are Canadian students spoiled
or just individuals with high self-esteem who know what they want?
SOURCES: The Canadian Press, April 17, 2008, 1 in 4 young Canadians overqualied for jobs:
report, www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/04/17/bc-youth-labour; Statistics Canada: Income after
tax by economic family types http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil21a.htm.

LEARNING
OBJECTIVES
After reading this chapter,
you should be able to:

hanks to a vast array of individual differences, modern organizations


have a rich and interesting human texture. On the other hand, individual differences make the managers job endlessly challenging. In
fact, according to research, variability among workers is substantial at all
levels but increases dramatically with job complexity. In life insurance sales,
for example, unevenness in performance is around six times as great as in
routine clerical jobs.1 Growing workforce diversity compels managers to view
individual differences in a fresh new way. Rather than limiting diversity, as
in the past, todays managers need to better understand and accommodate
employee diversity and individual differences.2
This chapter explores the following important dimensions of individual
differences: (1) self-concept, (2) personality traits, (3) mental abilities, and (4)
emotions. Figure 31 is a conceptual model showing the relationship between
self-concept (how you view yourself), personality (how you appear to others),
and key forms of self-expression. Considered as an integrated package, these
factors provide a foundation for better understanding yourself and others as
unique and special individuals.
SOURCE: 1 in 4 young Canadians overqualied for jobs; Canadian Press April 17, 2008.
www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/04/17/bc-youth-labour; Statistics Cnada: Income after tax
by economic family types http://www40.statcan.ca/I01/cst01/famil21a.htm

LO

Dene self-esteem and


self-efcacy

LO

Explain what is meant


by self-monitoring
and discuss how it
relates to the social
learning model of
self-management.

LO

Relate the one Big Five


personality dimension
that is most positively
correlated with job
performance .

LO

Compare and Contrast


internal and external
locus of control.

LO

Summarize the
theory of emotional
intellegence and
explain how it relates
to appreciating
individual differences
between people..

Understanding Self-Concept

this cultural qualication in mind, let us explore three


topics invariably mentioned when behavioural scientists discuss self-concept: self-esteem, self-efficacy,
and self-monitoring.

Self is the core of ones conscious existence. Awareness


of self is referred to as ones self-concept. Individualistic
North American cultures have been called self-centered.
Not surprisingly, when people ages 16 to 70 were asked
in a recent survey what they would do differently if
they could live life over again, 48 percent chose the
Self-esteem
Self-esteem is beliefs about ones
response category Get in touch with self.3 To know
Ones overall
own self-worth based on an overall selfmore about self-concept is to understand
self-evaluation.
8
4
evaluation. Self-esteem is measured by
more about life in general.
having survey respondents indicate their
Sociologist Viktor Gecas denes
agreement or disagreement with both posiself-concept as the concept
Self-concept
tive and negative statements. A positive statement on
the individual has of himself as
A persons
one general self-esteem survey is: I feel I am a person
a physical, social, and spiritual
self-perception as
5
of worth, the equal of other people.9 Among the negaor
moral
being.
In
other
words,
a physical, social,
tive items is: I feel I do not have much to be proud
because you have a self-concept, you
spiritual being.
of.10 Those that agree with the positive statements
recognize yourself as a distinct
and disagree with the negative statements
human being. A self-concept
have high self-esteem. They see themselves
would be impossible without the
Cognitions
as worthwhile, capable, and acceptable.
capacity to think. This brings us to the role
A persons
People with low self-esteem view themof cognitions. Cognitions represent any
knowledge,
selves in negative terms. They do not feel
knowledge, opinion, or belief about the
opinions, or
good about themselves and are hampered by
environment, about oneself, or about ones
beliefs.
self-doubts.11
behaviour.6 Among many different types of
cognitions, those involving anticipation, planning,
goal setting, evaluating, and setting personal standards
Employment and Self-EsteemWhat researchers call
are particularly relevant to OB.
organization-based self-esteem makes paid employImportantly, ideas of self and self-concept vary
ment a prime determinant of overall self-esteem in
from one historical era to another, from one sociomodern life.12 Identifying oneself with a collective group
economic group to another, and from culture to
of individuals who are gainfully employed can be very
culture.7 How well one detects and adjusts to different
rewarding and fullling, especially when others around
cultural notions of self can spell the difference between
you are out of work. Consequently, unemployment can
success and failure in international dealings. Keeping
have a devastating impact on ones self-esteem. Look
around and reect on the tens of thousands
of individuals who lost their jobs during
the economic downturn in the early 2000s.
FIGURE 3.1 Studying Individual Differences Imagine how low their self-esteem must
be, knowing that nding a career job in the
The Unique Individual
Forms of Selfnear future will be a very difficult task. They
Expression
can learn from Arthur J. Fiacco, a 56-yearPersonality
Self-management
old executive who was laid off without any
traits
warning during the tech downturn in 2001:

Self-Esteem

Attitudes

Self-concept
Self-esteem
Self-efficacy
Self-monitoring

44

PART 2

Abilities
Emotions

Managing Individual Behaviour

I had never felt so lonely and helpless.


I had been working since I was 16 years
old...A job isnt just about working. A job
helps dene who we are. It is what we
talk with our neighbours about. It is the
place we go. It is how we are introduced.
It is one of the rst things people ask
about when we meet them. And most
important, we measure ourselves from
our very rst job onward. Without a job,
I felt I had lost my identity.17

IT'S ALWAYS GOOD DOGNEVER GREAT DOG.

coaches had no such positive effect.17 Another study led


to this conclusion: Low self-esteem can be raised more
by having the person think of desirable characteristics
possessed rather than of undesirable characteristics from
which he or she is free.18 Yet another comprehensive
study threw cold water on the popular view that high selfesteem is the key to better performance. The conclusion:
...self-esteem and school or job performance are
correlated. But long overdue scientic scrutiny points
out the foolishness of supposing that peoples
opinion of themselves can be the cause of achievement. Rather, high-esteem is the result of good
performance.19
This is where self-efficacy comes to the forefront.

www.cartoonbank.com

Fiacco eventually turned things around by building


a successful consulting business. He says now, I am
making a contribution and feel good.I have learned to
listen to what others are trying to tell me.14
A Cross-Cultural PerspectiveWhat are the cross-cultural
implications for self-esteem, a concept that has been called
uniquely Western? In a survey of 13 118 students from
31 countries worldwide, a moderately positive correlation
was found between self-esteem and life satisfaction. But
the relationship was stronger in individualistic cultures
(e.g., Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, and the United
States) than in collectivist cultures (e.g., Korea, Kenya, and
Japan). The researchers concluded that individualistic
cultures socialize people to focus more on themselves,
while people in collectivist cultures are socialized to
t into the community and to do their duty. Thus,
how a collectivist feels about him-- or herself is less
relevant to...life satisfaction.15 Global
lobal managers
and employees working in multi-cultural
ulti-cultural
work environments, whether in Canada
or abroad, need to remember
ber to
de-emphasize self-esteem when doing
business in collectivist (we) cultures,
tures,
as opposed to emphasizing it in indindividualistic (me) cultures.16

Can General SelffEsteem Be Improved?


oved?
The short answer is yes. Moree detailed
answers come from research. In one
ne study,
youth-league baseball coaches who were
trained in supportive teaching techniques
had a positive effect on the self-esteem of
young boys. A control group of untrained

Self-Efficacy (I can do that.)

LO

Have you noticed how those who are condent about their ability tend to succeed,
while those who are preoccupied with
Self-efficacy
failing tend to fail? Self-efficacy is a
Belief in ones
persons belief about his or her chances
ability to do
of successfully accomplishing a specic
a task.
task. According to one OB writer, Selfefficacy arises from the gradual acquisition
of complex cognitive, social, linguistic, and/or
physical skills through experience.20
Helpful nudges in the right direction from parents,
role models, and mentors are central to the development of high self-efficacy. Consider, for example, how
Earl Woods used his military tough-love style to build
his son Tigers self-efficacy
ca on the golf links:
Long after Tiger W
Woods is nished playing golf,
people will study Earl Woods. They will
want to hear the stories of exactly
wa
how he raised this generations
h
most popular athlete...
m

I tried to break him down


ment
mentally,
tried to intimidate
him verb
verbally, by saying. Water on
the right, OB [out of bounds] on the left,
just before his
hi downswing, Earl Woods
once told th
the Associated Press. He
would look at me with the most evil look,
but he wasnt p
permitted to say anything...
One day I did all my tricks, and he looked at
me and smile
smiled. At the end of the round, I
told him, T
Tiger, youve completed the
training. And I made him a promise.
Pro Golfer Tiger Woods
has a high level of selfYoull never run into another person
efcacy on the golf links.
as mentally tough as you. He hasnt.
And he wont.21

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

45

The relationship between self-efficacy and performance


called learned helplessness, the severely debilitating
is a cyclical one. Efficacyperformance cycles can spiral
belief that one has no control over ones environment.24
22
upward toward success or downward toward failure.
Although self-efficacy sounds like some sort of mental
Researchers have documented a strong link between
magic, it operates in a very straightforward manner,
high self-efficacy expectations and success
as a model will show.
in widely varied physical and mental tasks,
anxiety reduction, addiction control, pain
Learned
Mechanisms of Self-EfcacyA basic model
tolerance, illness recovery, and avoidance
of self-efficacy is displayed in Figure 32. It
helplessness
of seasickness in naval cadets.23 In contrast,
draws upon the work of psychologist Albert
Text to Come?
those with low self-efficacy expectations
Bandura.25 Let us explore this model with a
tend to have low success rates. Chronically
simple illustrative task. Imagine you have
low self-efficacy is associated with a condition
been told to prepare and deliver a 10-minute

FIGURE

3.2

Self-Efcacy Beliefs Pave the Way for Success or Failure


Behavioral Patterns

Sources of
Self-Efficacy Beliefs
Feedback

Prior
experience
High
I know I can
do this job.

Behavior
models
Self-efficacy
beliefs

Persuasion
from others

Assessment
of physical/
emotional
state

Low
I don't think I can
get the job done.

Results

Be activeselect
best opportunities.
Manage the situation
avoid or neutralize
obstacles.
Set goalsestablish
standards.
Plan, prepare, practice.
Try hard; persevere.
Creatively
solve problems.
Learn from setbacks.
Visualize success.
Limit stress.

Success

Be passive.
Avoid difficult tasks.
Develop weak aspirations
and low commitment.
Focus on personal
deficiencies.
Don't even trymake
a weak effort.
Quit or become
discouraged because
of setbacks.
Blame setbacks on lack
of ability or bad luck.
Worry, experience stress,
become depressed.
Think of excuses
for failing.

Failure

SOURCES: Adapted from discussion in A. Bandura, Regulation of Cognitive Processes through Perceived Self-Efcacy, Developmental
Psychology, September 1989, pp 72935; and R. Wood and A. Bandura, Social Cognitive Theory of Organizational Management, Academy of
Management Review, July 1989, pp 36184.

46

PART 2

Managing Individual Behaviour

talk to an OB class of 50 students on the workings of


the self-efficacy model in Figure 32. Your self-efficacy
assessment would involve thinking and reviewing the
interaction between your perceived abilities and those
opportunities and obstacles around you.
As you begin to prepare for your presentation, the
four sources of self-efficacy beliefs come into play.
Because prior experience is the most potent source,
according to Bandura, it is listed rst and connected
to self-efficacy beliefs with a solid line.26 Past success
in public speaking would boost your self-efficacy.
But bad experiences with delivering speeches would
foster low self-efficacy. Regarding behaviour models
as a source of self-efficacy beliefs, you would be inuenced by the success or failure of your classmates in
delivering similar talks. Their successes would tend to
bolster you (or perhaps their failure would if you were
very competitive and had high self-esteem). Likewise,
any supportive persuasion from your classmates that
you will do a good job would enhance your self-efficacy.
Physical and emotional factors also might affect your
self-condence. A sudden case of laryngitis or a bout
of stage fright could cause your self-efficacy expectations to plunge. Your cognitive evaluation of the situation then would yield a self-efficacy beliefranging
from high to low expectations for success. Importantly,
self-efficacy beliefs are not merely boastful statements
based on bravado; they are deep convictions supported
by experience.
Moving to the behavioural patterns portion of
Figure 32, we see how self-efficacy beliefs are acted out.
In short, if you have high self-efficacy about giving your
10-minute speech you will work harder, more creatively,
and longer when preparing for your talk than will your
low-self-efficacy classmates. The results would then
take shape accordingly. People program themselves for
success or failure by enacting their self-efficacy expectations. Positive or negative results subsequently become
feedback for ones base of personal experience. Bob
Schmonsees, a software entrepreneur, is an inspiring
example of the success pathway through Figure 32:
A contender in mixed-doubles tennis and a former
football star, Mr Schmonsees was standing near a
ski lift when an out-of-control skier rammed him.
His legs were paralyzed. He would spend the rest
of his life in a wheelchair. Fortunately, he discovered a formula for his different world: Figure out
the new rules for any activity, then take as many
small steps as necessary to master those rules.
After learning the physics of a tennis swing on
wheels and the geometry of playing a second
bounce (standard rules), he became the worlds
top wheelchair player over age 40.27

Managerial ImplicationsOn-the-job research evidence


encourages managers to nurture self-efficacy, both
in themselves and in others. In fact, a meta-analysis
encompassing 21 616 subjects found a signicant positive correlation between self-efficacy and job performance.28 To illustrate this point, lets take the case
example discussed in the Law and Ethics in OB feature
box, where a manager receives information suggesting
employees waste time on the job. That translates into
money being wasted in the mind of the manager and
prompts a reaction; in this instance, its critical for the
manager not to overreact with coercive tactics. To get
people back on track, management should reect on
the best way to help the employees understand the need
for behaviour change. By providing employees with the
right tools, employees can monitor their own behaviour
and thus maintain positive self-efficacy, which in turn
will lead to better job performance.
Self-efficacy requires constructive action in each of
the following managerial areas:

1.

Recruiting/selection/job assignments. Interview


questions can be designed to probe job applicants
general self-efficacy as a basis for determining
orientation and training needs. Pencil-and-paper
tests for self-efficacy are not in an advanced stage
of development and validation. Care needs to be
taken to not hire solely on the basis of self-efficacy,
because studies have detected below-average
self-esteem and self-efficacy among women and
protected minorities.29

2.

Job design. Complex, challenging, and autonomous


jobs tend to enhance perceived self-efficacy.30 Boring,
tedious jobs generally do the opposite.

3.

Training and development. Employees selfefficacy expectations for key tasks can be improved
through guided experiences, mentoring, and role
modelling.31

4.

Self-management. Systematic self-management


training involves enhancement of self-efficacy
expectations.32

5.

Goal setting and quality improvement. Goal


difficulty needs to match the individuals perceived
self-efficacy.33 As self-efficacy and performance
improve, goals and quality standards can be made
more challenging.

6.

Creativity. Supportive managerial actions can


enhance the strong linkage between self-efficacy
beliefs and workplace creativity.34

7.

Coaching. Those with low self-efficacy need lots of


constructive pointers and positive feedback. 35

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

47

In the rst all-too-familiar scenario, you are talking to


a low self-monitor. The second scenario involves a
high self-monitor. But more is involved here than
an irritating situation: a signicant and measur9. Rewards. Small successes need to be
able individual difference in self-expression
rewarded as stepping-stones to a stronger
behaviour, called self-monitoring, is highSelf-monitoring
self-image and greater achievements.
lighted. Self-monitoring is the extent to
Observing ones
which a person observes his or her own
own behaviour and
self-expressive behaviour and adapts it to
adapting it to the
the demands of the situation.36
situation.
Experts on the subject offer this
Consider these contrasting scenarios:
explanation:

8.

LO

Leadership. Leadership talent emerges when top


management gives high self-efficacy managers a
chance to prove themselves under pressure.

Self-Monitoring
1.

You are rushing to an important meeting when a


co-worker pulls you aside and starts to discuss
a personal problem. You want to break off the
conversation, so you glance at your watch. He
keeps talking. You say, Im late for a big meeting.
He continues. You turn and start to walk away.
The person keeps talking as if he never received
any of your verbal and non-verbal signals that the
conversation was over.

2.

Same situation. Only this time, when you glance at


your watch, the person immediately says, I know,
youve got to go. Sorry. Well talk later.

L AW A N D E T H I C S

Individuals high in self-monitoring are thought


to regulate their expressive self-presentation for
the sake of desired public appearances, and thus
are highly responsive to social and interpersonal
cues of situationally appropriate performances.
Individuals low in self-monitoring are thought
to lack either the ability or the motivation to
so regulate their expressive self-presentations.
Instead, their expressive behaviours are thought
to functionally reect their own enduring and
momentary inner states, including their attitudes,
traits, and feelings.37

at Work

Employers Need to Find Ways to Build


Employee Self-Efficacy

magine you are a manager and youve just read


a recent Gallup poll stating that employees
acknowledged that they wasted an average of
about one hour a day at work. This has you concerned.
Are your employees wasting hours at work each week
or are they being productive? You decide to ask a
colleague his opinion on how to monitor such activity
in the workplace. He suggests installing NetVizor, the
latest software that lets employers secretly monitor all
computer and Internet activities of every employee on
their network. But is it legal?
In banking, insurance, telecommunications, and
travel, as many as 80 percent of employees may be
subject to some level of monitoring. While it is an offence
under the Criminal Code in Canada to intercept private
communications, the Personal Information Protection
and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) introduced in

48

PART 2

Managing Individual Behaviour

2004 makes it clear that Canadian companies have to


justify surveillance and have written policies regarding
Internet and phone use or face a possible civil lawsuit
before the federal court.
Several decisions from the Canadian federal privacy
commissioner clearly identify that employers must act
in compliance with the purposes and limited collection
provisions of PIPEDA that allow individuals the right
to privacy so as to, in essence, monitor their own
behaviour without coercive means from management.
SOURCES: A. Gahtan, Big Brother or Good Business?, WebWorld,
March 1997, p. 24; J. Allinson, Companies Will Have To Justify
Surveillance, London Free Press, December 27, 2003; J. Allinson,
Written Policies are must for Internet, phone use LFP, January 8,
2004; M. Cywinski, Management Tip employees acknowledged in
Self-Monitoring 2007 that they wasted an average of about an hour a
day at work, but..., Canadian Management Centre PodCast Series,
January 24, 2008, (http://www.cmctraining.org/wordpress/?author=2)

INSTRUCTIONS: In an honest self-apprailsal, mark each of the following


statements as true (T) or False (F), and then consult the scoring key.

1.

I guess I put on a show to impress or entertain others.

2.

In a group of people I am rarely the centre of attention.

3.

In different situations and with different people, I often act like very different persons.

4.

I would not change my opinions (or the way I do things) in order to please someone
or win their favour.

5.

I have considered being an entertainer.

6.

I have trouble changing my behaviour to suit different people and different situations.

7.

At a party I let others keep the jokes and stories going.

8.

I feel a bit awkward in public and do not show up quite as well as I should.

9.

I can look anyone in the eye and tell a lie with a straight face (if for a right end).

10.

SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERCISE

How Good Are You at Self-Monitoring?

I may deceive people by being friendly when I really dislike them.

Scoring Key
Score one point for each of the following answers:
1. T; 2. F; 3. T; 4. F; 5. T; 6. F; 7. F; 8. F; 9. T; 10. T
Score:
13 = Low self-monitoring
45 = Moderately low self-monitoring
67 = Moderately high self-monitoring
810 = High self-monitoring
SOURCE: Excerpted and adapted from M. Snyder and S. Gangestad, On the Nature of Self-Monitoring: Matters of Assessment,
Matters of Validity, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, July 1986, p 137.

CHAPTER 2

Social Perception &


CHAPTER
Attribution
3 Factors
Self Concept,
Inuencing
Personality,
Individual
andBehaviour
Emotions

49

In organizational life, both high and low self-monitors


are subject to criticism. High self-monitors are sometimes called chameleons, who readily adapt their selfpresentation to their surroundings. Low self-monitors,
on the other hand, often are criticized for being on their
own planet and insensitive to others. Importantly, within
an OB context, self-monitoring is like any other individual differencenot a matter of right or wrong or good
versus bad, but rather a source of diversity that needs to
be adequately understood.

true to your basic beliefs. Dont wear out your welcome


when communicating. Practise reading and adjusting
to non-verbal cues in various public situations. If your
conversation partner is bored or distracted, stophe
or she is not really listening.

Self-Management: A Social
Learning Model

Albert Bandura, the expert psychologist introduced


earlier, extended his self-efficacy concept into a
proposition; it is a matter of degree, a matter of being
comprehensive model of human
relatively high or low in terms of
learning. According to Banduras
related patterns of self-expression.
This
is
a
quote
social learning theory, an indiIf you havent done so already,
vidual acquires new behaviour
complete the Self-Assessment
placement holder... this
through the interplay of environexercise in the feature box to
is
a
quote
placement
mental cues and consequences
determine how good you are
and cognitive processes.41 When
at self-monitoring. It is meant
holder This is a quote
you consciously control this
to help you better understand
placement
holder
learning process yourself, you are
yourself. Review your score.
engaging in self-management.
Does it surprise you in any way?
Bandura explains:
Are you unhappy with the way
you present yourself to others? What are the ethical
[A] distinguishing feature of social learning theory is
implications of your score (particularly with regard to
the prominent role it assigns to self-regulatory capaciitems 9 and 10)?
ties. By arranging environmental inducements, gener-

A Matter of DegreeSelf-monitoring is not an either-or

Research Insights and Practical Recommendations

According to eld research, there is a positive relationship between high self-monitoring and career success.
Among 139 MBA graduates who were tracked for ve
years, high self-monitors enjoyed more internal and
external promotions than did their low self-monitoring
classmates.38 Another study of 147 managers and professionals found that high self-monitors had a better record
of acquiring a mentor (someone to act as a personal
career coach and professional sponsor).39 These results
mesh well with an earlier study that found managerial
success (in terms of speed of promotions) was tied to
political savvy (knowing how to socialize, network, and
engage in organizational politics).40
The foregoing evidence and practical experience
lead us to make these practical recommendations:

For high, moderate, and low self-monitors: Become


more consciously aware of your self-image and how
it affects others.

For high self-monitors: Dont overdo it by turning


from a successful chameleon into someone who is
widely perceived as insincere, dishonest, phoney, and
untrustworthy. You cannot be everything to everyone.

For low self-monitors: You can bend without breaking,


so try to be a bit more accommodating while being

50

PART 2

Managing Individual Behaviour

ating cognitive supports, and producing consequences


for their own actions, people are able to exercise some
measure of control over their own behaviour.42
In other words, to the extent that you can control your
environment and your cognitive representations of your
environment, you are the master of your own behaviour.
The practical model displayed in Figure 33 is derived
from social learning theory. The two-headed arrows reect
dynamic interaction among all factors in the model. Each
of the four major components of this self-management
model requires a closer look. Since the focal point of this
model is behaviour change, let us begin by discussing
the behaviour component in the centre of the triangle.43
Changing Your BehaviourIn todays fast-paced Internet

age, corporate hand-holding is pretty much a thing of the


past when it comes to career management. Employees
are told such things as, You own your own employability. They must make the best of themselves and any
opportunities that may come along. A brochure at one
large company tells employees: No one is more interested or qualied when it comes to evaluating your individual interests, values, skills, and goals than you are.44
The new age of career self-management challenges you
to do a better job of setting personal goals, having clear
priorities, being well organized, skilfully managing your
time, and developing a self-learning program.45

FIGURE

3.3

A Social Learning Model of Self-Management


Person
(Psychological self)
Symbolic coding
(visual/verbal)
Rehearsal
(mental/actual)
Self-talk

Behavior
Behavior changes
needed for selfimprovement
Situational cues

Consequences

Reminders and
attention focusers
Self-observation
data
Avoidance of
negative cues
Seeking of
positive cues
Personal
goal setting
Self-contracts

Self-reinforcement/
self-punishment
Building activities
into the task that
are naturally
rewarding (e.g.,
activities that
increase ones sense
of competence, selfcontrol, and purpose)
Reinforcement from
relevant others

SOURCE: Adapted in part from B.J. Pannett and S. Withane, Hofstedes Value Survey Module: To Embrace or Abandon?, Advances in
International Comparative Management, vol 5, ed S.B. Prasad (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1990), pp 6989.

Fortunately, Stephen R. Covey, in his best-selling


books The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The
8th Habit, has given us a helpful agenda for improving
ourselves (see Table 31). Covey refers to the eight
habits practised by truly successful people, as principlecentered, character-based.46 The rst step for putting the
model in Figure 33 to work is to pick one or more of the
eight habits that are personal trouble spots and translate
them to specic behaviours. For example, think win/
win might remind a conict-prone person to practise
cooperative teamwork behaviours with co-workers. Habit
number ve might prompt another person to stop interrupting others during conversations. Next, a supportive
environment is needed for the target behaviour.
Managing Situational CuesWhen people try to give up
a nagging habit such as smoking, the cards are stacked
against them. Many people (friends who smoke) and situations (after dinner, when under stress at work, or when
relaxing) serve as subtle yet powerful cues telling the

individual to light up. If the behaviour is to be changed,


the cues need to be rearranged so they trigger alternative
behaviour. Six techniques for managing situational cues
are listed in the left column of Figure 33.
Reminders and attention focusers do just that. For
example, many students and employees cue themselves
about deadlines and appointments with Post-it notes
stuck all over their work areas, refrigerators, and dashboards. Self-observation data, when compared against a
goal or standard, can be a potent cue for improvement.
Those who keep a weight chart near their bathroom
scale will attest to the value of this tactic. Successful
self-management calls for avoiding negative cues
while seeking positive cues. Managers in Northwestern
Mutual Life Insurance Companys new business department appreciate the value of avoiding negative cues:
On Wednesdays, the department shuts off all incoming
calls, allowing workers to speed processing of new policies. On those days, the unit averages 23% more policies
than on other days.47

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

51

3.1
TABLE

Coveys Eight Habits: An Agenda for Self-Improvement


1. Be proactive. Choose the right means and ends in life, and take personal responsibility for your actions.
Make timely decisions and make positive progress.
2. Begin with the end in mind. When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered? Be goal oriented.
3. Put rst things rst. Establish rm priorities that will help you accomplish your mission in life. Strike a
balance between your daily work and your potential for future accomplishments.
4. Think win/win. Cooperatively seek creative and mutually benecial solutions to problems and conicts.
5. Seek rst to understand, then to be understood. Strive hard to become a better listener.
6. Synergize. Because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, you need to generate teamwork among
individuals with unique abilities and potential. Value interpersonal differences.
7. Sharpen the saw. This is the habit of self-renewal, which has four elements. The rst is mental, which
includes reading, visualizing, planning, and writing. The second is spiritual, which means value clarication
and commitment, study, and meditation. Third is social/emotional, which involves service, empathy, synergy,
and intrinsic security. Finally, the physical element includes exercise, nutrition, and stress management.
8. Find your voice and inspire others to nd theirs. Take your life to a higher level by seeking fulllment, doing
things passionately, and making a signicant contribution.
SOURCES: Adapted from discussion in S.R.Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989). Excerpt
in No. 7 from Q & A with Stephen Covey, Training, December 1992, p 38. Eighth habit quoted and adapted from C. Lee, Stephen Covey
Talks About the 8th Habit: Effective Is No Longer Enough, Training, February 2005, pp 1719 (emphasis added).

Arranging Support for the Psychological SelfReferring


to the person portion of the self-management model
in Figure 33, three cognitive supports for behaviour
change are symbolic coding, rehearsal, and self-talk.
These amount to psychological, as opposed to environmental, cues. Yet, according to Bandura, they prompt
appropriate behaviour in the same manner. Each
requires a brief explanation:

This sort of visualization has been recommended


for use when involved with strategic planning.49
Individuals stand to learn a great deal about mental
rehearsal and visualization from successful athletes.
Kim Woodring, an all-star volleyball player, is a good
example. She effectively combines visualization and
self-talk:

Symbolic coding. From a social learning theory


perspective, the human brain stores information
in visual and verbal codes. For example, a sales
manager could use the visual picture of a man
chopping down a huge tree to remember Woodman,
the name of a promising new client. In contrast,
people commonly rely on acronyms to recall
names, rules for behaviour, and other information.
An acronym (or verbal code) that is often heard in
managerial circles is the KISS principle, standing
for Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Rehearsal. While it is true that practice often makes
perfect, mental rehearsal of challenging tasks can
also increase ones chances of success. Importantly,
experts draw a clear distinction between systematic
visualization of how one should proceed and
daydreaming about success:
The big difference between daydreaming and
visualizing is that visualizing is much more
specic and detailed, says consultant Judith
Schuster. A daydream typically has gaps in

52

itwe jump immediately to where we want


to wind up. In visualization, we use building
blocks and, step-by-step, construct the result
we want.48

PART 2

Managing Individual Behaviour

Im always positive, she says. Even if Im


losing. I talk positively to myself. I go on with
the next play and dont worry about the last
one. When I visualize, I always see the perfect
pass, perfect hit, perfect set, perfect kill,
perfect result.50
Job-nding seminars for students are very
popular on campuses today because they typically
involve mental and actual rehearsal of tough job
interviews. This sort of manufactured
experience can build the condence
and self-efficacy necessary for realself-talk
world success.51

Self-talk. According to an expert on


Evaluating
thoughts about
the subject, self-talk is the set of
oneself.
evaluating thoughts that you give
yourself about facts and events that
happen to you.52 Personal experience

nds to be a
tells us that self-talk tends
self-fullling prophecy. Negative
self-talk tends to pave the way for
failure, whereas positive selfss.
talk often facilitates success.
Replacing negative self-talk (Ill never get a
raise) with positive selftalk (I deserve a raise and Im going
to get it) is fundamental to better selfness writer,
management. One business
while urging salespeoplee to be their
d this advice
own cheerleaders, offered
ations:
for handling difficult situations:
Tell yourself theres a positive side
in yourself to
to everything and train
focus on it. At rst your new self-talk
nnatural, but
will seem forced and unnatural,
tal imagery
stick with it. Use mental
ate on the
to help you concentrate
ink is a bad
benets of what you think
situation. If you dontt like cold
hink of how
calling, for example, think
oure nished,
good youll feel when youre
knowing you have a whole list
ortunities.
of new selling opportunities.
Forming a new habit isnt easy,
but the effort will pay off.53
ConsequencesThe completion of self-contracts and
other personal achievements calls for self-reinforcement. According to Bandura, three criteria must be
satised before self-reinforcement can occur:

1.

The individual must have control over desired


reinforcers.

2.

Reinforcers must be self-administered on a


conditional basis. Failure to meet the performance
requirement must lead to self-denial.

3.

Performance standards must be adopted to establish


the quantity and quality of target behaviour required
for self-reinforcement.54

In view of the following realities, self-reinforcement


strategies need to be resourceful and creative:
Self-granted rewards can lead to self-improvement.
But as failed dieters and smokers can attest, there
are short-run as well as long-run inuences on selfreinforcement. For the overeater, the immediate
gratication of eating has more inuence than
the promise of a new wardrobe. The same sort of
dilemma plagues procrastinators. Consequently, one
needs to weave a powerful web of cues, cognitive

Athletes, such as Olympic gold medal


winner Lori-Ann Muenzer, use a
combination of visualization and self-talk
techniques when competing. This is a
way of supporting themselves during a
challenging time.

support and internal and external


supports,
consequences to win the tug-of-war
consequ
with sstatus-quo payoffs. Primarily
because it is so easy to avoid, selfpunishment tends to be ineffectual. As
punishm
managing the behaviour of others,
with man
positive instead of negative conseare recommended for effective
quences a
self-management.55
self-manag
In addition,
additio it helps to solicit positive
reinforcement for self-improvement from
reinforcem
supportive friends, co-workers, and relatives.
supportiv

Personality Dynamics
Perso
Individuals have
ha their own way of thinking and
acting, their own
o
unique style or personality.
Personality is dened as the combination of
stable physical and mental characteristics that give
the individual his or her identity. These
characteristics or traitsincluding how
one looks, thinks, acts, and feelsare
Personality
the product of interacting genetic
and environmental inuences.56 In
Stable physical
this section, we introduce the Big
and mental
Five personality dimensions and
characteristics
responsible for a
discuss key personality dynamics
persons identity
including locus of control, attitudes,
intelligence, and mental abilities.

The Big Five Personality


Dimensions
When it comes to personality, the Big Five identies
the following key ve dimensions: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and
openness to experience (see Table 32 for descriptions).
Standardized personality tests determine how positively
or negatively a person scores on each of the Big Five.
For example, someone scoring negatively on extraversion would be an introverted person prone to shy and
withdrawn behaviour.57 Someone scoring negatively
on emotional stability would be nervous, tense, angry,

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

53

3.2

The Big Five Personality Dimensions

TABLE

STABLE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS RESPONSIBLE FOR A PERSONS IDENTITY.


1. Extraversion

Outgoing, talkative, sociable, assertive

2. Agreeableness

Trusting, good-natured, cooperative, soft-hearted

3. Conscientiousness

Dependable, responsible, achievement oriented, persistent

4. Emotional stability

Relaxed, secure, unworried

5. Openess to experience

Intellectual, imaginative, curious, broad-minded

SOURCE: Adapted from M.R. Barrick and M.K. Mount, Autonomy as a Moderator of the Relationships between the Big Five Personality
Dimensions and Job Performance, Journal of Applied Psychology, February 1993, pp 11118.

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

OB

and worried. A persons scores on the Big Five reveal a


personality prole as unique as his or her ngerprints.
But one important question lingers: Are personality
models ethnocentric and unique to the culture in which
they were developed? At least as far as the Big Five
model goes, crosscultural research evidence points in
the direction of no. Specically, the Big Five personality structure held up very well in a study of women
and men from Canada, Russia, Hong Kong, Poland,
Germany, and Finland.58
Another research question relates to personality
and gender: Are the personalities of men and women
the same? As illustrated in the International OB feature
box, psychologist David P. Schmitt set out to clarify

54

the roles of the modern day male and female, and what
he found seems almost counter to what contemporary
researchers think. So unbelievable were the rst set of
research findings, Schmitt crunched new data from
40 000 men and women on six continents. He concluded
that, as wealthy modern societies level external barriers
between women and men, some ancient internal differences are being revived. Meaning, some of the old stereotypes (discussed back in chapter 2) keep reappearing.
More researchers have decided to explore this area of
gender and personality. As their ndings continue to
spur discussion and more questions, the likelihood of
men and women completely understanding each other
wont be happening too soon.

CROSS CULTURAL DIFFERENCES


BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

series of research teams recently analyzed


personality tests taken by men and women
in more than 60 countries around the world.
For evolutionary psychologists, the ndings show
that the size of the gender gap in personality varies
among cultures. For social-role psychologists,
the bad news is that the variation is going in
the wrong direction. It looks as if personality
differences between men and women are smaller
in traditional cultures, like in India or Zimbabwe,
than in Canada or the Netherlands. A husband and
a stay-at-home wife in a patriarchal Botswanan
clan seem to be more alike than a working couple
in Canada or France. The more the two genders
have equal rights and similar jobs, the more their
personalities seem to diverge.

PART 2

Managing Individual Behaviour

The study suggests that as wealthy modern


societies level external barriers between women
and men, some ancient internal differences are
being revived. The biggest changes recorded by the
researchers involved the personalities of men, not
women. Men in traditional agricultural societies
and poorer countries seem more cautious and
anxious, less assertive, and less competitive than
men in the most progressive and rich countries of
North America and Europe.
SOURCE: Adapted from J. Tierney, As Barriers Disappear,
Some Gender Gaps Widen, The New York Times, September
9, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/09/science/09tier.
html?_r=2&em=&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

LO

Personality and Job PerformanceThose interested

personalities are hardwired to change the status quo.


in OB want to know the connection between the Big
In a review of relevant studies, Crant found the proactive
Five and job performance. Ideally, Big Five personality
personality to be positively associated with individual,
dimensions that correlate positively and strongly with
team, and organizational success.66
job performance would be helpful
Successful
entrepreneurs
in the selection, training, and
exemplify the proactive personThis is a quote
appraisal of employees. A metaality.67 In his book, The Formation
analysis of 117 studies involving
of Entrepreneurial Intentions,
placement holder... this
23 994 subjects from many profesDavid S. Summers decided to
is a quote placement
sions offers guidance.59 Among
expand upon the earlier ndthe Big Five, conscientiousness
ings of Bateman and Crant and
holder This is a quote
had the strongest positive correlapply the proactive personplacement holder
ation with job performance and
ality research to his own career
training performance. According
choices.68 As he explains in the
to the researchers, those indipreface of the book:
viduals who exhibit traits assoFor over twenty years I have been fascinated with
ciated with a strong sense of purpose, obligation, and
the idea of being an entrepreneur. I have owned
persistence generally perform better than those who do
my own wholesale and retail merchandising rm,
not.60 So it comes as no surprise that British researchers
been an independent real estate agent, developed
recently found that people scoring low on consciena management consulting business, and taught
tiousness tended to have signicantly more accidents
would be entrepreneurs the joys and skills of
both on and off the job.61
starting a business. In all these years, however, I
Another expected nding was that extraversion (an
never really knew why someone would choose to be
outgoing personality) was associated with success for
in a business for themselves. For me the thought of
managers and salespeople. Also, extraversion was a
being independent and the chance to build somestronger predictor of job performance than agreeablething of value combined with a unique set of lifes
ness, across all professions. The researchers concluded,
circumstances inuenced my decision. I wanted to
It appears that being courteous, trusting, straightforward,
know if others felt the same way.
and soft-hearted has a smaller impact on job performance than being talkative, active, and assertive.62 Not
His ndings suggest that Bateman and Crant were
surprisingly, in a recent study, a strong linkage between
correct in that people who were inclined to control their
conscientiousness and performance was found among
environment so they could get what they wanted were
those with polished social skills.63 As an added bonus for
likely to start new businesses. People with proactive
extraverts, a recent positive psychology study led to this
personalities truly are valuable human capital. Those
conclusion: All you have to do is act extraverted and you
wanting to get ahead would do well to cultivate the
can get a happiness boost.64 So the next time you are on
initiative, drive, and perseverance of someone with a
the job, go initiate a conversation with someone and be
proactive personality.
more productive and happier!
There Is No Ideal Employee PersonalityA word
The Proactive PersonalityAs suggested by the above
of caution is in order here. The Big Five personality
discussion, someone who scores high on the Big Five
dimensions of conscientiousness and extraversion
dimension of conscientiousness is probably a
and the proactive personality are generally desirbetter and safer worker. Researchers Thomas
able in the workplace, but they are not panaS. Bateman and J. Michael Crant took this
ceas. Given the complexity of todays work
Proactive
important linkage an additional step by
environments, the diversity of todays
personality
formulating the concept of the proactive
workforce, and recent research evidence,69
the quest for an ideal employee personality
personality. They dene and characAction-oriented person
who shows initiative
terize the proactive personality in these
prole is sheer folly. Just as one shoe does
and perseveres to
terms: someone who is relatively unconnot t all people, one personality prole
change things.
strained by situational forces and who
does not t all job situations. Good manageeffects environmental change. Proactive
ment involves taking the time to get to know
people identify opportunities and act on them,
each employees unique combination of personshow initiative, take action, and persevere until meanality traits, abilities, and potential and then creating a
ingful change occurs.65 In short, people with proactive
productive and satisfying person-job t.

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

55

Personality Assessment Instrument While there are

several assessment instruments available on the market


to identify employee personality type, the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator (MBTI) is a fairly popular instrument
used by business. With assistance from Psychometrics
Canada, Inc., the only authorized Canadian distributor
of the MBTI instrument, organizations can have a
trained professional arrive on site to work with existing
employees or to help screen new applicants. The results
of the test can help individuals understand their own
preferences, biases, and behaviour. If team-orientation
is desired by the rm, then test results can be used to
help facilitate a better transition between members. Its
a versatile and powerful tool for changing behaviour.
To determine your own MBTI personality type, go to
the back of this chapter and review the Google search
exercise #1.

LO

Locus of Control:
Self or Environment?

control, an external would attribute a passing grade


on an exam to something external (an easy test or a
good day), and attribute a failing grade to an unfair test
or problems at home.
Research LessonsResearchers have found important

behavioural differences between internals and externals:

Internals display greater work motivation.

Internals have stronger expectations that effort leads


to performance.

Internals exhibit higher performance on tasks


involving learning or problem solving, when
performance leads to valued rewards.

There is a stronger relationship between job


satisfaction and performance for internals than for
externals.

Internals obtain higher salaries and greater salary


increases than externals.

Externals tend to be more anxious than internals.71

Individuals vary in terms of how much personal


Tempering an Internal Locus of Control with Humility
responsibility they take for their behaviour and its
Do you have an internal locus of control? Odds are
consequences. Julian Rotter, a personality researcher,
high that you do, judging from the typical
identied a dimension of personality he labelled locus
OB student we have worked with over the
of control to explain these differences. He proposed
years. Good thing, because it should
that people tend to attribute the causes of their behavHumility
pay off in the workplace with opporiour primarily to either themselves or environmental
tunities, raises, and promotions. But
factors.70 This personality trait produces distinctly
Considering the
before you declare yourself Grade A
contributions of others
different behaviour patterns.
executive material, here is one more
and good fortune
People who believe they control the events and
thing to toss into your tool kit: a touch
when gauging
consequences that affect their lives are said to possess
ones success.
of humility. Humility is a realistic
an internal locus of control. For example,
assessment of ones own contribution
such a person tends to attribute positive
and the recognition of the contribution of
outcomes, such as getting a passing
others, along with luck and good fortune that
Internal locus
grade on an exam, to her or his own
made ones own success possible.72 Humility has been
of control
abilities. Similarly, an internal
called the silent virtue. How many truly humble people
tends to blame negative events, such
Attributing
brag about being humble? Two OB experts recently
as failing an exam, on personal shortoutcomes
offered this instructive perspective:
to ones own
comingsnot studying hard enough,
actions.
perhaps. Many entrepreneurs eventuHumble individuals have a down-to-earth
ally succeed because their internal locus
perspective of themselves and of the events and
of control helps them overcome setbacks and
relationships in their lives. Humility involves
disappointments. They see themselves as masters of
a capability to evaluate success, failure, work,
their own fate and not as simply lucky.
and life without exaggeration. Furthermore,
On the other side of this personality dimenhumility enables leaders to distinguish the
sion are those who believe their performance
delicate line between such characterExternal locus
is the product of circumstances beyond
istics as healthy self-condence, selfof control
their immediate control. These individuals
esteem, and self-assessment, and those
Attributing outcomes
are said to possess an external locus of
of over-condence, narcissism, and
to circumstances
stubbornness. Humility is the midcontrol and tend to attribute outcomes to
beyond ones
environmental causes, such as luck or fate.
point
between the two negative extremes
control.
Unlike someone with an internal locus of
of arrogance and lack of self-esteem.

56

PART 2

Managing Individual Behaviour

leukaemia, and eczema. However, researchers


are currently using such information to track down
the specic genes involved in very complicated
constructs like intelligence, personality, and human
behaviour. Over the next several years, ...there are
going to be a lot of behavioural studies involved
and they will yield up some pretty interesting
discoveries, says Dr. Francis Collins, one of the
leading scientists who worked on the project. The
supporters of diversity in the workplace will nd
such science offensive and threatening, as certain
types of people become preferred over others.
What do you think?

Diversity

onsider the following futuristic scenario:


ABC Company Inc. advertises for an
elite group of applicants to work for their
organization based on genetic code testing results.
All applicants must agree to submit blood and skin
sample reports along with their resume in order to
be considered for an interview. The organization is
looking for certain unique employee qualities that
they believe will prove more effective on the job.
Sound ridiculous? Realize that it is already legal
in Canada under certain circumstances to run drug
and alcohol tests on potential new employees.
Further, police checks, HIV, urine and hair follicle
testing are more common today than they were
ten years ago. Now consider that the Human
Genome Project, a 50-year project, has nally been
completed by scientists from around the world. In
their efforts to write the sequence of all the genes
in the DNA molecule, their focus from the beginning
was on identifying the faulty genes responsible for
such diseases as diabetes, heart disease, cancer,

FOCUS ON

HIRING EMPLOYEES BASED ON THEIR


GENETIC QUALITIES

Sources: BBC News, Scientists complete DNA Book of Life,


April 14, 2003; Genomes knowledge avalanche, March 9, 2006;
website: http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4772114.stm and http://
news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/sci_tech/newsid_2946000/2946419.
stm. K. Davies, PBS Nova Online, Cracking The Code of Life,
Nature vs. Nurture Revisited, April 2001, http://www.pbs.org/
wgbh/nova/genome/debate.html

discourages diversity. The Focus on Diversity feature


box takes this discussion of genetics, intelligence, and
bias a bit further.
For now, contemporary research shows that intelligence (like personality) goes beyond genetics and
is also a function of environmental inuences, such
as sleep deprivation and nutrition.75 Organic factors
have more recently been added to the formula as a
result of mounting evidence of the connection
between alcohol and drug abuse by pregIntelligence
Although experts do not agree on a specic
nant women and intellectual development
denition, intelligence represents an
problems in their children.76
Capacity for
individuals capacity for constructive
Researchers have produced some interconstructive
thinking, reasoning, and problem solving.74
esting
ndings about abilities and intelthinking, reasoning,
and problem
When employers engage in hiring potenligence in recent years. A unique ve-year
solving.
tial candidates, traits such as these become
study documented the tendency of people to
of interest as the right person is sought after
gravitate into jobs commensurate with their
and selected. But, what is the best way to nd
abilities.77 This prompts the vision of the labour
such candidates to hire? Historically, intelligence was
market acting as a giant sorting or sifting machine,
believed to be an innate capacity, passed genetically
with employees tumbling into various ability bins.
from one generation to the next. So, for example, if a
Meanwhile, a steady and signicant rise in average
rm hired the son or daughter of a prominent busiintelligence among those in developed countries has
ness person, then it was assumed that the child would
been observed over the last 70 years. Why? Experts at
perform at the same successful level as the parent. Of
a North American psychology conference concluded,
course, such a hiring practice is riddled with bias and
Some combination of better schooling, improved
This depiction allows one to see that a person
can be humble and competitive or humble and
ambitious at the same time, which contradicts
commonbut mistakenviews about humility.73

Abilities (Intelligence)
and Performance

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

57

socioeconomic status, healthier nutrition, and a more


technologically complex society might account for the
gains in IQ scores.78 So if you think youre smarter than
your parents and your teachers, youre probably right!
Two Types of AbilitiesHuman intelligence has been
studied predominantly through the empirical approach.
By examining the relationships between measures
of mental abilities and behaviour, researchers have
statistically isolated major components of intelligence.
Using this empirical procedure, pioneering psychologist Charles Spearman proposed in 1927 that all cognitive performance is determined by two types of abilities.
The rst can be characterized as a general mental ability
needed for all cognitive tasks. The second is unique to
the task at hand. For example, an individuals ability to
complete crossword puzzles is a function of his or her
broad mental abilities, as well as the specic ability to
perceive patterns in partially completed words.

hensive research review, standard intelligence (IQ) tests


do a good job of predicting both academic achievement
and job performance.80 This contradicts the popular
notion that different cognitive abilities are needed for
school and work. Plainly stated: smarts are smarts.

Do We Have Multiple
Intelligences?
Howard Gardner, a world-renown professor of education, offered a new paradigm for human intelligence in
his 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple
Intelligences.81 He has subsequently identied eight
different intelligences that vastly broaden the longstanding concept of intelligence. Gardners concept of
multiple intelligences (MI) includes not only cognitive
abilities, but also social and physical abilities and skills:

Linguistic intelligence: potential to learn and use


spoken and written languages.

Logical-mathematical
intelligence:
potential
for deductive reasoning, problem analysis, and
mathematical calculation.

Musical intelligence: potential


compose, and perform music.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: potential to use mind


and body to coordinate physical movement.

Spatial intelligence: potential to recognize and use


patterns.

Seven Major Mental AbilitiesThrough the years, much

TABLE

3.3

research has been devoted to developing and expanding


Spearmans ideas on the relationship between cognitive
abilities and intelligence.79 One research psychologist
listed 120 distinct mental abilities. Table 33 contains
denitions of the seven most frequently cited mental
abilities. Of the seven abilities, personnel selection
researchers have found verbal ability, numerical ability,
spatial ability, and inductive reasoning to be valid
predictors of job performance for both minority and
majority applicants. Also, according to a recent compre-

to

appreciate,

Mental Abilities Ability Description


STABLE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHARACTERISTICS RESPONSIBLE FOR A PERSONS IDENTITY.
1. Verbal comprehension

The ability to understand what words mean and to readily comprehend what is read.

2. Word uency

The ability to produce isolated words that fulll specic symbolic or structural
requirements (such as all words that begin with the letter b and have two vowels).

3. Numerical

The ability to make quick and accurate arithmetic computations such as adding
and subtracting.

4. Spatial

Being able to perceive spatial patterns and to visualize how geometric shapes
would look if transformed in shape or position.

5. Memory

Having good rote memory for paired words, symbols, lists of numbers, or other
associated items.

6. Perceptual speed

The ability to perceive gures, identify similarities and differences, and carry out
tasks involving visual perception.

7. Inductive reasoning

The ability to reason from specics to general conclusions.

SOURCE: Adapted from M.D. Dunnette, Aptitudes, Abilities, and Skills, in Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, ed. M.D.
Dunnette (Skokie, IL: Rand McNally, 1976), pp 47883.

58

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Interpersonal intelligence: potential to understand,


connect with, and effectively work with others.

Intrapersonal intelligence: potential to understand


and regulate oneself.

Naturalist intelligence: potential to live in harmony


with ones environment.82

experience in order to purposefully adapt to, shape,


and select environments. It thus involves changing
oneself to suit the environment (adaptation),
changing the environment to suit oneself (shaping),
or nding a new environment within which to work
(selection). One uses these skills to (a) manage
oneself, (b) manage others, and (c) manage tasks.83
Others believe MI has important implications for
employee selection and training.84 One-size-ts-all
training programs fall short when MI diversity is taken
into consideration. We look forward to breakthroughs
in this area as MI attracts OB researchers and practicing managers.

Emotions: An Emerging
OB Topic

Enough with the Beethoven, Mom! How about


some Jay-Z? Some parents strive to develop their
babys multiple intelligences by exposing them to
unconventional stimuli. Here, a sleeping newborn baby
(7 days old) is listening to classical music on an iPod.

Many educators and parents have embraced MI


because it helps explain how a child could score poorly on
a standard IQ test yet be obviously gifted in one or more
ways (e.g., music, sports, relationship building). Moreover,
they believe the concept of MI underscores the need to
help each child develop in his or her own unique way and
at his or her own pace. They say standard IQ tests deal
only with the rst two intelligences on Gardners list.
Meanwhile, most academic psychologists and intelligence specialists continue to criticize Gardners model
as being too subjective and poorly integrated.
They prefer the traditional model of intelligence as
a unied variable measured by a single test. While the
academic debate continues, we can draw some practical benets from Gardners notion of MI. In the nal
section of this chapter, you will encounter the concept
of emotional intelligence. Psychologist Robert J.
Sternberg recently applied Gardners naturalist intelligence to the domain of leadership under the heading
practical intelligence. He explains,
Practical intelligence is the ability to solve everyday
problems by utilizing knowledge gained from

In the ideal world of management theory, employees


pursue organizational goals in a logical and rational
manner; emotional behaviour is seldom factored into
the equation. Yet day-to-day organizational life shows
us how prevalent and powerful emotions can be. Anger
and jealousy, both potent emotions, often push aside
logic and rationality in the workplace. Managers use
fear and other emotions to both motivate and intimidate. For example, consider Microsoft CEO Steve
Ballmers management style prior to his recent efforts
to become a kinder, gentler leader: Ballmer shouts
when he gets excited or angryhis voice rising so
suddenly that its like an electric shock...By the early
1990s, Ballmer had to have throat surgery to x problems brought on by shouting.85
Less noisy, but still emotion laden, is John Chamberss
tightrope act as CEO of Cisco Systems:
Any company that thinks its utterly unbeatable
is already beaten. So when I begin to think were
getting a little bit too condent, youll see me
emphasizing the paranoia side. And then when I
feel that theres a little bit too much fear and apprehension, Ill just jump back to the other side. My job
is to keep those scales perfectly balanced. 86
These admired corporate leaders would not have achieved
what they have without the ability to be logical and
rational decision makers and be emotionally charged.
Too much emotion, however, could have spelled career
and organizational disaster for either one of them.
In this nal section, our examination of individual
differences turns to dening emotions, reviewing a
typology of 10 positive and negative emotions, and
discussing the topics of emotional contagion, emotional
labour, and emotional intelligence.

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

59

For example, which of the six negative


emotions in Figure 34 are you likely to
Emotions
experience if you fail the nal exam in a
required course? Failing the exam would
Complex human
Richard S. Lazarus, a leading authority
be incongruent with your goal of gradureactions to personal
on the subject, denes emotions as
ating on time. On the other hand, which
achievements and
complex, patterned, organismic reacsetbacks that
of the four positive emotions in Figure 34
tions to how we think we are doing in
may be felt and
would you probably experience if you
displayed.
our lifelong efforts to survive and ourish
graduated on time and with honours? The
and to achieve what we wish for ourselves.87
emotions you would experience in this situaThe word organismic is appropriate because
tion are positive because they are congruent (or
emotions involve the whole personbiological, psychconsistent) with an important lifetime goal. The indiological, and social. Importantly, psychologists draw
viduals goals, it is important to note, may or may not
a distinction between felt and displayed emotions.88
be socially acceptable. Thus, a positive emotion, such
For example, you might feel angry (felt emotion)
as love/affection, may be undesirable if associated with
at a rude co-worker, but not make a nasty remark in
sexual harassment. Oppositely, slight pangs of guilt,
return (displayed emotion). Emotions play roles in
anxiety, and envy can motivate extra effort. On balance,
both causing and adapting to stress and its associated
the constructive or destructive nature of a particular
biological and psychological problems. The destructive
emotion must be judged in terms of both its intensity
effect of emotional behaviour on social relationships is
and the persons relevant goal.
all too obvious in daily life.
Lazaruss denition of emotions centres on a
persons goals. Accordingly, his distinction between
positive and negative emotions is goal oriented. Some
emotions are triggered by frustration and failure
when pursuing ones goals. Lazarus calls these negaHave you ever had someones bad mood sour your
tive emotions. They are said to be goal incongruent.
mood? That person could have been a parent, supervisor, co-worker, friend, or someone serving
you in a store or restaurant. Appropriately,
FIGURE 3.4 Positive and Negative Emotions researchers call this emotional contagion. We, quite literally, can catch another
Negative Emotions
Positive Emotions
persons good or bad mood or displayed
(Goal incongruent)
(Goal congruent)
emotions. This effect has been documented
in two separate studies: UBC OB Professor
Peter Frost talked about it in his book Toxic
Happiness/joy
Anger
Emotions At Work (well be discussing this
later in Chapter 8), as well as in a study
Fright/
involving 131 bank tellers (92 percent
anxiety
female) and 220 exit interviews with their
Pride
customers. In the later study, tellers who
Guilt/shame
expressed positive emotions tended to
have more satised customers.89 Two eld
studies with nurses and accountants as
Sadness
Love/affection
subjects found a strong linkage between the
work groups collective mood and the indiEnvy/
viduals mood.90 Both foul moods and good
jealousy
moods turned out to be contagious. Perhaps
Disgust
Relief
more managers should follow the lead of
orchestra director Lorin Maazel:

Positive and Negative


Emotions

Good (and Bad) Moods


Are Contagious

SOURCE: Adapted from discussion in R.S. Lazarus, Emotion and Adaptation


(New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), Chapters 6, 7

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I have noticed in my long career that if


I am really tired or I have a u coming
on that its felt. Everybody gets into that
mode, and pretty soon, theyre playing

as sluggishly as Im conducting. I have learned


to come to rehearsal fresh, energetic, projecting
enthusiasm and go-go-go. Its got to be irresistible.
If I dont think Im up to it, I take a cold shower.
Thats my jobto energize people. If they grind
it out and couldnt care less, then they wind up
hating you and themselves because its not why
they practised all of their lives. Emotion is what
its all about. Music making without emotion and
passion is nothing.91

Emotional Labour
(It has not been a pleasure
serving you!)
Although they did not have the benet of a catchy
label or a body of sophisticated research, generations
of managers have known about the power of emotional
contagion in the marketplace. Smile, look happy for the
customers, employees are told over and over. But what if
the employee is having a rotten day? What if they have
to mask their true feelings and emotions? What if they
have to fake it?
Researchers have begun studying the
dynamics of what they call emotional
Emotional Labour labour. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild
denes emotional labour as manageManagement of
ment of feeling so as to create a
feeling to create a
publicly observable facial and bodily
publicly observable
92
display.
Other OB researchers have
facial and bodily
considered the complexities around
display.
emotional labour and here is what
they conclude:
Emotional labour can be particularly detrimental to
the employee performing the labour and can take its
toll both psychologically and physically. Employees...
may bottle up feelings of frustration, resentment,
and anger, which are not appropriate to express.
These feelings result, in part, from the constant
requirement to monitor ones negative emotions and
express positive ones. If not given a healthy expressive outlet, this emotional repression can lead to a
syndrome of emotional exhaustion and burnout.93
Interestingly, a pair of laboratory studies found no
gender difference in felt emotions, but the women were
more emotionally expressive than the men.94 This stream
of research on emotional labour has major practical implications for productivity and job satisfaction, as well as for
workplace anger, aggression, and violence. Taking a lead
from Lorin Maazel, who we mentioned earlier, managers
need to be attuned to (and responsive to) the emotional

states and needs of their people. They need to understand


how emotions affect people and how their own personal
emotions affect others in a contagious way. This understanding can be achieved through emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence

LO

In 1995, Daniel Goleman, a psychologist turned journalist,


created a stir in education and management circles with the
publication of his book, Emotional Intelligence. As a result,
an obscure topic among positive psychologists became
mainstream. According to Goleman, traditional models
of intelligence (IQ) are too narrow, failing to consider
interpersonal competence. Golemans broader agenda
includes abilities such as being able to motivate oneself
and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse
and delay gratication; to regulate ones moods and keep
distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize
and to hope.95 Thus, emotional intelligence
is the ability to manage oneself and ones
relationships in mature and constructive
Emotional
ways. Referred to by some as EI and
intelligence
others as EQ, emotional intelligence
is said to have four key components:
Ability to manage
self-awareness, self-management,
oneself and interact
social awareness, and relationship
with others in mature
management.96 The rst two constiand constructive
ways.
tute personal competence; the second
two feed into social competence (see
Skills & Best Practices feature box).
These emotional intelligence skills need to be well
polished in todays pressure-packed workplaces:
Unanticipated hot spots often are up during
important meetings. Show patience, career experts
say. Take deep breaths, compose your thoughts,
restate the questionand use humour to defuse
tension. If you avoid blurting out the rst thing that
comes to mind, people will see your demeanour
as cool and professional, observes [executive and
author] David F DAlessandro...
Most people dont do well with the unexpected
because they lack a script, notes Dr. [Dory] Hollander.
The workplace psychologist recommends acting
classes for her clients.
A year of lessons helped one female client
advance into the executive ranks at a big technology
company. The woman used to perform poorly when
colleagues tossed out unforeseen questions after
presentations. She looked like she was in pain,
Dr. Hollander recalls.
Today, the former middle manager acts condent
and appears to enjoy herself even when she lands on the
hot seat. It really is theatre, her coach concludes.97

CHAPTER 3

Self Concept, Personality, and Emotions

61

Skills

Best Practices

Developing Emotional Intelligence


Personal Competence: These capabilities determine
how we manage ourselves.
Self-Awareness
Emotional self-awareness: Reading ones own
emotions and recognizing their impact; using gut
sense to guide decisions.
Accurate self-assessment: Knowing ones
strengths and limits.
Self-condence: A sound sense of ones self-worth
and capabilities.
Self-Management
Emotional self-control: Keeping disruptive
emotions and impulses under control.
Transparency: Displaying honesty and integrity;
trustworthiness.
Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing
situations or overcoming obstacles.
Achievement: The drive to improve performance to
meet inner standards of excellence.
Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities.
Optimism: Seeing the upside in events.

Social Competence: These capabilities determine


how we manage relationships.
Social Awareness
Empathy: Sensing others emotions, understanding
their perspective, and taking active interest in their
concerns.
Organizational awareness: Reading the
currents, decision networks, and politics at the
organizational level.
Service: Recognizing and meeting follower, client,
or customer needs.
Relationship Management

Inspirational leadership: Guiding and motivating


with a compelling vision.

Inuence: Wielding a range of tactics for


persuasion.

Developing others: Bolstering others abilities


through feedback and guidance.

Change catalyst: Initiating, managing, and leading


in a new direction.

Conict management: Resolving disagreements.


Building bonds: Cultivating and maintaining a web
of relationships.

Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and


team building.
SOURCE: Reprinted by permission of Harvard Business School Press. D. Goleman, R. Boyatzis, and A. McKee, Primal Leadership: Realizing
the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002), p 39. Copyright 2002 by the Harvard Business School
Publishing Corporation; all rights reserved.

Self-assessment instruments supposedly measuring emotional intelligence have appeared in the


popular management literature. Sample questions
include: I believe I can stay on top of tough situations,98 and I am able to admit my own mistakes.99
Recent research, however, casts serious doubt on the
reliability and validity of such instruments100 Even
Goleman concedes, Its very tough to measure our
own emotional intelligence, because most of us dont

have a very clear sense of how we come across to other


people...101 Honest feedback from others is necessary.
Still, the area of emotional intelligence is useful for
teachers and organizational trainers because, unlike
IQ, social problem solving and the ability to control
ones emotions can be taught and learned. Scores on
emotional intelligence tests denitely should not be
used for making hiring and promotion decisions until
valid measuring tools are developed.

Summary of Learning Objectives


1. Dene the terms self-esteem and self-efcacy. Self-esteem is an overall
evaluation of oneself, ones perceived self-worth. Self-efcacy is the belief in
ones ability to successfully perform a task.

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2. Explain what is meant by self-monitoring and discuss how it relates to the


social learning model of self-management. A high self-monitor strives to
make a good public impression by closely monitoring his or her behaviour and
adapting it to the situation. Low self-monitors do the opposite by acting out their
momentary feelings, regardless of their surroundings. According to the social
learning model of self-management, behaviour results from interaction among
four components: (a) situational cues, (b) the persons psychological self, (c) the
persons behaviour, and (d) consequences. Effective behaviour, such as Coveys
eight habits of highly effective people, can be developed by relying on supportive
cognitive processes such as mental rehearsal and self-talk. Carefully arranged
cues and consequences also help in the self-improvement process.
3. Relate the one Big Five personality dimension that is most positively correlated
with job performance. The Big Five personality dimensions are extraversion
(social and talkative), agreeableness (trusting and cooperative), conscientiousness
(responsible and persistent), emotional stability (relaxed and unworried), and
openness to experience (intellectual and curious). Conscientiousness is the best
predictor of job performance.
4. Compare and contrast internal and external locus of control. People with an
internal locus of control, such as entrepreneurs, believe they are masters of their
own fate. Those with an external locus of control attribute their behaviour and its
results to situational forces. In an empowered workplace, a manager would want
to hire a person with a high internal locus of control because they would be more
likely to blame themselves rather than others for poor work performance, thus
self-managing themselves to higher productivity.
5. Summarize the theory of emotional intelligence and explain how it relates
to appreciating individual differences between people. Emotional intelligence
(EI) is the ability to manage oneself and interact with others in mature and
constructive ways. The four key components of EI are self-awareness and selfmanagement (for personal competence), and social awareness and relationship
management (for social competence). Someone with high EI has the ability
to see the connection between emotions and behaviour in the workplace
rst their own, and then those of others. Since EI goes beyond traditional
intelligence, it provides a deeper understanding of individual human behaviour.
Old school assumptions around hiring people who have certain personalities or
intelligences need to be enriched with a more contemporary understanding of
EI so that a more complete picture of how people differ is considered.

Discussion Questions
1. How is someone you know with low self-efcacy, relative to a specied task,
programming himself or herself for failure? What could be done to help that
individual develop high self-efcacy?
2. What importance do you attach to self-talk in self-management? Explain.
3. On a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), how would you rate yourself on the Big Five
personality dimensions? Is your personality prole suitable for your current
(or chosen) line of work? Explain.
4. What benet would there be to employers if they were to pre-screen all job
applicants with a combination of personality assessments and instruments
measuring EI levels?
5. Which of the four key components of emotional intelligence is (or are)
your strong suit? Which is (or are) your weakest? What are the everyday
implications of your EI prole?
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Google Searches
1. Google Search: Big Five Personality Self-Assessments and My MBTI
Personality Type Assessment Complete one or two of the online selfassessments to determine your personality type. Record your results and
share with members of your group. Do you agree with the results? Explain
your response.
2. Google Search: The Luck FactorChange Your Luck, Change Your Life Read
a few paragraphs of what Professor Wisemans research discovered about lucky
individuals. How do lucky people cope with disappointment or bad luck? Are you
a lucky person? Working with a partner, answer the following question: Would
you say that lucky people have a high or low internal locus on control? Explain.
3. Google Search: What is Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient? and complete
an online self-assessment. What did you score? Do you agree with the results?
Explain your response. Compare your results with group members and discuss
the differences between people.

Experiental Exercise
Managing Situational Cues
PURPOSE This exercise is meant to strengthen student understanding of the Social

Learning Model of Self-Management (Figure 33). Approx. Timing: 15 minutes.


ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT

The two individuals described below want to achieve a new goal.


Have students work in groups to help the individuals through the various
factors of the Social Learning Model to achieve a successful outcome.
Encourage students to review the model while working through the two
situations.

1. SHAKIRA
SCENARIO: Shakiras family doctor says that she is in poor health, 60 pounds
overweight, and is a strong candidate for diabetes. The doctor has ordered Shakira
to start eating properly, exercise daily, and lose the weight over the next 12 months
or face taking medication every day for the rest of her life.
BEHAVIOUR CHANGE: change: Shakira decides to set a goal of taking her health
more seriouslystarting now.
SITUATIONAL CUES: Identify at least 6 cues that have to be rearranged for Shakira

to achieve her goal.


CONSEQUENCES: List at least 3 consequences (or rewards) that Shakira can

implement

2. XIN (pronounced Shin)


SCENARIO: Xin works 5060 hours per week, on average. Sometimes there is so much

to do that the only time work can get done is for Xin to stay late at night or work on
weekends to get caught up. Xin is getting concerned about being able to sustain

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such a level of performance; besides, no one else in the ofce works the same
kind of hours. One day, a colleague in the next ofce mentions to Xin that the HR
Department is offering a time management seminar. Xin wonders if attending this
seminar might help decrease the number of hours spent at the ofce each week.
BEHAVIOUR change: Xin decides to set a goal to decrease the number of hours
spent working each week.
SITUATIONAL Cues: Identify at least 6 cues that have to be rearranged for Xin to
achieve this goal.
CONSEQUENCES: List at least 3 consequences (or rewards) that Xin can

implement.

The Presentation Assistant


Here are possible topics and sources to consider that relate to this chapter which
can be further explored by student groups looking for ideas:

PERSONALITY TEST
WHAT IS THE MBTI
PROFILE OF YOUR CLASS
AND DO YOU AGREE WITH
THE RESULT?
Psychometric Tests
Personality Proling
Personality Evaluation
MBTI

BEYOND IQ HOW MANY


MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
ARE THERE?

STUDENTS WITH HIGH


SELF-ESTEEM HOW
MUCH ARE YOU WORTH?

Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner

Grad Jobs and Salary


Hiring New Graduates

YouTube Search
Videos

TV Shows or
Movies to Preview

Sybil
The United States of Tara

Numbers
A Beautiful Mind
Jack Ass The Movie

Graduation Movie
Friends

Internet Searches

MBTI Online Testing and


Assessment
Psychometrics Canada

What is IQ?
How Is IQ Traditionally
measured?
Are IQ Tests Biased?

Statistics Canada
Education in 200020__
(the most recent
publication
Canadian HR Reporter
Students wishing they
studied more
Kelly Global Workforce
Index, Kelly Services
Try your own school
placement ofce

Ice Breaker
Classroom Activity

Ask each person in the


room to complete the
online assessment. Once
completed, have everyone
write their type on a 3 5
card and hand it in. Compile
all the cards and place the
prole on the front board.
What is the dominant type
of your class?

Ask the class to nd


practical examples of
people who demonstrate
each of Howard Gardners
Multiple Intelligences.
For example, Which
intelligence would Wayne
Gretzky score high on?

Ask each member of the


class to write down how
much they believe they
are worth to an employer
upon graduation. What
is their expected salary?
Share responses with
class members.

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OB In Action Case Study


Who Should We Hire?
Consider the following scenario:
Bob Sharkey and Phay Sing are both middle managers who work at TriCom Inc., a
toy manufacturing facility in Vancouver, B.C. On this particular morning, Bob and
Phay are standing in the ofce lobby waiting for the elevator to arrive. They are in
the midst of a discussion about a new hire for the ofce. Here is their conversation
on what kind of person should be hired for the ofce in the near future:
BOB: I am so tired of the people that HR sends us. I need someone who will take

direction and not give me a hard time when I ask him or her to do something.
PHAY: What are you talking about? HR pre-screens all our employees so that
we get the kind of applicants that will t in. When you say you want someone to
take direction, are you looking for a slave or an employee?
BOB: What do you mean by that? I just want people who take direction from
their superior and want to work in this ofce. You see, I believe that whenever
possible, managers should hire people who know their place, dont ask stupid
questions, and keep to themselves! Is that so hard?
PHAY: Personally, I would much rather have someone work with me rather than

for me...I prefer people who can think on their own, provide valuable insight or
input to an issue and let me know whether my thinking is accurate or not.
BOB: Oh boy, are we ever going to agree on this issue? I doubt it!
PHAY: That depends I guess on whether we can get you into the 21st Century
with your thinking!! Come on...Ill buy you lunch and Ill even let you decide
what you want to order!
BOB: Gee thanks!

Just as they both began to laugh, the elevator door opened in front of them.
Going down? asked the person inside. Yeah, said Bob, First oor please.

Discussion Questions
1. Is Bob looking for a high or low self-monitoring employee?
2. What type of locus of control does Bob want his new hire to have? Explain.
3. Do you believe Bobs actions will screen out a certain type of (proactive)
employee? Is this what he wants?
4. Name two managerial implications for employees who have a high degree of
external locus of control. Can you think of an example?
5. Name two managerial implications for those employees who have a high
degree of internal locus of control. Can you think of an example?

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Ethical OB Dilemma
When Emotional Intelligence Is Lacking,
Job Satisfaction Can Suffer
Consider the following scenario:

Shamir is a 21-year-old student working at a local Canadian Tire store as


a customer sales associate. He joined the company two weeks ago as a
part-time seasonal employee. He enjoys the training, the people, and the
atmosphere of the store. There is so much to learn but I know I can do
it! he tells his roommate. After the two week training period, Shamir is
scheduled to work 20 hours by the assistant store manager in charge of
scheduling. This displeases Shamir very much as he was hoping for more
hours. On his break he goes into the lunchroom to review the posted hours
for all the shifts, and notices that other employees are getting a lot more
hours than he is. He goes up to one of his sales colleagues and begins to
complain about how management made up the hours unfairly; the colleague
tells him to go talk to the boss directly. Not satised with that response,
Shamir starts complaining to a customer standing near by; the customer
pretend not to hear and walks away. Finding no support at work, Shamir
completes his shift, drives home angry, and immediately types out a
500 word email to the assistant store manager expressing the unfairness of
the shift schedule. Dear Asst. Store Manager, My name is Shamir and I...
Emotional Intelligence is now being taught in business schools around the
country. According to the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of
Canada, the way a person handles their emotions on the job may affect their
chances at corporate success.
SOURCE: The Business of Emotions. Winning Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
of Canada, http://www.sshrc.ca/web/winning/story_e.asp?story_id=98

Discussion Questions
1. Identify the behaviours that Shamir exhibited on the job that would suggest
that he may have low emotional intelligence.
2. Do you agree with Shamirs decision to write an email to his boss? Explain.
3. How do you think Shamir handles emotions on the job?
4. Is it possible for a person to be competent with high IQ, but be unable to work
with others because of low EQ? Explain.
5. How do you feel about organizations screening potential employees on their
emotional intelligence prior to an interview?

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