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Personality and Individual Differences

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Study Questions

What is personality? How do personalities differ? What are value and attitude differences

among individuals, and why are they important? What are individual differences and how are they related to workforce diversity?

Personality. - A common sense definition is: Personality presents distinctive set of characteristics that tend to remain the same across similar situation and are relatively stable over time

Three Key themes 1. Uniqueness: - Each person is a collection of unique
characteristics that results in behavior that is unique to that individual and differentiate one person from another Situational Consistency Difference in opinion regarding the issue of consistency and variability Individual characteristics will be similar in different situations only if (a) the situations are similar or (2) the characteristics have produced similar outcomes in these situations in the past

2. -

3. Stability:
Considerable evidence suggest it is stable and enduring over time The overall profile or combination of characteristics that capture the unique nature of a person as that person reacts and interacts with others.

Determinants of Personality Development

Study of identical twins Assessments of newborns Genes

Social exposures Physiological forces Socioeconomic factors

Determinants of Personality Development

Determinants of Personality Development

Heredity and environment. Heredity sets the limits on the development of personality characteristics. Environment determines development within these limits. About a 50-50 heredity-environment split. Cultural values and norms play a substantial role in the development of personality. Social factors include family life, religion, and many kinds of formal and informal groups. Situational factors reflect the opportunities or constraints imposed by the operational context.

Determinants of Personality Development

Chris Argyris, Daniel Levinson and Grail Sheehy systematically examine the ways personality develops across time Chris Argyris notes that people develop along a continuum of dimensions from Immaturity to maturity Argyris believes that many organizations treat mature adults as if they were still and this creates many problems in terms of bringing out the best in employees Levinson and Sheehy maintains that an individuals personality unfolds in a series of stages across times

Big Five Personality Traits




Openness to experience Emotional stability


Adapted from: Exhibit 5.1 The Big Five Personality Traits

Talkative Sociable

Introvert Extraversion
Reserved Quiet

Trusting Cooperative softhearted



Rude, cold Uncaring

Flexible Conscientiousness

dependable, efficient, organized

sloppy, inefficient, careless

Self-confident, relaxed, secure

Unstable Emotional stability

Anxious, angry depressed

Imaginative, curious, broad minded

Openness to Experience

Unimaginative, conventional, habit bound

Big Five Personality Traits

Extraversion: - The degree to which a person is outgoing and drives energy from being around other people - In more specific terms it the degree to which a person : 1. Enjoys being around other people 2. Is warm to others 3. Speaks up in group settings 4. Maintains a vigorous pace 5. Like excitement and cheerful

Big Five Personality Traits

- Research has shown that extraverts tend to have modest but measurable performance advantage over introverts in occupation requiring high level of interaction with other people - Specific occupations where extraverts have been found to perform particularly well include sales and management - Introverts tend to do particularly well in occupations such as engineering, accounting, and information technology where more solitary work is required - For any occupation where teams are emphasized extraverts may have slight edge, as teams require faceto-face-interaction, group decision making, and navigation of interpersonal dynamics - A team with very high percentage of extraverts as members may function poorly, more interested in talking than listening

Big Five Personality Traits

2. Conscientiousness The degree to which an individual focuses on goals and works towards them In specific terms it is the degree to which a person: 1. Feels capable 2. Is organized 3. Is reliable 4. Possesses a drive for success 5. Focuses on completing the task 6. Thinks before acting Research has shown that individuals scoring high on conscientiousness have performance edge in most occupations and tend to perform well on teams Research has shown that conscientiousness has a stronger positive effect on job performance when a person also scores high on agreeableness

Big Five Personality Traits

3. Agreeableness The degree to which an individual is easy going and tolerant Specifically it is the degree to which a person: 1.Believes in the honesty of others 2.Is straightforward 3.Is willing to help others 4.Tends to yield under conflict 5.Is sensitive to the feeling of others

Big Five Personality Traits

Research has not shown consistent pattern of job outcomes on individuals scoring high or low on agreeableness Being agreeable and disagreeable can be valuable at different times in the same job Agreeable individuals seems to be consistently effective in team work They are positive for interpersonal dynamics, as they are sensitive to the feelings of others and try to ensure the participation and success of all team members Having a very high percentage of of very agreeable team members may be associated with too little debate on important issues When teams must make important decisions and solve non-routine problems, having some members with lower scores on agreeableness may be an advantage

Big Five Personality Traits

4. Emotional Stability
The degree to which an individual easily handles stressful situations and heavy demands Specific traits include: 1. Is relaxed 2. Is slow to feel anger 3. Rarely becomes discouraged 4. Rarely becomes embarrassed 5. Resists unhealthy urges associated with addictions 6. Handles crisis well Research has shown that emotionally stable individuals tend to have an edge in task performance across a large number of occupations Emotionally stable individuals have modest advantage as team members Emotional stability is positively linked to job satisfaction, independent of specific conditions of the job situation

Big Five Personality Traits

5. Openness to Experience The degree to which a person seeks new experiences and thinks creatively More specifically openness is the degree to which a person: 1. Has vivid imagination 2. Has appreciation for art and beauty 3. Values and respects emotions in himself and others 4. Prefers variety to routine 5. Has broad intellectual curiosity 6. Is open to reexamine closely held values

Big Five Personality Traits

Research has shown that individuals scoring both high and low on openness can perform well in variety of occupations and perform well on teams Those who score high on this dimension are more effective at particular tasks calling for vision and creativity, such as creative aspects of advertising, the creative aspects of marketing and many aspects of arts Individuals with low openness score may be more effective in jobs calling for strong adherence to rules such as piloting airplanes, and accounting

Myers Briggs Type Indicators

Based on the personality theory of psychologist Carl Jung (1920) Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs revived the idea of temperaments and devised Meyers and Briggs Type Indicator, a tool for as identifying sixteen different The type indicators identified by Jung were: patterns of behavior. Extraversion( E), Introversion (I); Sensation (S) Intuition (N); Thinking(T) Feeling (F); Perceiving (P), and judging (J). 1. A person is neither one or the other of these four pairs. Each person has some degree of both the opposing pairs 2. A person strengthens or weakens its preference with the passage of time 3. The question whether these preferences are inborn or developed latter remains unsettled. The function becomes more stronger through use

Extraversion Vs. Introversion(I)

Are complimentary Attitudes towards the world

Extraverts Feels pulled outward by external claims and conditions Energized by other people and external experiences Acts and then (may be) reflects Is often friendly, talkative, easy to know Introverts Feels pushed inward by external claims and intrusions Energized by inner resources and internal experiences

Reflects then (may be ) act

Is often reserved, quite and hard to know

Express emotions Needs relationships Gives breadth to life

Bottles up emotions Needs Privacy Gives depth to life

When working, need short brain breaks to converse with someone Es may be seen shallow to Is
Needs Introversion for balance

Introverts do enjoy interacting with others but it drains their energy Is may seen withdrawn to Es
Needs extraversion for balance

Sensation Vs Intuition

Are ways of taking information. The sensing function takes information by way of five senses, the intuition function takes information by sixth sense Intuition ( N) Sensing (S) Like things that are Like opportunities for being definite, and inventive measurable Starts at the Jumps every where, leaps over steps beginning, takes a step at a time Reads instruction, Skips directions, follows hunches notices details Looks at specific Looks at patterns and relationships parts and pieces

Lives in present, enjoy every thing that is there Favors handling practical matters Likes set procedures, established routines When interviewing someone for job, would want to know type of experience applicant has had

Lives towards the future anticipating what might be Prefers imagining possibilities Likes change and variety

Not much interested in what applicant has done but what he could for the organization

The Ss see N as flighty, impractical and unrealistic

Sensation parent become concerned if the child spends time in fantasy/ day dreaming
The Ns see S as plodding, too slow to see future possibilities

The intuitive parent would become worried if the child does not spend time in fanaticizing
The Ss see N as flighty, impractical and unrealistic

Thinking Vs. Feeling

Are ways of making decisions. The thinking function decides on the basis of logic and objective consideration. The Feeling decides on the basis of personal subjective values. Feeling (F) Thinking (T)

Decides with the head

Goes by Logic Concerned for truth and justice Sees as onlooker, from outside a situation Takes a long view

Decides with the heart

Goes by personal conviction Concerned for relationships, harmony Sees things as a participant, from within Takes an immediate and personal view

Spontaneously find flaws, criticizes Good at understanding plans When T becomes emotional, body reactions are not noticed by others . The T person gets embarrassed by a show of intense emotions Feelers may consider thinkers as heartless, have ice in their veins

Spontaneously appreciate Good at understanding people Tends to make their emotions more visible. Their hands become moist, color flushes or drains from his face, body trembles, heart beat faster, others become affected by this Thinkers may consider Feelers as too soft hearted,illogical fuzzy thinkers.

Judging Vs Perceiving

Are complimentary life style. Judging life style is decisive, planned and orderly. A perceptive life style is flexible, adaptable and spontaneous Judging (J) Enjoys being decisive Perception (P) Enjoys being curious, discovering surprises Likes freedom to explore without limits Feels comfortable maintaining openness

Likes clear limits and categories

Feels comfortable in establishing closure Prefers organized life style Likes definite order and structure

Prefers flexible lifestyle

Likes going with flow

Likes to have life under control Handles deadlines, pans in advance When setting deadlines for others J is likely to communicate actual deadlines and would expect others to meet them

Prefers to experience life as it happens Meets deadlines by last minute rush

P is to become anxious and react by moving real dead lines ahead to artificial deadlines

Likes to have life under control

Handles deadlines, plans in advance When setting deadlines for others J is likely to communicate actual deadlines and would expect others to meet them Ps may criticize Js as pressured and hurried, making hasty decisions, task oriented, and rigid

Prefers to experience life as it happens

Meets deadlines by last minute rush P is to become anxious and react by moving real dead lines ahead to artificial deadlines Js may see Ps as indecisive, procrastinating, aimless, restive, critical and blocking decisions

Meyers and Briggs Personality types
















Cognitive and Motivational Properties of Personality

Cognitive properties
Perceptual and thought processes Affect how one typically processes information

Motivational properties
Stable differences Energize and maintain overt behaviors

Cognitive and Motivational Properties of Personality


Locus of control
Cognitive and Motivational Concepts


Achievement motivation

Approval motivation

Adapted from: Exhibit 5-3: Cognitive and Motivational Concepts of Personality

Cognitive Concepts
Locus of control
Tendency to attribute the cause or control of events to either
Oneself Factors in the external environment

Internals believe they can control what happens to them Externals believe what happens to them is more a matter of luck or fate, rather than their own behavior

Locus of Control: Internals

1., Are attentive to aspects of environment that provide useful information. Engage in actions to improve their environment Place greater emphasis on striving for achievement More inclined to develop skills Less alienated from work environment More likely to be the leader and the group led by internals more effective than externals Internal leaders rely more on persuasion and expertise, external leaders rely on coercive power Internals are more satisfied with participative management style than externals

2. 3. 4. 5. .6. 7.

Locus of Control
Negative Aspects of Internal Locus of control 1. Externals have been found to be more inclined to initiate structure ( to help clarify roles and to show consideration to people

2. Internals are less likely to comply with leader direction and are less accurate in processing feedback about success and failures than External
3. Internals have more difficulty arriving at decisions with serious consequences for others

The influence of Locus of Control on Performance Expectations

Increase pride in accomplishment Increase performance expectations

Task Success

Internal Locus of Control

Task Failure

Frustration and loss of confidence

Decrease in performance expectations

Task Success External Locus of Control

No change in performance expectation No change in performance expectations

Task failure

Tolerance for Ambiguity

Refers to the extent to which individuals are threatened by or have difficulty in coping with situations that are ambiguous, where changes occur rapidly or unpredictably, where information is incomplete or inadequate

Tolerance of ambiguity comprises of three different parts:

1. Novelty: The extent to which one is tolerant of new, unfamiliar information or situation

2. Complexity: the extent to which one is tolerant to multiple, distinctive, or unrelated information

3. Insolubility: The extent to which one is tolerant of problems that are difficult to solve because (a) alternative solution are not evident, (b) information is unavailable, (c ) problem components seem unrelated

Tolerance for Ambiguity

Characteristics of people with high tolerance for ambiguity
Pay more attention to more information, interpret more cues, and posses more sense making categories Are better transmitters of information
3. More sensitive to internal ( non-superficial) characteristics of others when when evaluating others performance at work evaluating others performance at work

More sensitive to internal ( non-superficial) characteristics of others More behaviorally adaptive and flexible under ambiguous and overloaded conditions Managers with high tolerance for ambiguity are more likely to be entrepreneurial in their actions, screen out less information in complex environments and choose specialties in their profession in their occupation that possess less structured task Individuals who have high tolerance for ambiguity have more difficulty in focusing on single important element of information as they are inclined to pay attention to variety of items

Belief whether lines of power and status should be clearly delineated or not.
Persons high in authoritarianism are more likely to: 1. Create and maintain power status differences by actively using titles and symbols of their position and conforming to rules 2. Less likely to employ participative techniques that would result in subordinate being treated equally

3. Subordinates high in authoritarianism show proper deference to their superiors and are willing to abide by the rules of the game

It is the degree to which an individual is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance, and believes that ends could justify means High Machs manipulate more, win more, are persuaded less and persuade others more The successful outcomes of high Machs behavior depends upon (1) face to face interaction with other persons not by indirect means (2) When situation has minimum number of rules and regulations (3) Where emotional involvement with details are irrelevant to winning

Degree to which people attempt to present the image they think others want to see in the given situation High-self monitors want to be seen as others want them to be Low self monitors want to be seen as themselves, not as others want them to be

Achievement motivation

The need for achievement (n-Ach) Desire to perform in terms of a standard of excellence Desire to succeed in competitive situations Persons high in the need to achieve
Set goals Accept responsibility for both success and failure Focus on task excellence rather than on power

Approval motivation

Concerned about presenting one-self in a socially desirable way in evaluative situations Persons high in approval motivation tend to
Be concerned about the approval of others Conform and get along Respond to personality tests in socially desirable ways (may fake their answers according to perceived desirability)

Values, Moods, and Attitudes

Values: Basic convictions that a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence Contain a judgmental element about what is right, good, or desirable

Have both content and intensity component:

Content attribute says that a mode of conduct or end state of existence is important Intensity attribute specifies how important it is Value system: A hierarchy based on a ranking of an individuals values in terms of the intensity

Importance of values
They are the foundation for understanding of attitudes, motivation. They influence perceptions.

Sources of Value system 40 percent of values are genetically determined 60 percent environmentally determined (culture, family, friends)
Types of Values: Two approaches to classifying values 1.Allport and Associates: They identified six types of values i. Theoretical: place high importance on discovery of truth through a critical and rational approach ii. Economic: Emphasizes the useful and practical iii. Aesthetic: places the highest value on form and harmony iv. Social: Assigns the highest value to the love of people v. Political: Places emphasis on acquisition of power and influence

vi. Religious: is concerned with the unity of experience and understanding of the cosmos as a whole

Value classification by Rokeach

Rokeach identified two sets of values each set containing 18 individual value items

1. Terminal values: desirable end-states of existence, goals that a person would like to achieve during his/her life time 2. Instrumental values: preferable mode of behavior or means of achieving ones terminal values

Terminal Value

Instrumental Value

Terminal Value

Instrumental Value

A comfortable life( a prosperous life)

Ambitious (Hard working,aspiring)

Inner harmony

Imaginative(daring, creative) Independent (selfreliant, self-sufficient) Intellectual( intelligent, reflective)

An exciting life( Broad minded( open Mature love( active life, stimulating mind) sexual and life) spiritual intimacy) A sense of accomplishment Capable( competent, effective) National security( protection from attack

A world of peace( Cheerful ( light free of war & conflict) hearted, joyful)
A world of beauty ( beauty of nature, arts) Equality ( brotherhood, equal opportunity) Clean (neat, tidy)

Pleasure( an enjoyable leisurely life)

Salvation, ( saved, eternal life) Self-respect(selfesteem)

Logical( consistent, rational)

Loving(affectionate, tender) Obedient( dutiful, respectful)

Courageous( standing up for your belief)

Family security( taking care of loved

Forgiving( willing to pardon others)

Social recognition( respect,

Polite ( courteous, well mannered)

Nature Of Work Values

Work Value: A workers personal conviction about what outcomes oneshould expect from work and how one should behave at work Intrinsic Work Values: Values related to the nature of work itself Extrinsic Work Values: Wok values that are to the consequences of work Comparison of Intrinsic and Extrinsic work values

Interesting work Challenging Work Learning new things Making important contribution Reaching full potential Responsibility & autonomy

Extrinsic High Pay Job security

Job benefits Status in community Social contacts Time with the family

The Nature of Work Moods

Work Moods: How people feel at the time they actually perform their Jobs Much more transitory than values and attitude, can change from hour to hour, day to day.

When workers are in positive mood thy feel excited, active, strong, peppy, or elated
The extent to which workers experience positive, negative and less intense moods depends on their personalities (negative or positive affectivity) and the situation

Research indicates that workers in positive mood are more likely to be helpful to each other, and those around them
The extent to which leaders experienced positive was related to the performance level of subordinates Research also indicates that positive mood leads to creativity, negative mood may result inaccurate in making judgments

Relationship between Work Values, attitudes and moods

Work Values

Work Attitudes (moderately stable)

(most stable)

Work Moods (most changing)

Attitudes are evaluative statements either favorable or unfavorable concerning people, objects or things.

Attitudes can be characterized three ways:

1. They tend to persist unless something is done to change them

2. Attitudes can fall somewhere along the continuum from very favorable to very unfavorable 3. The attitudes are directed toward some object about which a person has feelings and beliefs

Components of Attitudes
Affective Component How a worker feels about his job /organization

Cognitive component Workers beliefs about work/ organization

Behavioral Component How to behave at work / organization

Collection of feelings and thoughts in ones job/organization

Components of Attitude

The Functions Of Attitudes

1. The Adjustment Function
The attitudes help employees adjust to their environment and are basis for future adjustment 2. The Ego-Defensive function Help employees defend their self images and justify their actions 3. The Value Expressive Function They help employees expressing their central values 4. The Knowledge Function
They help supply frame of references and allow people to organize and explain the world around them

Barriers to Attitude Change: 1. Prior Commitments: when a person feels committed to a course of action and are unwilling to change. There is a tendency for decision makers t persist with failing course of action called escalation of commitment

Attitude Change


Insufficient Information: as a result of insufficient information people do not see any reason to change their attitudes.
Providing new Information Use of fear. Moderate level of fear is most effective Resolving Discrepancies between attitude and behavior. According to theory of cognitive dissonance people actively reduce the dissonance by attitude and behavior change

Ways of Changing Attitudes 1. 2. 3.


Influence of friends and peers

Determinants of Job Satisfaction

Personality The enduring ways a person has of feeling, thinking & behaving Work Itself The work itself, pay, promotion opportunities, supervision, coworkers JOB SATISFACTION The collection of feelings, beliefs, and thoughts to behave with respect to ones current job Social influence Coworkers,groups, culture Values

Intrinsic & Extrinsic work values,

The Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Organizational Outcomes

1.Satisfaction and Performance

There is no significant positive relationship between satisfaction and individual performance. Satisfaction may lead to organization level improvement
2. Satisfaction and Turnover

Moderately negative relationship between jobsatisfaction and turnover. High job-satisfaction will not, in and itself keep turnover low. Considerable job dissatisfaction , there is likely to high turnover. A variety of other factors may be responsible for employee turnover( commitment to organization, job tenure age, economic factors)

The Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Organizational Outcomes

3.Satisfaction and Absenteeism:

Weak negative relationship between satisfaction and absence. High Job satisfaction will not result in lower absenteeism
4. Satisfaction and other effects Positive relationship between satisfaction and physical health, lower job accident, and grievances. Job dissatisfaction leads to high stress

Attitudes and cognitive consistency

Cognitive dissonance.
Describes a state of inconsistency between an

individuals attitudes and his or her behavior.

Cognitive dissonance can be reduced by: Changing the underlying attitude. Changing future behavior. Developing new ways of explaining or rationalizing the inconsistency.

Attitudes and cognitive consistency (cont.).

Dissonance reduction choices are

influenced by:
The degree of control a person has over the

The magnitude of the rewards involved.

Individual differences and its relationship to workforce diversity

Workforce diversity. The presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another.

Challenge of workforce diversity. Respecting individuals perspectives and contributions and promoting a shared sense of organizational vision and identity.

Aptitude and Ability

A persons capability of learning something.

A persons existing capacity to perform the

various tasks needed for a given job.

Includes relevant knowledge and skills.