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MEANING OF PERSONALITY
Personality can be defined as: The sum total of ways in which an individual interacts with people and reacts to situations. The traits exhibited by a person during these interactions.
Five important traits: 1. Extraversion
This refers to the extent to which a person is comfortable with other people. People who have a high degree of extraversion are sociable, talkative and friendly.
This refers to the extent to which a person subjugates his interests for the sake of the group. People who are very agreeable give importance to maintaining harmony and do not insist that others agree with what they say or follow their suggestions.
This trait refers to the extent to which a person is responsible and achievement oriented. They are responsible, dependable, persistent and highly achievement-oriented.
4. Emotional stability
This trait determines an individual’s ability to withstand stress. Individuals who have “positive” emotional stability feel emotionally secure and tend to be calm. People who have “negative” stability are emotionally insecure and experience feelings of anxiety, nervousness and depression.
5. Openness to experience This personality traits refers to an individuals’ range of interests and indicates how innovative or how rigid he is in his beliefs. An individual with a high level of openness tends to be creative and has a wide range of interests. Individuals who have a low level of openness, in contrast, have a narrow range of interests, rigid mindsets and tend to be less curious and less willing to accept new ideas.
The Self-concept: Self-esteem and Selfefficacy
“Self” refers to the personality of an individual as viewed by that person himself. “Self-concept” refers to the efforts made by an individual to understand his own self. Self-concept is closely related to the concepts of self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Self-esteem refers to the self-perceived competence and self-image of people. Self-esteem has a moderating influence on employees’ emotional and behavioral responses to various situations and the stress experienced by them. Employees with high self-esteem perceive themselves as unique, competent, secure and empowered.
Self-efficacy refers to a person’s perception of his ability to cope with different situations as they arise. People with high self-efficacy have the capability and the required confidence to rise to the occasion. One major difference between the two concepts is that self-esteem is a generalized trait (it is present in all situations) whereas self-efficacy is situationspecific. The relationship between self-efficacy and performance is cyclical. Self-efficacy affects performance which in turn affects self-efficacy.
People do not act in a similar manner in all situations, but exhibit different behavioral responses in different situations. Two different people may exhibit different behaviors, in similar situations.
1. Heredity The biological, physiological or psychological characteristics that an individual is born with constitute heredity.
2. Situation Different situations bring out different aspects of an individual’s personality.
3. Environment Environmental factors include the culture of the society in which an individual is brought up, the norms set by the parents, teachers and other social groups with which the individual interacts, and other situations and experiences he undergoes in his life. Norms, attitudes and values are specific to a culture, remain consistent over time and pass on from one generation to another.
4. Locus of Control It refers to the degree to which people believe that they can control their fate or any situation. Some people believe that they are masters of their own fate while some believe that fate is controlled by luck, chance or external forces. The former, known as internals, attribute an internal locus of control to organizational outcomes. The latter, known as externals, attribute an external locus of control to organizational outcomes.
Externals were dissatisfied with their jobs, showed little commitment to work and were frequently absent from work. Internals, however, were committed to their work, had a low rate of absenteeism, and were highly satisfied with their job. Internals perceive themselves to be responsible for their health and take good care of their health. Incidences of sickness or absenteeism are less among internals.
Externals do not consider themselves responsible for their health and attribute ill-health to external forces. They fail to take steps to avoid ill-health. Incidences of sickness and absenteeism are higher among externals. Internals are highly achievement-oriented and search extensively for the required information before making a decision or taking any action. They make considerable efforts to control the environment in which they work and turn situations in their favor.
5. Machiavellianism Machiavellianism refers to the degree to which an individual is practical in his approach, maintains an emotional distance from others, and believes that ends justify the means. Individuals who score high on Mach are good at manipulating others and try to win by any means. People having a high Mach perform well in situations that involve face-to-face meetings. They are especially productive in jobs that require the use of bargaining (persuasion) skills and in jobs that offer substantial rewards for the achievement of goals.
The degree of liking an individual has for himself is referred to as self-esteem. People with high self-esteem are generally confident. Individuals with low self-esteem lack confidence, look for approval from others, and are not likely to take a stand which opposes others’ views.
People who have high self-esteem do not care about pleasing others and fail to be influenced by external factors. People with high self-esteem derive more satisfaction from their jobs than people with low-esteem.
7. Self-monitoring Self-monitoring refers to the ability of an individual to adapt his behavior to the demands of the situation. They make successful managers and tend to get promoted faster than others. Low self-monitors find it difficult to disguise their true feeling, emotions and reactions and cannot adapt quickly to situations. Their behavior is consistent with the way they feel. Low self-monitors do not advance as far in their careers as high self-monitors.
8. Risk taking People who are highly risk-taking in their behavior make decisions quickly without searching for much information. Risk-averse people do not make decisions in a hurry and gather a lot of information before making any decision. In organizations, the suitability of a person’s risktaking or risk-averse behavior depends on the duties and responsibilities of his job.
Type A Personality
Individuals who strive continuously to achieve more things in less time, even in the face of opposition. Are believed to be ambitions and achievementoriented. Type A individuals set ambitious deadlines for themselves and work under continuous time pressure. Thus, these individuals constantly experience moderate to high levels of stress.
They tend to rely on past experience to solve problems and do not feel the need to be innovative in developing solutions to new problems. Their emphasis on speed prevents them from spending too much time on any problem. Type A individuals are hardworking by nature, they are suitable for jobs that call for continuous hard work and struggle such as the job of a salesperson or a business development executive.
Type B Personality
Type B personalities are not obsessed with the desire to achieve too many things within a short span of time. Type B individuals, however, are suitable for the top management position in an organization since they tend to be wise, tactful and creative in making decisions.
Levinson’s Theory of Adult Life Stages
Daniel Levinson said personality of an individual develops with age and develops uniformly throughout the adult years. Uniform progress is punctuated with periods of stability. Periods of stability Periods of transition 22-28 years( adulthood) 28-33 years 33-40 years( settling down) 40-45 years 45-50 years( middle adulthood) 50-55 years 55-60 years( approaches old age) 60-65 years
Maximum development takes place during mid-life transition(40-45 years). Attitude to work undergoes change during periods of transition. Earlier, Levinson had stated that periods of stability and mobility characterized stages in the development of individuals; later he modified his theory to state that lifecycle of individual is characterized by interplay of stability and mobility
Hall’s Career Stage Model The model suggests that an individual goes through four stages during his career – exploration, establishment, maintenance and decline. 1. In the exploration stage, the individual seeks an identity for himself, attempts to understand himself and his personality, and tries out various roles in his career. 2. The establishment stage, the employee tries to settle down in his job and interacts with co-workers to develop a good relationship with them.
3. In the maintenance stage, the productivity of an employee reaches its peak and he feels the need to contribute something to the next generation. 4. The last stage in the career of an individual is the decline stage. In this stage, the productivity of a person starts declining. In this stage, the individual evaluates his life and career and tries to convince himself that he made the right decisions in his life.
Argyris’ Immaturity to Maturity Theory
Human personality development takes place along a continuum (instead of stages) from immaturity to maturity.
The Argyris Immaturity-Maturity Theory
Passive Dependence Behave in few ways Erratic shallow interests Short time perspective Subordinate position Lack of awareness of self
Active Independence capable of behaving in many ways Deeper and stronger interests Long time perspective (past and future) Equal or superordinate position Awareness and control over self
The seven dimensions reflect only one aspect of an individual’s personality. The personality of an individual also depends on other factor such as his perception, self-concept and his ability to adapt and adjust. As an individual progresses from infancy to adulthood along the continuum, there is continual change in the level of development along different dimensions.
The model can only measure and describe the development of an individual’s personality but cannot predict any specific behavior of the individual. The latent characteristics of personality, which form the basis of the seven dimensions may be quite different from the externally visible behavior of people. Example: Formal organizations fail to consider their employees as mature and continue to give them passive roles.
Since formal organizations make employees remain in positions of passivity instead of allowing them to be participative, mature organizational members feel frustrated. The underlying cause of conflict in organizations is the basic incongruity between the needs of a mature personality and the nature of the formal organization.
The Socialization Process- Edgar Schein The process through which an individual’s personality is influenced by his interaction with certain persons, groups and society at large is referred to as the socialization process. Is a continuous process that goes on throughout one’s life. The socialization of a person begins with his initial contact with his mother during infancy. Later, he interacts with other family members, close relatives family friends, and social groups (comprising peers, friends and colleagues) who influence his personality.
Edgar Schein made significant contributions to the study of the socialization process because: Socialization has a major impact on the behavior of employees in organizations. It is important to analyze and control the socialization forces in an organization. Different organizations use different techniques for the purpose of socialization of a new employee.
Characteristics of the organizational socialization of employees are
It bring about a change in the attitude, values and behavior of an individual so that they do not contradict organizational values. The process continues for an extended period of time. It helps the new employee adjust to new jobs, work groups, organizational practices.
The new employee as well as the managers influence each other. The initial period of the socialization process is crucial because it determines how well an employee fits into the organization.
The socialization of new employees is carried out through the use of mentors or role models, training and orientation programs and reward systems: Offering them with an interesting and challenging job. Providing them with proper and relevant training. Providing them with objective and timely feedback.
Appointing an experienced supervisor to conduct the socialization process. Designing an informal orientation program. Assigning new employees to work groups that are highly satisfied and have high morale.
Socialization is also necessary when organizational members move up from one position to another in the organizational hierarchy. When an employee gets promoted he may have to deal with new colleagues and subordinates.
MATCHING PERSONALITIES WITH JOBS John Holland, who proposed the personality-job fit theory, established the relationship between personality characteristics, the requirements of a job, and job performance. The job satisfaction of an individual and his tendency to quit a job are determined by the extent to which his personality matches with the work environment and the requirements of the job. Holland developed a Vocational Preference Inventory questionnaire.
The research results were presented in the form of a hexagonal diagram , with each corner representing one type of occupational personality. The closer two personality types are in the hexagon, the more compatible they are. The personality types that are adjacent to each other are similar whereas those that are diagonally opposite are dissimilar in nature.
It was observed that when an individual’s personality and his occupation match each other, than the level of satisfaction was high and the person unlikely to quit the job.
Relationships among Occupational Personality Types Realistic Investigative
BELIEFS AND VALUES Beliefs refer to the way in which an individual organizes his perceptions and cognitions( thinking, problem-solving, pathological thinking,). Belief refers to the meaning that an individual attaches to a particular thing and take into account all aspects of an individual’s cognition of things around him. The development of beliefs in an individual is influenced by the cultural environment in which the individual grows up and the functional factors (needs, demands and emotions), unique to each individual.
Values refer to the cognition of an individual that a certain mode of conduct or style of behavior is socially preferable to the other possible modes of conduct or behavioral styles. Values are judgmental in nature since they convey an individual’s ideas regarding what is right, good, or desirable. The value system of an individual is determined by factors such as national culture, parental dictates, teachers and friends.
CONCEPT OF ATTITUDES It may be defined as a tendency to feel and behave in a particular way towards objects, people or events. 1. The attitudes of an individual generally remain unchanged for a prolonged period of time unless he is influenced by external forces. 2. Attitudes are evaluative statements that can be either favorable or unfavorable. For example, if a person does not like certain aspect of his job, he is said to have a negative attitude towards that assignment.
Attitudes consist of three components – cognitive, affective and behavioral. Cognitive component indicates opinions, values or beliefs about something. e.g. taking bribe is wrong Affective component represents feelings towards something. e g. not liking a colleague taking bribe. Behavioral component indicates the intention of a person to behave in a certain way. e.g. one may avoid the colleague who takes bribe.
Sources of Attitudes • Attitudes are acquired from parents, teachers and members of the peer group. The genetic make-up of a child initially determines his personality and attitudes. • Attitudes are influenced by the people whom he admires, respects or fears. Individuals are more willing to modify their behavior and shape their attitude to align with the behavior of people whom they look up to.
3. The attitudes of people can be easily influenced and altered. Attitudes can be changed by various means: by providing new information, by coercion or threat, by resolving differences and by involving people in problem solving. 4. Attitudes can also be changed by providing the right type of feedback to employees.
Types of Attitudes The field of OB focuses only on the study of jobrelated attitudes.
Job satisfaction is an emotional response to a job. The job satisfaction that an individual derives from his job depends on the extent to which outcomes meet his expectations.
There are six job dimensions that represent the most important characteristics of a job and elicit favorable or unfavorable responses from employees b) The work itself c) Pay d) Promotion opportunities e) Supervision f) Co-workers g) Working Conditions
Outcomes of job satisfaction
Satisfaction and productivity
There is no strong relation between satisfaction and productivity. There are other mediating variables like rewards, that lead to an increase in productivity.
Satisfaction and turnover Only a moderate relationship exists between satisfaction and turnover. High job satisfaction will not eliminate turnover but will only help reduce the rate of turnover. Job tenure (the number of years an employee has worked in a job in an organization) is another factor that has an impact on turnover.
An individual’s commitment to the organization also affects the relationship between satisfaction and turnover. A country’s economy and the employment scenario also influence turnover.
Satisfaction and absenteeism
Job satisfaction and absenteeism have an inverse relationship. A high level of job satisfaction leads to low absenteeism and a low level of job satisfaction results in high absenteeism.
Other effects of job satisfaction Employees who are highly satisfied with their jobs have low stress levels (and thus have better mental and physical health), have less on-the-job accidents, and have fewer grievances. They also show enthusiasm in learning job-related tasks. Satisfied employees have high morale and help fellow employees, customers and other people in society by undertaking social activities.
II Job involvement
It refers to the extent to which a person identifies himself psychologically with his job, actively participates in it, and considers that his performance in the job contributes to his self-worth.
III Organizational commitment
Organizational commitment refers to an employee’s satisfaction with a particular organization and its goals. The organizational commitment of an employee is affected by a number of personal and organizational variables. John P. Meyer and Natalie J. Allen developed a three-component model to understand the multidimensional nature of organizational commitment are:
• Affective commitment : This is concerned with the employee’s emotional attachment and involvement with the organization. • Continuance commitment: This is influenced by the costs that could accrue to the employee if he leaves the organization. • Normative commitment: This refers to the extent to which an employee feels obligated to continue in the organization.
Antecedents of Work-related Attitudes The personality traits or dispositions of individuals are determinants of their work-related attitudes. Negative affectivity (NA) refers to the disposition of individuals who experience negative emotional states. Thus, individuals having a high NA are more likely to feel nervous, anxious, jealous, tense, worried, upset or distressed. Such individuals have a negative attitude not only towards themselves but also towards other people.
Individuals having a positive affectivity tend to experience positive emotional states. Those with a high PA experience an overall sense of well-being and a positive attitude towards their work. They consider themselves as pleasurably and effectively engaged in the work they are doing.
Functions of Attitudes
Attitude reflects upon an individual’s work behavior and performance.
1. The adjustment function People modify their attitudes to adjust to their work environment.
2. The ego-defensive function Attitudes not only enable employees to adapt to their environment but also help them defend their selfimages (the image of themselves). 3. The value-expressive function People may express their values through their attitudes. 4. The knowledge function Attitudes provide a standard of reference which allows people to understand and explain their environment.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY
In the late 1950s, Leon Festinger proposed the theory of Cognitive Dissonance to explain the relationship between attitudes and behavior. Cognitive dissonance refers to the incompatibility that an individual may perceive between two or more of his attitudes, or between his behavior and attitudes. Emotional dissonance refers to the conflict between the emotions an individual experiences and the emotions he needs to express to conform to organizational norms.
Individuals are uncomfortable with any form of inconsistency and try to reduce the dissonance and discomfort that results from such inconsistencies.
No individual can completely eliminate dissonance.
An individual’s desire to reduce dissonance depends on: The importance of the elements that cause the dissonance, The degree to which the individual can influence these elements and The rewards that the individual is likely to lose as a result of such dissonance.
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