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Personality & Attitudes

Tehzeeb Sakina Amir IU Summer 2011 OB Session 5 1

Albert Gordon

Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological system that determines his unique adjustment to his environment. It is the sum total of ways an individual reacts to and interacts with others. Personality is measurable - traits

Relatively stable set of psychological and

behavioral attributes that differentiates one person from another.

Personality Determinants



Personality Traits
Characteristics that describe an individuals behaviour, they are exhibited in a large number of situation




Big-Five Personality Model

Five broad trait factors:

Openness to experience imaginative, intelligent, simple etc a persons rigidity of beliefs and range of interests.

Conscientiousness careful, organized, planful the number of goals which a person can focus.

Extraversion active, quiet, shy, talkative, energetic etc a persons comfort level with relationships.

Agreeableness kind, affectionate, unfriendly, sympathetic etc ability to get along with others.

Neuroticism (emotional stability) anxious, tense, nervous etc the extent to which person is poised, calm , resilient and secure.

Big-Five Personality Model

Extraversion (E) Versus Introversion (I). Extraverts get their energy from being around other people, whereas introverts are worn out by others and need solitude to recharge their energy. Sensing (S) Versus Intuition (N). The sensing type prefers concrete things, whereas intuitive prefer abstract concepts. Thinking (T) Versus Feeling (F). Thinking individuals base their decisions more on logic and reason, whereas feeling individuals base their decisions more on feelings and emotions. Judging (J) Versus Perceiving (P). People who are the judging type enjoy completion or being finished, whereas perceiving types enjoy the process and open-ended situations.

Big-Five Personality Model

These lie at the core of the personality The big five model has found to be popular across ages & cultures Criticism on Big Five Model

Only labeling of personality can be done, no explanation of behavior

Personality Testing

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Carl Jung in 1920s: typed people into extrovert and introvert. It is a 100 question personality test that asks people how they usually feel or act in a particular situation. People has all dimension just differ on combinations:
Extrovert or Introvert (E or I) Sensing or Intuitive ( S or N) Thinking or Feeling (T or F) Perceiving or Judging ( P or J)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Combined into 16 personality types:

NTs are visionaries ESTJs are organizers ENTPs are conceptualizer

Most widely used test though evidence do

not support it as a valid measure of personality.


Personality Attributes influencing OB

Locus of Control - ones perception as

to where is his locus of control (Rotter 1950s)

Internal vs External
Internals they control what happens to them Externals controlled by outside forces (lady luck to chance, fate)

Males, older people & top management are found to be high Extremes should be avoided! Overly internal or external


Personality Attributes influencing OB

Machiavellianism - if it works, use

High Machs

Pragmatic, manipulative Emotional distance, persuade others Believes in ends can justify means, win more Do high Machs make good employees? Type of job Bargaining Less rules and regulations

Personality Attributes influencing OB

Self Esteem like or dislike of

High on SE Expectations for success Possess ability for success Willing to take risks Do not seek approval from others on their capabilities High on Job Satisfaction

Personality Attributes influencing OB

Self Monitoring ability to adjust

ones behavior to external factors
High on SM Adjustment is quick Appropriate behavior Expectations are high Quick learnerjob performance High on Job Satisfaction

Personality Attributes influencing OB

Risk Taking willingness to take

High on RT Decision making is quick Challenging career Innovative & out of the box solutions/ideas


Personality at work


Type A or B - indications

Type A

Type B

Always moving, walking & eating fast Feel impatient Strive to do two or more things at once Cannot cope with leisure time Obsessed with number; how many, how much they have achieved

Never suffer from a sense of time urgency Feel no need to display/discuss their achievements unless required Play for fun /relaxation Can relax without guilt


Type A & B at workplace

Type A

Type B

Suffer high level of stress Quantity over quality Time pressure/deadlines Rarely creative Poor decision makers Behavior is easier to predict

Difficult to predict behavior Good decision makers Quality of work No compromise on health Wiser than hasty Creative / innovative solutions to same problem



Attitude vs behavior
Country Family




A favorable or unfavorable evaluation of and reaction to an object, person, event or idea. Evaluative statements: they tend to persist unless something is done to change them Fall on a continuum from highly favorable or unfavorable Directed towards some objects, people or events Though attitudes express feelings but they are linked to cognitions!


Cognitive component (opinion or belief) Affective component (emotional feelings) Behavioral component (intention to behave)

Example: studying negative attitudes

towards group

Negative beliefs (cognitive) Prejudice, negative feelings (affective) Discrimination, negative actions (behavioral)

Function of Attitudes
Attitudes can help predict work behavior Katz has outlined four important functions

of attitudes:

The adjustment function The ego-defensive function The value-expressive function The knowledge function


Attitude vs behavior
Humans tend to seek consistency among

their attitudes and behaviors.

Attitudes are altered Behaviors are altered Some rationalization for inconsistency is



Attitude - Behavior Relationship

A-B relationship unrelated or slightly

related. A .. PredictsB Variables

Importance of the attitude Specificity Accessibility Social pressures Direct experience


Cognitive Dissonance Theory

1950s Leon Festinger proposed the theory

of Cognitive Dissonance Any incompatibility between two or more attitudes or between behavior and attitude. Complete dissonance is unavoidable. Dissonance influenced by:

Unimportant elements Choice/ Control over elements Rewards


Changing Attitudes

Organizations tend to influence people to change their attitudes effecting behavior/ performance; in ways:

Providing new information Use of fear Resolving discrepancies Influence of friends and peers The co-opting approach (participative) Escalation of commitment Insufficient information

Barriers to change:

Work related Attitudes

Job Satisfaction

A general attitude that reflects the extent to which an individual is gratified or satisfied with his work. An attitude that reflects an individuals identification with and attachment to the organization

Organizational Commitment


Class Exercise
Using a job you have either held in the past or currently hold, describe the level of job satisfaction or dissatisfaction and organizational commitment you felt or feel. Describe what caused those attitudes and how they affected your behavior.


Attitude Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a positive emotional state resulting from evaluation of ones job or job experience Ways to enhance Job satisfaction Outcomes of job satisfaction

Influences on job satisfaction


Satisfaction in jobs
What appears well may not be well. Pay alone does not bring higher

satisfaction level. Higher skills, Control, Greater responsibilities, Interest etc all have share in satisfaction. Productivity enhancement, strict deadlines, overload of work etc contribute to low satisfaction level.


Single-global rating

One-question rating Identifies key elements in a job, individual is then asked to rate on a scale

Summation score


Job Satisfaction effects..

JS and Productivity

Satisfaction: individual productivity Satisfaction: organization productivity Negative correlation Negative but stronger correlation High or poor performers

JS and Absenteeism

JS and Turnover

Job Satisfaction and Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Satisfied employees are

positive towards organization, willing to go extra mile. Fair in procedures, policies, rules. No kick backs.


Attitudes at Work
Surveys Training / orientation to reshape

employees attitudes Customer attitudes (internal & external)