Foundations of Individual Behavior

Chapter Learning Objectives
• After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
– Contrast the two types of ability. – Define intellectual ability and demonstrate its relevance to OB. – Identify the key biographical characteristics and describe how they are relevant to OB. – Define learning and outline the principles of the three major theories of learning. – Define shaping, and show how it can be used in OB. – Show how culture affects our understanding of intellectual abilities, biographical characteristics, and learning.

An individual’s capacity to perform the various tasks in a job. •Made up of two sets of factors:
– Intellectual Abilities
• The abilities needed to perform mental activities. • General Mental Ability (GMA) is a measure of overall intelligence. • Wonderlic Personnel Test: a quick measure of intelligence for recruitment screening. • No correlation between intelligence and job satisfaction.

– Physical Abilities
• The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity, strength, and similar characteristics.

Dimensions of Intellectual Ability

Nine Basic Physical Abilities
• Strength Factors
– – – – Dynamic strength Trunk strength Static strength Explosive strength

• Flexibility Factors
– Extent flexibility – Dynamic flexibility

• Other Factors
– Body coordination – Balance – Stamina

Biographical Characteristics
Objective and easily obtained personal characteristics. •Age
– Older workers bring experience, judgment, a strong work ethic, and commitment to quality.

– Few differences between men and women that affect job performance.

•Race (the biological heritage used to identify oneself)
– Contentious issue: differences exist, but could be more culturebased than race-based.

Other Biographical Characteristics
• Tenure
– People with job tenure (seniority at a job) are more productive, absent less frequently, have lower turnover, and are more satisfied.

• Religion
– Islam is especially problematic in the workplace in this post-9/11 world.

• Sexual Orientation
– Federal law does not protect against discrimination (but state or local laws may). – Domestic partner benefits are important considerations.

• Gender Identity
– Relatively new issue – transgendered employees.

What is Personality?
The dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment. - Gordon Allport.
The sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others, the measurable traits a person exhibits

• Measuring Personality
– Helpful in hiring decisions – Most common method: self-reporting surveys – Observer-ratings surveys provide an independent assessment of personality – often better predictors

Personality Determinants
• Heredity
– Factors determined at conception: physical stature, facial attractiveness, gender, temperament, muscle composition and reflexes, energy level, and biorhythms – This “Heredity Approach” argues that genes are the source of personality – Twin studies: raised apart but very similar personalities – Parents don’t add much to personality development – There is some personality change over long time period

What is Personality?
Personality The sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others. Personality Traits Enduring characteristics that describe an individual’s behavior. Personality Determinants
• Heredity • Environment • Situation

Personality Traits
Enduring characteristics that describe an individual’s behavior
– The more consistent the characteristic and the more frequently it occurs in diverse situations, the more important the trait.

•Two dominant frameworks used to describe personality:
– Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) – Big Five Model

Personality Traits Relevant to Organizations

Personality Traits

Sixteen Primary Traits

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
• Most widely used instrument in the world. • Participants are classified on four axes to determine one of 16 possible personality types, such as ENTJ.
Sociable and Assertive Practical and Orderly Use Reason and Logic Want Order & Structure Quiet and Shy Unconsci ous Processe s Uses Values & Emotions Flexible and Spontane ous

The Types and Their Uses
• Each of the sixteen possible combinations has a name, for instance:
– Visionaries (INTJ) – original, stubborn, and driven. – Organizers (ESTJ) – realistic, logical, analytical, and businesslike. – Conceptualizer (ENTP) – entrepreneurial, innovative, individualistic, and resourceful.

• Research results on validity mixed.
– MBTI® is a good tool for self-awareness and counseling. – Should not be used as a selection test for job candidates.

The Big Five Model of Personality Dimensions

Personality Types
Type As
2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Are always moving, walking, and eating rapidly Feel impatient with the rate at which most events take place Strive to think or do two or more things at once Cannot cope with leisure time Are obsessed with numbers, measuring their success in terms of how many or how much of everything they acquire

Type Bs
2. 3. 4. 5.

Never suffer from a sense of time urgency with its accompanying impatience Feel no need to display or discuss either their achievements or accomplishments Play for fun and relaxation, rather than to exhibit their superiority at any cost Can relax without guilt

How Do the Big Five Traits Predict Behavior?
• Research has shown this to be a better framework. • Certain traits have been shown to strongly relate to higher job performance:
– Highly conscientious people develop more job knowledge, exert greater effort, and have better performance. – Other Big Five Traits also have implications for work.
• Emotional stability is related to job satisfaction. • Extroverts tend to be happier in their jobs and have good social skills. • Open people are more creative and can be good leaders. • Agreeable people are good in social settings.

Other Personality Traits Relevant to OB
• Core Self-Evaluation
– The degree to which people like or dislike themselves – Positive self-evaluation leads to higher job performance

– A pragmatic, emotionally distant power-player who believes that ends justify the means. – High Machs are manipulative, win more often, and persuade more than they are persuaded. Flourish when:
• Have direct interaction • Work with minimal rules and regulations • Emotions distract others

– An arrogant, entitled, self-important – person who needs excessive admiration. – Less effective in their jobs.

More Relevant Personality Traits
• Self-Monitoring
– The ability to adjust behavior to meet external, situational factors. – High monitors conform more and are more likely to become leaders.

• Risk Taking
– The willingness to take chances. – May be best to align propensities with job requirements. – Risk takers make faster decisions with less information.

Even More Relevant Personality Traits
• Type A Personality
– Aggressively involved in a chronic, incessant struggle to achieve more in less time
• • • • Impatient: always moving, walking, and eating rapidly Strive to think or do two or more things at once Cannot cope with leisure time Obsessed with achievement numbers

– Prized in North America but quality of the work is low – Type B people are the complete opposite

• Proactive Personality
– Identifies opportunities, shows initiative, takes action, and perseveres to completion – Creates positive change in the environment

Evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events. Three components of an attitude:
The emotional or feeling segment of an attitude An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something

The opinion or belief segment of an attitude

Does Behavior Always Follow from Attitudes?
• Leon Festinger – No, the reverse is sometimes true! • Cognitive Dissonance: Any incompatibility between two or more attitudes or between behavior and attitudes
– Individuals seek to reduce this uncomfortable gap, or dissonance, to reach stability and consistency – Consistency is achieved by changing the attitudes, modifying the behaviors, or through rationalization – Desire to reduce dissonance depends on:
• Importance of elements • Degree of individual influence • Rewards involved in dissonance

Moderating Variables
• The most powerful moderators of the attitude-behavior relationship are:
– Importance of the attitude – Correspondence to behavior – Accessibility – Existence of social pressures – Personal and direct experience of the attitude.

Predicting Behavior from Attitudes
– Important attitudes have a strong relationship to behavior. – The closer the match between attitude and behavior, the stronger the relationship:
• Specific attitudes predict specific behavior • General attitudes predict general behavior

– The more frequently expressed an attitude, the better predictor it is. – High social pressures reduce the relationship and may cause dissonance. – Attitudes based on personal experience are stronger predictors.

What are the Major Job Attitudes?
• Job Satisfaction
– A positive feeling about the job resulting from an evaluation of its characteristics

• Job Involvement
– Degree of psychological identification with the job where perceived performance is important to self-worth

• Psychological Empowerment
– Belief in the degree of influence over the job, competence, job meaningfulness, and autonomy

Another Major Job Attitude
• Organizational Commitment
– Identifying with a particular organization and its goals, while wishing to maintain membership in the organization. – Three dimensions:
• Affective – emotional attachment to organization • Continuance Commitment – economic value of staying • Normative - moral or ethical obligations

– Has some relation to performance, especially for new employees. – Less important now than in past – now perhaps more of occupational commitment, loyalty to profession rather than a given employer.

Evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events. Cognitive component
The opinion or belief segment of an attitude.

Affective Component
The emotional or feeling segment of an attitude.

Behavioral Component
An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something.

Types of Attitudes
Job Satisfaction A collection of positive and/or negative feelings that an individual holds toward his or her job. Job Involvement Identifying with the job, actively participating in it, and considering performance important to self-worth. Organizational Commitment Identifying with a particular organization and its goals, and wishing to maintain membership in the organization.

Cognitive Dissonance

The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

Any incompatibility between two or more attitudes or between behavior and attitudes.

Desire to reduce dissonance
• Importance of elements creating dissonance • Degree of individual influence over elements • Rewards involved in dissonance

Types of Attitudes
Job Satisfaction A collection of positive and/or negative feelings that an individual holds toward his or her job. Job Involvement Identifying with the job, actively participating in it, and considering performance important to self-worth. Organizational Commitment Identifying with a particular organization and its goals, and wishing to maintain membership in the organization.

And Yet More Major Job Attitudes…
• Perceived Organizational Support (POS)
– Degree to which employees believe the organization values their contribution and cares about their well-being. – Higher when rewards are fair, employees are involved in decision-making, and supervisors are seen as supportive. – High POS is related to higher OCBs and performance.

• Employee Engagement
– The degree of involvement with, satisfaction with, and enthusiasm for the job. – Engaged employees are passionate about their work and company.

Are These Job Attitudes Really Distinct?
• No: these attitudes are highly related. • Variables may be redundant (measuring the same thing under a different name) • While there is some distinction, there is also a lot of overlap.
Be patient, OB researchers are working on it!

Emotions and Moods

Why Were Emotions Ignored in OB?
• The “Myth of Rationality”
– Emotions were seen as irrational – Managers worked to make emotion-free environments

• View of Emotionality
– Emotions were believed to be disruptive – Emotions interfered with productivity – Only negative emotions were observed

• Now we know emotions can’t be separated from the workplace

What are Emotions and Moods?

The Basic Emotions
• While not universally accepted, there appear to be six basic emotions:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Anger Fear Sadness Happiness Disgust Surprise

• All other emotions are subsumed under these six • May even be placed in a spectrum of emotion:
– Happiness – surprise – fear – sadness – anger - disgust

Basic Moods: Positive and Negative Affect
• Emotions cannot be neutral. • Emotions (“markers”) are grouped into general mood states. • Mood states affect perception and therefore perceived reality.

What Is the Function of Emotion?
• Do Emotions Make Us Irrational?
– Expressing emotions publicly may be damaging to social status – Emotions are critical to rational decision-making – Emotions help us understand the world around us

• What Functions Do Emotions Serve?
– Darwin argued they help in survival problem-solving – Evolutionary psychology: people must experience emotions as there is a purpose behind them – Not all researchers agree with this assessment

Sources of Emotion and Mood
• Personality
– There is a trait component – affect intensity

• Day and Time of the Week
– There is a common pattern for all of us
• Happier in the midpoint of the daily awake period • Happier toward the end of the week

• Weather
– Illusory correlation – no effect

• Stress
– Even low levels of constant stress can worsen moods

• Social Activities
– Physical, informal, and dining activities increase positive moods

More Sources of Emotion and Mood
• Sleep
– Poor sleep quality increases negative affect

• Exercise
– Does somewhat improve mood, especially for depressed people

• Age
– Older folks experience fewer negative emotions

• Gender
– Women tend to be more emotionally expressive, feel emotions more intensely, have longer-lasting moods, and express emotions more frequently than do men – Due more to socialization than to biology

What Are Emotions?
A broad range of emotions that people experience. Emotions
Intense feelings that are directed at someone or something.

Feelings that tend to be less intense than emotions and that lack a contextual stimulus.

What Are Emotions? (cont’d)

Felt versus Displayed Emotions

Emotion Dimensions
• Variety of emotions
– Positive – Negative

• Intensity of emotions
– Personality – Job Requirements

• Frequency and duration of emotions
– How often emotions are exhibited. – How long emotions are displayed.

Facial Expressions Convey Emotions

Emotion Continuum
• The closer any two emotions are to each other on the continuum, the more likely people are to confuse them.

Gender and Emotions
• Women
– Can show greater emotional expression. – Experience emotions more intensely. – Display emotions more frequently. – Are more comfortable in expressing emotions. – Are better at reading others’ emotions.

• Men
– Believe that displaying emotions is inconsistent with the male image. – Are innately less able to read and to identify

External Constraints on Emotions
Organizational Influences Cultural Influences

Individual Emotions

OB Applications of Understanding Emotions
• Ability and Selection
– Emotions affect employee effectiveness.

• Decision Making
– Emotions are an important part of the decision-making process in organizations.

• Motivation
– Emotional commitment to work and high motivation are strongly linked.

• Leadership
– Emotions are important to acceptance of

OB Applications of Understanding Emotions
• Interpersonal Conflict
– Conflict in the workplace and individual emotions are strongly intertwined.

• Deviant Workplace Behaviors
– Negative emotions can lead to employee deviance in the form of actions that violate established norms and threaten the organization and its members.
• Productivity failures • Property theft and destruction

Ability and Selection
• Emotional Intelligence (EI)
– – – – – Self-awareness Self-management Self-motivation Empathy Social skills

• Research Findings
– High EI scores, not high IQ scores, characterize high performers.

Emotional Labor
An employee’s expression of organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions at work. •Emotional Dissonance:
– Employees have to project one emotion while simultaneously feeling another – Can be very damaging and lead to burnout

•Types of Emotions:
– Felt: the individual’s actual emotions – Displayed: required or appropriate emotions
• Surface Acting: displaying appropriately but not feeling those emotions internally • Deep Acting: changing internal feelings to match display rules very stressful

• An event in the work environment triggers positive or negative emotional reactions
– Emotions can influence a broad range of work variables

Affective Events Theory (AET)
– Personality and mood determine response intensity

Implications of AET
1. An emotional episode is actually the result of a series of emotional experiences triggered by a single event 2. Current and past emotions affect job satisfaction 3. Emotional fluctuations over time create variations in job performance 4. Emotion-driven behaviors are typically brief and variable 5. Both negative and positive emotions can distract workers and reduce job performance

Emotions provide valuable insights about behavior • Emotions, and the minor events that cause them, should not be ignored at work: they accumulate

Emotional Intelligence (EI)
• A person’s ability to:
– Be self-aware
• Recognizing own emotions when experienced

– Detect emotions in others – Manage emotional cues and information

• EI plays an important role in job performance • EI is controversial and not wholly accepted
– Case for EI:
• Intuitive appeal; predicts criteria that matter; is biologically-based.

– Case against EI:
• Too vague a concept; can’t be measured; its validity is suspect.

OB Applications of Emotions and Moods
• Selection
– EI should be a hiring factor, especially for social jobs.

• Decision Making
– Positive emotions can lead to better decisions.

• Creativity
– Positive mood increases flexibility, openness, and creativity.

• Motivation
– Positive mood affects expectations of success; feedback amplifies this effect.

• Leadership
– Emotions are important to acceptance of messages from organizational leaders.

More OB Applications of Emotions and Moods
• Negotiation
– Emotions, skillfully displayed, can affect negotiations

• Customer Services
– Emotions affect service quality delivered to customers which, in turn, affects customer relationships – Emotional Contagion: “catching” emotions from others

• Job Attitudes
– Can carry over to home, but dissipate overnight

• Deviant Workplace Behaviors
– Negative emotions lead to employee deviance (actions that violate norms and threaten the organization)

• Manager’s Influence
– Leaders who are in a good mood, use humor, and praise employees increase positive moods in the workplace.

Global Implications
• Do people experience emotions equally?
– No. Culture can determine type, frequency, and depth of experienced emotions

• Do people interpret emotions the same way?
– Yes. Negative emotions are seen as undesirable and positive emotions are desirable – However, value of each emotion varies across cultures

• Do norms of emotional expression vary?
– Yes. Some cultures have a bias against emotional expression; others demand some display of emotion – How the emotions are expressed may make interpretation outside of one’s culture difficult

Summary and Managerial Implications
• Moods are more general than emotions and less contextual • Emotions and moods impact all areas of OB • Managers cannot and should not attempt to completely control the emotions of their employees • Managers must not ignore the emotions of their co-workers and employees • Behavior predictions will be less accurate if emotions are not taken into account