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Personality Traits:
 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

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.

2. Agreeableness

 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

3. Conscientiousness

 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 Self-

 “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
 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 situation-
 The relationship between self-efficacy and
performance is cyclical. Self-efficacy affects
performance which in turn affects self-efficacy.
Person-Situation Interaction

 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.
6. Self-esteem

 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
 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
 Risk-averse people do not make decisions in a hurry
and gather a lot of information before making any
 In organizations, the suitability of a person’s risk-
taking 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 achievement-
 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

Levinson’s Theory of Adult Life
 Daniel Levinson said personality of an individual
develops with age and develops uniformly
throughout the adult years.
 Uniform progress is punctuated with periods of
 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


 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

The Argyris Immaturity-Maturity Theory

Immaturity Maturity
Passive Active
Dependence Independence
Behave in few ways capable of behaving in many ways
Erratic shallow interests Deeper and stronger interests
Short time perspective Long time perspective (past and future)
Subordinate position Equal or superordinate position
Lack of awareness of self 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

 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.
 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

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
 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
 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.

 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
 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

Conventional Artistic

Enterprising Social


 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
 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.


 It may be defined as a tendency to feel and behave

in a particular way towards objects, people or
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
 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 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 job-

related attitudes.

(III)Job satisfaction
 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
 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
 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

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


2. The ego-defensive function

 Attitudes not only enable employees to adapt to their

environment but also help them defend their self-
images (the image of themselves).
3. The value-expressive function
 People may express their values through their

4. The knowledge function

 Attitudes provide a standard of reference which allows

people to understand and explain their environment.
 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
 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
 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.