Personality Traits in Organizational Behavior – Different personalities in an Organization

Personality Traits Important For Organizational Behaviour

Organizational behavior involves nine important personality traits:

  1. Authoritarianism
  2. Locus of control
  3. Machiavellianism
  4. Introversion and extroversion
  5. Self-esteem
  6. Achievement orientation
  7. Risk-taking
  8. Self-monitoring
  9. Type A and Type B personalities

1. Authoritarianism

Refers to a demand for strict obedience of authority and rules. Features of Authoritarians:

  1. Conventional and dominating
  2. Prefer that work be done according to rules
  3. Believe in fate
  4. Believe in the existence of two types of people in the world, strong and weak
  5. Prefer stable and structured work environments.

2. Locus of Control

This means an individual’s belief that events are either in one’s control (internal locus of control) or are governed by factors beyond one’s control (external locus of control).

Internal: People of this type believe they can control events or outcomes.

Characteristics of Internal

  1. Have control over self-behaviour
  2. Actively seek additional information for decision making and have low absenteeism rates
  3. Prefer participative management
  4. Hold jobs of higher status and advance rapidly in their careers

External: People of this type believe that events or outcomes control them.

Characteristics of External

  1. Less satisfied with their jobs, have higher absenteeism rates and are alienated from the work setting to a greater extent
  2. Prefer directive management
  3. Greater interest in job security over career advancement
  4. Learn more about extrinsic awards, destiny, chance, or other people.

3. Machiavellianism

Also known as Mach, this trait is named after Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote in the 16th century about gaining and using power.

Characteristics of high MACH people:

  1. Pragmatic, keep an emotional distance, and hold that ends can justify means.
  2. Manipulative and do not hesitate to exploit others to serve self-goals.
  3. Flourish when communicating in person rather than indirectly.
  4. Successful when a scenario has minimal rules and regulations.
  5. High self-confidence and high self-esteem

4. Introversion and Extroversion

Characteristics of Introverts:

  1. Reserved, quiet and timid
  2. Low on energy and activity levels
  3. Lack of social involvement
  4. Need more time by themselves to recharge

Characteristics of Extroverts:

  1. High on energy
  2. Enjoy being in the spotlight
  3. Assertive and sociable
  4. Action-oriented individuals who like to explore new opportunities

5. Self-Esteem

Refers to the feeling of like or dislike of oneself. Self-esteem is the level of respect individuals have for themselves.

Characteristics of High Self-Esteem People

  1. Believe they can succeed at work and have greater levels of job satisfaction.
  2. Take higher risks in job selection, more likely to choose unconventional jobs.
  3. Friendly, affectionate, cultivate interpersonal relationships easily and look for the good in others.

Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem People:

  1. Susceptible to external influences.
  2. Concerned with pleasing others when in managerial positions.
  3. Critical of other people, generally depressed, and blame external factors or other people for their own failures.

6. Achievement Orientation

Characteristics of high achievement-oriented people:

  1. Set high standards and devise new methods to enhance performance.
  2. Attempt to alleviate difficulties and take calculated risks.
  3. Never fully satisfied and constantly seek novel ways of doing things.

Characteristics of people with low achievement orientation:

  1. Prefer to work in their comfort zone.
  2. Unable to complete work on time.
  3. Depend on other people for setting targets and standards.

7. Risk-Taking

  1. Refers to an individual’s risk-taking appetite for achieving positive outcomes.
  2. Managers with high risk-taking capacity: Quick on their feet and useless information in decision making.
  3. Managers with low risk-taking capacity: Slow on their feet and need greater amounts of information to make a decision.
  4. A few jobs demand persons with high-risk appetites, For example, brokers in a brokerage firm are required to make rapid decisions to be effective.
  5. In contrast, in other jobs, risk-taking could prove to be a major obstacle, for example, accountants in auditing functions.

8. Self-Monitoring

This personality trait is a measure of a person’s ability to adapt his or her behaviour in the light of external situational factors.

Characteristics of High Self-Monitors:

  1. Show considerable adaptability, that is, they behave differently in different situations
  2. Concerned about others’ perception of them and modulate self-behaviour based on the situation.
  3. Show greater career mobility and receive better promotions.
  4. Characteristics of Low Self-Monitors:
  5. Less concerned about people’s perceptions of them.
  6. Tend to expose their true dispositions and attitudes.
  7. Cannot adapt their behaviour to various situations.

9. Type A and Type B Personalities

Characteristics of Type ‘A’ personality

  1. Always moving, walking, and eating rapidly
  2. Excessively time conscious
  3. Are impatient about the rate at which most events occur
  4. Strive to take on multiple tasks and cannot cope with leisure
  5. Obsessed with numbers, measure success in terms of objects acquired.
  6. Are better on tasks requiring speed and hard work.

Great salespersons are usually Type ‘A’ personalities.

Characteristics of Type ‘B’ personality

  1. Do not exhibit a sense of time urgency
  2. Feel no compulsion to display or discuss achievements or accomplishments unless warranted by a situation.
  3. Play for leisure.
  4. Can relax without guilt.
  5. Do not strive to handle more things simultaneously.
  6. Perform better on complex tasks involving judgment and accuracy.

Senior executives in firms are generally Type ‘B’ personalities.

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Article by:

Runal Mehta

Runal brings in more than a decade’s worth of experience in the field of consulting and education. He loves writing research oriented articles at Digiaide.