Individual Differences: Values and Personality
Values and personality traits are two dimensions on which people differ. Values are stable life goals.
When seeking jobs, employees are more likely to accept a job that provides opportunities for value attainment, and they are more likely to remain in situations that satisfy their values.
Personality comprises the stable feelings, thoughts, and behavioral patterns people have.
The Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) are important traits that seem to be stable and can be generalized to other cultures.
Other important traits for work behavior include self-efficacy, self-esteem, social monitoring, proactive personality, positive and negative affectivity, and locus of control.
It is important to remember that a person’s behavior depends on the match between the person and the situation. While personality is a strong influence on job attitudes, its relation to job performance is weaker.
Perception is how we make sense of our environment in response to environmental stimuli.
While perceiving our surroundings, we go beyond the objective information available to us, and our perception is affected by our values, needs, and emotions.
There are many biases that affect human perception of objects, self, and others.
When perceiving the physical environment, we fill in gaps and extrapolate from the available information.
We also contrast physical objects to their surroundings and may perceive something as bigger, smaller, slower, or faster than it really is.
In self-perception, we may commit the self-enhancement or self-effacement bias, depending on our personality. We also overestimate how much we are like other people.
Work attitudes are the feelings we have toward different aspects of the work environment. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment are two key attitudes that are the most relevant to important outcomes.
In addition to personality and fit with the organization, work attitudes are influenced by the characteristics of the job, perceptions of organizational justice and the psychological contract, relationships with coworkers and managers, and the stress levels experienced on the job.
Many companies assess employee attitudes through surveys of worker satisfaction and through exit interviews.
The usefulness of such information is limited, however, because attitudes create an intention to behave in a certain way, but they do not always predict actual behaviors.
When perceiving others, stereotypes infect our behavior. Stereotypes may lead to self-fulfilling prophecies
Employees demonstrate a wide variety of positive and negative behaviors at work. Among these, four are critically important and have been extensively studied in the OB literature.
Job performance is the degree of success with which one accomplishes the tasks listed in one’s job description. A person’s abilities, particularly general mental ability, are the main predictor of job performance in many occupations.
How we are treated at work, the level of stress experienced at work, work attitudes, and, to a lesser extent, our personality are also factors relating to one’s job performance.
Turnover is higher among low performers, people who have negative work attitudes, and those who experience a great deal of stress. Personality and being younger are personal predictors of turnover.
Poor work attitudes are also related to absenteeism, and younger employees are more likely to be absent from work, especially when dissatisfied.
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