Individual Differences

Topics: Big Five personality traits, Personality psychology, Trait theory Pages: 15 (5024 words) Published: November 24, 2011

Why Individual Differences Are Important:
* Individual differences have a direct effect on behavior * People who perceive things differently behave differently * People with different attitudes respond differently to directives * People with different personalities interact differently with bosses, coworkers, subordinates, and customers * Individual differences help explain:

* Why some people embrace change and others are fearful of it * Why some employees will be productive only if they are closely supervised, while others will be productive if they are not * Why some workers learn new tasks more effectively than others Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Cycle

* Different people are attracted to different careers and organizations as a function of their own: * abilities
* interests
* personalities
* Organizations select employees on the basis of the needs the organization has * skills and abilities
* individual attributes such as values and personality * Attrition occurs when:
* individuals discover they do not like being part of the organization and elect to resign, or * the organization determines an individual is not succeeding and elects to terminate * Each phase of the ASA cycle is significantly influenced by the individual differences of each person

The Basis for Understanding Work Behavior:
* To understand individual differences a manager must:
1. observe and recognize the differences and
2. study relationships between variables that influence behavior Individual Differences Influencing Work Behavior:
1. Hereditary and Diversity Factors
2. Personality
3. Ability and Skills
4. Perception
5. Attitudes
Diversity Factors
Primary Dimensions (stable)
* Age
* Ethnicity
* Gender
* Physical attributes
* Race
* Sexual / affectional orientation
Secondary Dimensions (changeable)
* Educational background
* Marital status
* Religious beliefs
* Health
* Work experience
Abilities and Skills
* Ability – a person’s talent to perform a mental or physical task * Skill – a learned talent that a person has acquired to perform a task KEY ABILITIES:
1. Mental Ability
2. Emotional Intelligence
3. Tacit Knowledge
* Are determinates of behavior because they are linked with perception, personality, feelings, and motivation * Attitude – a mental state of readiness
* learned and organized through experience
* exerting a specific response to people, objects, and situations with which it is related Attitudes: Implications for the Manager
1. Attitudes are learned
2. Attitudes define one’s predispositions toward given aspects of the world 3. Attitudes provide the emotional basis of one’s interpersonal relations and identification with others 4. Attitudes are organized and are close to the core of personality The Three (3) Components of Attitude:

1. Cognition (Beliefs and Values) – My supervisor is unfair. 2. Affect (Feelings and emotions) – I don’t like my supervisor. 3. Behavior (Intended behavior) – I’ve submitted a formal request to transfer. Cognition

* What individuals know about themselves and their environment * Implies a conscious process of acquiring knowledge
* Evaluative beliefs – favorable or unfavorable impressions that a person holds toward an object or person Affect
* The emotional component of an attitude
* Often learned from
* parents
* teachers
* peer group members
* The part of an attitude that is associated with “feeling” a certain way about a person, group, or situation Cognitive Dissonance
* A discrepancy between attitudes and behaviors
* A mental state of anxiety
* Occurs when there is a conflict among an individual’s various...
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