Influence of Personality on Individual Performances in the Workplace

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INFLUENCE OF PERSONALITY ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES IN THE WORKPLACE

INTRODUCTION
With today’s increasingly competitive global market, organizations are placing paramount emphasis upon their ‘Human Resources’ or ‘Intellectual Capital’ as a source of competitive advantage. Therefore, it is very important for any organization to levy the best out of an individual, and facilitate its own growth. This can be achieved by effective measurement of the individual’s performance in the workplace and identifying the essentialities that will serve to be the best criteria for this evaluation. The two jargon terms prevalent in the industry today for analyzing the performance of an individual in the workplace are, “Personality” and “Cognitive Ability”. One group of researchers says that it is the Personality of an individual which enables him to perform better, while the others support the latter. P.A.Touze, 2005., in his findings said that, personality can be considered to be more relevant to performance especially when the personality traits and the performance criteria have a common theoretical or conceptual orientation. In parallel, a more systematic consideration of work requirements and a better understanding of factors that are important for work performances, have allowed for a clearer definition of the potential roles for personality in this context. It is in light of these findings, will the argument proposed that, it is ‘Personality’ that influences Performance in the Workplace, be substantiated in this essay, and appropriate evidences will be drawn from various researches to support the same.

BACKGROUND
A lot of research has been carried out to satisfy the urge to explore the influence of personality of individuals on their work performance. A basic understanding of the research made on personality findings such as the Big Five, which is an assimilation of the commonalities among most of the existing systems of personality description, that provides an integrative and descriptive model for personality research (Oliver P. John, 1999), helps in the selection of the personality traits that should be taken into account for analyzing the work performance. The Meta-analysis (a statistical procedure) is considered to be a very good method to establish the correlation with personality and performance at work. Since it took measure of performance in relation to various types of jobs, it was able to be found, if the Big Five could predict

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performance independently of the job and the measure of performance (P.A.Touze, 2005). It will also be analyzed in the further discussions, if the validations made in considering the Big-Five to be the major criteria for analyzing performance of individuals in the workplace through methods like the meta-analysis, MBTI method and self-reports is appropriate.

THE BIG-FIVE PERSONALITY DIMENSIONS AND JOB PERFORMANCE
Personality is an indispensable consideration for employers looking for quality employees. The Big-Five are five replicable, broad dimensions of personality, and they can be summarized by the broad concepts of Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness to experience. (Oliver P. John and Sanjay Srivastava, 1999) Conscientiousness and Emotional stability are said to have positive correlations with performance. While, agreeableness and openness to experience display weak relationship with performance. Whereas, these two traits are more jobs specific, for example jobs such as sales and management it is encouraging to have sociable, assertive, ambitious and gregarious employees (Traits of Extraversion) for better job performance. (Carl, J.T., Jill, C.B., Paul, D.B. and Joseph D.T., 2004)

EFFECTS OF COGNITIVE ABILITY
Sean.P.Neubert (2004) in his findings said that, “Cognitive ability, however, has been shown to be more positively correlated to actual task performance”. From this fact, one can argue that personality comes into play again, because...
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