Nature of Individual Differences Found in Organizations

Topics: Attitude change, Personality psychology, Psychology Pages: 10 (3450 words) Published: March 15, 2013
2.1 1. Nature of Individual differences found in organizations The recognition of individual differences is central to any discussion of organizational behavior. Individual differences are the variations from one person to another on variables such as self-esteem, rate of cognitive development or degree of agreeableness. Historically, psychological science has overlooked individual differences in favor of focusing on average behavior. Individual differences have been most often studied in the area of personality development. All in all, the study of individual differences helps us to understand not only what makes humans similar to one another, but also what makes them different. By considering the variations that can occur from one person to another, we can best understand the full range of human behavior. If you go into any job no matter where you are in the world you will come across a multitude of different personalities and behaviors. An individual's personality doesn't just affect the individual, but everyone around them. Managers are responsible for recognizing and treating employees as individuals and not as groups. There is no way an individual can be treated the same way as the next person because everyone is different. We observe one another's actions and try to understand what we see, this is known as "reading a person" which may or may not be accurate (Robbins, & Judge, 2010). Individual behavior is determined by many factors such as environment, culture, beliefs and the quality of life. Attitude is expressed in either satisfaction or dissatisfaction and the interaction between them. If a person has a feeling of unhappiness on the job, it can have an affect in other areas as well such as personal life. An individual may have discontent on the job due to stress, frustration or feeling alienated. There are many different types of personalities. Personality is the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts to and interacts with others (2010). Managers need to be able to measure personalities in order to make useful hiring decisions and they can do this by giving personality test and evaluating the results. Some strategies that mangers use to measure an individual's personality is allowing them to rate themselves in a survey. The weakness in using this method to measure individual personality is that a person may lie on the survey. Another type of method used is an observer rating survey. This method is more accurate than the self report survey because another person will observe and rate an individual's personality. There are two popular methods that are used to measure personality The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and The Big Five Personality Model (Big Five). The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is the most widely used in the world. Individuals are given a 100 question personality test that asks them how they would react in certain situations. Based on the results from the test they are rated as an introvert or an extrovert, intuitive or sensing, feeling or thinking, and perceiving or judging person. Management would rate a quiet or shy person as an introvert and a person that is outgoing, assertive and sociable as an extrovert personality. And intuitive person often look's at the "big picture" and a sensing person has attention to detail and often likes routine and order. A feeling type of person relies on emotion and values and a thinking person uses simple reason to handle situations. A perceiving individual would be able to handle flexibility and be spontaneous, and a judging individual likes control and often prefers things to be structured. The Big Five method is a research method in which it has five basic dimensions that measure human personality. This method uses five factors which are extraversion a person that is normally timid or quiet, agreeableness which is a person that is trusting and warm, conscientiousness is a person who is responsible and organized, an emotionally stable person is...
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