Organisational Behaviour

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Defining Personality

There are many ways in which different individuals have viewed personality. Robbins et al (2001, p. 99) define it as “the consistent psychological patterns within an individual that affect the way they interact with others and the situations they encounter”. Another definition provided by Huczynski and Buchanan (2007, p. 138) is that personality “is the psychological qualities that influence an individual’s characteristic behaviour patterns, in a stable and distinctive manner”.

Personality’s Role in Organizational Behaviour

With the abovementioned definitions of personality, there are a numerous reasons as to why this is of great interest when it comes to the study of Organizational Behaviour. One main reason is that job performance and career success are related to one’s personality as many managers have come to believe. Personality assessments or ‘psychometric tests’ are widely used by companies to assess an employee’s personality. A couple of the known approaches to these tests are nomothetic, the basis of the majority of the available psychometrics, and idiographic. The former is more objective and quantitative, which is mostly comprised of multiple-choice questions and hence easier to administer, while the latter rely on heavily on different assumptions about human psychology. (Huczynski & Buchanan 2007, p. 137)

Types of Personality Assessment Tools

Out of the many personality assessment tools available today, the four which will be further discussed will be the DISC Model, Jung’s Personality Type Matrix, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Friedman and Rosenman’s Type A - Type B Personalities. There will be an overlay between the mentioned assessment tools and the others that have not been stated. (Richards n. d.) These assessments aid not only companies when it comes to appraising an employee but also are now available for individuals who want to measure their own capability and learn how to make the most of their strengths.

DISC Model

The DISC Model originated from Dr. William Moulton Marston’s 1928 book entitled “Emotions of Normal People”. The term DISC was initially discussed in the book. However, Dr. Marston did not have the intention of creating any sort of assessment tool. It was not till 1972 when researchers from the University of Minnesota developed the abovementioned tool. A number of books have been written and various interpretations on the topic have emerged. Dr. Marston’s idea when he coined the term DISC can be seen as revolving around “behaviour” and “situation”. The most generalized outline of the model is as follows. DISC stands for “dominance”, “influence”, “steadiness” and “compliance”. A person who falls under Dominance and Influence is considered to be generally proactive and extraverted while someone who is under Steadiness and Compliance is somewhat the opposite, reactive and an introvert. Those whose personality is thought to belong to Dominance and Compliance have their focal point to be “things” whereas that of the people whose personality belongs to Influence and Steadiness is seen as “people”. (Richards n. d.) The small connection ends there. A closer look at each of the types could reveal more.

An individual who is a type Dominance will have the following attributes. He or she is “decisive, dominant, self-assured, forceful, task-oriented” and is someone who “instigates, leads and directs”. His or her main motivation will be the sense of “responsibility and achievement”. Subsequently, this person “fears failure and loss of power”. When in a working environment, he or she will have a “strong focus on tasks” and his or her “forceful style can upset people”. As for someone who falls under Influence, he or she “motivates others via influence and persuasion”, “presents well” and “inspires others”. He or she possesses “good communication skills”, as well as the qualities of being “friendly”, “affable”, “intuitive” and “gregarious”. “Recognition...
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