Personality Traits and Workplace Culture:
Online tests measure the fit between person and organization Mark Mallinger, Ph.D. and Ileana Rizescu Application: Determine how compatible you are with your primary work group.
| Have you ever stopped in the middle of a work frenzy and asked yourself, "Why do I continue to work for this organization?" When you try to promote your ideas, do most of your peers frequently react with indifference? If so, it may be time to evaluate the relationship between you and your company. This article will help you explore one dimension of this complex relationship: the cultural match factor, or "How compatible is your personality with the organizational culture of the company for which you work?" Even more than that, it will provide you with the assessment tools to figure out whether you are, indeed, compatible. One tool helps you evaluate the company culture, one tests your personality type on the related dimensions, and the third shows you how to compare responses to see how closely they match. Together they help you address the question of "How well do I fit in this organization?" The cultural match between an individual and an organization is determined by the degree to which the individual's personal traits fit the organizational culture, or perhaps vice versa. A lower cultural match may indicate that the individual is drained of important resources by having to continuously adjust to the workplace environment. A higher cultural match suggests the potential for a more satisfying interaction for both the individual and the organization. It is generally assumed that a successful relationship between an individual and an organization is based on a shared foundation of beliefs and behaviors. Similar beliefs and ways of working usually encourage communication and tend to support the working relationship, allowing synergies to emerge. In contrast, a high level of dissimilarity usually requires a high consumption of adaptive energy. Integrated Cultural Framework as a measure of organizational culture Organizational culture can be described as a set of collective beliefs and values that influence behavior. The Integrated Cultural Framework (ICF) developed by Mallinger and Rossy offers a means for measuring organizational culture. The ICF contains six dimensions which are described below. Also included is a set of questions to assess the level of each component. Ability to influence is the extent to which individuals are able to influence outcomes within the organization. A high ability to influence suggests that the organization is open to input from a wide range of members and is willing to consider and react to those suggestions. It is likely decentralized. A low ability to influence indicates a culture where most individuals have little chance to impact the outcomes. Decisions are made by a small group of individuals at the top who are not open to input from more than a select group of employees. Assessing questions include: * Where are decisions made within the organization? * Is the organization centralized or decentralized? * To what extent can most members participate in changing procedures and policies? Comfort with ambiguity describes the extent to which the members of the organization are comfortable with uncertainty and risk taking. * Are there lots of rules and regulations that explicitly define the way "things should be done here?" * Can decisions be made without complete information? * Is risk encouraged? Achievement Orientation refers to the extent to which the members of the organization are striving to accomplish goals and improve performance. * Is goal accomplishment the norm? * Is there a high expectation of achievement? Individualism vs. Collectivism refers to the extent to which the members of the organization are encouraged or given incentives to focus primarily on personal gain (individualism) versus considering first the interests of the group as a...
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