Organizational Behavior and Big Five Personality Traits

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Organizational behavior is the systematic study and application of knowledge in understanding how individual persons and groups conduct themselves within the organization setting. It is a multidisciplinary field of research largely applied with the aim of impacting the performance of an organization and its staff (Chopra, 2018). Moreover, it can either focus on individual conducts within the organization, how groups labor together, ways in which the organization itself behaves, and the set of connections that exists between the two, as well as how they impact each other (Chopra, 2018). Understanding organizational behavior is important since it gives insight knowledge on how staffs behave and perform their responsibilities within the workplace. Notably, it can further be used in improving performance and productivity, motivating workers, boosting employee satisfaction, fostering better leadership, encouraging better cross-term partnership and collaboration, and appreciating the decision-making processes (Chopra, 2018). Additionally, for a concrete understanding of employees’ character, personal assessment instruments are preferred, for instance, the Big Five Models of personality traits that include openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neutralism.

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Organizational behavior can be examined on three levels, namely individual, group, and the entire organization in totality. Most studies focus mainly on individual persons’ features and the entire effect of a group or team on organizational behavior (Gagné, Deci and Ryan, 2018). In an organization, a team is made up of a group of people working together intensively to develop a routine to achieve a common goal. Virtual teams have been made formed with the help of technology, where members collaborate exclusively with the help of electronic devices. Remarkably, the group’s population, its composition and diversity, and the duties performed influence both the behavior of both the group and individual persons within the group (Gagné, Deci and Ryan, 2018). In addition, the organizational characters of culture and structure impact the behavior of the group as well as the individual. Organizational culture comprises the values and beliefs that influence people’s attitudes creating the will to achieve the organization’s goals. The structure, on the other hand, is designed to promote hard work amongst people and coordinating their efforts in achieving high levels of organizational performance.

Organization elements are necessary for an effective organizational structure. The common purpose element helps in unifying the workers and giving them a clear understanding of the organization’s blueprint (Borkowski, 2015). Common purpose calls for effective communication across the organization by the manager. The coordinated effort element calls for collaboration to help maximize resources. Moreover, the division of labor calls for work specialization with the organization for greater efforts. It involves the delegation of different duties to specific people considering their skills and abilities for efficient human resource use (Borkowski, 2015). Finally, the hierarchy of authorities, that is, the chain of command, helps ensures that activities are performed by rightful persons at the right time and in the correct manner.

Human beings do respond differently to the similar situation following their personality differences. Various psychological theories models have been coiled to help explain the difference in personality, with the most extensive concept being the Big Five Personality Traits Model (Urinov, 2020). Remarkably, personality can be understood as what makes or defines an individual person. It comprises characteristics, traits, and quirks that serve to distinguish an individual from the rest. In addition, personality can be understood as a clear pattern of cognition, affect, and desires or goals that shape an individual.

The Big Five Personality Traits

The history of personality studies can be traced back to seven periods with distinct underlying philosophies and prevailing theories. The Big Five personality trait model factor has become the most preferred measure in the 21st century since it enables a better understanding of individual differences (Oshio et al., 2018, p. 57). The traits model is divided into five components: Agreeableness, Extraversion, Openness, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness (Oshio et al., 2018, p. 57), whereby each personality factor is representing a range between two exclusive extremes.

The openness to experience dimension of human personality is largely characterized by people’s willingness to test new things in life. It is the depth and complexity of a person’s experience and mental life. Additionally, it can be referred to as intellect or imagination. High levels of openness tend to have a wide range of interests, for instance, show more curiosity about the world (Sorić, Penezić and Burić, 2017, p. 129). They enjoy having varied cultural experiences, visiting historical sites such as museums and art galleries, and listening to music. On a contrary opinion, the people with low levels of openness are closed to new experience and prefer the routine over variety, and mostly stick to whatever it is that they already know. Moreover, they show more suspicion to ideas and beliefs that challenge their renowned status quo. Openness to experience is regularly linked to intelligence when gauging personality factors. People who record high score levels in verbal intelligence measures are as well open to acquiring new experiences in life (Sorić, Penezić and Burić, 2017, p. 129). They position themselves in environments that are conducive to learning than the other set of persons who are more conservative. Furthermore, openness to experience condition does change with the age factors. The older people grow, the more their willingness to new experiences in life decreases.

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Conscientiousness trait enables individuals to control impulses and instead act in a socially acceptable way. The conscientious persons are often aware of their actions and the possible effects on their behavior as compared to the population who are un-conscientious (Asselmann and Specht, 2020). Such human beings repeatedly feel a sense of responsibility to others and usually careful to perform all the responsibilities assigned to them. Mostly, conscientious persons tend to be more organized and focused on the details that enable them to be time conscious and maintain a tidy environment. A high conscientious person exhibits more goal-oriented behaviors as they set goals for themselves and strive to achieve them (Asselmann and Specht, 2020). Notably, they are keen to succeed in all aspects of their lives, including academic achievement, following their unwavering nature of hard work. However, low levels of conscientiousness are exhibited in the case of less motivated behavior as the un-conscientious individuals show less concern for tidiness and punctuality, making them arrive late for meetings and usually reluctant in setting goals for themselves (Asselmann and Specht, 2020). They engage in impulsive behaviors as they resort to late action without considering the implications of their choices. Both the hereditability and environment factors influence individual conscientiousness behavior causing the variation in personality amongst people.

The extroversion factor portrays two familiar endings of extroversion and introversion of its spectrum. Extraversion is characterized by assertiveness, excitability, sociability, talkativeness, and high levels of emotional expressiveness (Asselmann and Specht, 2020). Individuals who exhibit high extraversion are characterized tendency of outgoing and acquire strength in social situations. They are motivated to be group drivers and would repeatedly seek people’s attention at all costs. Extraverts are free to meet new people and willing to interact with strangers enabling them to thrive in social setups. On the other hand, introverts are the set of people who shows low levels of extraversion. They are individuals of few words and always introspective, thoughtful, and reserved. Introverts portray contrasting behaviors as they resort to keep quiet whenever they are having the company of others (Asselmann and Specht, 2020). Often, they avoid large gatherings that make them feel intimidated and instead enjoy being party to smaller groups, preferably family setups.

The agreeableness factor primarily concerns how best people relate with others. The individuals who record high scores on agreeableness measures are more friendly and cooperative in nature (Sorić & Burić 2017). Such persons are much likable amongst their colleagues and peers, as they are easily trusted and more altruistic since they are willing to give a hand to others in times of need. They are able to form part of formidable teams succeeding in their ability to work best with others. It is worth noting that agreeable people always try to avoid arguments that may give rise to a conflicting situation (Sorić & Burić 2017). Champions of peace, and seek to appease and pacify others by acting as intermediaries in groups. Contrary, individuals who are disagreeable score lower in terms of personality dimension. Indeed, they are less concerned with making friendships or pleasing others.

Disagreeable beings are less charitable and more suspicious of others’ intentions whenever they relate. Moreover, they are largely inspired to act with respect to their self-interest, portraying fewer concerns to others’ needs and interests. Following this character, they are perceived to be selfish by others rather than habitable persons. Though disagreeable persons find it quite easier to advance their personal interests, the agreeable individuals tend to enjoy peaceful coexistence with others. An agreeable trait is of benefit to the children at their tender ages since they are less likely to subject to hostile behaviors of bullying whenever they begin schooling. Furthermore, agreeableness personality is fluid throughout a person’s life, and it tends to increase as we age.

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Neuroticism personality dimension relates to individuals’ emotional stability and the levels of negative emotions commonly understood as neuroticism. The group of people who score high in neuroticism is assumed to be persistent worriers (Laajaj et al., 2019). They are appearing to be more fearful and mostly feel anxious, meditating on much of their problems and exaggerating their usefulness. Neurotics focus on the negative aspects rather than interesting the positive in a situation. Such negative mindsets make it difficult for a person to cope up with the common stressors situations that they encounter in their daily lives. Prompting frustration and able to easily get angry by any chance thing happened contrary to their wishes. The population that records low neuroticism scores shows less little negative concerns. They are able to maintain focus in stressful situations and analyses problems in ration to their prospect benefits. Arguably, they are less worried about their challenges as they focus on their tomorrow’s life. Neuroticism affects the health status of a relationship, as coups with high scores would tend to experience anxiety, mood swings, sadness, and irritation, making them less happy.

Strengths and Weaknesses

There is a lot of knowledge concerning how individuals’ personalities shape their behavior both at the workplace and in their private lives. The connection between the two can be of great importance to some personality traits showing a positive effect on their mental health and performance. On the contrary, there are personality traits that relate to negative effects, for instance, law performance and depressions (Langford, Dougall and Parkes, 2017). The strength and weakness of a personality mostly depend on personality explicit personality trait situation, combination, and context. Three dimensions of researches have proved the validity of the model, hence giving its necessary support not only in the academic sphere but also to the job industry. First and foremost, the Big Five Model has persistently developed from factors relating to analyses conducted on various sets of data, which involved descriptive traits (Langford, Dougall and Parkes, 2017). Moreover, different cultures and languages such as Chinese, English as well as German have been involved in the research data, therefore earning acceptability across numerous regions globally. Second, twin, as well as adoption scholarships, have confirmed the existence of significant genetics components as far as the big five personality trait models are concerned. Lastly, the five models have been used across many generations. For instance, different studies have established that children of different ages have applied the Big Five Models to describe others and themselves.

Furthermore, parents have always use languages to describe the ability and behaviors of their children, which can only be classified under five factors. Different people across the world have expressed their views concerning the models. They have proved the possibility of the traits according to their observations and interactions both at home and workplaces. Notably, different organizations, through their management, are using the model to understand the behavior of their team members before allocating responsibilities (Langford, Dougall and Parkes, 2017). The models are key in grouping workers and assigning duties to different persons based on their age, experience, and culture. Moreover, organizations that have applied the Big Five models to run their daily activities have recorded tremendous improvement in their operations. Every human need motivation either from within or external to effectively perform their duties; the five models have been critical in establishing the kind of motivation that fits various individuals in workplaces, thus supporting its relevance in society.

Big Five personality tests, like any other psychological work, are subjected to errors making them have their weaknesses. The concept of personality is equated to joint degrees of behavior by the five factors. Screening purposes suggest that individual character shall remain the same in a real-world situation. However, personality is an interesting abstract entity. A person is able to refine, improve, and control his entire interest (Kayiş et al., 2016). The big five fails to measure all dimensions of personality. The consistency in psychometric results depends mostly on individuals considering the circumstances, group, situation, and the parameter involved in the testing. Moreover, making lasting changes to individual traits might be tricky, but there are sets of things that can initiate behavior change in persons. Focusing on habit change through the exhibition of positive personality traits helps individuals develop habits that last. Habits are learned; therefore, habitual response change over a period of time may impact personality change challenging the notion that personality is permanent (Kayiş et al. 2016). Furthermore, Self-beliefs change can impact the personality change of an individual. Being positive and believing you can attain change would greatly impact your personality.

Numerous claims have emerged concerning distinct cultural personality and IQ tests. Nonetheless, in ideal situations, people cannot shy away from cultural influences. The Big Five test gives particular questions /statements with minimal options to choose from. It asks whether you agree, disagree, or stay the same (Kayiş et al. 2016). The interviewee would respond in the most socially and culturally acceptable way. However, the response might not be the real feeling of the respondent; instead, they are only but for trying to please the feeling of panelist hence lacking honesty. Therefore, proving the notion that the result of the Big Five personality test is culturally aligned.

There are16 types, four temperaments, and 12 astrological signs that jointly offer a more tight box for individual personality. Though the Big Five personality test highlights basically 5 degrees to each factor, different people tend to have different levels of intensity (Barnes and Mongrain, 2020, p. 561). Hence, computing all the factors in the case of a single personality would require much time and more difficult to describe and interact with. It is only the specialist who poses the resources to conduct such investigations and occasionally demanding huge budgets. Though, at times even the specialist might not be able to obtain the answers they intend.

The Big Five tests are generally structured to help gauge individuals’ levels and personality traits. The questions offer multiple choices; nevertheless, persons are restricted only to choose either of them. The understanding of no wrong or right, with every option giving your assessment for the specific trait being evaluated, such conditions tend to limits options from many choice options (Kayiş et al. 2016). With the help of technology, the applicants are able to portray personality trait information that is relevant to the position advertised. They would respond to the question in such a way that makes them more fitting to ensure that they succeed. Thus, rendering the results of the testy inappropriate since it failed to build the ultimate personality profile.

The Relationships between these Personality Dimensions and Job Performance (Personality Fit)

The individual personality is understood to be having a direct effect on the job delivered or performance. The advance in knowledge and technology forces organizations to consider their employees’ performance capacities. Since performance is the most viable criteria by which organizations measure individuals’ success and outcomes (Nave et al., 2018). Notably, human resource competency is the measure of organizational productivity and efficiency. Organizations prefer efficient and skillful human resources for its growth and wealth accumulation. Therefore, in hiring human resources, most organizations largely consider the big five personality models that help predict the personality in relation to job performance (Nave et al., 2018). The five factors of personality are identified cross-culturally, supporting their application in steering the organization’s performance capabilities.

Extraversion is characterized by a range of activities involving energy creation and situations from external means. It is a trait marked with intense engagement with the organization’s outside environment. Extroverts freely interact with people and are full of energy. It is believed that extrovert persons are likely to excel or perform in occupations that necessitate individuals to freely socialize and show high interactive ability with other individuals who might be the prospective customers to the organization products (Nave et al., 2018). The extrovert predicts the sales performance and the overall job performance of a person at large. Moreover, individual with high levels of extroversion mostly performs preciously well in sales, supervisory, and police. For instance, an extroverted salesperson is likely to perform well in sales-related positions since they call for high socialization (Nave et al., 2018). However, the introverted’ person poses a low energy level and social engagement capacities. They seem to remain quiet with less social involvement. An introvert performs best in jobs that necessitate much concentration and listening in order to deliver.

The agreeableness trait mirrors the individual difference in relation to social harmony. Agreeable persons mostly values getting along with others, as they are more kind, helpful, generous, trusting, and willing to compromise their joy for others (Kashdan et al., 2018). Contrary, the disagreeable persons tend to be pessimistic, egocentric, suspicious, and distrustful and lack cooperation ability with others. The agreeableness dimension, to some extent, predicts teamwork and success in specific professions. Agreeable relates to the success of training actions (Kashdan et al., 2018). The cooperative nature portrayed by the agreeable persons in an organization may result in occupation success in the case of relevancy in customer and team service.

Conscientiousness is understood as self-control and an effective process of organizing, planning, and undertaking a task. The conscientious person is always determined, purposeful as well as strong-willed. It is also manifested in obtaining persistent and hard work orientation, dependability, and orderliness in the form of performance (Nave et al., 2018). Highly conscientiousness would potentially lead to fastidiousness, annoying, and neat behavior. Furthermore, there exists a correlation between conscientiousness and job performance. The relation can be attributed to the theoretical bond between integrity and conscientiousness (Nave et al., 2018). Moreover, goal setting and autonomy largely influence the relation between job performance and conscientiousness.

Neuroticism is a dimension of personality connoting the usual tendency to experience undesirable indicators that includes sadness, fear, embarrassment, guilt, anger, and disgust. High scores to neuroticism may risk an individual person to psychiatric challenges. Furthermore, high scores indicate that an individual is prone to losing control of themselves, developing irrational ideas, and poorly cooping to stressful issues (Kashdan et al., 2018). Low neuroticism scores imply that an individual is prone to emotional instability and always tries to remain calm, relax, and able to face worrying situations without getting upset. Neuroticism is an indicator of performance in a number of jobs (Kashdan et al., 2018). Emotional stability, which is an ideal opposite of neuroticism, one of the integral characteristics of The Big Five personality Trail models that help employers predict an individual’s performance and social behavior. Having a detailed understanding of the employees’ behaviors helps the managers and coworkers develop trust, better relations with one another, and the cultivation of strong workplace culture for the business’s prosperity. Notably, the conscientiousness of all the personality traits influences job performance in a greater way (Kashdan et al., 2018). The individuals who score high in this trait have high chances of job-relation understanding as those who are conscientiously higher do learn faster. Such people are likely to possess the aspect of strong leadership and the ability to put work first at the expense of other things. Additionally, agreeable persons are largely linked often and tend to observe the organization’s rules. They demonstrate advanced job satisfaction with little possibility of getting involved in workplace accidents.

In conclusion, organization behavior study enables the understanding of how individuals and groups conduct themselves with the business. Behavior is examined in three levels, namely individual, group, and organization, that helps in giving insight knowledge on how staffs behave in performing their responsibilities. Notably, an organization is characterized by culture and structure. Culture entails values and beliefs that influence peoples’ attitudes in creating the urge to achieve the organization’s goals. The organization structure is designed to help promote hard work amongst employees and coordination of efforts for high-performance levels. Additionally, organization elements are important for the development of an effective structure since they help in the unification of employees as well as giving them a concrete understanding of the organization plan. Division of labor in organizations enables workers to specialize in duties that they are best at hence greater efforts.

Personal assessment instruments, for instance, the Big Five models of personality traits, are integral in understanding employees’ characters. The Big Five personality traits models comprise of openness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness. The openness to expression dimension of human personality is the measure of a person’s creativity and characterized by the willingness to try new things in life. Conscientiousness traits highlight the ability to be dependable, self-disciplined, and organized, and perseverance aims for achievements. Extroversion is characterized by positive energy, excitability, sociability, and assertiveness. Individuals exhibiting low extraversion are largely socially reserved. The agreeableness personality traits model concerns how best people relate with one another. It involves being cooperative and compassionate towards colleagues rather than being doubtful and suspicious. Additionally, the neuroticism personality trait dimension relates to individuals’ emotional stability and the levels of negative emotions. Managers and organizations largely prefer the use of the Big Five models in recruiting competent employees with high levels of job performance.

Reference List

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Barnes, C. and Mongrain, M. (2020) ‘A three-factor model of personality predicts changes in depression and subjective well-being following positive psychology interventions.’,The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15(4), pp.556-568.

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Nave, G. et al. (2018) ‘Musical preferences predict personality: evidence from active listening and Facebook likes’, Psychological Science, 29(7), pp.1145-1158.

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Sorić, I., Penezić, Z. and Burić, I. (2017) ‘The Big Five personality traits, goal orientations, and academic achievement’, Learning and Individual Differences, 54, pp.126-134.

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PsychologyWriting. "Organizational Behavior and Big Five Personality Traits." February 8, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/organizational-behavior-and-big-five-personality-traits/.