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Organizational Behavior MGMT201



Personalityis a set of traits that characterize a person. An individual’spersonality can be influenced by biological, environmental, culturaland life events. Generally, psychologists have reached a consensusthat all personality measures can be grouped into a five factorpersonality model, otherwise known as the Big Five personality model.The Five Factor personality model greatly determines organizationalbehavior. Individual’s behavior, not only in an organizationalsetting but in their personal lives is greatly influenced bypersonality. With this knowledge, managers can take advantage tounderstand their employees, and be able to get optimal from each andevery one of them (Daft, 2011). This is so as the manager can knowwho to assign certain duties and responsibilities. In addition,during recruitment process, the managers can know the best candidatefor the job. This paper seeks to understand the big five personalitymodel and the way it influences organizational behavior. Particularlyorganization commitment, organization citizenship behavior will beexplored among other organizational management aspects. In addition,each personality factor will be compared and recommendation on howmanagers can use it in an organizational setting.

Personalityof a person is a significant factor in organizational behavior, sincethe way individuals think influences several aspects of the place ofwork. People’s personalities determine their behavior in groups,the attitude they exhibit as well as while making critical decisions.Interpersonal skills largely affect how a person acts or respond toissues at work. In an organization, an individual’s personalityinfluences things such as leadership performance, motivation, andconflict which the manager must be knowledgeable about to increaseemployee performance (Hurtz,&amp Donovan, 2000).The more a manager understands the relationship between personalityand organizational behavior, the better equipped they are toeffectively accomplish their role as managers. People have varyingopinions of the world that influence their personalities. In case ofa situation, a person will deal with it depending on his or herpersonal beliefs, values, and personality traits. These traits aredeveloped during a person’s life and cannot be easily altered, thusit’s critical for managers to try and understand this rather thanfight it.

TheBig Five Personality Model

Psychologistsuniversally agree that personality can be categorized into a fivefactor model, usually referred to the “Big Five”. The fivedimensions of personality seek to understand and classify individualsin a comprehensive way.

Opennessto experience: This represents the degree of intellectual creativity,curiosity, and preference for variety and novelty. At times there iscontroversy on how to interpret this factor, with some referring toit as intellect rather than openness.

Inan organizational setting, openness is important as is linked tointerest to learn, more creativity, and more autonomy and flexibilityof an employee. This trait is important in various aspects oforganization management. Human resource managers can determine theright person for advertising department is they possess this type ofpersonality. Creativity is an important skill in marketing which themanager can leverage on (Griffin&amp Moorehead, 2014).

Conscientiousness:this is the tendency to exhibit self-discipline, act responsibly, andaim for achievement. It can also mean planning, organizing anddependability. In an organizational setting, conscientiousness ismainly reflected in much effort and persistence, motivation anddiscipline and enhanced organization and planning. Employees who arehigh on conscientiousness are likely to be good leaders. They requirelittle or no supervision in their work, as they are disciplined andresponsible. Managers can assign such employees a leadership role ina team, to make things done.

Extraversion:this is the tendency to experience positive emotions. People of thispersonality have more friends and like spending in social events thanintroverts (Judge,Heller, and Mount, 2002).Behavioral predispositions linked to this factor entail beingassertive, sociable, gregarious, talkative and active (Griffin&amp Moorehead, 2014).In an organizational setting employees who are high on extraversionexhibit better interpersonal abilities, higher social dominance andmore emotionally expressive. This leads to increased performance,improved leadership and higher job satisfaction, hence low turnover.

However,people high in extraversion have high rate as they like being insocial events more than they would prefer being at work (Bolton,Becker and Barber, 2010).

Agreeableness:this is the extent to which an individual can be good natured,courteous, trusting, flexible, generous, forgiving, and liked byothers. Agreeableness is also known as likableness. Individuals highon agreeableness are cooperative, compassionate, helpful and ready tocompromise their personal interests for the sake of other (Griffin&amp Moorehead, 2014).Employees in an organization with this personality are more compliantand conforming which result to improved performance and low level ofdeviant behavior.

Neuroticism:this is the extent to which an individual can be responsible,dependable, organized and a planner. It determines the likelihood ofa person to experience negative emotions including anger, depressionor anxiety. People high on neuroticism are usually anxious, angry,depressed, worried, insecure, emotional and embarrassed (Daft, 2011).Emotional stability in an organization means that an individual hasminimal negative thinking and less negative emotions. This also leadsto an increased job satisfaction and lower stress level.

Thereare various organizational behaviors that have been attributed to thefive factor personality model. One of these behaviors isorganizational commitment. As defined by Griffin&amp Moorehead, (2014),organizational commitment is the virtual strength of a person’sidentification with and participation in a given organization as wellas a psychological relation between a staff member and theorganization that makes it less probable for the employee tovoluntarily leave the organization. There are three components oforganizational commitment as put forth by Daft (2011). They includeeffective commitment which entail employees’ emotional relation toand involvement in an organization continuance commitment which isassociated with the perceived costs linked to leaving theorganization and finally normative commitment which is the perceivedobligation to stick with the organization.

RelationshipBetween Five Personality Model and Organizational Commitment

Opennessto experience: there is no psychological trait linked to openness andexperience including flexibility that is related with affective orcontinuance organizational commitment. flexibility is related toopenness to experience, which imply that individuals high in opennessto experience may not value anything that is usually valued such asformal and informal rewards, organizational investment that arefundamental in binding employees to their organization may not besignificant to those high in this personality dimension (Griffin&amp Moorehead, 2014).Consequently, this group of people is low on religiosity and exhibitlow moral commitment to remain with the organization which results tolow level of normative commitment. Managers should be able toidentify this connection and try to motivate these individuals toensure that they are motivated to work and remain attached to theorganization. In addition, in the case of retrenchment, managersshould consider starting with individuals with this personalitydimension.

Conscientiousnessis associated with dutifulness and self discipline which are notlinked to effective organization commitment. As it entail emotionalrelation to and involvement in an organization. According to(Christiansen &amp Tett, 2013) conscientiousness is generallyassociated to work-involvement inclination and not inclination to theorganization, this work related inclination of an employee offerheightened opportunity to obtain formal and informal work rewardssuch as salary, promotion, respect and recognition. Theseexpectations lead to an increase in the costs attributed to leavingthe organization and increased level of continuance commitment asargued by (Erdheim,Wang and Zickar, 2006).On the other hand, conscientiousness is highly associated withnormative commitment. Normative commitment is the tendency of anemployee to stick with the organization as the organization has inhim or her hence has to show appreciation by showing commitment.Conscientiousness is a reflection of obligation, persistence and astrong sense of purpose which relate to normative commitment asindividuals high on this personality dimension would continue workingdiligently regardless of what the organization has invested in them.

Extraversionis generally related to organizational commitment due to the factthat positive emotionality is at the heart of it. As such, extrovertsare likely to experience more positive emotions hence affectivecommitment is a positive emotional presentation to his or herorganization (Christiansen &amp Tett, 2013). In addition,extraversion’s key aspect is reward sensitivity as opposed tosociability. Extraverts tend to value certain extrinsic elements in ajob including opportunities to interact with others as well asrewards in terms of pay hike and other benefits. In this regard,extraverts would perceive more costs related with leaving theorganization resulting to high level of continuance commitment (Witt,Burke, Barrick, &amp Mount, 2002).

Agreeablenessis the tendency to get along with others in satisfying relations.Agreeableness is directly associated to emotional warmth which mayenhance an employee’s identity with his or her workplace, thusincreasing his likelihood to reciprocate the organization foroffering a conducive social environment. This leads to increasednormative commitment (Daft, 2011).

Neuroticism:People high on neuroticism have likelihood to experience morenegative emotions than those low in neuroticism. They opt to putthemselves in circumstances that encourage negative affect (Daft,2011). Thus, neuroticism has no positive correlation to affectivecommitment as it decreases the probability of developing a positiveemotional reaction towards their organization. Nevertheless, thefeeling leads to increased continuance commitment due to thelikelihood to experience chronic negative affects and would be moreconcerned about the costs related to leaving the organization and onthriving in a new work environment.

Relationshipbetween Big Five and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)

Anotherarea where organizational management is of interest in relation topersonality dimensions is organizational citizenship behavior (OCB).As the name suggests, OCB is individual behaviors that are of benefitto the organization and are discretionary not explicitly acknowledgedby the formal compensation and benefits system of the organization.The behaviors are thus, a matter of personal choice and theiromission cannot be associated with punishment. Nevertheless, OCB’scontribute to the productivity of the organization.

Ina study carried out by Kumar, Bakhshi and Rani (2009), all thepersonality dimensions in the Big Five model except for openness toexperience showed that, personality is a determinant oforganizational citizenship behavior. Conscientious individuals arelikely to have good OCB as they can work with minimal supervision(Morgeson, Reider &amp Campion, 2005). In addition conscientiousindividuals are industrious, dependable and efficient. They areinclined to taking initiatives in problem solving factors which makesthem higher OCB performers.

Extraversionis also positively linked to OCB. The behavioral elements used todescribe extraversion include sociable, assertiveness, active,talkative and gregarious. These traits are key determinants of socialbehavior which makes this category likely to have high OCB.

Agreeablenesson the other hand entails behavior tendencies such as courteous,trusting, flexible cooperative, forgiving, tolerant and soft hearted.In an organization, employees who are agreeable in nature exhibithigh levels of interpersonal competence and team work when needed.This behavior is very consistent with OCB (Elanain,2007).

Neuroticismentails various stimuli needed to trigger negative emotions in anindividual. This group of people is usually anxious, depressed,worried, emotional, insecure and angry. This behavior is negativelyinfluence OCB (Hoffman,Blair, Meriac, &amp Woehr, 2007).

Inaddition, traits such as agreeableness, emotional stability arepersonality traits that predict that an individual will have lessconflict at the workplace. The person is likely to have very healthyrelations with other, manage conflicts in an appropriate manner andalways behave to ensure peaceful coexistence with others. As amanager, individuals with openness to experience, agreeablenessshould always be assigned places where they can be able to leadothers. They are likely to work effectively in both a group and asindividuals (Christiansen &amp Tett, 2013).

Individualswho are high in neuroticism are less motivated and exhibit negativitywhen placed in situations that require group work. They may not beeasy to manage and like doing things in their own way. A manager mustdetermine the best position to give this people, majorly those areasthat require less leadership abilities and more physical involvement.They should be assigned jobs that require independence as they arenot easy to consult and may be in conflict with other employees ifworking in the same environment.

Agreeablenessor positive interpersonal skills is a trait that largely influencesworkplace. People who are high in agreeableness are enjoy workingwith others and have empathy and are sensitive which allows them toassociate well with others. A manager with this knowledge will beable to place this people in a position where they engage withclients, solve issues in the organization and also manage otheremployees (Witt, Burke, Barrick, &amp Mount, 2002).

Anotheraspect that a manager must consider in relation to personality isdecision making. Conscientiousness, Extraversion as well as opennessto experience are good determinants of decision making (Griffin&amp Moorehead, 2014).These kinds of personalities are also able to make decisions underpressure or even independently without having to consult theirmanagers. However, people high in neuroticism are not able to makegood decisions as they are always anxious, depressed, angry orgenerally easily agitated.


Conclusively,the Big Five personality model recognized by psychologists is a veryuseful tool not only in psychology, but in management. The traitsthat are exhibited by individuals determine their behavior in anorganizational setting. The five dimensions of personalityuniversally recognized include openness to experience,conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeability, and neuroticism. Thefirst four dimensions of personality have shown positive correlationto most of organizational behavior and management includingorganizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior.Neuroticism has shown negative correlation to organizational behaviorand organizational commitment. To be effective, managers need tounderstand the relationship between the different personality modelsand organizational management. It is clear that people tend to behavein a manner inclined to their personality. For the well being of theorganization, other employees and ultimately to customers, there isneed to match these personalities with the right job orresponsibilities. It is the responsibility of the manager includinghuman resource, marketing managers and other corporate leaders tounderstand their employees’ behavior. The various managementfunctions including motivation of employees largely depend onpersonality. Some employees need to be supervised and guided in theirwork, while others require no supervision and can work independentlyand make independent decisions. Managers also know and understand whyemployees behave the way they behave. Employees who are high inextraversion are highly good at work, but are likely to have highabsenteeism since they are overly social. Ultimately, placingemployees with certain personality traits in jobs that suit themraises their motivation levels. In addition, it affects jobperformance because, employees feel more satisfied and happy withtheir job. The overall productivity of the workplace is positivelyinfluenced since more is getting done due to better attitudes andsatisfied employees.


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