BIG FIVE DIMENSIONS OF PERSONALITY 1

  • Category:
    Marketing
  • Document type:
    Article
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    4
  • Words:
    2304

Introduction

Personality is a very important factor in an individual’s life. According to Alkahtani, Abu-Jarad, Sulaiman, Nikbin (2011), personality refers to an individual’s characteristics that account for consistent patterns of feeling, behaving, and thinking. There are many studies supporting the big five dimensions as ones that underlie and encompass other significant variations in personality. The dimensions of personality include agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability. The five dimensions have been discussed in this paper and matched to their respective organizational behaviors.

Dimensions

Extraversion dimension assesses the degree to which a person is comfortable with relationships. While extroverts display a high level of assertiveness, sociability, gregariousness, introverts display timidity, quietness, and reserve (Anglim & Grant, 2014).

Agreeableness: The agreeableness dimension measures a person’s inclination to defer to others. People who are highly agreeable display cooperativeness, warmth, and trustworthiness. Highly agreeable people are also good-natured and sympathetic. Personality traits displayed by such a person include friendliness, likeability, love, need for affiliation and friendly compliance. Individuals measuring low on agreeableness tend to display coldness, antagonism, and disagreeableness (Anglim & Grant, 2014).

Conscientiousness: The conscientiousness dimension measures the person’s level of reliability. Highly conscientious people show a high degree of responsibility, are highly organized, persistent, and dependable. Highly conscientious people are hardworking and persevering. The individuals scoring low on this dimension are easily disorganized, distracted, and unreliable (Anglim & Grant, 2014).

Neuroticism: Neuroticism is also referred as emotional stability. Neuroticism taps an individual’s ability to withstand stress. People with high level of neuroticism have a tendency of being calm, self-confident, and secure. People who have negative scores in neuroticism show a high level of nervousness, anxiety, and depression (Anglim & Grant, 2014; McCrae & Costa, 1987).

Openness experience: The act of being open allows on to experience a measure of a person’s range of interests and fascination with novelty. People who score high in this dimension show a high degree of creativity, curiosity, and artistic sensitivity. People who score low in openness dimension are conservative and are comfortable in the familiar (Anglim & Grant, 2014).

Analysis of Dimensions

Research on the Big Five dimensions has established a relationship these dimensions with other aspects of human life including job performance (Sautelle, Bowles, Hattie & Arifin, 2015). These researchers have established that people who score high in dependability, reliability, thoroughness, organization, persistence, and achievement-oriented tend to perform well in most areas of their social, personal, and occupational life. The reason why conscientious people develop high knowledge is because they exert a great level of effort on their tasks and duties.

Analysis of Own Management Style

This paper will examine and discuss Debra’s (not the real name) personality traits measured on the OCEAN model of personality. These personality traits include openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness. According to the OCEAN model, Debra scores 16 percentiles in the openness of experience, 46 percentiles in conscientiousness, 18 percentiles in extraversion, 50 percentiles in agreeableness, and 32 percentiles in neuroticism. According to this measure, Debra scores very high in agreeableness and conscientiousness. She also scores fairly well in neuroticism. However, Debra scores relatively low in the openness to experience and extraversion. Based on the analysis conducted in the first part of this paper, Debra is very good in agreeableness; therefore she is very cooperative and trustworthy. She is also very warm, sympathetic, good-hearted and is likely to display traits such as friendliness, likeability, love, need for affiliation and friendly compliance.

Regarding conscientiousness, Debra is likely to display a high degree of responsibility; she is likely to be highly organized, persistent, and dependable. In college and workplace Debra will be very hardworking and persevering. A large number of studies have established a positive relationship between conscientiousness and job performance across a number of jobs and occupational groups (Sautelle et al., 2015). The author also indicated that correlation for agreeableness and extraversion is not very positive for jobs that involve significant social interaction. However, a high level of agreeableness has been associated with good job performance when it comes to helping, cooperating and nurturing others. Therefore, Debra is likely to perform well in some jobs than others; for example, she is likely to perform very well in teaching, nursing, and counseling jobs. The common descriptors of good counselors, teachers, and nurses include conscientiousness which indicates being well planned and organized; and agreeableness (being approachable, relating to patients or students, and empathetic).

Debra is likely to be a very happy person since he scores high in neuroticism. People who display a high score on emotional stability/neuroticism are likely to be happier than those who score low (Robbins, Judge, Odendaal & Roodt, 2010). In job placement, Debra is likely to display a high-level satisfaction and low level of stress in the workplace because, such a high score indicates that Debra is likely to be positive and expectant in her thinking and experience fewer negative emotions. Therefore, in the workplace, her fellow employees will want to work with her because she will always avoid looking for problems. She is also likely to display fewer health complaints. However, there is one disadvantage that Debra is likely to experience because of having high emotional stability relative to her mates, friends, or workmates who have low emotional stability. Debra is likely to be slower and poorer in making decisions when in a bad mood. This is characteristic of people with a high level of emotional stability compared to people with low levels of emotional stability. Alternatively, we should note that Debra is an introvert. As such, she is likely to experience less positive emotions; therefore, she is likely to less freely express her feelings. Despite having a higher level of emotional stability, Debra is also likely not to perform better compared to her workmates who have higher levels of extroversion when placed in jobs that require significant interpersonal interaction, perhaps because she will have lesser social skills.

According to Robbins, Judge, Odendaal & Roodt, (2010), extroverts have more friends and spend most of their time in social situations compared to introverts. However, there is one certain advantage that Debra is likely to have over the ones who rate high in extroversion. Debra is likely to be always present in class and at workplace compared to her colleagues who are likely to be more likely to be absent from work and class. Also, unlike extroverts, Debra is likely to abstain from risky behaviors, including engaging in unprotected sex, drug abuse, alcohol addiction, and other impulsive or sensation-seeking acts. However, in this case, it is important that only a few people are completely extrovert or completely introvert (Alkahtani et al., 2011). Just like Debra, the majority of people fall in between. Therefore, scoring 18 percentiles in extroversion does not mean that Debra is badly off; she is within the range of level of extroversion displayed by most of the people. Extroversion is also associated with the characteristic of dominance (Alkahtani et al., 2011). As it has been observed in this section, no many people are either completely extrovert or completely introvert; therefore, not many people can be able to dominate others or be dominated by others.

Debra scores low in openness to experience dimension are not very creative compared to those individuals who score high in the same. People who score high in this dimension are very creative in art and science compared to those who score low. Since creativity is important to leadership, Debra may not make an effective leader because she may not be very comfortable with ambiguity and change. However, Debra can handle some tasks within the organization very well especially sales and marketing, and customer relationship.

Theory and Concepts

Alkahtani et al. (2011) categorize the leadership theory into three parts namely the trait, behavior, and contingency. The authors have further indicated that most of the leadership theories were developed based on leadership characteristics and 4 approaches namely trait approach, behavioral approach, situational approach, and the integrative approach. In-depth research has investigated the leadership theories which include transformational, charismatic, servant leadership, and related theories (Borkowski, 2014). Even if this approach is very narrow because of its focus on the individual, it is important to focus on the individual because an organization cannot only fail to be successful, but cannot function without people. Therefore, it’s vital to aim at the organization’s staff and to conduct an assessment of their characteristics because appropriate characteristics bring excellent results (Beeftink, Van Eerde, Rutte, & Bertrand, 2012). Numerous research studies have focused on human personality traits of effective charismatic, transactional, and transformational leaders. The works of Judge, Bono, Ilies & Gerhardt (2002) {cited in Borkowski (2014)} contributed greatly to grouping personality traits into the Big Five personality traits. Through this grouping, there is an emergence of stronger and more consistent relationships.

Revisiting the case of Debra, Debra has been found to some very strong relationships. For example, Debra scored very high in agreeableness scoring 50 percentiles. Debra also scored significantly high in conscientiousness at 46 percentiles and neuroticism at 32 percentiles. Debra scored relatively low in extraversion at 18 percentiles and in the openness to experience at 16 percentiles. According to the grouping by Judge et al. (2002), Debra’s strengths can be grouped together and then analyzed and matched against human leadership theories of charismatic, transactional, and transformational. For example, Debra has been found to be very strong in agreeableness which contains traits such as cooperativeness and trustworthiness, friendliness, likeability, love, need for affiliation and friendly compliance. There are leadership styles that are characterized by these strengths. There are also some organizational tasks that can be performed more effectively by individuals who possess these characteristics and traits. An individual who possesses these characteristics will effectively lead workforce engagement teams (Mansfield, Beltman, Price & McConney, 2012). To connect this with the previous part, it was observed that Debra can fit significantly well in the hospitality industry where most of her traits and characteristics will be useful.

According to the Government of Western Australia Department of Health (2015), health care organizations are under pressure to improve performance and maximize value for money against a backdrop of rising consumer expectations. The department states that this can only be achieved workforce engagement which is a critical element of health care reform. An evidence-based research titled Leadership and Engagement for Improvement in the NHS was conducted and published by the King’s Fund. The research evidenced that staff engagement can lead to higher staff morale, less stress, less absenteeism, better patient experiences, few errors, and better patient experiences. Organizational behavior theories and models focus on how leaders can achieve organizational transformation and behavior change through workforce engagement. To actively engage employees, it is important for a team leader in healthcare organizations to possess such characteristics as the ones held by Debra. As observed earlier, Debra is likely to display a high degree of responsibility; she is likely to be highly organized, persistent, and dependable. All these characteristics are required for an individual who is working in a health care organization.

Alkahtani et al. (2011) conducted a study to investigate how the understanding of personality traits can be used in teacher selection in order to raise the quality of teaching in Australia. The three personality traits that were found to be highly valued for teachers include agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extraversion. In these three personality traits, Debra scored 50 percentiles, 46 percentiles, and 18 percentiles respectively. The results of this study reinforce the previous argument that Debra can fit well in the teaching profession.

Conclusion

Personality is a very important factor in an individual’s life. The personality traits play a critical role in determining the characters of people. These personality traits have further been grouped into five groups with each incorporating several characteristics that are characteristic of that particular dimension. These dimensions are particularly important in the selection of employees during hiring and also in matching the right characteristics to the right position. As it has been found, there are many studies supporting the big five dimensions as ones that underlie and encompass other significant variations in human personality. The Big Five factors include agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability. Each of these dimensions fits its own right leadership style or organizational behavior.

References

Alkahtani, A., Abu-Jarad, I., Sulaiman, Nikman, D. (2011). The Impact of Personality and Leadership Styles on Leading Change Capability of Malaysian Managers. Australian Journal of Personality and Leadership Styles on Leading Change Capability of Malaysian Managers, 1(2), 70-99

Anglim, J., & Grant, S. (2014). Predicting Psychological and Subjective Well-Being from Personality: Incremental Prediction from 30 Facets over the Big 5. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1-22.

Beeftink, F., Van Eerde, W., Rutte, C. & Bertrand, J. (2012). Being Successful in a Creative Profession: The Role of Innovative Cognitive Style, Self-Regulation, and Self-Efficacy. Journal of Business and Psychology, 27(1), 71-81.

Borkowski, N. (2014). Organizational Behavior, Theory, and Design in Health Care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Department of Health, State of Western Australia (2015). Workforce Engagement within a Performance Management Framework. Retrieved from http://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/Files/Corporate/general%20documents/Performance/PDF/20150324-Workforce-Engagement-within-PMF-setting-v3.0.ashx

Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 14, 765-780

Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., Price, A., & McConney, A. (2012). Do not sweat the small stuff: Understanding teacher Resilience at the chalk face. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(3), 357-367

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(1), 81.

Robbins, S., Judge, T., Odendaal, A. & Roodt, G. (2010). Organizational Behavior in Southern Africa, 2nd edition. Cape Town: Pearson Education.

Sautelle, E., Bowles, T., Hattie, J., & Arifin, D. (2015). Personality, Resilience, Self-Regulation and Cognitive Ability Relevant to Teacher Selection. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(4), 54-71.