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Individual Differences and Work Behavior

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Chapter 003 - Individual Differences Work Behavior - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter. 3. Individual Differences and Work Behavior. Why Individual Differences Are Important: (1 of 2). Individual differences have a direct effect on behavior People who perceive things differently behave differently People with different attitudes respond differently to directives

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why individual differences are important 1 of 2
Why Individual Differences Are Important: (1 of 2)
  • Individual differences have a direct effect on behavior
    • People who perceive things differently behave differently
    • People with different attitudes respond differently to directives
    • People with different personalities interact differently with bosses, coworkers, subordinates, and customers
why individual differences are important 2 of 2
Why Individual Differences Are Important: (2 of 2)
  • Individual differences help explain:
    • Why some people embrace change and others are fearful of it
    • Why some employees will be productive only if they are closely supervised, while others will be productive if they are not
    • Why some workers learn new tasks more effectively than others
attraction selection attrition asa cycle 1 of 3
Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Cycle(1 of 3)
  • Different people are attracted to different careers and organizations as a function of their own:
    • abilities
    • interests
    • personalities
attraction selection attrition asa cycle 2 of 3
Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Cycle(2 of 3)
  • Organizations select employees on the basis of the needs the organization has
    • skills and abilities
    • individual attributes such as values and personality
attraction selection attrition asa cycle 3 of 3
Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Cycle(3 of 3)
  • Attrition occurs when:
    • individuals discover they do not like being part of the organization and elect to resign, or
    • the organization determines an individual is not succeeding and elects to terminate
Each phase of the ASA cycle is significantly influenced by the individual differences of each person

Effective managerial practice requires that individual behavior differences be recognized, and when feasible, taken into consideration while carrying out the job of managing organizational behavior.

individual differences in the workplace
Individual Differences in the Workplace

Individual Differences



Ability and Skills


Work Behavior

  • Productivity
  • Creativity
  • Performance
the basis for understanding work behavior
The Basis for Understanding Work Behavior:
  • To understand individual differences a manager must:

1. observe and recognize the differences


2. study relationships between variables that influence behavior

individual differences influencing work behavior
Individual Differences Influencing Work Behavior:


Hereditary and





Ability and


diversity factors
Primary Dimensions (stable)




Physical attributes


Sexual / affectional orientation

Secondary Dimensions (changeable)

Educational background

Marital status

Religious beliefs


Work experience

Diversity Factors
abilities and skills
Abilities and Skills
  • Ability – a person’s talent to perform a mental or physical task
  • Skill – a learned talent that a person has acquired to perform a task

Key Abilities

Mental Ability

Emotional Intelligence

Tacit Knowledge

  • Are determinates of behavior because they are linked with perception, personality, feelings, and motivation
  • Attitude – a mental state of readiness
    • learned and organized through experience
    • exerting a specific response to people, objects, and situations with which it is related
attitudes implications for the manager
Attitudes: Implications for the Manager
  • Attitudes are learned
  • Attitudes define one’s predispositions toward given aspects of the world
  • Attitudes provide the emotional basis of one’s interpersonal relations and identification with others
  • Attitudes are organized and are close to the core of personality

The Three Components of Attitudes: Cognition, Affect, Behavior


Manager style




Reward system

Compensation plan

Career opportunities

Work environment factors

Beliefs and values

“My supervisor is unfair.”


“Having a fair supervisor is important to me.”

Feelings and emotions


“I don’t like my supervisor.”

Intended behavior

“I’ve submitted a formal request to transfer.”


  • What individuals know about themselves and their environment
  • Implies a conscious process of acquiring knowledge
  • Evaluative beliefs – favorable or unfavorable impressions that a person holds toward an object or person
  • The emotional component of an attitude
  • Often learned from
    • parents
    • teachers
    • peer group members
  • The part of an attitude that is associated with “feeling” a certain way about a person, group, or situation
cognitive dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance
  • A discrepancy between attitudes and behaviors
  • A mental state of anxiety
  • Occurs when there is a conflict among an individual’s various cognitions after a decision has been made
changing attitudes
Changing Attitudes

The Communicator

The Message

The Situation

how to increase your effectiveness in changing attitudes 1 of 2
How to Increase Your Effectiveness in Changing Attitudes: (1 of 2)
  • Concentrate on gradually changing the attitude over a period of time
  • Identify the beliefs or values that are part of the attitude and provide the attitude holder with information that will alter those beliefs or values
how to increase your effectiveness in changing attitudes 2 of 2
How to Increase Your Effectiveness in Changing Attitudes: (2 of 2)
  • Make the setting (in which the attempted change occurs) as pleasant and enjoyable as possible
  • Identify reasons that changing the attitude is to the advantage of the attitude holder
attitudes and job satisfaction
Job satisfaction – an attitude people have about their jobs

Results from people’s perception of their jobs

Results from the degree of fit between the individual and the organization

Key factors associated with job satisfaction:


Promotion opportunities



Working conditions

Job security

Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
satisfaction performance relationships three views
Satisfaction-Performance Relationships:Three Views


“The satisfied worker is more productive.”

Job Performance

1. Job Satisfaction


“The more productive worker is satisfied.”

Job Satisfaction

2. Job Performance

Perceived Equity


Job Satisfaction

3. Job Performance

  • A relatively stable set of feelings and behaviors that have been significantly formed by genetic and environmental factors
  • The relationship between behavior and personality is one of the most complex matters that managers have to understand
some major forces influencing personality
Some Major Forces Influencing Personality

Cultural forces

Individual Personality

Social class / group membership forces

Hereditary forces

Family relationship forces

personality and behavior in organizations
Personality and Behavior in Organizations

Locus of Control

The Big Five





the big five personality dimensions
The Big Five Personality Dimensions




Emotional Stability

Openness to Experience

locus of control
Locus of Control
  • Locus of control of individuals –
    • Determines the degree to which they believe their behaviors influence what happens to them
    • Internals – believe they are masters of their own fate
    • Externals – believe they are helpless pawns of fate, success is due to luck or ease of task
self efficacy
  • Feelings of self-efficacy have managerial and organizational implications:
    • Selection decisions
    • Training programs
    • Goal setting and performance
how to develop employee creativity
How to Develop Employee Creativity
  • Encourage everyone to view old problems from new perspectives
  • Make certain people know that it is OK to make mistakes
  • Provide as many people with as many new work experiences as you can
  • Set an example in your own approach to dealing with problems and opportunities