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Chapter 2. Understanding Individual Differences. Introductory Concepts. Individual differences exert a profound effect on job performance and behavior. Key sources of individual differences on the job are Personality Cognitive ability Values Emotional intelligence

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Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Understanding Individual Differences


Introductory concepts

Introductory Concepts

  • Individual differences exert a profound effect on job performance and behavior.

  • Key sources of individual differences on the job are

    • Personality

    • Cognitive ability

    • Values

    • Emotional intelligence

  • An example of individual differences is the ability to concentrate on work. Some people can concentrate longer and harder.


Eight major personality factors and traits

Eight Major PersonalityFactors and Traits

  • Neuroticism—reflects emotional instability and proneness to distress

  • Extraversion—reflects quantity or intensity of social interactions

  • Openness—reflects proactive seeking of experience for its own sake (intellectual curiosity)

  • Agreeableness—reflects quality of interpersonal orientation, such as being good natured


Chapter 2

  • Conscientiousness—reflects organization, self-restraint, persistence, and motivation toward attaining goals

  • Self-monitoring—process of observing and controlling how we are perceived by others

  • Risk taking and thrill seeking—propensity to take risks and pursue thrills

  • Optimism—tendency to experience positive emotional states, and think that positive outcomes will occur (versus pessimism)


Cross cultural study of five factor model

Cross-Cultural Study ofFive-Factor Model

  • Five-Factor Model (traits 1-5 of previous list) held true for six national groups studied: German, Portuguese, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

  • Researchers concluded that personality structure is universal, like brain and body.

  • Extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are major factors in most cultures.


Self assessment quiz 2 1

Self-assessment quiz 2-1


Personality factors traits and how t hey affect job performance

Personality Factors, Traits, and How They Affect Job Performance

  • A particular trait may give us a bias toward certain actions, such as being conscientious.

  • Extraversion is associated with success for managers and sales representatives because of extensive people interaction.

  • Self-monitoring is associated with career success, leadership emergence. Self-monitors are likely to “click” with others.


Chapter 2

  • Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) –the willingness to go beyond one’s job description w/o a specific reward – is linked to other personality factors.

  • Study with 50,000 employees found that high OCB is associated with higher evaluations, higher salary increases, less turnover and absenteeism. OCB also helped companies increase productivity.

  • Emotionally stable, conscientious, and agreeable employees show less turnover.

  • Combination of personality factors often more linked to performance than one factor.


Personality types and cognitive styles

Personality Types andCognitive Styles

Cognitive styles are modes of problem solving based on four dichotomies (Golden Personality Type Profiler):

  • Energy flow: extraversion vs. introversion

  • Information gathering: sensation vs. intuition.

  • Decision making: thinking vs. feeling.

  • Lifestyle orientation: judging vs. perceiving


Personality types and cognitive styles continued

Personality Types and Cognitive Styles, Continued

  • Combiningfour types together results in 16 personality types such as the ESPF (extraverted/sensing/feeling/perceiving), “The Entertainer.”

  • Avoid pigeon-holing people with the types.

  • The 16 types can sometimes be used to help people get along better within a workgroup.


Dealing with different personality types

Dealing with DifferentPersonality Types

  • Be friendly and warm toward extraverts.

  • Move slowly with introverts

  • Share information and ideas with person open to experience.

  • Stick closely to facts with closed person.

  • With agreeable person, relax and be yourself.

  • With disagreeable person, be patient and tolerant.

  • With conscientious person, give freedom and do not nag.


Dealing with different personality types continued

Dealing with Different Personality Types, Continued

  • Keep close tabs on low conscientious person.

  • Don’t believe all a self-monitor tells you.

  • With high risk-takers, emphasize risks.

  • With low risk-takers, emphasize stability and security.

  • When dealing with a sensation-type of information gatherer, emphasize facts and figures.

  • When dealing with an intuition-type of information gatherer, emphasize feelings, judgment, and creativity.


Self assessment quiz 2 2

Self-assessment quiz 2-2


Cognitive ability

Cognitive Ability

  • Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, including solving problems.

  • Intelligence consists of a g (general) and s (special factors) that aid problem-solving.

  • Seven special factors are (1) verbal comprehension (2) word fluency, (3) numerical acuity, (4) spatial perception, (5) memory, (6) perceptual speed, (7) and inductive reasoning.

  • Mental workouts help with cognitive fitness.


Practical intelligence

Practical Intelligence

  • The triarchic theory of intelligence focuses on three types of intelligence:

    • The analytical subtype is traditional intelligence – “give me a technical problem”.

    • The creative subtype is required for imagination – “I have a new idea”.

    • The practical subtype is required for adapting the environment to your needs – “Experience tells me…”.

      • People with high practical intelligence have street smarts and good intuition.


Practical intelligence continued

Practical Intelligence, Continued

  • Practical intelligence implies that experience is helpful in developing intellectual skills and judgment.

  • At younger age, raw intellectual ability is strongest.

  • Judgment and wisdom are likely to be stronger with accumulated experience.

  • The teen-age brain (impulsiveness) can sometimes lead to poor judgment.


Implication s of practical intelligence

Implications ofPractical Intelligence

  • Person who is not a great scholar may still make a good living and lead a good life.

  • Person with high practical intelligence usually has good intuition.

  • Experience is helpful in developing intellectual skills and judgment.

  • However, people with high analytical intelligence can still be practical minded.


Multiple intelligences

Multiple Intelligences

  • Individuals possess the following eight intelligences in varying degrees.

    • Linguistic (language skills)

    • Logical-mathematical (2x=4; x =?)

    • Musical (good at opera and hip-hop)

    • Spatial (3D and graphics)

    • Bodily/kinesthetic (e.g. sports and dancing)

    • Intrapersonal (self-knowledge)

    • Interpersonal (this course)

    • Naturalist (the environment)


Implications of multiple intelligences

Implications ofMultiple Intelligences

  • Profile of intelligences points to your style of learning and your best type of work.

  • Separate intelligences can be developed through concentrated effort.

  • The eight intelligences can be regarded as abilities or talents.

  • Possible that hard work is more important than natural ability in developing talent.


Meaning of emotional intelligence

Meaning ofEmotional Intelligence

  • Emotional Intelligence refers to qualities such as understanding own feelings, having empathy, and regulating emotions to enhance living.

  • The intelligence aspect focuses on the ability to engage in complex information processing about emotions of self and others.

  • Information is used to guide thinking and behavior.


Components of emotional intelligence

Components ofEmotional Intelligence

  • Self-awareness (understand moods, emotions and needs)

  • Self-management (control one’s emotions)

  • Social awareness (empathy for others, intuition about work problems)

  • Relationship management (good interpersonal skills, building strong bonds)


More insight into emotional intelligence

More Insight IntoEmotional Intelligence

  • Emotional intelligence incorporates many skills and attitudes needed for interpersonal relationships.

  • Many human relations topics, such as political skills, are included in emotional intelligence.

  • Emotional intelligence can be regarded as a mixture of cognitive skills and personality.


Relating to people of different cognitive skill

Relating to People ofDifferent Cognitive Skill

  • Mentally quick—present ideas in technical depth, ask challenging questions

  • Mentally slow—present ideas without depth, use basic vocabulary

  • Number cruncher—use quantitative data

  • Creative intelligence—solicit input

  • Low emotional intelligence—explain attitudes and feelings carefully


Values as a source of individual differences

Values as a Source ofIndividual Differences

  • A value is the importance a person attaches to something and is tied in with ethics, the moral choices a person makes.

  • We learn values as we grow up, as well as when modeling others.

  • Values are related to the kind of person you are and the quality of your relationships.

  • A mesh between individual and organizational values enhances job performance.


Value stereotypes for three generations

Value Stereotypes forThree Generations

  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964): Like hierarchy, loyal, diplomatic.

  • Generation X (1961-1980): Techno-savvy, like teamwork, loyal to self.

  • Generation Y (1981-2002): Techno-savvy, like teamwork, question traditional way of doing things.

  • (Stereotypes refer to “typical” person.)

  • See Table 2-2, p. 37.


How values are learned

How Values are Learned

  • Observing others, or modeling

  • Communication of attitudes from key people

  • Religious teachings

  • Events reported by the media, including popular culture

  • Technology, such as digital lifestyle


Clarifying values

Clarifying Values

  • Values impact kind of person you are and quality of relationships. Understanding and clarifying values is therefore important.

  • Values can be clarified by ranking them (as in Self-Assessment Quiz 2-3).

  • For example, someone might rank “Helping people less fortunate” over “Making above-average income.”


Self assessment quiz 2 3

Self-assessment quiz 2-3


Mesh between individual and job values

Mesh Between Individualand Job Values

  • Best if employee and job values mesh.

  • Mesh leads to better job performance.

  • When fit between employee and job values mesh, manager is often trusted.

  • Trust is also enhanced when communication is regular, open, and consistent.

  • Person-role conflict when job demands clash with basic values of employee.


Using values to enhance interpersonal relations

Using Values to EnhanceInterpersonal Relations

  • Establish values for relationships.

  • Establish your values as employee, and avoid compromising them.

  • Values are opinions, so discuss different points of view.

  • Respect differences in values, and make appropriate adjustments.

  • Recognize that many people want to have impact on lives of others.


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