Essay On Personality & Values
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The personality of any individual shapes his/her behaviour; therefore, understanding the behaviour of a person within an organization or a workmate has to do with their personalities. One may wonder at different attributes of a person that contribute to their quietness, passiveness, aggressiveness or even quick to anger. It is to the best interest of our understanding to define the term personality. Personality is the way a person interacts or reacts to other people. These are the measurable traits that the person exhibits (Buss & Hawley, 2011). Research on personality revolves around identifying or rather labelling the enduring characteristics that make up an individual.
There are general characteristics that are common such as submissive, loyal, and timid (Saroglou, 2013). When an individual has exhibited these characteristics in a different situation, these are personal traits. Most of the research has paid attention to personality traits. This is because there has been a general believe that these traits have an influence in making career development decisions and employees’ selection. For example, if there are particular situations in which personalities influence on better performance at work, personality screen tests find application in picking up the rightful candidates for work.
There are efforts that which help in identifying personality traits that govern particular individual behaviours. This leads to generation of a list of traits that offer little practical guidance for decision makers in making crucial choices. While there is a correlation between personality and values, they are not entirely the same (Buss & Hawley, 2011). Values are rather particular in that they describe belief systems rather than behavioural patterns.
Some beliefs or values do not represent a vivid picture of the personality of an individual. Furthermore, people do not act in ways that are consistent with what they value (Reimann, 2008). Values, in general terms, represent enduring convictions, which specify the mode of conduct or end-state of existence. Values often involve judgement since they are subjective in nature and highlight an individual’s idea on what is right or wrong.
Each person has a hierarchy of values that lead to the formation of the value system. This system is only identifiable by the relative way in which we assign values such as freedom, obedience, honesty and equality. Evaluation in values depends on two attributes namely; content attribute and intensity attribute (Reimann, 2008). The former says that the mode of conduct or end-state of existence is crucial while the latter specifies how important the value is in terms of intensity. Values take a different dimension when compared to personality since they vary depending on the cultures.
There has been theoretical discussion on the role of values in human interactions and the social system that is abound in both social and psychological literature. In these discussions, value is individual preferences that are reflective of the socialization aspect. Depending on this argument, they may be useful in the description of human behaviour. Surprisingly, personality and differential psychologists are according little attention to values in their research.
It is only under motivational psychology where researchers have identified the role of values and motives in influencing behaviour (Tosi & Pilati, 2011). There seems to be a relationship between personality and values. Values are concepts, beliefs that transcend situations help in the evaluation of behaviour, or events and they are desirable end states.
However, there is a distinguishing feature such as the motivational content of each value. Values are a representation of human motivations or goals. The distinguishing factor between values from another is the motivation or rather the goal. Empirical studies have shown the existence of different types of values that are distinct or general. These values are; power, benevolence, conformity, security and stimulation. The attribution of each of these values constitutes the prioritization of a person.
On the other hand, there have been different conceptual approaches towards personality. For integrative purpose, the trait purpose is the most promising. This is different from the motivational purpose that drives an individual’s values. The trait approach has gained immense support with the growth of the five-factor model. Thus, forming an interrelationship between traits and values will contribute to an understanding of personality (Pozzebon, 2008).
Personality represents the unique traits of an individual, which is distinguishable making one person to differ from the other (Tosi & Pilati, 2011). There are, however, different broad classes of traits, which form the aspect of personality. These are somatic traits, which define the morphology of an individual, aptitudes, temperaments and motivational traits. This description of personality is vast and includes some values as the subset (Reimann, 2008). There are differences between personality and traits that lead to their separate conceptual treatment.
The first difference is that personality traits constitute the observed behavioural patterns while values form the general axis of judgement on the desirability of particular behaviours, events and personalities (Pozzebon, 2008). Secondly, the personality traits differ depending on how many characteristic feature individual exhibits while values vary depending on the degree of importance of different attributes towards goals in life. Finally, the personality traits describe the presumptions of what people desire despite the intended actions while values pertains the intended achievements (Saroglou, 2013).
There exists the theoretical links between values and personality. From a psychological point of view, a person character is a cluster of fixed traits. There are situations in which motivational traits parallel the goals of individual. The relationship that exists between values and traits is dependent on whether the patterns are an inference of certain behaviours. Values and traits can be covariant only if the latter find derivation from the behavioural patterns that aim at achieving growth needs (Pozzebon, 2008). Therefore, a person who has curiosity as a personal trait is likely to acquire the same as a value.
It can also be contrasting when values and traits are compensatory for particular traits. These traits have inference from particular behaviour patterns that specify deficiency need, for example, anxiety. Therefore, anyone who is anxious is likely to value security and disregard any unexpected challenges (Buss & Hawley, 2011). The pursuit of different values has its influence on the psychological and social consequences.
For instance, there are actions that dictate the conformity values such as politeness, which may be compatible with those that lead to expression of security values e.g. social order. On the other hand, the pursuit of achievement values may conflict with those of benevolence. Value types have a structure, which constitute an integrated system of priorities through dynamic relations that exist between them. Thus understanding the value-personality relationship is crucial in showing priority types that specify particular values.
The characteristic traits such as charming and outgoing constitute personality. Personality in organizational behaviour has its influence on the outcome of the work (Smilansky, 2009). Varieties of methods are available in the measuring personality such as the process used in hiring the right person for a job post. However, there are two general ways employed in measuring personality.
These are self-reports and observer-ratings; the former is the easiest to administer although it is prone to error since it is subjective while the latter employs independence where a person observes or surveys the personality of a different individual. The reports or survey are difficult to administer though have a high level of accuracy. Personality has its own determinants, which include age, environmental influence and heredity.
Debates have been all over regarding the influence of both genetics and environment on personality. They both play a crucial role, which cannot be overstated. Heredity factors have a major influence at conception and comprises of physical stature and gender. The reaffirmation of this is studies showing twins brought up in different environments, but displayed the same personalities. However, the differences observed between twins prove the role of environmental influence.
There are personality-measuring instruments deployed in understating individual’s personality. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is widely used in which participants scaling range from one to sixteen depending on most probable personality traits. These traits are further broken down to four dichotomies. The first constitute extroverts versus introverts, who have the tendency of being quiet and shy.
The second dichotomy constitutes of intuits and senses in which the former are practical while the latter utilize unconscious processes (Ajzen, 2005). The third constitutes of thinking and feeling where the former focuses on logic and reason while the latter uses emotions and values. The final dichotomy involves judging and perceiving. Judgers utilize order and structure while perceivers are not only spontaneous but also flexible.
While this measurement tool is insightful, it is not related whatsoever to job performance (Smilansky, 2009). The other measurement tool that finds application in assessing personality is the Big Five Model, which employs five fundamental dimensions that pertain human personalities. These factors are extroversion, conscientiousness, openness, experiences and emotional stability. This model has shown predictability of behaviour within an organization.
There are other traits, which find relevance in organizational behaviour. Core self-evaluation is the degree in which people tend to value or disvalue themselves. Maintaining positive self-evaluation contributes to better and higher job performance. Machiavellianism is a trait possessed by people who are emotionally distant and believe that the end justifies the mean.
They have a competitive desire to win and can be persuasive at certain situations in which there are minimal rules. Finally, Narcissism is a trait possessed by people who are ineffective in the job market. It defines the character of people who require excessive admiration and a huge sense of entitlement. There are personalities that are common in organizational behaviour. Self-monitoring maintains a high-level link to job performance. It is the ability to adjust certain behaviours in order to meet situational factors.
People who possess this trait are likely to show effective leadership. Risk taking is a trait that shows the willingness of an individual to take up some chances. In an organization, it influences the time and information the leaders need to make particular decisions. Proactive personality is a possession by people who see an opportunity and seizes it for its values. They are ready to persevere in order to reap their benefits or goals.
Personality and its influence in organizational behaviour are not limiting. Values or enduring convictions of a person has its influence on organizational behaviour. Value systems are priorities that show the importance of a value and intensity in an individual’s feelings towards the same (French, 2011). The way an individual set up particular values in the hierarchy of importance is stable, and the result is motivation, behaviour or attitude.
In an organization, values are crucial since they have an immense impact on perception and objectivity of a person. Terminal values and instrumental values have been the subset of Rokeach Value Survey (Ajzen, 2005). The former describe the values a person would like to preserve throughout their lifetime while the latter are the preferred modes that provide a level playfield for achieving terminal values. Values tend to differ between groups and this forms a basis of confrontation unless there is the attainment of consensus. The study of personality and values plays a pivotal role in the field of organizational behaviour since they influence job performance outcomes. The personality of an employee needs to fit with the organizational culture.
When employees are able to locate organizations that match their values there are higher chances of selection. Correspondingly, this leads to a higher job satisfaction. There exist global implications of personality and values at workplace. Values differ greatly among different cultures. While the behaviour of an individual has a high relation to his/her personal traits, the values upheld help to predict the success of any organization (Smilansky, 2009).
Workplace constitutes of people from all backgrounds and thus human relations take the centre of any organization. Personality and attitude predict how an employee would respond to a crisis or conflict that is typical in such an environment. The inherent capability of understanding the personality and attitude determines the response to other people’s personalities. Personality can result from outside influences such as family, friends or any religious affiliations. Understanding oneself is a milestone achievement adjusting to workplace relationship (Smilansky, 2009). Personality has its dimensions such as energy, depth, direction and consciousness. Energy is a measure of intensity of personality, evidenced from observation and experience.
People who have a high personality are invariably energetic. Direction, on the other hand, is the motives or intentions, which can be either positive or negative by relating to the well-being of other people. Literally, values, on the other hand, are essential to a person. Vertical dimension as applied to human values help in expression of the three levels of consciousness. This leads to mental values, vital values and physical values.
MARS model of individual behaviour helps in describing the impact of values and personality on organizational outcome. Within an organization, there are certain factors that influence the employee’s motivation thus affecting the personality. These factors are direction, intensity and perceptions. On the other hand, there exist situations in which individuals share same values. The term used to describe this aspect is value congruence. This leads to incompatibility in decision-making and low levels of satisfaction. Values may span from individualism to collectivism.
Collectivism is the value duty to a certain group while individualism, the values are unique (Tosi & Pilati, 2011). Individualism may represent a situation in which people value personal freedom, self-sufficiency and appreciation from others (Singh, 2013). There are values that find a relation with adjustment to the environment, people’s behaviour or events. For instance, the well-being of a person is a relation between personal health and the adjustment to the environment.
Research on personality and values has taken new and different dimension with the emergency of Big Five personality. Personality traits and values at the individual level would be cross-situational or cross-temporarily consistent, and thus, convergence will be a general factor. Thus, there is a high expectation for conscientiousness to correlate with the values of conformity and conservatism.
The advances in the study of personality and values have provided a clarification on their foundations, measurement and structure. Evidenced accumulated from vast studies show that personality traits are endogenous while values are learned adaptation that have sound derivation from the environment (French, 2011). These constructs have explained what nature and nature mean together with their interactions.
Although there is the uniqueness or personal values and traits, the effort sought at integrating the two is limited. Different disciplines have researched the meaning of value and personality. Although they are similar conceptually, the two follow different streams with little or no effort to connect the two either theoretically or empirically. This has led to the emergence of different theories and models for both traits and values and vast understanding of the foundations of each (Singh, 2013). Although related personality and values are distinct in different ways, therefore, understanding the description and distinction between the two helps in drawing a thin line to distinguish the two. There has been empirical and conceptual development of the two primarily at the work place.
Personality changes over time depending on the parenting style, life experiences and the early childhood upbringing. People tend to become more socially dominant when they attain the ages of between 20 and 40. The behaviour in organization depends mainly on the personality. At the workplace, there is a predominant role of the employee and this role refers to adherence to good values.
Personality and good values find an application in employee testing and selection. In organizations, companies assess the candidate’s personality. Personality testing helps in predicting employee’s performance on a given task. Values accumulate throughout a person’s life and are relatively stable. Researchers have developed frameworks of values, and this includes the ten values. Value attainment forms the primary reason why people tend to stay in an organization.
The values of a firm are displayed in the mission and vision statements. Personality and value are two varying dimensions through which people differ. Personality is unique and traits such as self-esteem, social monitoring and proactive personality are significant in determining the behaviours of a person. Personality has a tremendous influence on job attitudes but little effect on the performance. Values express the life goals of a person (Ajzen, 2005).
These are similar to personal traits but relatively stable over the duration of time. In an organization, a person is likely to accept a job that provides value attainment. The behaviour of a person has a foundation on the personality and values but also the situation. Personal values are learned beliefs, which act as the guiding principles in life. Values are cognitive representation of universal requirements in life (Singh, 2013).
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Buss, D. M., & Hawley, P. H. (2011). The evolution of personality and individual differences. New York: Oxford University Press.
French, R. (2011). Organizational behaviour. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Pozzebon, J. (2008). Personality traits and personal values: An investigation into the importance of each in the prediction of behaviour. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada.
Reimann, B. P. (2008). Personality and social psychology research. New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
Saroglou, V. (2013). Religion, personality, and social behavior. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Singh, A. (2013). Managing emotion in design innovation. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.
Smilansky, S. (2009). Experiential marketing: A practical guide to interactive brand experiences. London: Kogan Page.
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