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Chapter 2

Individual Differences,
Mental Ability, and
Personality
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Learning Objectives
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Explain how individual differences influence


the behavior of people in organizations.
Describe the key factors contributing to
demographic diversity.
Explain how mental ability relates to job
performance.
Identify major personality variables that
influence job performance.
Explain how emotional intelligence is an
important part of organizational behavior.
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Individual Differences

Stand for variation or deviations among


individuals in regard to a single
characteristic or a number of
characteristics
Behavior is a function of person
interacting with the environment:
B = f (P x E)
Individual differences have many
consequences including productivity,
quality, empowerment, leadership style,
people, commitment, and esteem.
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Types of Individual Differences


1. People differ in productivity.
2. Quality of work varies because people
vary in their propensity for achieving highquality results.
3. Empowerment is effective with some
workers, but not with all.
4. A given leadership style does not work
with all people.
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Types of Individual Differences


(Contd)
5. People differ in their need for contact
with other people.
6. Company management will find that
commitment to the firm varies
considerably.
7. Workers vary in their level of selfesteem that in turn influences their
productivity and capacity to take on
additional responsibility.

Demographic Diversity

Refers to background factors that


shape worker attitudes and behavior

Sex and gender differences

Generation and age-based


differences such as Baby
Boomers, generation Y

Ethnic, racial, and cultural


differences (culture has biggest
effect)

Demographic Diversity

Refers to background factors that


shape worker attitudes and behavior

Sex and gender differences


Men typically communicate to convey
information or establish status.
Women are more likely to communicate
to establish rapport and solve problems.
A researcher has noted that men are
more likely to value equity, whereas
women opt for equality.
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Demographic Diversity
Generation and Age-Based Differences:
VETERANS
(1925-1945)

BABY
BOOMERS
(1946-1960)

GENERATION X
(1961-1980)

GENERATION
Y (1981PRESNT)

Practical

Optimistic

Skeptical

Hopeful

Patient, loyal &


hardworking

Teamwork and
cooperation

Self-reliant

Meaningful
work

Respectful of
authority

Ambitious

Risk-taking

Value diversity
& change

Rule followers

Workaholics

Balance work
Technology
and personal life savvy
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Generational Differences

baby boomers may believe that


generation Xers are too impatient
and willing to reject reliable work
procedures.
Generation Xers may perceive
baby boomers as always trying to
please people and being inflexible
to change.
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Ethnic and racial


differences

in job performance and behavior


are usually attributable to culture
rather than ethnicity itself.
some ethnic groups take long
lunch breaks because of their
culture, not the fact of being a
particular nationality.
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Mental ability
(Intelligence)

Intelligence is capacity to acquire and


apply knowledge including solving
problems
A.

B.

C.

Consists of general factors and special


factors such as verbal and numerical
Triarchic theory (analytical, creative,
and practical intelligence)
Multiple Intelligences (8 types or
faculties such as linguistic, spatial)
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Personality Differences

Personality refers to the persistent


and enduring behavior patterns of
an individual that are expressed in a
wide variety of situations.
Combination of attributes, traits,
and characteristics that makes you
unique.
The core of who you are.
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Personality Differences
Five Factor or Big Five
Model consists of
1.
Neuroticism
2.
Extraversion
3.
Openness to
experience
4.
Agreeableness
5.
Conscientiousness

Other Key Traits


6. Self-monitoring
of
behavior
7. Risk taking and
thrill seeking
8. Optimism
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NEO PI-R FOR MEASURING THE BIG FIVE


FACTORS
Neuroticism
Anxiety

Extraversion Openness to Agreeableness


experience
Warmth
Fantasy
Trust

Hostility

Gregariousness

Depression

Conscientiousness

Competence

Straightforwardnes
s

Order

Assertivenes
Feelings
s

Altruism

Dutifulness

Selfconsciousness

Activity

Actions

Compliance

Achievement
Striving

Impulsiveness

Excitement
Seeking

Ideas

Modesty

SelfDiscipline

Values

Tendermindedness

Deliberation

Vulnerability Positive
to Stress
Emotion

Aesthetics

Emotional Intelligence

1.
2.
3.
4.

Deals with ability to connect with


people and understand their
emotions
Self-awareness
Self-management
Social awareness
Relationship management
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