There are many ways in which different individuals have viewed personality. Robbins et al (2001, p. 99) define it as the consistent psychological patterns within an individual that affect the way they interact with others and the situations they encounter. Another definition provided by Huczynski and Buchanan (2007, p. 138) is that personality is the psychological qualities that influence an individuals characteristic behaviour patterns, in a stable and distinctive manner. Personalitys Role in Organizational Behaviour
With the abovementioned definitions of personality, there are a numerous reasons as to why this is of great interest when it comes to the study of Organizational Behaviour. One main reason is that job performance and career success are related to ones personality as many managers have come to believe. Personality assessments or psychometric tests are widely used by companies to assess an employees personality. A couple of the known approaches to these tests are nomothetic, the basis of the majority of the available psychometrics, and idiographic.
The former is more objective and quantitative, which is mostly comprised of multiple-choice questions and hence easier to administer, while the latter rely on heavily on different assumptions about human psychology. (Huczynski & Buchanan 2007, p. 137) Types of Personality Assessment Tools Out of the many personality assessment tools available today, the four which will be further discussed will be the DISC Model, Jungs Personality Type Matrix, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Friedman and Rosenmans Type A Type B Personalities.
There will be an overlay between the mentioned assessment tools and the others that have not been stated. (Richards n. d. ) These assessments aid not only companies when it comes to appraising an employee but also are now available for individuals who want to measure their own capability and learn how to make the most of their strengths. DISC Model The DISC Model originated from Dr. William Moulton Marstons 1928 book entitled Emotions of Normal People. The term DISC was initially discussed in the book. However, Dr. Marston did not have the intention of creating any sort of assessment tool.
It was not till 1972 when researchers from the University of Minnesota developed the abovementioned tool. A number of books have been written and various interpretations on the topic have emerged. Dr. Marstons idea when he coined the term DISC can be seen as revolving around behaviour and situation. The most generalized outline of the model is as follows. DISC stands for dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance. A person who falls under Dominance and Influence is considered to be generally proactive and extraverted while someone who is under Steadiness and Compliance is somewhat the opposite, reactive and an introvert.
Those whose personality is thought to belong to Dominance and Compliance have their focal point to be things whereas that of the people whose personality belongs to Influence and Steadiness is seen as people. (Richards n. d. ) The small connection ends there. A closer look at each of the types could reveal more. An individual who is a type Dominance will have the following attributes. He or she is decisive, dominant, self-assured, forceful, task-oriented and is someone who instigates, leads and directs.
His or her main motivation will be the sense of responsibility and achievement. Subsequently, this person fears failure and loss of power. When in a working environment, he or she will have a strong focus on tasks and his or her forceful style can upset people. As for someone who falls under Influence, he or she motivates others via influence and persuasion, presents well and inspires others. He or she possesses good communication skills, as well as the qualities of being friendly, affable, intuitive and gregarious. Recognition and personal approval are their motivational factors. Rejection and loss of reputation make up their fears. The fact that they emphasize so much on image can result in substance negligence. Anyone belonging to type Steadiness acquires attributes such as reliable, dependable, process-oriented, listener, friendly, trustworthy, solid, ethical and methodical. He or she finishes what others start and leave and decides according to process. This person is motivated by time, space and continuity to do things properly. Their fears include insecurity and change.
Having this personality type meant that the person depends on the process to such an extent that any signs of changes will be resisted. Lastly, those who are under Compliance are painstaking, investigative, curious, correct and detailed. He or she is a checker and decides using facts and figures. Motivation for them would be attention to detail, perfection and truth whereas fears are inaccuracy and unpredictability. Their need for perfection tends to delay or obstruct them from achieving what is required. (Richards n. d. )
From the above, it can be seen that the DISC model has four main type which describes the certain corresponding personalities. When taking this assessment, one must keep in mind that he or she does not exclusively belong to just one type. This tool identifies the dominant type as well as two supporting types to varying extent which is dependent on the person and the situation. The mixture of the types, dominant and supporting, provides a good illustration of a persons personality from various perspectives. (Richards n. d. ) Jungs Personality Type Matrix
Carl Gustav Jung, one of the many great personality theorists, is well-known for his work Jungs Personality Type Matrix or Jungs Psychological Types which he derived from the ancient Greek Four Temperaments Model. His approach to this study was from a clinical psychoanalysis perspective. Most of todays widely used psychometrics, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, have greatly benefited from Jungs theories. Jung structured his functional types into four. His four functions of the psyche are Thinking and Feeling, which helps us to decide and judge, and, Sensation and Intuition, which helps us to perceive and gather information.
He called the first two functions Rational and the other two, Irrational. (Chapman 2010) Thinking is about what something is. It is about meaning and understanding. It involves analytic, objective, principles, standards and criteria. Feeling is about whether it is good or not. It is about weight and value. It involves subjective, personal, valuing, intimacy and humane. Sensation is knowing that something exists. It can also be referred to as sensual perception. It is realistic, down-to-earth, practical and sensible.
Intuition is concerned with where it is from and where it is going. It is about possibilities and atmosphere. It involves hunches, future, speculative, fantasy and imaginative. Further explanations on the four functions are as follows: (Chapman 2010) Jungs Thinking function is a rational process of understanding reality, implications, causes and effects in a logical and analytical way. It is systematic, evaluates truth, and is objective to the extent that evaluation is based on personal intelligence and comprehension. Jungs Feeling function makes judgements on a personal subjective basis. It is a rational process of forming personal subjective opinion about whether something is good or bad, right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable, etc. , and involves sentimentality and humanity. Jungs Sensation function translates signals from the senses into factual data. There is no judgement of right or wrong, good or bad, implications, causes, directions, context, possibilities, themes, or related concepts. Sensation sees what is, as what it is. Jungs Intuition function translates things, facts and details into larger conceptual pictures, possibilities, opportunities, imaginings, mysticism and new ideas. Intuition largely ignores essential facts and details, logic and truth. Based on Jungs Four Functions of the Psyche, his Eight Personality Types came about by adding introversion or extraversion general attitude types to the four superior functions. The characteristics of each of these types are as follows. Extraverted Thinking organizes others, implements, plans, is strategic and analytical. Introverted Thinking seeks elf-knowledge, is theoretical, discovering and contemplative. Extraverted Feeling seeks personal and social success, is sentimental and sociable. Introverted Feeling seeks inner intensity, is self-contained, enigmatic and inaccessible. Extraverted Sensation is hard-headed, pleasure-seeking, hands-on and practical. Introverted Sensation is an expert, a connoisseur, detached, obsessive and intense. Extraverted Intuition proposes change, seeks novelty, is innovative and adventurous. Introverted Intuition is aloof, mystical, esoteric, visionary and idealistic. These only refer to the principal functions.
Once the auxiliary functions, the less dominant functions, come into the picture, it produces sixteen personality types with more in-depth analysis. (Chapman 2010) It is these final types which directly relates to the next assessment tool the MBTI. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Isabel Briggs Myers, along with her mother, Katherine Briggs, developed the instrument MBTI in the 1940s which has been based on Carl Jungs Personality Matrix. All in all, they established sixteen different and distinctive personality types. These types came about through the interactions among ones preferences.
One may figure out his or her personality type by first deciding on his or her preference in each of the following categories: Extraversion (E), focusing on the outer world or Introversion (I), to prefer ones own inner world. Sensing (S), all about the basic information taken in or Intuition (N), interpreting and adding meaning to the information. In decision-making, Thinking (T), logic and consistency first or Feeling (F), people and the special circumstances. Structure-wise, Judging (J), getting things decided or Perceiving (P), remaining open in case of new information and options.
Once the preference has been made, a four-letter code emerges. It could be ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ESTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ or ENTJ. Each of these types has a corresponding personality description. With the MBTI instrument, there is no such thing as measuring trait ability or character, instead, it sorts for preferences. The main reason why this instrument is the most popular is the fact that hundreds of studies in the past forty years have proven MBTI to be valid and reliable. (The Myers &
Briggs Foundation n. d. ) Type A Type B Personalities The very first time the two types of personality were described was in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and R. H. Rosenham. With reference to Jungs Matrix, Type A is a left-sided STJ but Type B is a right-sided NFP. (Changingminds. org 2010) The typing is broadly based on anxiety and stress levels. Type A people enjoy constantly working to achieve goals; the more difficult, the better. Their drive to compete can cause them to create the sense of competition.
Failure is one thing they try hard to avoid. They are mostly well-educated. On the contrary, Type B work steadily and do not obsess about not achieving what they have set out to do. They are creative; love to explore new ideas. They are often reflective. Challenging a Type A will be very effective whilst a reflective conversation will work better with a Type B. Type A personality has become a household word. (Sharma 1996) According to Dr. Friedman, there are eight major indicators of Type A Behaviour two psychological and six physical.
The psychological signs are: presence of impatience or easily induced hostility and constant apprehension of future disasters, where the latter is commonly mistaken as a symptom of an anxiety or depressive disorder. The physical signs are: excessive perspiration of the forehead and the upper lip, teeth grinding, indentation of the tongue due to its chronic pressure against the top incisor teeth, tic-like retraction of the upper eye lid, tic-like retraction of the corners of the mouth, and brown coloring of the skin of the lower eyelid.
Type A has generated a huge interest in the medical world as it is highly related to coronary heart disease. Here is an excerpt from Moores (2001) article: Type A people are achievement oriented, irritable, impatient with delays, and seem to be always in a hurry. ¦ In contrast to type As, type B people are less competitive, and more easygoing than their type A counterparts. ¦ While most people do not fall into the extreme ends of the continuum, there are significant numbers of people who do seem to be far more intense and reactive than others. Type As are not only reactive, they are also achievement oriented and highly motivated to succeed. They enjoy challenge and like to know how well they are doing. ¦ More recent research has demonstrated that the feature of type A behavior that is particularly toxic is hostility. Scott (2007) mentioned in one of her articles that apart from the fact that those exhibiting Type A personality have a higher risk at suffering hypertension and heart diseases, they also suffer from job stress and social isolation. These people are usually in stressful, demanding jobs.
They, too, tend to distance themselves from others as they focus on their career more than they do on personal relationships. Many researches do believe that it is the environment that caused certain people to develop Type A personalities. As part of their personality, Type As are able to perform well in the workplace because they are high-achievers. (Larson 2009) This is why they hold increasingly high-powered positions. As a result, they find it hard to relax, they are aggressive, they have the tendency to interrupt and they lose sleep frequently.
In an office environment, these characteristics can lead to high levels of success but the same can also lead to Type As own pitfalls. They have emphasis on quantity over quality. They are unable to appreciate their own achievements. However, they make great leaders since they work well under pressure. Character Personality Analysis From the 2006 movie, The Devil wears Prada, the character played by Meryl Streep is Miranda Priestly, the Editor-In-Chief for Runway a supposedly top New York fashion Magazine. (Huntley 2009) Anyone could easily tell that she exhibits most of, if not all, of a Type A personality.
If it were from the DISC models perspective, she would fall under the Dominance category while belonging to the typology of Jungs STJ or the MBTIs ISTJ. To categorize here in the boss type, she would be the tin man boss with an axe. Her first love would have to be power. She is very career-oriented whose goals and objectives are extremely translucent. For her, what is to be done, is to be done, the word unfeasible does not exist. When in doubt, never approach her as she does not like people boring her with questions of how, what and where.
Famous for being unpredictable, she does not care for others incompetence and is intimidating to the extent that people cannot even be in the same lift as her. It is rather hard to please or impress her. Career-wise, she is an A+ yet as a person, she fails. With her profession the first priority in her life, she has had a broken marriage, twice, and a distorted family life. Despite that, her most valuable assets to her are her twin daughter who she cares for dearly. She indeed lacks personal life. Tagged as the dragon lady, she rarely shows emotions and strongly believes that life is all about the choices you make.
Being the powerful lady ruling the kingdom of fashion, she keeps her staff and the fashion world under her thumb. Her actions indeed speak louder than her words because she can make a top designer recreate a whole collection all over again just by pursing her lips. She draws contentment from others misery. Her disbelief in positive reinforcement has led to a high number of assistants quitting. She is the kind of boss who has no room for lazy employees. A perfectionist, she does not care who she steps on when on her way to the top. Not to forget, sleek and slender Miranda always has to have her Hermes scarf on.
It can be seen that Mirandas personality does fit her role to some extent. Due to the nature of her job, her business environment matters a lot. Although she is very dominating, the people under her accept that and submit to her wishes as if left with no other choice. It is all about power at the end of the day especially in a high-powered position like that of an Editor-In-Chief. Many people have come to believe that Miranda Priestly has been based on real-life Editor-In-Chief for Vogue Magazine, Anna Wintour. Topsynergy. com (2003) discussed the personalities that are evident in Anna Wintour.
She is a perfect example to be displaying Type A behavior which to some extent is relevant to the position she holds and the competitive industry she is in. Describing Wintour in the words of Topsynergy. com; Cautious, prudent, and rather self-contained ¦ approaches life realistically ¦ rarely spontaneous ¦ pragmatic, shrewd, and an excellent strategist ¦ very ambitious, but quietly so ¦ emotionally detached ¦ stern, authoritarian, no-nonsense aspect to her personality ¦ her personal relationships may seem constantly in flux ¦ direct, honest, and to the point some might say excessively so ¦
There is this contact argument that it is the environment that shapes peoples personality while others believe our personality has to find the kind of environment to which they suit best and perform to their optimum potential. For the latter, the abovementioned psychometric tests help employers, managers and common staff alike to gain insight to any individuals personality. This is very essential in todays organizations especially since the level of competition has never been higher.