Personality Types

29/03/2020 2 By indiafreenotes

The theory of personality types categorizes people into distinct and discontinuous (one or the other) types. It is synonymous with ‘personality styles’ but is different from the personality trait theory. To illustrate the difference, introversion is a personality type, while a continuum of introversion to extroversion, which clusters people in the categories of middle or extremes, is a personality trait.

  1. Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism as a concept was developed by the psychologist Adorno during World War II to measure susceptibility to autocratic, fascistic or antidemocratic appeals. After that the concept was extended to the human personality. According to Adorno, “This concept refers to a belief that there should be status and power differences among people in organizations.” Authoritarians tend to place high moral value on their beliefs and are strongly oriented towards conformity of rules and regulations. They naturally prefer stable and structured work environments which are governed by clean rules and procedures.

Further, they believe obedience and respect for authority and blind acceptance of authority. These people are generally conservatives concerned with toughness and power, are close minded and generally less educated. But because of their belief in acceptance of authority they make good followers, work better under directive supervision and are more productive within authoritarian organizational structure.

  1. Bureaucratic Personality

The personality of a bureaucratic person is based upon respect for organizational rules and regulations. He is different from an authoritarian person in respect that his acceptance of authority is not total and blind. A person who is bureaucratic in nature values subordination, conformity to rules, impersonal and formal relationships. These people become better supervisors when the type of work is routine, repetitive and proceduralised because these people are not innovative, they do not like taking risks and feel more at ease in following established directions.

  1. Machiavellianism

This personality trait of Machiavellianism also known as Mach is named after Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote in the 16th century on how to gain and use power.

The characteristics of high MACH employers are as follows:

(i) A Mach man is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance and believes that ends can justify means.

(ii) A high Mach man manipulates more, wins more, are persuaded less and persuade others more than the low machs.

(iii) High Mach people flourish when they interact face to face with others rather than indirectly.

(iv) These people are successful when the situation has a minimum number of rules and regulations.

(v) High Mach man has high self confidence and high self esteem. They are cool and calculating and have no hesitation using others or taking advantage of others in order to serve their own goals.

(vi) They are not easily swayed by a sense of friendship, trust or loyalty. They are specially successful in exploiting structured situations and vulnerable people.

We cannot conclude that whether high machs make good employees or not. The answer will depend upon the type of the job and whether moral and ethical values are considered in evaluating the performance of a person.

  1. Introversion and Extroversion

These two terms are generally associated with the interpersonal behaviour of an individual and his sociability. Extroverts are gregarious and sociable individuals while introverts are shy, quiet and retiring. It has been observed that introverts and extroverts people have different career orientations and require different organizational environment to maximize performance. Extroverts are more suitable for positions that require considerable interaction with others that is why managerial positions are dominated by extroverts.

Thus, we can say that to be an extrovert is a managerial trait to be a successful manager. On the other hand, introvert people are more inclined to excel at tastes that require thought and analytical skill. An extreme introvert works best alone in a quiet office without external interruption or influence.

  1. Problem Solving Style

Individuals have their own style of solving their problems and making their decisions and this style of their affects their personality in certain ways. There are four problem solving styles based upon Don Hellriegll, John W. Slocum and Richard W. Woodman “organisational behaviour”.

These styles are:

(i) Sensation Feeling Style: The people who have the sensation feeling style are dependable, friendly, social and they approach facts with human concerns. These people are pragmatic, methodical and like jobs which involve human contract and public relations. Some suitable areas of jobs for these people are teaching, customer relations, social workers and marketing.

(ii) Sensation Thinking Style: People with sensation thinking style are practical, logical, decisive and sensitive to details. These people prefer bureaucratic type organizations. They are not highly suitable for jobs requiring interpersonal relations. But these people are more skilled in technical jobs e.g. production, accounting, engineering and computers.

(iii) Intuition Feeling style: The persons with intuition feeling style are enthusiastic, people oriented, charismatic and helpful. The professions which are suited to this style are public relations, advertising, politics and personnel.

(iv) Intuition Thinking Style: These people are very creative, energetic, ingenious and like jobs which are challenging in terms of design and analysis such as system design, law, research and development, top management and so on.

  1. Achievement Orientation

Achievement orientation or a high need to achieve is a personality trait which varies among different types of people and can be used to predict certain behaviour. The people with very high achievement orientation strive to do things in a better way. They want to feel that their success or failure is due to their own actions. These people do not like to perform easy tasks where there is no challenge or tasks with very high amount of risk as the failure rate is more.

These people like to do the acts with moderate difficulties, so that they can have a sense of achievement also and on the other hand the failure rate is also not very high. Or in other words, achievers will like to do the jobs where the outcome is directly attributed to their efforts and chances of success are so-so. The high achievers will do better in sports, management and sales where there is moderate difficulty, rapid performance feedback and direct relationship between effort and reward.

  1. Locus of Control

Locus of control refers to an individual’s belief that events are either within one’s control (Internal Locus of Control) or are determined by forces beyond one’s control. Some people believe that they are the masters of their own fate. Other people see themselves as pawns of fate, believing that whatever happens to them in their lives is due to their luck or fate. The first type is labeled as internals and the latter has been called externals. A PERSON’S PERCEPTION OF THE SOURCE OF HIS OR HER FATE IS TERMED LOCUS OF CONTROL.

A large amount of research has consistently shown the following characteristics of the internals and externals.

Internal Locus of Control

(i) A person with a strong internal locus of control has more control over his own behavior. He believes that he controls events concerning his own life and his internal traits determine what happens in a given situation. He believes that he is the master of his own density.

(ii) These people are more active in seeking more information to make decisions. They are better at retaining the information and are less satisfied with the amount of information they possess.

(iii) Internals are more active socially.

(iv) Internals prefer skill achievement outcomes.

(v) Internals are more likely to use personally persuasive rewards and power bases and less likely to use coercion.

(vi) These people are more independent and less susceptible to influence of others.

(vii) The internals prefer participative management.

(viii) Research has shown that internally oriented people hold jobs of higher Status, advance more rapidly in their careers.

(ix) Internals take more responsibility for their health and have better health habits. As a result their incidents of sickness and of absenteeism are lower.

External Locus of Control:

(i) People who rate high in externality are less satisfied with their jobs, have higher absenteeism rates, are more alienated from the work setting and are less involved on jobs than are internals. They generally prefer directive management.

(ii) Unlike the internals, these people prefer chance oriented awards.

(iii) A person with a strong ‘external locus of control’ feels that outside forces are affecting the events in his life and he is at the mercy of destiny, chance or other people. He believes that everything will happen by the will of God and nothing or nobody can stop it. External locus of control refer

(iv) Unlike, the internals, the externals are more interested in job security and not in advancement of careers.

(v) Whereas the internals prefer intrinsic rewards e.g. feeling of and he is at the mercy of achievement, externals are more interested in extrinsic awards, destiny, chance or other people. From the above mentioned traits of internals and controls it can be concluded that internals would be better on sophisticated tasks, which include most managerial and professional jobs or any other jobs which require complex information processing and learning. In addition, they are suited to jobs requiring initiative and independence of action. As against this, externals would do well on jobs that are well structured and routine and in which success depends heavily on coupling with the directions given by others.

  1. Self Esteem

“Self Esteem refers to the feeling of like or dislike for oneself.” “Self Esteem is the degree of respect a person has for himself.” This trait varies from person to person as people differ in the degree to which they like or dislike each other. The research on self esteem offers some interesting insights into organisation behaviour.

A few of the research findings about self esteem are:

(i) Self esteem is directly related to the expectations for success. High self esteem people believe that they possess the ability they need to succeed at work.

(ii) Individuals with high self esteem will take more risks in job selection. They are more likely to choose unconventional jobs than people with low self esteem.

(iii) People with low self esteem are more susceptible to external influence than are those with high self esteems. Low esteems are dependent on the receipt of positive evaluations from others. As a result they are more likely to seek approval from others and more prone to conform to the beliefs and behaviours of those they respect than are the high esteem.

(iv) In managerial positions, the low esteems tend to be concerned with pleasing others and, therefore, less likely to take unpopular stands than are high esteems.

(v) High esteems are more satisfied with their job than the low esteems.

(vi) High self esteem people are very friendly, affectionate, find it easy to form interpersonal attachments and find good in other people. Low self esteem people are usually critical of others, are generally depressed and blame others for their own failures.

(vii) High esteem people are high performers while low esteem people contribute to poor performance which in turn reinforces low self esteem.

  1. Self Monitoring

“Self monitoring is a personality trait that measures an individual’s ability to adjust his or her behaviour to external situational factors”. Self monitoring is a personality trait which has recently received attention. The research on self monitoring is in infancy, so predictions must be guarded.

However, prime evidence suggests the following points:

(i) As self monitoring refers to the individual’s ability to adjust his or her behaviour to external factors, individuals with high self monitoring can show considerable adaptability in adjusting their behaviour to external, situational factors.

(ii) High self monitors can behave differently in different situations. They are capable of presenting striking contradictions between their public, personal and private selves. Low self monitors cannot deviate their behaviour. They tend to display their true dispositions and attitudes in every situation; hence, there is high behavioural consistency between who they are and what they do.

(iii) The high self monitors tend to pay closer attention to the behaviour of others and are more capable of conforming than are low self monitors.

(iv) We can also hypothesize that high self monitors will be more successful in managerial positions where individuals are required to play multiple and even contradictory roles. The high self monitor is capable of putting different faces for different audiences.

  1. Risk Taking

The propensity of people to assume risks or avoid risks varies from person to person depending upon the willingness of the people to take chances. This human trait will affect the decision making capability of a manager. This individual personality trait will determine how long will it take a person to take a decision or how much information will be needed before he takes a decision.

Some people are very conscious in nature, while the others are impulsive. An impulsive person is a high risk taking manager; he will make rapid decisions and use less information in making their choices than a very conscious and low risk taking manager. But the research shows that the decision accuracy is generally the same in both the groups.

Research has concluded that managers in organizations are risk aversive, but still there are individual differences on this point. Some jobs specifically demand high risk taking persons e.g. the job of a broker in a brokerage firm. Because in this job for effective performance rapid decisions are required. On the other hand, some jobs are such where risk taking may prove a major obstacle e.g. the job of an accountant who performs auditing activities. This job should be filled by, someone, with low risk taking trait.

  1. ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ Personality

People who are impatient, aggressive and highly competitive are termed as ‘Type A’ personality. But those who are easy going, laid back and non-competitive are termed as ‘Type B’ personality. Type ‘A’ people tend to be very productive as they work very hard. Their negative side is that they are very impatient, good team players, more irritable and have poor judgment. Type ‘B’ people do better on complex tasks involving judgment and accuracy rather than speed and hard work.

Despite Type ‘A’s hard work, the Type ‘B’ people are the ones who appear to make it to the top. Great sales persons are usually Type A’s while senior executives are generally Type B’s. The reason is that promotions in corporate and professional organisations usually go to those “who are wise rather than to those who are merely hasty, to those who are tactful, rather than to those who are hostile and to those who are creative rather than to those who are merely agile in competitive stride.”

  1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The personality theory proposed by Carl Jung identified the way people preferred to perceive their environment. Almost Twenty years later, Briggs and Myers developed the Myers – Briggs type indicator (MBTI) a personality test that measured each of the traits in Carl Jung’s model. MBTI is in-fact, one of the most widely used personality tests. It is used by many organisations to select people for a particular position.

It measures how people focus their attention (extrovert or introvert), collect information (sensing or intuition), process the same (thinking or feeling) and finally direct themselves to the other world (judging or perceiving) MBTI then combines the four classifications into 16 personality types.

Personality helps the managers in understanding why do workers behave as they do and what incentive schemes are to be designed to motivate the workers. Further, personality has a great influence on work performance, particularly, in a job with high human relations content, where most of the working day is spent interacting with other people.

Personality is the major determinant of the person holding the key job. Each man’s personality reveals itself in the way he works with his superior, his subordinates and other people. As a result, when one person on a job changes, everyone has to adjust to a whole series of changes in the way the work is accomplished. All this will affect the individual performance as well as the organizational performance.

Probably the best statement on personality was made many years ago by Kluckhohn and Murray who said that to some extent, a person’s personality is like all other people, like some other people’s and like no other people’s.