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Critically discuss the role of personality and its role in work performance. 

An essay should be more than just 'descriptive' - a good essay argues a case, it demonstrates that you have critically thought about the question and have recognised there are different views on the issue. A good essay is one that uses evidence to support it's position. The evidence is in the form of thinking about the data reported in the literature.

The Five Factor Model and its Impact on Work Performance

An individual’s personality is the characteristics traits that are a strong disposition or perception to behave or react in a particular way in a certain situation. In the contemporary business organizations, human resources has become one of the most important assists that consists of skills and proficiencies which facilitates an organization to achieve its desired objective or goal. A business organization that lacks basic proficiency and skills among its employees are one step behind in terms of competitive advantage in the market. The impact of individual’s personality on job performance has been a subject of many debates and scholarly researches among business researchers. Personality is regarded as a chief factor during recruitment that is considered by the human resource department. In the competitive market it is important to select right people in the right jobs which significantly improve individual as well as organizational overall performance. It is clear that very individual is unique with unique personalities. In the following essay the author is going to critically discuss the role of personality and its role in work performance.

Job performance deals with the attitudes, capabilities and knowledge that are required to assists an individual to execute a certain task within an organization. Job performance can be further sub-divided into three categories- task performance, counterproductive behavior and citizenship behaviour. The task performance incorporates an individual’s behaviour which contains the ability to converse organizational resources into products or services while achieving the organizational success (Bakker & Leiter, 2010). The most common job performance evaluation system is performance appraisal. Personality is the psychological characteristics that have a direct influence one an individual’s behaviour. People take part in social interaction in workplace which is largely influenced by the personality of the individual.

An individual’s personality is affected by many different factors- physical environment, socio-cultural factors, hereditary and role play (Conte, et al. 2017). Here the physical environment can be explained as the geographical location in which the individual has been brought up. For instance, an individual living in remote location will have different perspective towards life than a person brought up in urban areas. The social and cultural factors have a large influence in building an individual’s personality as different societies and culture has different views, customs, and traditions in accepting situations (McShane & Von Glinow, 2011)). The hereditary factors refer to the genetic factors that effect in building an individual’s personality. Lastly, role play refers to the roles and responsibilities that individuals are allotted to play within an organization. In this essay, the author is going to explain the significant features of personality by the five factor model.

The Five Factor Model or the Big Five is a widely accepted model which explains general language descriptors of personality. The model was proposed by Costa and McRae (Alessandri & Vecchione, 2012). The big five have another six traits under each of the five factors. The Big Five Factors are:

  • The openness to experience explains to what extend an individual has intellectual interest, originality and an inclination for innovation and diversity a person has.
  • The conscientiousness explains how much an individual is organized, self dependent, dutiful and motivated to achieve objective (Pervin, L. A. (Ed.). (2015)).
  • The extraversion explains how much an individual is social and communicative with other members in the society.
  • The Agreeableness explains to what extend an individual is co-operative and sympathetic to others in the society.
  • Neuroticism explains to what extend an individual is comfortable to express the negative emotions like anger, distress and anxiety.

The big five model clearly explains the individual personality and its impact on job performance. In an organization, the employee performance sets performance objective for the employees so that it can motivate them to maximize their potential in workplace. Scholarly researches show that managers should utilize the personality assessments to influence and maximize employee potential in performance at workplace (Colquitt, et al. 2011). The big five is an effective tool for selecting the potential candidates and it is the main personality framework. For instance, conscientiousness is one of the chief factors that influence personality factors of leaders or job role which needs self management and managing teams (Myers & Myers, 2010).

Personality Assessments for Measuring Work Performance

After analysing the big five factors, the author believes that the conscientiousness is one of the most convincing predictor for analysing performance for an individual’s work performance in an organization. The reason being that the conscientiousness has all the positive and affirmative factors that lead to efficient performance at workplace, that most business organizations look for in a suitable candidate (Eysenck, 2012). The big five has a huge impact on relative and work performance. The most negative factors that relates to an individual’s negative job performance is influenced by Neuroticism as it is related to an individual’s negative reactions like anger, stress, etc. An individual with extraversion qualities easily mix-up with others and they are more suitable for working in teams. Agreeableness factors are very effective when working in a group as individual with these traits is co-operative and understanding with others. But both openness and agreeableness traits have demerits as individuals may often get cheated or distracted by individuals with negative intentions. There are mainly three motivational factors that influence the Big Five that consecutively have an effect on job performance. The motivational factors are- communication, social status and success. According recent scholars the social status has more influence over an individual’s job performance than any other motivational factors.

Apart from big five, there are other techniques through which employee performance at work can be measured like personality assessment. Some of the most widely used personality assessment tools that are utilized to assess work performance are Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) based on Jung's theory mainly for decision-making and problem solving in organizations.

TAT or Thematic Apperception Test is another employee performance assessment technique utilized in high stress job roles and responsibilities. This technique effectively assesses the mental strength of the candidate (Shneidman, 2013). Projective test is another employee performance assessment which inspects the learning process of the candidate. Personality assessment is not the most effective process in analysing individuals work performance as candidates can temper the answers or responses. Personality and work performance depends largely on the cognitive behaviour of the individual. It has been observed that an individual with higher need for success and higher cognitive capability tends to perform better in workplace.

Another factor that has a very significant influence on employee performance at workplace is organizational commitment. The term organizational commitment can be defined broadly as a strong desire to become an effective member of the organization and constant efforts to deliver excellent performance for organizational overall performance achievement. It also includes accepting the values and culture of the organization. According to Meyer and Allen, there is mainly three component outline of organizational commitment; they are affective commitment, continuance commitment and normative commitment (Jaros, 2007).

Employee work performance is significant as it leads to assists employees set their objective and thus promoting their involvement in different decision making roles within the organization (Klang, 2012). Thus, it is often considered as a motivating factor which promotes enhancement of performance at job and this facilitates in overall performance of the organization. Also, an individual’s personality characteristics are very essential in conveying the attitude and approach of him in conducting tasks and job responsibility at workplace. For instance, the human resource department should emphasise on conducting personality assessment as it will increase the chance of recruiting productive workforce who will be dedicated and committed and assists in cooperation in team work. So, it can be stated that personality of an individual influences the behaviour in which he approaches or react to job role and responsibility. Thus, it is always recommend by the scholars to judge potential candidates by personality assessments while recruitment so that the organization selects the right candidate for the right job. Effective personality assessment also enables in identifying the underlying abilities and skills of an individual.

Conclusion:

In the above essay, the author has critically examined and analysed the function of personality and its role in work performance. Based on the study it can be concluded that conscientiousness has the highest control over an effective employee performance. According on the study it can be concluded that personality has a direct influence over an individual’s perception and job performance. There are many factors like socio-cultural, genetic, and physical and role play does influence and manipulates an individual’s personality. So, it is important for business organizations to judge and evaluate potential candidates according to their personality so that they can select the right candidate for the right job role.

Reference:

Alessandri, & Vecchione. (2012). The higher-order factors of the Big Five as predictors of job performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(6), 779-784.

Bakker, A. B., & Leiter, M. P. (Eds.). (2010). Work engagement: A handbook of essential theory and research. Psychology Press.

Colquitt, J., Lepine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2011). Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace. McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Conte, Heffner, Roesch, & Aasen. (2017). A person-centric investigation of personality types, job performance, and attrition. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 554-559.

Eysenck, H. J. (Ed.). (2012). A model for personality. Springer Science & Business Media.

Eysenck, M. (2012). Attention and arousal: Cognition and performance. Springer Science & Business Media.

Jaros, S. (2007). Meyer and Allen model of organizational commitment: Measurement issues. The Icfai Journal of Organizational Behavior, 6(4), 7-25.

Klang, A. (2012). The Relationship between Personality and Job Performance in Sales:: A Replication of Past Research and an Extension to a Swedish Context.

McShane, S., & Von Glinow, M. (2011). M: Organizational behavior. Irwin/McGraw-Hill.

Myers, I., & Myers, P. (2010). Gifts differing: Understanding personality type. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Pervin, L. A. (Ed.). (2015). Goal concepts in personality and social psychology. Psychology Press.

Shneidman, E. S. (2013). Thematic test analysis. Routledge.

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