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Organisational behaviour is the study of individuals in organisations and the ability to respond, cope and adapt with changes and diversities in the workplae. Therefore, personality also plays a very important role in individuals’ and occupational positions. This applies across all walks of life and across all countries.

New Zealand ranks highly on international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister in a diverse cultural country acting on a global level.

Analyse newspaper and published media information about the Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, of New Zealand. Give your individual opinion regarding her personality traits relevant to the secondary data obtained. Support your argument as to how personality influences behaviour indicating advanced knowledge of the Big 5 personality theory. Apply knowledge on how the benefits and problems of diversity affects her approach in professional practice to successfully lead the country, grounded on Hofstede’s five dimensions of cultural differences that affect attitudes, motivation and satisfaction based on a national and international level.

New Zealand's Youngest Prime Minister

Jacinda Arden is known as country’s youngest prime minister of New Zealand. Prior to her present state of being, Ardern was chosen as the “Labour Candidate” for Member of Parliament in the region of Waikato district and this position went beyond the coverage of the party; however, Ardern lost by 13000 votes (Encyclopedia Britannica 2018). However, Ardern got a significant authority or power in the parliament as a list candidate. According to the report provided by NZ’s proportional voting system including the mix members could allow individuals who goes for a district seat and to hold position in party’s list of candidates. Ardern’s has received the major breakthrough of her long political career when she, at the age of 28 entered the “House of Representatives” as the youngest member (Newsroom 2018).). In the House, at her first speech, she highlighted the fact of introducing the instructions in the Maori Language in the preliminary education system of the nation. Ardern criticized the government of New Zealand stating “shameful” to climate change. First step of her journey proceeded with when Ardern was appointed to the “Regulation Review and Justice and Electoral select committees”.

In 2011, Arden led her step towards acquisition of the seat that represents “Auckland Central” which was previously acquired by Nikki Kaye, who was known to be the most popular and youngest politician from the “New Zealand National Party”. Nikki won the control by dubbing the “Battle of the Babes”; however, this was just a temporary transition as Ardern again restored its position in the parliament even promoted as the “Well-placed” list candidate and besides this, her support for David Shearer for “Labor Leadership” enabled her to receive a high-profile assignment as “the Spokesperson of Social Development”. Ardern’s political profile was well shaped with the prominence, as the detail of her personality and personal life was “well-known” (Encyclopedia Britannica 2018). Furthermore, Ardern addressed the growing media attention by characterizing herself as “acceptable nerd” as well as defined her approach to life “relentlessly positive”.

In addition to the above stated achievement in 2017, Ardern again recorded a landslide victory in the parliamentary by election for empty seat that represents the Labor District of Mount Albert in Auckland. Likewise, Ardern took next initiative of replacing Bill English of National Party as the prime minister. According to Kelsey (2015), charismatic optimism, strength as well as down to earth charm swiftly energized the voters, especially, the young and the women; consequently polling number held by Labor’s preferences increased.

According to Quintelier (2014), in today’s modern psychology, there are five different aspects in the Big 5 Personality traits that help to describe human personality and report the factors for the differences in individuals. The author of this study has mentioned that personality traits involved in Big 5 theory are relevant and effective in guiding the employees because those are traits treated as underlying which helps to shape an individual’s personality. So the big five personality traits are such as Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism or the OCEAN in other form.

Big Five Personality Traits

Openness: According to Curtis, Windsor and Soubelet (2015) individuals who prefer to know new things and gain new experience in general tend to score high in openness. More specifically, openness could involve the traits of being understanding, imaginative and holding larger variety of interest.

Conscientiousness,: Individuals having a large scale of consciousness usually become reliable. The traits may take in being organized, methodic and thorough.

Extraversion: According to Power and Pluess (2015) extroverts tend to receive their energy from communicating with others; while introverts may gather energy from within themselves. So, the extroverts include the traits of energetic, talkative as well as assertive.

Agreeableness: The individuals with agreeableness are usually become friendly in nature, cooperative as well as compassionate (Leutner et al. 2014). So, individuals with low agreeableness may be more distant. The major traits may include being kind, actionable and sympathetic.

Neuroticism: As put forward by Anglim and Grant (2016), Neuroticism is also known as “Emotional Stability” and such dimension is often related to individual stability and the extent to which negative emotions are recorded. The individuals who high neuroticism may experience emotional instability as well as negative emotions and traits may include being tense and moody. In this context, Leutner et al. (2014) also mentioned that neuroticism helps to measure the emotional reaction of the individuals. People with such trait may react negatively or calmly to unpleasant news.

In 1970 the psychologists Greet Hofstede published his culture dimensions model and over decades it has become a globally recognized benchmark for understanding the cultural differences.

Power Distance Index (PDI): According to Mazanec et al. (2015) this particular dimension is referred to the extent of inequality which resides and is acceptable between people with and without power. This means with a high index PDI embraces an unequal, hierarchical distribution of power and individuals in the system can understand their position.  On the other side, a low PDI score is referred to the action of power that is shared as well as broadly disseminated and the member of the society do not accept the situations where power is distributed unequally. 

Individualism versus Collectivism: This particular dimension is referred to the strength of the relationship that people with others within the society. According to Beugelsdijk,  Maseland and Van Hoorn (2015), a high IDV score implies that fragile or weak interpersonal connection among those who are not part of core family. Hence, people may take limited amount of responsibility for others’ action as well as outcomes. It is further identified that particularly, in a collective society, nonetheless, individuals are expected to be faithful to the community they live in and on the contrary, the community could protect their interest. Individuals in the community may perform the responsibility for each other’s development and wellbeing.

This dimension is referred to the roles between male and female. It is identified that in masculine society, role of male and female could overlap less and the males usually behave assertively. Karin Andreassi et al. (2014) mentioned that demonstrating success, being strong and fast are observed as positive characteristics. Nonetheless, in a feminine society, there is greater deal of overlap between men and women where modesty is considered as the virtue; significant emphasis is put on good relationship with leader or direct supervisor. Nistor et al. (2014) performed an experimental study and mentioned that gap between male and female’s values is large in number especially in Australia and Japan with MAS score of 95 and 79.

Hofstede's Five Dimensions of Cultural Differences

Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): This particularly dimension describes how effectively can cope with the anxiety. So, in societies that tend to score high for uncertainty avoidance, individuals tend to attempt to make life as predictable as well as conformable as possible. For instance, in general if such individuals find that they cannot have control on their own lives they may be lured to stop trying (Beugelsdijk, Maseland and Van Hoorn 2015.). More specially, people with such dimension may put their lives in the hands of God. 

Pragmatic versus Normative (PRA): This dimension is recognized as “Long-term Orientation”. This dimension holds a range to which individuals should consider and describe the “inexplicable” and it is linked to nationalism (Karin Andreassi et al. 2014). Notwithstanding, generally, nations that hold a high range of score for PRA, could become pragmatic and on the other hand, in a low scoring nations, people tend to become religious and nationalistic.

The series of achievement of Ardern indicates that she holds the trait of openness. It was reviewed above that an individual who tends to enjoy new experience usually score in openness. Ardern always nourishes the understanding of change that every society needs to adapt to the growing needs of people. The political fight with Nikki Kaye proves that Ardern is very determined about her perspective to change which brought her back to parliament. Being an young leader, she was very methodic towards her actions to achieve the goals. She knew giving up to the failure cannot even have a page of the history; she fought and regained her position in the parliament. Failure was just an obstacle before the achievement.  This action also proves that Ardern is carrying off her conscientiousness. James (2015) mentioned that in a media press, Ardern admitted she is “relentlessly positive”; thereby, and individual such personality always brings about positive change to the society. So, Ardern’ approach towards leading the nation is quite positive and persistent; and persistent effort always brings effective changes.

Furthermore, it has also been identified that Ardern is very energetic about her leadership which is letting her to communicate with the audiences of the nation that certainly requires energy which comes out from interacting with others.  According Saleem (2015) a leader always has to be interactive and assertive to encourage or guide the others in the system. For example, the young leader and the founder of a popular social networking channel, Mark Zuckerberg is very interactive in nature as with his communication skills, Zuckerberg is leading the digital environment gaining tremendous popularity. In the case of Adern, it is also observed that she acquired the 5th position on Labor’s list and easily returned to Parliament event after the second defeat with Nikki in the election poll. This initiative led Ardern’s position as spoke-person for Arts, Culture, Heritage, children justice. Such initiative proves that she is the leader with multi-traits, as her position as spoke-person of diverse social practices indicates the trait of interactive and energetic, which is mostly found in extroversion.

Analyzing Jacinda Ardern's Personality

Furthermore, Ardern is able to gain or draw the support of public, specifically; young audiences are amused by Ardern’s approaches as a prime minister (Bowerman and Van Wart 2014). In addition, due to her popularity and personality, she is in the limelight and center of the media debates. On the other side, according to the traits and principles of 5 big personality traits, the individuals who find it difficult to communicate with others are of low sociability- introversion in other sense. Notwithstanding, Ardern wins the highest public support when being elected as the prime minister of New Zealand, which again implies a great level of sociability.

However, the influence of Neuroticism is probably absent in Ardern’s leadership role as the prime minister. Verba (2015) mentioned that a leader with a high degree of negative emotions is not a good choice for a large democratic environment.  Ardern always gets a good vibe from her supporters and even in the parliament her position was highly acclaimed. She is effective at dealing with the negative remarks, as for example, she tackled the media buzz of negativity characterizing herself as an “acceptable nerd”.  Moreover, according to Bowerman and Van Wart (2014), to lead large environment, a leader has to deal with good and bad to balance the environment.

It is identified that when analyzing the database of cultural statistics, Hofstede found a seeming pattern of similarity and differences of the above four dimensions. In the case of New Zealand, it has been identified that New Zealand develops a work-life balance which is why people living there lead quality of life. However, it is also identified that Power Distance index is high among the people in New Zealand as even though it is a democratic nation but the individuals are quite accustomed to the leader’s role and approaches. The government in NZ is hierarchical where the power and authority is not equal. Nonetheless, Dunleavy (2014) argued that although the power is unequal in the governmental structure but the governing arrangements hold a largely centralized system of governments with formally vast legislative authority as well as strong executive dominance of the activities of nation’s parliament. In addition, McLaren (2018) also mentioned that public decision-making power is concentrated in different ways that an observer educated in orthodoxies of constitutional design effectively nourish may expect to cause some significant issue. However, it is worth mentioning that the degree of IDV (Individualism versus Collectivism) is high in the national level of New Zealand as social structure or the people in the society seem to be loyal and in return the society as a whole tend to defend their interest. For example, Dunleavy (2014) provided the data that the nation NZ is able to combine unfilled as well as rigorous forms of power along with a genuinely free and open society which has no broken history of seemingly contested democratic elections as well as subsequent hassle-free conversion of governmental power. This proves that wellbeing should be considered for all in the nations although hierarchy remains in the governments.

Influence of Personality on Leadership

To keep and maintain the democratic environment in the nation, Ardern as a leader, tends to encourage the debate as well as expression of people’s ideas. James (2015) particularly mentioned that public opinions are often reflected on the governmental decisions of New Zealand. For example, the governing arrangements in 2017 made by the newly elected Prime Minister deliver a stable and peaceful method for addressing the ongoing political disagreements while broadly respecting and valuing people’s rights, complying with the rules of law and having a widespread public support. Thus, a society or nation with a high IDV can also be positively dealt when power need to be equally placed among all. On the other side, it has been identified that although, dominance of the executives of NZ’s governing institutions and absence of formal constitutional arrangements on the legislative power wins occasional academic head-shaking, people in the nation have refused to support it (McLaren 2018).

Furthermore, two recent inquiries into NZ’s governmental arrangements created a dominant public response which claims the fact that each citizen in the nation should have the political understanding of nation’s constitution. Almond and Verba (2015) performed a study on culture and attitude on New Zealand and mentioned the fact that there is a significant gap exist between men and women’s in with Masculinity Versus Femininity (MAS) scope of 95 and 79 respectively. According to the author, in New Zealand men usually score high for demonstrating “hard” masculine values as well as behavior but women also comparatively score high for having masculine values and this behavior is often justified with the Ardern and Nikki Kaye.

Even though there is a significant balance between men and women’s power and role in the society in New Zealand, the individuals or the leader need to be aware of the possibilities of differentiated or variety of genders’ role. There is a possibility that long-hours culture could be the norms; thereby, it is necessary to recognize its advantages as well as the risk. Even though in New Zealand, the power of dominance is equally shared but the balance lies in the fact that people can be motivated by specific targets as well as by being capable of showing that they can achieve as a group or individuals. Presently, the lady the Prime Minister Jacinda Arden should try to equalize the power and right of individual despite having a nation where men‘s a degree of masculinity values are high. In addition, the feministic perspectives of women as parliament’s members should also be aware of the fact that low extent of MAS value may bring success but that is only attainable by negotiation and collaboration as well as input from hierarchies of the society. However, this is mere and unpleasant in a constitution where power is required equally shared.

Conclusion

The report is performed on organizational behavior consisting individuals with different personality traits and beliefs. To analyze personality traits and behavior, real-world leadership roles have been considered in the report- such as the role of Jacinda Arden such as the prime minister of New Zealand. In conclusion it can be mentioned that behavior and personality traits may differ person to person and these are highly influenced by the society, culture values and core beliefs.

References

Almond, G.A. and Verba, S., 2015. The civic culture: Political attitudes and democracy in five nations. Princeton university press.

Anglim, J. and Grant, S., 2016. Predicting psychological and subjective well-being from personality: Incremental prediction from 30 facets over the Big 5. Journal of Happiness studies, 17(1), pp.59-80.

Beugelsdijk, S., Maseland, R. and Van Hoorn, A., 2015. Are Scores on H ofstede's Dimensions of National Culture Stable over Time? A Cohort Analysis. Global Strategy Journal, 5(3), pp.223-240.

Bowerman, K.D. and Van Wart, M., 2014. The Business of Leadership: An Introduction: An Introduction. Routledge.

Curtis, R.G., Windsor, T.D. and Soubelet, A., 2015. The relationship between Big-5 personality traits and cognitive ability in older adults–a review. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 22(1), pp.42-71.

Dunleavy, P., 2014. Democracy, bureaucracy and public choice: Economic approaches in political science. Routledge.

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018). Jacinda Ardern | Biography, Facts, & Partner. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jacinda-Ardern [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

James, C., 2015. New territory: the transformation of New Zealand, 1984–92. Bridget Williams Books.

Karin Andreassi, J., Lawter, L., Brockerhoff, M. and J. Rutigliano, P., 2014. Cultural impact of human resource practices on job satisfaction: A global study across 48 countries. Cross cultural management, 21(1), pp.55-77.

Kelsey, J., 2015. The New Zealand experiment: A world model for structural adjustment?. Bridget Williams Books.

Leutner, F., Ahmetoglu, G., Akhtar, R. and Chamorro-Premuzic, T., 2014. The relationship between the entrepreneurial personality and the Big Five personality traits. Personality and individual differences, 63, pp.58-63.

Mazanec, J.A., Crotts, J.C., Gursoy, D. and Lu, L., 2015. Homogeneity versus heterogeneity of cultural values: An item-response theoretical approach applying Hofstede's cultural dimensions in a single nation. Tourism Management, 48, pp.299-304.

McLaren, I.A., 2018. Education in a small democracy: New Zealand. Routledge.

Newsroom. (2018). Jacinda Ardern's steel: 'That's just who I am'. [online] Available at: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/08/20/43691/wheres-the-beef-ardern# [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

Nistor, N., Lerche, T., Weinberger, A., Ceobanu, C. and Heymann, O., 2014. Towards the integration of culture into the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), pp.36-55.

Power, R.A. and Pluess, M., 2015. Heritability estimates of the Big Five personality traits based on common genetic variants. Translational psychiatry, 5(7), p.e604.

Quintelier, E., 2014. The influence of the Big 5 personality traits on young people’s political consumer behavior. Young Consumers, 15(4), pp.342-352.

Saleem, H., 2015. The impact of leadership styles on job satisfaction and mediating role of perceived organizational politics. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 172, pp.563-569.

Verba, S., 2015. Small groups and political behavior: A study of leadership (Vol. 1289). Princeton University Press.

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