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Models of Personality and Effect in Organisations

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 3329 words Published: 20th Apr 2018

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  • Saarthak Sankalp



Topic (Jump to)


Personality Models

Predicting Personality with Social Behaviour

Importance of Corporate Brand Personality Traits

Role of Personality factors in Coping with Organizational Change

Challenges and Concerns with Personality Assessment in Indian Context




The work personality is derived from the Latin word persona, which was used to describe the different roles or disguises performed by theatrical performers. Personality can be defined as an individual’s unique characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Gordon Allport defined personality as – “the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment.”

Personality Models

Many models have been given by various researchers to analyse the personality. The latest personality models are as follows :-

Myers-Briggs Type Index (MBTI)

The MBTI is a personality ideal based on Jung’s theory of psychological kinds developed by Briggs and Myers and consists of four dimensions of preferences which are as follows:-

  1. Extroversion (E) vs Introversion (I). This dimension gives an insight about the orientation of the individual. Extroverts are said to be more concerned with the practical realities than with the inner thoughts. Introverts, though, gaze more into the inner-self and are pre-occupied with their own thoughts.
  2. Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N). Persons who have more sensing dimension rely more on that can be observed and are considered to be bent towards what is real. Persons having more intuitive dimension rely extra on their non-objective and unconscious perceptual processes.
  1. Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F). A preference for thinking indicates the individual uses more of logic and rational procedures to make decisions and action. People having more feeling dimension gave more emotional replies to events and give preference to established subjective processes.
  2. Judgment (J) vs Perception (P). The judgement-perception preferences were developed to indicate if rational or irrational judgments are dominant after a person is interacting with the environment. In decision making the judgmental person uses both the thinking and feeling, while the sensing and intuition processes are used by the perception people.

  1. The Big Five Personality Model

‘The Big Five’ is the commonly used term for the model of personality which describes the five fundamental factors of our personality. It was defined independently by many researchers based on the factor-analyses of the personality traits. The five traits are commonly referred as OCEAN. The five personality traits are as follows:-

  1. Openness to Experience: It is the openness to innovative ideas, new experiences, curiosity, adventure, appreciation for emotions and art.
  2. Conscientiousness: Tendency to be coordinated and dependable, display self-discipline, target for attainment, acts dutifully and does not prefer spontaneous behaviour.
  3. Extraversion: Affirmative emotions, sociability, assertiveness, energy, talkativeness and the tendency to pursue stimulation.
  4. Agreeableness: Traits of a person who is obliging and compassionate rather than dubious and antagonistic towards others. It is additionally a measure of one’s helpful and trusting nature, and whether the person is calm and composed.
  5. Neuroticism: It refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control in a person. The traits to easily give in to anger, anxiety or depression.

Score on all the five factors are used to describe a person’s personality

  1. Kolbe Conative Index (KCI)

KCI is considered a personality model which is different from MBTI and FIRO-B as it measures instinctive behaviours of an individual that appear while that he/she tries to achieve goals. The KCI classifies the instinctive behaviours into four categories: probing, patterning, innovating and demonstrating. Each category has its corresponding ‘Action Mode’ which are as follows:

  1. Fact Finder (FF): Probing instinctive behaviour is given by this action mode. This mode is related to the information gathering. Fact finders are concerned with strategies, research and details. They establish priorities for making decision by collecting and analyzing data.
  2. Follow Through (FT): Patterning instinctive behaviour is given by this action mode. This mode is related to structure. People controlled by FT seek structure, and plan and schedules in advance. They react in a sequential manner.
  3. Quick Start (QS): Innovating instinctive behaviour is given by this action mode. This mode is related to the way to deal with risk and uncertainty. Quick starters initiate changes, take risk, and they are innovative.
  4. Implementor (IMP): Demonstrating instinctive behaviour is given by this action mode. This action mode is related to the way to handle space and tangibles. People having this action mode are good at using space and materials, develop constructs, and easily use hand on equipment.

Kolbe Action Modes

  1. Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behaviour (FIRO-B)

Schutz developed the FIRO-B personality model. The intensity of the interpersonal needs of inclusion (I), control (C), and affection (A) are measured by this model. The individual’s social need of interaction and belongingness is defined as Inclusion. The need for power and influence is defined as Control, and can be related to leadership. The need for intimacy and friendship is defined as Affection. How much each of these three needs can be described into 2 dimensions of expressed (e) or wanted (w). The degree to which one behaves in that way toward others is defined as expressed while the degree to which one wants others to behave that way toward oneself is described as wanted.

The FIRO-B model can be explained by the interaction of expressed and wanted dimensions with the three interpersonal needs, resulting in six categories of interpersonal needs as described in the figure below. Each category is measured with a 10 point scale (0-9).

FIRO-B Model

  1. Latest researches related to Personality

The latest researches related to personalities are as follows:-

Predicting personality with social behaviour

Personality is a trait which influences the behaviour of a person with other people. Social behaviour can give us a good insight about the personality of an individual as they behave showcase a normative (or normal) behaviour in social interactions. To understand this within the scope of a social behaviour, we consider the actions in the following main groups:-

  1. Nextwork Bandwidth (NET): The active involvement in the social networks, the time spent there and activity distribution (uniform or bursty).
  2. Message Content (MSG): The variety and amount of messages they are sending, whether they are the links or URLs of websites or the forwarded messages etc.
  3. Pair Behaviour (PAIR): How they behave with their friends and relatives, the statistical measures of standard deviations and average of various actions across different followers and friends.
  4. Reciprocity of actions (REC): Levels to which there actions are reciprocated by their friends.
  5. Informativeness (INF): Information that could be gained from the behaviour with the friends, whether there is same type of behaviour with every friend or whether some friends are favoured over others in specific actions.
  6. Homophily (HOM): All the previous features computed for the person’s friend to understand her social circle.

Importance of Corporate brand personality traits

Corporate brands create a particular image in the minds of the customers and other constituents which can help the corporate to differentiate their brand from others. A number of factors will be responsible for the corporate image like the products a company makes, the actions it takes, and the manner in which it communicates to consumers. A new very important component of corporate image is the corporate brand personality. 60 US brands have been examined and are found to fell into the following five main clusters, “(1) Sincerity, (2) Excitement, (3) Competence, (4) Sophistication and (5) Ruggedness.

Corporate Personality Traits

Corporate brand personality is defined as how customer perceives a particular brand – characterstics of consumers who are using it. It can be seen as a means for the customer to express what they really expect or want. Corporate brand personality is more about the perception of employees – both the customer facing and the senior management as they constitute the whole organization. It reflects the actions and values of all the employees of the organization.

Corporate brand personality of a 21st century business can be grouped into three dimensions which are as follows:-

  1. Heart – It consists of two traits: compassionate and passionate.
  2. Mind – It consists of two traits: Creative and disciplined.
  3. Body – It consists of two traits: Agile and collaborative.

Role of Personality factors in coping with organizational change

In reference to the research paper written by R. Ravi Kumar, change is inevitable to any organization. Both external and internal factors can bring about changes to an organization. The work environment is affected to a large extent by external factor such as changing expectations about quality, customer satisfaction and new work force demographics. It is also affected by the internal factors such as the mergers and acquisitions, financial constraints and the necessity to improve productivity.

Personality plays a very important role in the job performance of an individual when changes in an organization take place. The personality factors which affect the performance are as follows:-

Demographic Variables

  1. Age – Age has a negative impact on any kind of change in an organization. As the age increases people don’t like change and try to resist it.
  2. Education – The level of education has a positive impact on coping with the organization changes. As more educated can handle the uncertainties better and are more ready for new challenges and opportunities.
  3. Tenure – It has negative effect on coping with changes in an organization. People who have served longer in any organization resist the change more than a newly joined.
  4. Seniority – Employees at higher level understand the importance of change better than the employees at lower level. One important reason for this is that changes are implemented with the active participation of the senior staff.

Independent Variables

  1. Self Esteem – It is positively associated with coping changes in an organization. Self esteem consists of two major constituents – ‘competence’ and ‘worth’. Individuals with high self esteem handle the adverse conditions better.
  2. Optimism – People who are optimistic are able to accept the organizational change better than pessimistic people. They are able to deal with the adversities with more strength and perseverance.
  3. Perceived Control – It is the belief that one can determine one’s own internal state and behaviour, influence one’s environment and/or bring about the desired outcomes.
  4. Change Self- Efficacy – There is a very little difference between self efficacy and self esteem. People having self efficacy feel confident in adverse situations. Self-efficacy is their perceived ability to handle change in a given situation to function better.

Challenges and Concerns with Personality Assessments in Indian Context

In the modern business, personality assessments as part of recruitment process have become vital for the selection of the right candidate matching the organizational objectives. They provide inputs which could be used for the 360 degree feedback and to measure their performance in the organization.

In entry level roles like sales and customer relationship personnel in finance, banking and insurance sector, personality is a very important discriminator for job-success. So, there is a huge need for these personality assessments. These days many multi- national companies are conducting non-Indian personality solutions for recruitment in India. But there are many challenges faced by these International solutions in Indian context which are as follows:-

  1. Problems in understanding English – The level of English in these international personality assessments is quite is high and most of the Indians are not able to comprehend the exact meaning of the words. For example, a typical question will ask a candidate to choose between sympathetic and empathetic. Most of the candidates could not differentiate between these words.
  1. Not in context with Indian Population – Many questions are out of context for the Indian population. One of the questions in such an assessment asks whether they would prefer a holiday in Las Vegas. Average Indian does not understand what it means to have a vacation there.
  1. Not in context with entry level candidates – The questions in theses assessments pose situations which favour the candidates who have already worked in that area before, which makes it very difficult for an entry level candidate to get selected.
  1. No consideration for cultural differences – People in the west use words like ‘Thank you’ and ‘sorry’ much more frequently than Indians. But that doesn’t mean those Indians which don’t use these words that frequently are any less polite. The assessments fail to understand such socio-economic and cultural differences of India.
  1. Not much use for recruitment with little validation – Many such inventories being used have not been validated if they are suitable for job recruitment. Also, some of them are very easy to fake in the process.


Personality gives a very coherent picture of an individual’s psychological behaviour and differences. It also gives an insight about the human nature and the similarities between them. A lot about personality can be perceived from the social behaviour of an individual. In modern business personality plays a very important role in assessing the right candidate for the right job profile. Performance of an individual in any organization is also dependent on his personality traits.


  1. Ki-Young Jeong, Bozkurt, Ipek, Sunkara, Surya T.(2012). Creative effective project teams using personality models. Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI) Proceeding, p403-414.
  1. Pittenger, David J. (1993). Measuring the MBTI… And coming up short. Journal of Career Planning and Employment, v54 n1 p48-52.
  1. Adali, S., Golbeck, J. (2012). Predicting Personality with Social Behavior. Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining (ASONAM), IEEE/ACM International Conference, p302-309.
  1. Keller, Kevin Lane, Richey, Keith. (2006). The importance of corporate brand personality traits to a successful 21st century business. Journal of Brand Management, Vol.14 Issue ½, p74-81.
  1. Young-Ei Kim, Jung-Wan Lee & Yong-Ki Lee. (2008). Relationship between Brand Personality and the Personality of Consumers, and its Application to Corporate Branding Strategy, Journal of Global Academy of Marketing Science, 18:3, p27-57
  1. R. Ravi Kumar, T.J. Kamalanabhan. (2005).The role of personality factors in coping with organizational change. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 13 Issue 2 p.175 – 192.
  1. Aggarwal, Varun. (2009). Challenges and Concerns with International Personality Assessments. Retrieved from the Aspiring Minds website: http://www.aspiringminds.in/docs/challenges_with_international_personality_assessments.pdf
  2. Major, Debra A., Turner Jonathan E., Fletcher Thomas D. (2006). Linking Proactive Personality and the Big Five to Motivation to Learn and Development Activity. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 91, No. 4, 927-935.


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