PERSONALITY AND EMOTIONS
After studying this chapter, students should be able to:
Explain the factors that determine an individual’s
Describe the MBTI personality framework.
Identify the key traits in the Big Five personality model.
Explain the impact of job typology on the
personality-job performance relationship.
Differentiate emotions from moods.
Contrast felt vs. displayed emotions.
Explain any gender-differences in emotions.
Describe external constraints on emotions.
10. Apply concepts on emotions to OB issues.
A review of the personality literature offers general guidelines that can lead to effective job performance. As such,
it can improve hiring, transfer, and promotion decisions. Because personality characteristics create the
parameters for people’s behavior, they give us a framework for predicting behavior. For example, individuals who
are shy, introverted, and uncomfortable in social situations would probably be ill-suited as salespeople. Individuals
who are submissive and conforming might not be effective as advertising “idea” people.
Can we predict which people will be high performers in sales, research, or assembly-line work on the basis of
their personality characteristics alone? The answer is no. Personality assessment should be used in conjunction
with other information such as skills, abilities, and experience. However, knowledge of an individual’s personality
can aid in reducing mismatches, which, in turn, can lead to reduced turnover and higher job satisfaction.
We can look at certain personality characteristics that tend to be related to job success, test for those traits, and
use the data to make selection more effective. A person who accepts rules, conformity, dependence, and rates
high on authoritarianism is likely to feel more comfortable in, say, a structured assembly-line job, as an admittance
clerk in a hospital, or as an administrator in a large public agency than as a researcher or an employee whose job
requires a high degree of creativity.
Can managers control the emotions of their colleagues and employees? No. Emotions are a natural part of an
individual’s makeup. Where managers err is if they ignore the emotional elements in organizational behavior and
assess individual behavior as if it were completely rational. As one consultant aptly put it, “You can’t divorce
emotions from the workplace because you can’t divorce emotions from people.’’ Managers who understand the
role of emotions will significantly improve their ability to explain and predict individual behavior.
Do emotions affect job performance? Yes. They can hinder performance, especially negative emotions. That is