Expert Answer:MGMT2041 SUNYBuffalo Understanding Yourself As Qua

  

Solved by verified expert:Read first chapter 9 textbook and watch video. After watching this video and having read chapter 9, I would like each of you to reflect and address the following: 1. Explain why understanding yourself is essential for being a good manager. 2. Describe two methods for enhancing self-awareness. Also, not only should you relate your posts to the concepts discussed in the textbook, but when possible, try to relate these concepts to your own personal/professional experiences. Connecting your experiences to the textbook concepts show me that you fully comprehend the material covered in this course.Please discuss specific and correct grammar and spelling.
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9-1Understanding
Organizations
Individuals in
As a starting point in understanding human behavior in the
workplace, we must consider the basic nature of the
relationship between individuals and organizations. We must
also gain an appreciation of the nature of individual differences.
The Psychological Contract
Most people have a basic understanding of a contract. Whenever
we buy a house or sell a car, for example, both buyer and seller
sign a contract that specifies the terms of the agreement. A
psychological contract is similar in some ways to a standard
legal contract but is less formal and well defined. In particular,
a psychological contract is the overall set of expectations held
by an individual with respect to what he or she will contribute
to the organization and what the organization will provide in
return. Thus, a psychological contract is not written on paper,
nor are all its terms explicitly negotiated.
The essential nature of a psychological contract is illustrated
in Figure 9.1. The individual makes a variety
of contributions to the organization—effort, skills, ability, time,
loyalty, and so forth. These contributions presumably satisfy
various needs and requirements of the organization. In other
words, because the organization may have hired the person
because of her skills, it is reasonable for the organization to
expect that she will subsequently display those skills in the
performance of her job.
Figure 9.1The Psychological Contract
Psychological contracts are the basic assumptions that individuals have
about their relationships with their organization. Such contracts are
defined in terms of contributions by the individual relative to
inducements from the organization.
© Cengage Learning
In return for these contributions, the organization
provides inducements to the individual. Some inducements,
like pay and benefits, are tangible rewards. Others, like job
security and recognition, are more intangible. Just as the
contributions available from the individual must satisfy the
needs of the organization, the inducements offered by the
organization must serve the needs of the individual. Thus, if a
person accepts employment with an organization because she
thinks she will earn an attractive salary and have an
opportunity to advance, she will subsequently expect that those
rewards will actually be forthcoming.
If both the individual and the organization perceive that the
psychological contract is fair and equitable, they will be satisfied
with the relationship and will likely continue it. On the other
hand, if either party sees an imbalance or inequity in the
contract, it may initiate a change. For example, the individual
may request a pay raise or promotion, decrease her contributed
effort, or look for a better job elsewhere. The organization can
also initiate change by requesting that the individual improve
her skills through training, transfer the person to another job, or
terminate the person’s employment altogether.
A basic challenge faced by the organization, then, is to manage
psychological contracts. The organization must ensure that it is
getting value from its employees. At the same time, it must be
sure that it is providing employees with appropriate
inducements. If the organization is underpaying its employees
for their contributions, for example, they may perform poorly or
leave for better jobs elsewhere. On the other hand, if they are
being overpaid relative to their contributions, the organization
is incurring unnecessary costs.
9-1bThe
Person–Job Fit
One specific aspect of managing psychological contracts is
managing the person–job fit—the extent to which the
contributions made by the individual match the inducements
offered by the organization. In theory, each employee has a
specific set of needs that he wants to be fulfilled and a set of jobrelated behaviors and abilities to contribute. Thus, if the
organization can take perfect advantage of those behaviors and
abilities and exactly fulfill his needs, it will have achieved a
perfect person–job fit.
Of course, such a precise level of person–job fit is seldom
achieved. There are several reasons for this. For one thing,
organizational selection procedures are imperfect.
Organizations can make approximations of employee skill levels
when making hiring decisions and can improve them through
training. But even simple performance dimensions are often
hard to measure in objective and valid ways.
Another reason for imprecise person–job fits is that both people
and organizations change. An individual who finds a new job
stimulating and exciting may find the same job boring and
monotonous after a few years of performing it. And, when the
organization adopts new technology, it has changed the skills it
needs from its employees. Still another reason for imprecision
in the person–job fit is that each individual is unique. Measuring
skills and performance is difficult enough. Assessing needs,
attitudes, and personality is far more complex. Each of these
individual differences serves to make matching individuals with
jobs a difficult and complex process.
Person–job fit may change for a variety of reasons. For example, people
change over time, as do jobs. New technology can also affect person–
job fit. This manager, for example, is trying to master a new operating
system his firm has adopted and is having trouble understanding it.
While his confusion may be short-lived, more significant technological
changes can lead to major problems with person–job fit.
© iStockphoto.com/Kalulu
9-1bThe
Person–Job Fit
One specific aspect of managing psychological contracts is
managing the person–job fit—the extent to which the
contributions made by the individual match the inducements
offered by the organization. In theory, each employee has a
specific set of needs that he wants to be fulfilled and a set of jobrelated behaviors and abilities to contribute. Thus, if the
organization can take perfect advantage of those behaviors and
abilities and exactly fulfill his needs, it will have achieved a
perfect person–job fit.
Of course, such a precise level of person–job fit is seldom
achieved. There are several reasons for this. For one thing,
organizational selection procedures are imperfect.
Organizations can make approximations of employee skill levels
when making hiring decisions and can improve them through
training. But even simple performance dimensions are often
hard to measure in objective and valid ways.
Another reason for imprecise person–job fits is that both people
and organizations change. An individual who finds a new job
stimulating and exciting may find the same job boring and
monotonous after a few years of performing it. And, when the
organization adopts new technology, it has changed the skills it
needs from its employees. Still another reason for imprecision
in the person–job fit is that each individual is unique. Measuring
skills and performance is difficult enough. Assessing needs,
attitudes, and personality is far more complex. Each of these
individual differences serves to make matching individuals with
jobs a difficult and complex process.
Person–job fit may change for a variety of reasons. For example, people
change over time, as do jobs. New technology can also affect person–
job fit. This manager, for example, is trying to master a new operating
system his firm has adopted and is having trouble understanding it.
While his confusion may be short-lived, more significant technological
changes can lead to major problems with person–job fit.
© iStockphoto.com/Kalulu
9-1bThe
Person–Job Fit
One specific aspect of managing psychological contracts is
managing the person–job fit—the extent to which the
contributions made by the individual match the inducements
offered by the organization. In theory, each employee has a
specific set of needs that he wants to be fulfilled and a set of jobrelated behaviors and abilities to contribute. Thus, if the
organization can take perfect advantage of those behaviors and
abilities and exactly fulfill his needs, it will have achieved a
perfect person–job fit.
Of course, such a precise level of person–job fit is seldom
achieved. There are several reasons for this. For one thing,
organizational selection procedures are imperfect.
Organizations can make approximations of employee skill levels
when making hiring decisions and can improve them through
training. But even simple performance dimensions are often
hard to measure in objective and valid ways.
Another reason for imprecise person–job fits is that both people
and organizations change. An individual who finds a new job
stimulating and exciting may find the same job boring and
monotonous after a few years of performing it. And, when the
organization adopts new technology, it has changed the skills it
needs from its employees. Still another reason for imprecision
in the person–job fit is that each individual is unique. Measuring
skills and performance is difficult enough. Assessing needs,
attitudes, and personality is far more complex. Each of these
individual differences serves to make matching individuals with
jobs a difficult and complex process.
Person–job fit may change for a variety of reasons. For example, people
change over time, as do jobs. New technology can also affect person–
job fit. This manager, for example, is trying to master a new operating
system his firm has adopted and is having trouble understanding it.
While his confusion may be short-lived, more significant technological
changes can lead to major problems with person–job fit.
© iStockphoto.com/Kalulu
9-1cThe
Nature of Individual Differences
Individual differences are personal attributes that vary from
one person to another. Individual differences may be physical,
psychological, or emotional. Taken together, all the individual
differences that characterize any specific person serve to make
that individual unique from everyone else. Much of the
remainder of this chapter is devoted to individual differences.
Before proceeding, however, we must also note the importance
of the situation in assessing the behavior of individuals.
Are specific differences that characterize a given individual
good or bad? Do they contribute to or detract from
performance? The answer, of course, is that it depends on the
circumstances. One person may be very dissatisfied, withdrawn,
and negative in one job setting, but very satisfied, outgoing, and
positive in another. Working conditions, coworkers, and
leadership are all important ingredients.
Thus, whenever an organization attempts to assess or account
for individual differences among its employees, it must also be
sure to consider the situation in which behavior occurs.
Individuals who are satisfied or productive workers in one
context may prove to be dissatisfied or unproductive workers in
another context. Attempting to consider both individual
differences and contributions in relation to inducements and
contexts, then, is a major challenge for organizations as they
attempt to establish effective psychological contracts with their
employees and achieve optimal fits between people and jobs.
9-2Personality
Behavior
and Individual
Personality traits represent some of the most fundamental sets
of individual differences in organizations. Personality is the
relatively stable set of psychological and behavioral attributes
that distinguish one person from another. Managers should
strive to understand basic personality attributes and the ways
they can affect people’s behavior in organizational situations,
not to mention their perceptions of and attitudes toward the
organization.
The “Big Five” Personality Traits
Psychologists have identified literally thousands of personality
traits and dimensions that differentiate one person from
another. But, in recent years, researchers have identified five
fundamental personality traits that are especially relevant to
organizations. Because these five traits are so important and
because they are currently the subject of so much attention,
they are now commonly referred to as the “Big Five”
personality traits and are illustrated in Figure 9.2.
Figure 9.2The “Big Five” Model of Personality
The Big Five personality model represents an increasingly accepted
framework for understanding personality traits in organizational settings.
In general, experts tend to agree that personality traits toward the left
end of each dimension, as illustrated in this figure, are more positive in
organizational settings, whereas traits closer to the right are less
positive.
Agreeableness refers to a person’s ability to get along with
others. A high level of agreeableness in people causes them to
be gentle, cooperative, forgiving, understanding, and goodnatured in their dealings with others. Those with lower
agreeableness can be irritable, short-tempered, uncooperative,
and generally antagonistic toward other people.
Although research has not yet fully investigated the effects of
agreeableness, it would seem likely that highly agreeable people
will be better able to develop good working relationships with
coworkers, subordinates, and higher-level managers than less
agreeable people. This same pattern might also extend to
relationships with customers, suppliers, and other key
organizational constituents.
Conscientiousness refers to the person’s ability to manage
multiple tasks and to consistently meet deadlines. People who
have high levels of conscientiousness are likely to be organized,
systematic, careful, thorough, responsible, and self-disciplined
as they work to accomplish tasks and meet goals. Others,
however, tend to take on more tasks than they can manage and,
as a result, are more disorganized, careless, and irresponsible,
as well as less thorough and self-disciplined. Research has found
that more conscientious people tend to be higher performers
than less conscientious people across a variety of different jobs.
This pattern seems logical, of course, because more
conscientious people will take their jobs seriously and will
approach the performance of their jobs in highly responsible
fashions.
The third of the Big Five personality dimensions is neuroticism.
People who are less neurotic will be relatively poised, calm,
resilient, secure, and experience less anxiety and stress. People
who are more neurotic will be excitable, insecure, reactive, and
subject to extreme mood swings. They are also prone to be
anxious and exhibit signs of vulnerability. People who are less
neurotic might be expected to better handle job stress, pressure,
and tension. Their stability might also lead them to be seen as
more reliable than their less stable counterparts.
Extraversion refers to a person’s comfort level with
relationships. People who are called extraverts are sociable,
talkative, assertive, and open to establishing new relationships.
But introverts are much less sociable, talkative, assertive, and
open to establishing new relationships. Research suggests that
extraverts tend to be higher overall job performers than
introverts and that they are also more likely to be attracted to
jobs based on personal relationships, such as sales and
marketing positions.
Finally, openness refers to a person’s rigidity of beliefs and
range of interests. People with high levels of openness are
willing to listen to new ideas and to change their own ideas,
beliefs, and attitudes as a result of new information. They also
tend to have broad interests and to be curious, imaginative, and
creative. On the other hand, people with low levels of openness
tend to be less receptive to new ideas and be less willing to
change their minds. Further, they tend to have fewer and
narrower interests and to be less curious and creative. People
with more openness might be expected to be better performers,
owing to their flexibility and the likelihood that they will be
better accepted by others in the organization. Openness may
also encompass an individual’s willingness to accept change. For
example, people with high levels of openness may be more
receptive to change, whereas people with low levels of openness
may be more likely to resist change.
The Big Five framework continues to attract the attention of
both researchers and managers. The potential value of this
framework is that it encompasses an integrated set of traits that
appear to be valid predictors of certain behaviors in certain
situations. Thus, managers who can develop both an
understanding of the framework and the ability to assess these
traits in their employees will be in a good position to
understand how and why employees behave as they do. On
the other hand, managers must also be careful not to
overestimate their ability to assess the Big Five traits in others.
Even assessment using the most rigorous and valid measures,
for instance, is still likely to be somewhat imprecise. Another
limitation of the Big Five framework is that it is based primarily
on research conducted in the United States. Thus, there are
unanswered questions as to how accurately it applies to
workers in other cultures. And, even within the United States, a
variety of other factors and traits are also likely to affect
behavior in organizations.
The Myers–Briggs Framework
Another interesting approach to understanding personalities in
organizations is the Myers–Briggs framework. This framework,
based on the classic work of Carl Jung, differentiates people in
terms of four general dimensions, defined as follows:
• Extraversion (E) versus introversion (I). Extraverts get their
energy
from being around other people, whereas introverts are worn
out by others and need solitude to recharge their energy.
• Sensing (S) versus intuition (N). The sensing type prefers concrete
things, whereas intuitives prefer abstract concepts.
• Thinking (T) versus feeling (F). Thinking individuals base their
decisions more on logic and reason, whereas feeling individuals
base their decisions more on feelings and emotions.
• Judging (J) versus perceiving (P). People who are the judging type
enjoy completion or being finished, whereas perceiving types
enjoy the process and open-ended situations.
To use this framework, people complete a questionnaire
designed to measure their personality on each dimension.
Higher or lower scores in each of the dimensions are used to
classify people into one of sixteen different personality
categories.
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one popular
questionnaire that some organizations use to assess personality
types. Indeed, it is among the most popular selection
instruments used today, with as many as 2 million people taking
it each year. Research suggests that the MBTI is a useful method
for determining communication styles and interaction
preferences. In terms of personality attributes, however,
questions exist about both the validity and the reliability of the
MBTI.
9-2cOther
Personality Traits at Work
Besides the Big Five and the Myers–Briggs framework, several
other personality traits influence behavior in organizations.
Among the most important are locus of control, self-efficacy,
authoritarianism, Machiavellianism, self-esteem, and risk
propensity.
Animation-Emotional Intelligence
Watch this animation to gain further knowledge of this concept.
Volume 91%
Copyright © Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Locus of control is the extent to which people believe that their
behavior has a real effect on what happens to them. Some
people, for example, believe that, if they work hard, they will
achieve their goals. They also may believe that people fail
because they lack ability or motivation. People who believe that
individuals are in control of their lives are said to have
an internal locus of control. Other people think that fate, chance,
luck, or other people’s behavior determines what happens t …
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