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Principles of Management, v. 2.0

by Mason Carpenter, Talya Bauer, Berrin Erdogan, and Jeremy Short

Chapter 3 Personality, Attitudes, and Work Behaviors

Figure 3.1

Donald Trump’s enigmatic personality has led him to extremes in terms of both personal and business successes and failures.

Chapter Learning Objectives

Reading this chapter will help you do the following:

  1. Understand the roles of personality and values in determining work behaviors.
  2. Explain the process of perception and how it affects work behaviors.
  3. Identify the major work attitudes that affect work behaviors.
  4. Define the concept of person-organization fit and how it affects work behaviors.
  5. List the key set of behaviors that matter for organizational performance.
  6. Be able to develop your positive attitude skills.

Figure 3.2 The P-O-L-C Framework

Individuals are unique. Each person brings a number of different personality traits, values, and attitudes to the organizations in which he or she works. Stable as well as changing personality traits affect how individuals behave and perform. Moreover, companies hire people with the expectation that they have certain knowledge, skills, abilities, personalities, and values. Employees’ personalities, attitudes, and work behaviors affect how managers approach each of the planning-organizing-leading-controlling (P-O-L-C) framework dimensions. Here are just a few examples:

  • When scanning for important trends during the planning process, a manager’s perceptions color the information that is absorbed and processed.
  • Employee preferences for job design and enrichment (two aspects of organizing) may be a function of individuals’ personalities and values.
  • Leading effectively requires an understanding of employees’ personalities, values, and attitudes.
  • Absenteeism can challenge a manager’s ability to control costs and performance (at the group and individual levels).

Therefore, it is important for managers to understand the individual characteristics that matter for employee and manager behaviors.