Personality Traits in Organisational Behaviour

Personality in organisational behaviour:

Following are the major personality traits that influence behaviour at the workplace:

1. Locus of control
2. Machiavellianism
3. self-esteem 
4. Self-monitoring
5. Risk-taking personality 
6. Proactive personality 
7. Type A and Type B personality 
8. Need Patterns
9. Authoritarianism
10Introversion and Extroversion
11. Bureaucratic personality

Personality Traits influencing organisational behaviour

Personality attributes influencing ob are as follows:

Locus of Control

The concept of “Locus of control” was derived from Rotter’s social learning theory. As per this theory, locus of control is the mon anticipation based on the association between an individual’s character, his deeds and the result achieved. is the concept derived from numerous specific encounters in which people identify the future outcomes of actions happening in their lives? 

Locus of control is a personality trait possessed by people who believe that their internal or external factors are responsible for their behaviour. Such individuals believe that life’s events are either under the person’s control (the internal focus of control) or are due to reasons that are beyond the son’s control (external locus of control). 

The people who believe that they control their destinies are called externals, whereas those who see their lives are controlled by outside forces are labelled “externals Internals typically have more control over their behaviour, are more active in seeking information to make cions, and are more active socially than externals.


Another trait is Machiavellianism, which owes its origins to Niccolo Machiavelli. This defines the extent of practicality possessed by a person. Such people are emotionally isolated and down to earth. 

People with a strong Machiavellianism personality are more influenced and successful but are less influenced by others. The reverse happens with people having weak Machiavellianism personalities. Nevertheless, situational factors control high match results

A person high in Machiavellian orientation approaches situations thoughtfully and logically and is even capable of lying to achieve his own personal goals. They are rarely swayed by friendships, past promises, loyalty, or the opinions of others, and they are skilled at influencing others. A person low in Machiavellianism tends to accept direction imposed by other people in loosely structured situations and works hard to do well in highly structured situations.


People tend to feel proud of their competence and at times about themselves. This kind of emotion is termed self-esteem. The ones with high self-esteem feel that they are competent and commendable enough to handle any kind of situation. 

On the contrary, the ones with low self-esteem are always in doubt about their abilities and knowledge. They are never sure about their true potential and are always afraid that they would fail in life. 

In terms of the Big Five personality factors, self-esteem most likely would be part of the emotional stability factor. Self-esteem is usually based on the following factors: 

(1) The degree to which the individual feels that he or she receives love, acceptance, support, and encouragement from others;

(2) The specific characteristics and skills the person has 

(3) The degree to which the person accepts the various aspects of the self, especially when comparing the self to others.


Self-monitoring refers to the degree to which people control how they display themselves in front of other people. These people control their behaviour and follow the norms that are socially acceptable and suitable. Such people are regarded as high self-monitors. They put effort so that their behaviour is situationally appropriate. High self-monitors are better skilled to customise their behaviours as per the situation. 

For example, if they are in a meeting and see other people making suggestions, they will also try to make suggestions as well. They are also good at managing the impressions that other people have of them. In contrast, low self-monitors are not particularly sensitive to cues indicating acceptable behaviour, nor are they overly concerned about behaving in a situationally appropriate manner. 

People who are low self-monitors are guided by their attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and principles, and are not too concerned about what others think of their behaviours. High self-monitors are more likely than low self-monitors to tailor their behaviour to fit a given situation. Thus, high self-monitors may perform especially well in jobs such as sales or consulting which require employees to interact with different types of people regularly.

Risk-Taking Personality 

Risk-taking is the person’s willingness to take risks. People with a high propensity for risk make decisions faster and are willing to take chances. Risk-aversive people are more cautious, make decisions more carefully, and try to minimise risk.

The ability to assume or avoid risk has been shown to have an impact on how long it takes managers to make a decision and how much information they need before making their decision. High risk-taking managers made more rapid decisions and used less information in making their choices. 

While managers in organisations are generally risk-aversive; there are still individual differences in this dimension. As a result, it makes sense to recognise these differences and even to consider aligning risk-taking tendencies with specific job demands

Proactive Personality

Proactive personality is defined as an individual’s tendency to intentionally and directly affect change in the environment. A proactive personality describes people who identify opportunities, show initiative, take action, and persevere until meaningful change occurs. Not surprisingly, research has shown that proactive have many desirable behaviours that organisations want. 

For example, they are more likely to be seen as leaders and more likely to act as change agents in organisations, they are more likely to challenge the status quo, they have entrepreneurial abilities, and they are more likely to achieve career success. 

A person with a proactive personality is relatively unconstrained by situational forces and who affects environmental change In other words, an individual with a highly proactive personality is one who aggressively acts to change his or her environment or to take control over life situations.

Type A and Type B

Individuals with intolerant, competitive and hostile personalities are termed Type A whereas Type B personalities are stress-free, relaxed and casual in nature.

Type A Personality

People with Type A personalities appear to be ones with a lot of hurry and eagerness. Such people give priority to money and finances to such an extent that they believe that even their relationships must depend on money People with Type A personalities give more importance to their work as compared to their relationships. 

They are always interested in doing something worthy; otherwise, they will feel guilty about wasting their time. The positive aspect of Type A personality is that such people are winners. Since they give their best to every project, even if they are totally ignorant of the concept, still, they accomplish the task successfully due to their competitive and adventurous nature. 

They tend to set up a timetable for themselves and then stick to it. The most evident trait of Type A personality is hostility and restlessness. They display unfriendliness and impoliteness many times Alternatively, they are highly motivated and are positive thinkers.

Type B Personality

People with Type B personalities are totally opposite to Type A people. They are silent, tolerant, and relaxed a belief in doing things at their own pace. They tend to take up things slowly, think before coming to conclusion and might postpone work till the last minute. 

They are social people and like to interact with both friends and strangers. They receive a lot of attention everywhere and are more comfort-seeking than driven towards success while at work. 

They are kind, thoughtful and friendly and have the talent of building strong relations and also striking a balance between work and personal life. 

They usually lead a satisfied and happy life They can also be portrayed as bombers and human magnets who grab the attention wherever they go m minimum effort. All these traits make Type B unique among all personality types.

Related Article:- Nature of Personality

Need Patterns

Several people have an immense desire to stand out by performing difficult jobs and meeting their own standards of perfection. They prefer taking responsibility for challenging situations and then like to get genuine feedback on the entire effort. Such kinds of people are found in jobs that give them a chance to quench their thirst for excellence.


The main idea here is that within an organisation, there exists a difference in power and status among employees A person who has an authoritarian personality believes in enforcement and obedience of authority. 

He has negative opinions about other people and is rationally inflexible. Authoritarians consider their beliefs to M ethically supreme and give excessive importance to rules and regulations. For such a person, a steady work environment governed by clear-cut norms is preferred.

From an ethical standpoint, people can expect highly authoritarian individuals to present a special problem because they are so susceptible to authority that in their eagerness to comply they may behave unethically. 

For example, individuals might speculate that many of the Nazis who were involved in war crimes during World War Il were high in authoritarianism or dogmatism; they believed so strongly in authority that they followed unethical orders without question.

Introversion and Extroversion 

Introversion and Extroversion are generally associated with an individual’s sociability and interpersonal orientation. These two major types of personality are discussed as follows:

1)Introverts: Introverts are concerned with their own thoughts and feelings. They are quieter than extroverts and prefer to be removed from the social world. As such, they are happy being alone. 

Introverts do socialise, but it will be with a few close friends rather than with large groups of people. They will probably feel lonelier in a crowd than on their own. Introverts prefer to plan and analyse things and are careful in their decision-making.

Introverts tend to be low-key, deliberate, and relatively less engaged in social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, watching movies, and using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer, and inventor are all highly introverted. 

An introverted person is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people (although they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends). They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate.

2) Extroverts: Extroverts are interested in the external world. Their focus is on people and objects. They enjoy being with others and like group activities. As such, they like to be noticed. Extroverts find it difficult to be alone and feel lonely if they are not with other people. Possessions and success are valued by an extrovert.

Extrovert people tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. 

Acting, teaching, directing, managing, and brokering are fields that favour extroversion. An extroverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They enjoy risk-taking and often show leadership abilities.

Bureaucratic Personality

According to Merton, “Bureaucratic personality is the outcome of bureaucratic characteristics in a person, such as impersonal attitude, etc”. 

In some cases, such characteristics increase the extent of rudeness. 

For example, Aken and Hage stated that employees of organisations that promote bureaucratic structure suffer from work decision-making processes related to organisational policies and delegation of duties. There are severe norms that are imposed in such a hard manner that the employee becomes powerless. 

Therefore, bureaucratic characteristics can be the cause of both i.e., bureaucratic behaviour and marginalisation of work.

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