Contents Page Title of pagePage Number Cover Page1 Contents Page2 Question 1 -1. 1 Types of individual difference factors3 1. 2 Determinants of personality and individual differences5 Question 2 -2. 1 various types of research variables7 2. 2 The models of work performance measurements8 Question 3 – 3. 1 the impact of gender differences on work behavior10 3. 2 Fair discrimination and individual differences11 Question 4 – Four types of learners12 Question 5 – Self assessment questions13 Bibliography14 Question 1 Question 1. Types of individual differences factors Over the years research and assessment from personality theory have identifies a number of personality and personal factors or attributes which make people either different or the same. The factors that make us unique are the following… *Cognitive ability As every one is unique, very one has unique cognitive as well as other abilities. This referring to and individual’s capability to perform various tasks in the work place as we are dealing with the organizational context.

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Two different factors make up individual abilities. These factors are intellectual abilities, which are the abilities that are needed to perform mental; activities, and physical abilities. Physical abilities are those abilities required to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity, strength and similar skills. * Personality traits A personality trait is an enduring characteristic that describes behavior across a variety of situations. The more frequently a characteristic is displayed across diverse situations, the more important that is in describing that person.

Some traits in the workplace that might differ according different individuals include conscientiousness, if they are hardworking, independent and dependable. Some others include stress related traits or types of locus of control, authoritarian, self-monitoring, self-esteem, introversion versus extraversion, conscientiousness and neurotism. These have all been researched extensively in the work context. The 3 factor model is a trait approach used to determine personality and has now been related to work behavior. The following is a diagram of the 5 factor model ******diagram*******

Over time, traits essentially remain the same. Thus the business world has a strong belief in the power of traits to predict personality. Therefore companies spend a great deal of money and time on interview and tests. *Orientations These aspects are related to peoples motivation and are responsible for work performance, # Interests: are specific action tendencies in personality which motivate people to pursue certain activities and jobs. Combining interests and job competencies create the enjoyment of jobs. # Values: Another determinant of personality and behavior is individual values.

Values strongly influence a person’s attitudes and behaviors. Although they don’t have a direct impact on performance. Creating a fit between values and an organization will improve performance, whilst a misfit could cause problems. Values also influence career anchors. Career anchors are distinct patterns of self perceived talents and abilities, motive, needs, attitudes and values that guide and stabilize an individuals career after several years of work experience. # Attitudes: these reflect a person’s belief about things, ideas and people.

They have intellectual, emotional and behavioral aspects. Cognitive dissonance refers to possible imbalances in knowledge about things which if corrected may result in changed attitudes and thus changes behaviors. This concept is often used in connection with attitude change. * Emotional or affective states: A great deal of work related research indicates that motivational value of emotional arousal and its strong influence on work performance. We often relate our emotional life to our psychological make up. Emotional arousal translates into high levels of motivational.

Emotional intelligence refers to ones knowledge of ones owns emotions and managing them can contribute much to ones level o work performance. Emotional contents are implied in many personality variables like intellectual functioning, personality traits and work motivation. It is generally accepted that personality is the result of both genetic and environmental factors. Question 1. 2 Determinants of personality and individual differences Nature vs. nurture Is personality predetermined at birth or is it a result of individual’s interaction with and learning in their environment, is a question often asked.

It is generally accepted that personality is the result of both genetic and environmental factors. It is also accepted that it is the best to create conditions which complement genetics to allow for optimal development. The causes of personality are broadly classified as follows – Genetic biological factors – Environmental or learning influences – Social or interpersonal influences – External factors Hereditary and biological factors Genetic influences determine maturation, growth, and biological changes that take place notwithstanding environmental factors.

From a work perspective one must realise that certain jobs require certain physical attributes from people. Genetic influences can be observed in – Physical traits – Instinctual capabilities – Emotional traits – Social and emotional behaviors Environmental Influences Personality attributes developed because of – Physical, social and psychological environmental influences – learning by: Conditioning or association Identification and imitation Modeling other people Family influences Some of the most uniquely acquired attributes and behaviors developed in family interactions, both positive and negative.

Mothers provide the type of psychological and social examples, models and rewards that will either enhance or inhibit personality and career development. Social affiliations outside the family Experiences outside the home are responsilble for differences between family members. The differences in values between the family and outside world lay the foundation for a culture of healthy competition, learning and work. Cultural membership Culture provides the historical and immediate mega-environment which prescribes certain behaviors or creates opportunities.

Culture will in many ways determine how people think and feel, and what they do. External factors Individuals are surrounded by a meso and macro – environment. These environments are as a rule beyond the control of the individual, but will influence individuals. Question 2. 1 Various types of research variables: Independent – For nearly all work in this field, the independent variable is obtained from personality theory and research concepts. In addition to using a self-report score from a personality inventory, things like ability scores, biological facts, demographic classification or an organizational position.

The following need noting: – Scores are truthful self-reports of internal states and external behavior – Scores do not correspond exactly to the trait, but because the trait influence how one responds to the test and how one behaves generally, there are substantive overlaps. – Scores represent individual’s attempts to manage or control the impressions that others form of them. – Scores can only be defined in terms of what they predict i. e. scores don’t have theoretical meaning, just predictability. Dependant variable

The dependant variable measures usually include traits, states or behavioral concepts used to represent the quality and quantity of work performance. The main objective is: – To define valid and reliable work performance criteria and to measure them accurately. – To find its correlates with measures of personality or individual differences in order to predict successful occupational behaviors. Moderate variable These variables confound the relationship between the independent and dependant variable. Correlation This is a statistical indication of the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.

Relationship or cause Only if influencing factors have been isolated and relationships verified and repeated by body of research can casually be explained. Question 2. 2 The models of work performance measurements. # earlier models for work performance measurements These models used mainly ability personality factors in relation to work performance measures. According to hunters earlier model cognitive ability was used as a casual factor for two types of work behavior. These were job knowledge and performance. Hunter found some validity in these.

Guion and Gottier (1965) as well as Ghiselli and Barthol (1953) viewed personality as a poor indicator of work performance. Hunter recognized however, that many other factors could explain the variation in work performance and for this reason Guion(1953) suggested that Hunter’s casual model of work performance be expended to also include work performance attributes of the employee who is being rated. The casual model was further added by Schmidt, Hunter and Outerbridge (1986) who added job experience, which they found had an indirect effect on work performance.

This was because ability and job experience have a direct impact on job knowledge, work performance and performance on work sample tests. # later models of work performance measurements. Various researches verified Hunters 1983 model, however they obtained far better correlations with work performance ensure by adding to the model the factors of achievement orientation, dependability, awards and disciplinary infractions for problem behavior. These findings high lighted personality as an important determinant of supervisory ratings of work performance and also indicated how dependability determines the acquisition of job knowledge.

In an expansion on their model, Borman, White and Dorsey (1995), in a study with military employees, added other personality factors: dependability, agreeableness, obnoxiousness and show or flare. These personality factors were correlated for their impact on overall measure of wok performance by supervisory and peer ratings. Only agreeableness was found to have no influence on supervisory and peer ratings of work performance and was left out of the model. Their model explained more of the variance with overall supervisory and peer ratings. The above 1995 study by Borman et al. as critisized for research flaws such as inadequate theory and criterion measures and assessing only military employees. # newer directions in work related personality research. More current theoretical and research emphases includes outcome variables for individual and group level criteria, dynamic or changing criteria, and typical versus maximum performance work performance criteria. For a predicator or independent variables, the emphasis is on compound or multiple variables and the more specific analysis and measurement of personality factors and their relationships to specific work performance criteria across jobs and situations.

Other predictor variables that are emphasized are group-level predictors, situational variables job fit culture and research setting. New directions in work-related personality research also consider the influence of other types of research variables which influence relationships. Other personality theories and taxamonies of personality traits are also emphasized in current and future reseach. Methods to measure personality and its attributes are continually scrutinized. Measurement issues like item theory, bandwidths of measurements, cross cultural considerations and assessments instructions…

In methodology an important emphasis is multilevel assessment and analysis, while social and legal issues should always be considered in a changing work and assessment environment # Other directions in work-related personality research One being the function of personality variables, except to be used as independent or predictor variables. Added to this are the form and direction of correlations with work performances, because of various influences in this regard too, situational influences my change the relationship between team personality measures and criteria for team effectiveness.

In other instances interpersonal interactions may influence outcome or performance behavior. Another direction to research is the development of new personality theories and taxonomies for personality structure and also new measurements technique. With regards to personality measurement methods, a renewed emphasis will have to be given to assessment strategies, measurement accuracy and alternative ways of measuring personality. Cross cultural is an important issue as a consequence of diverse work groups and employment of culturally estranged employees.

Work related personality measurements and research models should continually determine the effects of test instructions and other test taking behaviors for example, participants who are trained in measurement methods and constructs and test responses which indicate faking or socially desirable behavior. An important development is the emphasis on multiple-level assessment. This is because it brings in an integrative and systems perspective and not only single determinants like the individual employee or the organization.

Lastly, this issue concerns certain social, ethical and legal requirements amidst increasing diversity in the workforce and pressure for nondiscriminatory assessment research and related issues Question 3. 1 The impact of gender differences on people’s work behavior. The following can be noted: – With regards to ability, some inconsistent differences are reported to exist between male and female with regard to analytical and problem-solving skills, sociability and motivation, with woman said to be less strong on authority and aspirations to be successful. Women may behave more mature at work than most of their male counterparts, because they are stronger on emotional intelligence. – In many research findings results favored men as more effective in job performance. this was especially the case with regard to research emphasizing male expectations to achieve in male-related tasks and jobs, once the research also involved women with regard to expectations for success in female related tasks and jobs, little gender differences were found and in some cases women even had higher expectations to achieve.

It must however be noted that that the reported work performance and work adjustment differences between the sexes do not exist, or as not as big as previously presumed. – With regards to withdrawal behavior, research has shown that absence and turn over were not significantly related to gender, as was the number of children and family responsibilities. Research however suggests more lateness, absenteeism and turn over for women if the have no or few family members to help with family responsibilities. When influencing factors like age, educational level, job and outcomes like pleasant work relationships and working conditions. Job satisfaction, too, can not be definitely coupled to gender, and tends to vary with personal circumstances and job attributes. Question 3. 2 Concept of fair discriminations. “Fair discrimination is applied when, for specific task execution and work adjustment purpose, existing differences between individuals are recognized in a scientific, ethical and legal manner in order to obtain an optimal fit between the employee and the work context”

Fair discrimination can be linked with inherent criteria of a job. For example, a furniture company would require medium height men who are quite muscular as they will be loading and unloading furniture and packing etc. Also at an all women’s gym they would require women trainers as the gym is for women only. Question 4 The four types of learners and how each would approach the information-gathering and processing. Diverges, assimilators, converges and accommodators are the four types of learners. They would approach the information-gathering and processing in the following ways…

Diverges use reflection mostly on different experiences. Various approaches will also be used. The fact that they are imaginative and understand people is viewed as strength; how ever, they are often poor decision makers or they can be indecisive when selecting between many alternatives. Learners who developed a theoretical framework from their reflection are assimilators. Through inductive reasoning they have the ability to create or build theories. This is a strength of there’s. However, they are poor in applying ideas.

Converges are practical people, who would like to test theory in practice. They are strong deductive thinkers, which explain why they are good at working with people. Accommodators will use the results of the testing phase in learning as feed back for new learning. These types of learners will be risk takers and will are willing to try new things in different situations. Bibliography: Bergh, Z (2008). Individual Differences and Work Performance (1st Ed). University of Pretoria Question 1 – Pages 21-25 Pages 35-38 Question 2 – Pages 53-55 Pages 56-63 Question 3 – Pages 85-87 Pages 90