Management MCO101 – Unit 2 – Personality Traits and Diversity


Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaptation to the universal condition of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom for self-determination.”
– Carl Gustav Jung, 1934

We all have a personality. Are you known for your pleasant personality or are you feared because of your short fuse, your moodyness?

Commonly it is what we are known through. Its what defines us as individuals. Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations (Ryckman, 2004) The word “personality” originates from the Latin persona, which means mask. Significantly, in the theatre of the ancient Latin-speaking world, the mask was not used as a plot device to disguise the identity of a character, but rather was a convention employed to represent or typify that character.

Ryckman, R. (2004). Theories of Personality. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.


Traits are “enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts.” Theorists generally assume a) traits are relatively stable over time, b) traits differ among individuals (e.g. some people are outgoing while others are shy), and c) traits influence behavior.

Self-esteem relates to a person’s sense of self-worth, whereas self-efficacy relates to a person’s perception of their ability to reach a goal. Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as our belief in our ability to succeed in specific situations. Your sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how you approach goals, tasks, and challenges. The concept of self-efficacy lies at the center Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which emphasizes the role of observational learning and social experience in the development of personality. According to Bandura’s theory, people with high self-efficacy – that is, those who believe they can perform well – are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.

“Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
-Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory, 1977

Take the self esteem test here

Machiavellianism is the term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. Low Machs tend to take a more personal, empathic approach in their interaction with other people. They tend to be more trusting of others and more honest.High Machs tend to take a more detached, calculating approach in their interaction with other people.

Take the test here

An Intelligence Quotient or IQ is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests attempting to measure intelligence.

Take the IQ test here

A learning style is the method of educating, particular to an individual that is presumed to allow that individual to learn best. It is commonly believed that most people favor some particular method of interacting with, taking in, and processing stimuli or information. Learning styles test is here.

Multiple intelligences is an educational theory, first developed by Howard Gardner, that describes an array of different kinds of “intelligences” exhibited by human beings. Gardner suggests that each individual manifests varying levels of these different intelligences, and thus each person has a unique “cognitive profile.” The theory was first laid out in Gardner’s 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and has been further refined in subsequent years.

The theory was proposed in the context of debates about the concept of intelligence, and whether methods which claim to measure intelligence (or aspects thereof) are truly scientific. Gardner’s theory argues that intelligence, as it is traditionally defined, does not adequately encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display. In his conception, a child who masters the multiplication table easily is not necessarily more intelligent overall than a child who struggles to do so. The second child may be stronger in another kind of intelligence, and therefore may best learn the given material through a different approach, may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or may even be looking through the multiplication learning process at a fundamentally deeper level that hides a potentially higher mathematical intelligence than in the one who memorizes the concept easily.
Multiple intelligence tests here

The big 5

* Lewis Goldberg proposed a five-dimension personality model, nicknamed the “Big Five”:
1. Extraversion – outgoing and stimulation-oriented vs. quiet and stimulation-avoiding
2. Neuroticism – emotionally reactive, prone to negative emotions vs. calm, imperturbable, optimistic
3. Agreeableness – affable, friendly, conciliatory vs. aggressive, dominant, disagreeable
4. Conscientiousness – dutiful, planful, and orderly vs. laidback, spontaneous, and unreliable
5. Openness to experience – open to new ideas and change vs. traditional and oriented toward routine

For ease of remembrance, this can be written as either OCEAN or CANOE.

Take the personality test here or here.

Leading diverse teams

According to Bird (2007), many project managers may feel that they are treading new territory as they lead project teams made of individuals from different cultures, heterogeneous mixes, and differing demographics. This signals a lack of understanding of the techniques required to manage diverse teams which can lead to project managers being less efficient and effective. This in turn can cause the team member motivation, satisfaction levels and productivity to drop due to the lack of knowledge and skills needed to lead diverse teams. Bird further states that the project manager will need to refine and improve management techniques and should complete a post project evaluation to measure the overall results of managing the diverse teams.

Based on Bird’s research, the following positive approaches can be adopted by the project managers leading such heterogeneous teams in order to seek positive effects of managing diversity in project teams effectively:

* Recognize that diversity will bring a greater skills base when managed properly
* Improve the overall climate on diverse project teams in order to improve satisfaction, reduce conflicts, and improve team member retention
* Encourage creativity, flexibility, and innovation among the team members which will allow the injection of new ideas and challenge the normal organizational mindsets

Bird further concludes in his article that managing diversity provides greater opportunities for project teams with better performance, and greater strategic awareness, which enables them to be more innovative and responsive.

Controversial issues

In a paper published in the American Sociological Review, the authors concluded that efforts to mitigate managerial bias ultimately fail in the organization’s aim to increase diversity in the management and leadership ranks. In contrast, programs that established specific responsibility for diversity, such as equal opportunity staff positions or diversity task forces, have proven most effective in general. However, the results also indicate that white American females benefit significantly more from these structural changes. The benefits for the Black female and male comparison groups were appreciably lower than that of the white females. Networking and mentoring, which were considered bias mitigating approaches, served Black females the most. Black males were the least likely to benefit from any of the methods.

The news media and bloggers have exploited the study results to question the merits of financing the sizeable diversity training industry. The January 2008 Washington Post used quotes from “longtime diversity trainer” Dr. Billy Vaughn (Diversity Training University International) and others to make the point that Kalev’s research suggests that other strategies may be more effective than diversity training for mobilizing people of color and women into management roles. Dr. Vaughn responded in his blog, The Short-Sighted Washington Post Article About Diversity Training, that the Kalev and his colleague’s assumption in conducting their research that diversity training is useful for breaking the glass ceiling was ill-conceived.

To view slides full page or to download them click HERE.

1 Comment »

  1. S.Samneang said

     1. Role of management is to plan, organize, direct & control team member to perform their task effectively. These words have linked to management function.
     2. Personalities to suit with role of management inspires team member by doing the right things.
     3. Manager strongly to be recommended to use following 4 basic management function:
    – to be able to plan,
    – to organize efficiently,
    – to direct & control
    – To make a quick & delicate decision
     4. To me to have different personalities within a firm is a good idea. Because it would help a firm to have different thoughts toward different requirement of customer.
     5.The easy to recognize advantages of having diversity in the workplace are as following:
    – Survey understanding of team member
    – To have meeting as much as possible to capture team‘s requirement.
    – To help or train team member to feel confident in doing the right things.
     6. To be more focused upon the worker over the years has changed management is good.
    I may call this an open management which motivate & encourage worker to positively about management.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: