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The Correlation Of Big Five Personality Traits And Job Performance

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Organisational behavior is a huge concept which highly focuses on human behavior and performance at work place. Personality is an object which plays the most important role when working with others. Its development helps an individual to develop a positive attitude towards work and improve not only outer, but also the inner self. Looking further at the broad theory of personality, lets look over the Big Five dimensions which differentiate different people in terms of organisational behavior. Ability to solve problems, introspection, complex reasoning is what makes humans dissimilar from other creatures. After taking in consideration all the attributes, lets follow how these things makes a difference at the workspace.

The personalities of an individual are thought to feature the five broad traits to some stage, which are commonly known as the Big 5. The single element of Big 5 plays a different role in one’s life and make them unique in their own way. In the past century, the topic of psychology has frequently looked upon the relationship between personality and job performance (Barrick, Mount & Judge, 2001). These traits can be further detailed for more understanding. Starting with, Conscientiousness (productivity, organization, responsibility) basically refers to the difference of an individual’s tendency to follow the social norm of impulse control, to be a keen planner and goal oriented. It is the only trait which frequently shows a strong relationship between work satisfaction and work success. Some studies have also shown that conscientious individuals tend to earn more money as they are less likely to be absented from work and meet the deadlines. Openness to experience (creative imagination and curiosity) is another factor which has been the most controversial as it delays the ability to be a quick learner and flexible at understanding tasks. Also, it has been greatly related with the level of happiness and quality of life. The more inclined the employee will be to openness to new experiences, the more confidence will be gained by the business owner to allow them to grow their business. Extraversion (self-assertive, sociability) is one of the most addressed personality at the work place. These people have various qualities such as wok well in group settings, willing to assist others with difficulties, and moreover they tend to be straightforward, candid, and often charismatic. Highly extraverted people are more likely to promotions, rewards and higher pay. The fourth personality trait is Agreeableness (understanding, trust on others, respectful) which relates to the people who are more cooperative and less competitive. They are usually thoughtful and more kind towards their peers but cannot be a good leader and can have difficulties in the time of working alone. However, they are likely to do well in fields in which these skills (teamwork, caring, helping) are required such as sales, even management, marketing and human resources. The fifth and the final trait of the Big 5 is Emotional stability (tendencies towards depression and anxiety) which is also known as neuroticism, leaders who are high in emotional stability are calm within the storm during crises. To put a positive spin to it, the most successful leaders are emotionally stable over time and they generally demonstrate the mastery of emotional ups and downs. Together, all the five dimensions are most often remembered by the acronym OCEAN (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism). This five-factor model is highly relevant to different culture and have been consistently recovered in the factor analyses of peer/self-rating of traits which involves rotation methods, diverse conditions and sample methods (Costa & McCrae, 1988). In organizational behavior, it is difficult to see how this personality works in different situations at a company level, though it can be found in daily lifestyle.

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Scoring high in all the areas of Big Five traits does not necessarily lead to success as each of them is linked to unique strengths. They might also change based on diverse factors from a person’s mood that day to if they have got any major, nerve-wrecking event coming up. Based on the Big five personality test guided at the workshop, the two main areas for personal development which can enhance the academic or work performance are emotional stability (neuroticism) and agreeableness. Despite rise in the score, there are certain drawbacks which can lead to ‘non-performance’ and dissatisfaction. Again, neuroticism refers to person’s general tendency to experience negative emotions. Individuals with elevated level of emotional stability often blame themselves when things go wrong and gets easily frustrated when they make a mistake. They can also be prone to worrying and have great risk of social phobia (mostly in adults). Kim, Shin and Swanger revealed that, neuroticism, of all the five dimensions is mostly related with the work engagement by reducing engagement to work. It may be because highly neurotic people detect their work environment as more frightening. Whereas, individuals low in neuroticism tend to be more calm and stable in their moods and more socially adjusted to their work environment with high emotional stability. Talking about Agreeableness, it has many cons at the workplace as well. People who score high in this area of traits are likely to be less competitive, hostile and antagonistic. Characteristics such as competitive nature plays an important role to survive and get pass through the tough times, which can boost person’s innovation and result in business benefits. Less score in agreeableness shows that the person is more strong and they have build up as high performing entrepreneurs and business leaders. Small changes in the daily life routine can lead to better job performance such as staying focused and avoiding multi-tasking.

Finally, this shows that the Big five traits are directly related to job performance and almost all personality measures could be categorized according to these dimensions. As personality defines a person, it is not necessary to be good at all the aspects of big 5. Individuals can put extra effort on the task that they lack in, instead of blaming on the work place and their own nature/character. In this way, solving problems faced by the organizations links to a stronger organizational behavior.

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The Correlation Of Big Five Personality Traits And Job Performance. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“The Correlation Of Big Five Personality Traits And Job Performance.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021,
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