top of page

E. Major personality Attributes Influencing - Motivation Theory

1. Locus of control

  • A person’s perception of the source of his/her fate is termed locus of control.

  • Internals: People who believe that they are masters of their own fate.

  • Externals: People who believe they are pawns of fate.

  • Individuals who rate high in externality are less satisfied with their jobs, have higher absenteeism rates, are more alienated from the work setting, and are less involved in their jobs than are the internals.

  • Internals, facing the same situation, attribute organizational outcomes to their own actions. Internals believe that health is substantially under their own control through proper habits; their incidences of sickness and, hence, of absenteeism, are lower.

2. There is not a clear relationship between locus of control and turnover because there

are opposing forces at work.

3. Internals generally perform better on their jobs, but one should consider differences in


  • Internals search more actively for information before making a decision, are more motivated to achieve and make a greater attempt to control their environment, therefore, the internals does well on sophisticated tasks.

  • Internals are more suited to jobs that require initiative and independence of action.

  • Externals are more compliant and willing to follow directions and do well on jobs that are well structured and routine and in which success depends heavily on complying with the direction of others.

4. Machiavellianism

  • Named after Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote in the sixteenth century on how to gain and use power.

  • An individual high in Machiavellianism is pragmatic, maintains emotional distance, and believes that ends can justify means.

  • High Machs manipulate more, win more, are persuaded less, and persuade others more.

  • High Mach outcomes are moderated by situational factors and flourish when they interact face to face with others, rather than indirectly, and when the situation has a minimum number of rules and regulations, thus allowing latitude for improvisation.

  • High Machs make good employees in jobs that require bargaining skills or that offer substantial rewards for winning.

5. Self-esteem

  • Self-esteem—the degree to which people like or dislike themselves.

  • (SE) is directly related to expectations for success.

  • Individuals with high self-esteem will take more risks in job selection and are more likely to choose unconventional jobs than people with low self-esteem.

  • The most generalizable finding is that low SES are more susceptible to external influence than are high SEs. Low SES is dependent on the receipt of positive evaluations from others.

  • In managerial positions, low SEs will tend to be concerned with pleasing others.

  • High SEs are more satisfied with their jobs than are low SEs.

6. Self-monitoring

  • It refers to an individual’s ability to adjust his or her behavior to external, situational factors.

  • Individuals who are high in self-monitoring show considerable adaptability. They are highly sensitive to external cues, can behave differently in different situations, and are capable of presenting striking contradictions between their public persona and their private self.

  • Low self-monitors cannot disguise themselves in that way. They tend to display their true dispositions and attitudes in every situation resulting in a high behavioral consistency between who they are and what they do.

  • The research on self-monitoring is in its infancy, so predictions must be guarded.

Preliminary evidence suggests:

a. High self-monitors tend to pay closer attention to the behavior of others.

b. High self-monitoring managers tend to be more mobile in their careers and receive more promotions.

c. High self-monitor is capable of putting on different “faces” for different audiences.

7. Risk-taking

  • The propensity 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 require before making their choice.

  • High risk-taking managers made more rapid decisions and used less information in making their choices.

  • Managers in large organizations tend to be risk-averse especially in contrast with growth-oriented entrepreneurs.

  • Makes sense to consider aligning risk-taking propensity with specific job demands.

8. Type A Personality

  • A Type A personality is “aggressively involved in a chronic, incessant struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time, and, if required to do so, against the opposing efforts of other things or other persons.’’

  • They are always moving, walking, and eating rapidly, are impatient with the rate at which most events take place, are doing do two or more things at once, and cannot cope with leisure time. They are obsessed with numbers, measuring their success in terms of how many or how much of everything they acquire.

9. Type B

  • Type Bs never suffer from a sense of time urgency with its accompanying impatience and feel no need to display or discuss either their achievements or accomplishments unless such exposure is demanded by the situation.

  • Play for fun and relaxation, rather than to exhibit their superiority at any cost and can relax without guilt.

10. Type A’s operate under moderate to high levels of stress.

  • They subject themselves to continuous time pressure, are fast workers, quantity over quality, work long hours, and are also rarely creative.

  • Their behavior is easier to predict than that of Type Bs.

11. Do Type A’s differ from Type B’s in their ability to get hired?

  • Type A’s do better in job interviews; more likely to be judged as having desirable traits such as high drive, competence, and success motivation.

12. Proactive Personality

  • Actively taking the initiative to improve their current circumstances while others sit by passively.

  • Proactive identify opportunities, show initiative, take action, and persevere

  • Create positive change in their environment

  • More likely to be seen as leaders and change agents

  • More likely to achieve career success

48 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Managers need to develop their interpersonal or people skills if they are going to be effective in their jobs. Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that investigates the impact that indivi

Organizational development (OD) is a term used to encompass a collection of planned-change interventions built on humanistic-democratic values that seek to improve organizational effectiveness and emp

bottom of page