Chapter 4 Personality & Emotions

“Regarding behavior – forget about personality – it’s the situation that determines how someone will behave!”              - Anonymous

What are you responsible to learn?


The sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others.

§         Heredity – so were born to be “just the way we are”?

§         Environment – oh, so it’s the environment instead?

§         Situation – or is it the situation that determines our personality??

o       So – what determines your personality???

Enduring characteristics that describe an individual’s behavior

Major personality attributes influencing OB

Type A's and Type B's

Type A Personality

Type B Personality

Personality & National Culture

            Across cultures, there is a surprisingly high amount of consistency in personality types (especially in industrialized nations)

Any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience.

Achieving Personality Fit

§         The Person-Job Fit

§         The Person-Organization Fit

(*Q: So – what is personality? Where does it come from? Why is it important in OB and in the workplace?)


            Affect – A broad range of feelings that people experience

            Emotions – Intense feelings that are directed at someone or something

Moods – Feelings that tend to be less intense than emotions and that lack a contextual stimulus.

Felt vs. Displayed Emotions

Emotion Dimensions

Can People be Emotionless?

Gender & Emotions

            Women tend to show more emotional expression than men, experience emotions more intensely, and display them more than men (except for anger).  Men tend to feel less comfortable expressing emotions, and women tend to be better “readers” of nonverbal emotional cues than men.

External Constraints on Emotions

§         Organizational Influences

§         Cultural Influences

OB Applications

Summary & Implications for Managers



-          Create parameters for people’s behaviors so it is important in predicting behavior

-          Use personality tests in conjunction with other selection tools

-          Match the job (remember job analysis? Yes, again it rears its ugly head!) to the personality of the employee



-          Managers cannot control the emotions of their subordinates

-          However, you shouldn’t ignore them either

-          Emotions trigger arousal levels (important when we discuss motivation)

-          Emotions are often “part of the job” – understand and accept this and select the right people for the jobs with more or less “emotional” aspects