Personality and attitudes represent important micro, cognitively oriented variables in the study of organizational behavior.
Personality - Introduction
Personality represents the "whole person" concept. It includes perception, learning, motivation, and more. According to this definition, people's external appearance and traits, their inner awareness of self, and their person-situation interaction make up their personalities.
In personality theory, different approaches have been tried. The historically important ones include trait theory (observable patterns of behavior that recur frequently), Freud's psychoanalytic or psychodynamic theory (in which personality is shaped by unconscious determinants of behavior), and Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow's humanistic theory (Every person strives to realize one's potential).
Although the nature versus nurture debate in shaping personality continues, the findings of twin studies of the importance that heredity may play in personality and recent breakthroughs in neuropsychology that points to the importance of the brain in personality have led most psychologists to recognize both nature and nurture. However, the nurture side still dominates.
In personality theory, the study of relatively fixed predispositions has resurfaced in the form of the "Big Five" personality traits. Conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience have been found to significantly relate to job performance, especially conscientiousness. In addition, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) remains a popular tool for personal and career development. Whereas the Big Five is based on research, the MBTI is based on the historically important Carl Jung theory of personality types and mental processes. Both the Big Five and MBTI if carefully interpreted and used can make a contribution to the understanding and application of organizational behavior.