How might the individual personalities of employees affect the level of job satisfaction?


青春岁月 2016年6期

Abstract:This paper will discuss how might the individual personalities of employees affect the level of job satisfaction ? The Big Five(Openness of experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) will be as the mainly theoretical basis,meanwhile some actual survey results will be analyzed combining with the theory.Finally,it will be concluded that which personalities of the Big Five have most obvious connections with job satisfaction.

Key words:personality;employee;job satisfaction

Hackman and Oldham thought that the improvement of work can stir up the incentive to every worker to a higher job satisfaction in 1975,but there are also researchers found that even the same work done by different workers, because of the difference of the personality of individual workers ,will lead to different level of job satisfaction. Personality is not a simple word , it consists of the mental, physical, moral, and social qualities of an individual. (Fiona et al.2010) There are the Big Five(Openness of experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism )(OCEAN) which uses to describe human personality. Job satisfaction is defined as “the extent to which people are satisfied with their work” (Warr, 2002).

Two main aspects affect the job satisfaction: organizations factors and person factors. The organizations factors include the political, economic environment, the nature of profession, meanwhile the person factors refer to value, ability and personality. Thereby, the personality is the major aspect which affects the level of job satisfaction. The Big Five framework of personality which has become the main model to understand the relationship between the personality and the different behaviors.

The early study of Furnharm&Zacher(1986), they used a multi-dimensional scale measurement to investigate how the personality affect the job satisfaction. Then, the results of the recent meta-analysis of Judge et al.(2002) according to 163 independent samples showed that the personality of employees, especially the conscientiousness and extraversion are important in understanding job satisfaction with correlations of 29, 26 and 17 respectively. The research makes us believe conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion tend to have positive effect on job satisfaction while neuroticism inclined to have a negative effect on job satisfaction.

Conscientiousness tends to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement,planned rather than spontaneous behavior.(from Wikipedia ) Individuals high on the conscientiousness are more likely organized, responsible and self-discipline than those who are low on the conscientiousness, namely, they are prone to lack of direction and self-discipline.

Extraversion is displayed through a higher degree of sociability, assertiveness, and talkativeness. Extraverts are sociable, positive, and friendly. Adversely, introverts are likely to experience the negative emotion and seldom communicate with others. As Judge et al. (1999: 624) pointed out, “extraverts tend to be socially oriented (outgoing and gregarious), but also are surgent (dominant and ambitious) and active (adventuresome and assertive).” At work, it seems that extroverts are easier to be satisfied by their job,organization and those around them. However, the introverts cant.

Agreeableness refers to being helpful, cooperative, and sympathetic towards others. Individuals who are high on agreeableness probably can win the others affection and likability. While individuals low on the agreeableness are hostile, unsympathetic , rude and mistrustful.(Mu-Lan Wang et al. 1997) Its widely recognized that individuals who are agreeable are easier to get along well with others, meanwhile, can develop a good relationship in the organization. Therefore ,they can keep a good mood at work .As the result, they may gain a high level of job satisfaction.

Neuroticism, a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression or vulnerability. Neurotic individuals are more likely than the low on neuroticism to experience negative moods and stress. Therefore, neurotics tend to have negative evaluations and lower level of satisfaction. (Valentina Bruk-Lee et al.2009) However, neuroticism is a normal trait for individuals ,it should be controlled it within a certain degree. If so it can have a good effect which means people will more critical of themselves and their performance.

In the end, according to what have been analyzed above, the conclusion is that there is a tight relationship between personality and job satisfaction in an organization. Of these traits extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness have most obvious connections with job satisfaction. For different employees have different personality, some may tend to extraversion or the others may tend to neuroticism, due to the reason which makes them gain different levels of job satisfaction in an organization. For the extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness can probably be proved that they are likely to affect job satisfaction positively ,however, neuroticism is prone to have a negative effect on job satisfaction.




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