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B102 ob01 worksheet attachment description of big 5 dimensions-20130305 (2)


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  • 1. Big 5 Personality DimensionsB102 Organisational Behaviour :::::: OB01
  • 2. BIG 5 PERSONALITY DIMENSIONSThe personality dimensions/traits are:•Conscientiousness•Agreeableness•Neuroticism•Openness to experience•ExtroversionEveryone possesses all 5 traits but to different extent. In other words,the personality traits exist on a continuum (see diagram below).Example: Two people could be described as ‘Agreeable’ but the degreeto which they are agreeable could be different.2Note:It is important to ignore the positive or negative associations that these words have ineveryday language. None of the five traits is in themselves positive or negative. Theyare simply characteristics that individuals exhibit to a greater or lesser extent.ConscientiousnessAgreeablenessNeuroticismOpenness to experienceExtraversionConscientiousnessAgreeablenessNeuroticismOpenness to experienceExtraversionLow HighMediumMediumLow High
  • 3. ConscientiousnessPeople high on conscientiousness tend to:• Be organised and live according to routinesand schedules• Be responsible and achievement-focused• Take time to think through issues carefully• Have a strong sense of duty / obligation• Be self-disciplined / perseverant• Be careful / meticulous in doing workPeople high on this dimension could possibly:• Not perform well in situations where quickdecisions / spontaneity is important• Be too single-minded and obsessed withwork (might suffocate subordinates withconstant demands and close supervision)• Be overly concerned with little details andmiss the big picture / living life fullyPeople low on conscientiousness tend to:• Find rules and regulations confining• Have lower need to seek achievements andhence more content with themselves• Be more spontaneous• Be flexible / easy-goingPeople low on this dimension could possibly:• Procrastinate or show poor follow-through,failing to complete tasks• Be disorganised and scattered with work• Make poor decisions (too quick to decide)• Be content with a minimal amount of work,resulting in low achievementsTendency to be dutiful and seek competence and achievementDescription Possible Work Behaviour IssuesHighLow 3
  • 4. AgreeablenessHighly agreeable people tend to:• Trust that people are good by nature• Be candid / sincere in communication• Be tender-hearted and compassionate• Find helping other fulfilling• Be modest• Avoid confrontations (even deny their ownneeds to get along)People high on this dimension could possibly:• Be easily taken advantage by others• Compromise too much with others• Lack competitiveness• Be too concerned with approval of othersand not be able to make tough or objectivedecisionsThose low on this dimension tend to:• Be objective in making judgements (notinfluenced by feelings / sympathy)• Willing to challenge others and be critical• Be more guarded / sceptical (less willing totrust others or openly reveal everything)People low on this dimension could possibly:• Be unsympathetic to needs of others• Be seen as uncooperative and difficult towork with• Be unwilling to compromise or acceptalternative views• Be manipulative in communicationHighLowTendency to defer to others and seek social harmonyDescription Possible Work Behaviour Issues4
  • 5. NeuroticismPeople high on neuroticism tend to:• Be more realistic about bad situations (notbe over-confident)• Worry more and feel anxious• Be more emotionally reactive (e.g. get angry/ frustrated / sad / discouraged quickly)• Be self-conscious of how others view them• Experience panic / helplessness under stressPeople high on this dimension could possibly:• Be easily stressed out by work or personaldemands• Be overly sensitive to criticisms• Behave awkwardly with others as they areoverly self-conscious• Behave unpredictably (emotional) especiallywhen under pressurePeople who score low on neuroticism tend to:• Be generally calm and collected• Not feel anger or other negative emotionsoften or easily• Be secured with who they are• Have a positive outlook• More poised and confident under stressPeople low on this dimension could possibly:• Be overly optimistic and not see potentialproblems• Not have a sense of urgency to solve issuesTendency to easily experience unpleasant emotionsHighLowDescription Possible Work Behaviour Issues5
  • 6. Openness (to experience)People who are high on openness tend to:• Be more imaginative / creative• Be eager to learn / try new experiences• Be open-minded to new / unusual ideas• Like to debate intellectual issues• Challenge traditions / conventions• Appreciate beauty in nature and art• Be more aware of their own emotionsPeople high on this dimension could possibly:• Explore ideas but not be very grounded inreality  seem idealistic / impractical• Take a long time to turn ideas into action• Be easily bored with mundane / operationaldutiesPeople who are low on openness tend to:• Be more practical / down-to-earth• Enjoy working with facts and numbers• Prefer dealing with people and things(concrete things) rather than ideas• Prefer the security and stability in keeping totradition and routines• Be less self-aware of how they are feelingPeople low on this dimension could possibly:• Not think creatively in doing work• Be resistant to change• Not want to try new ways of doing things orconsider new ideas to improve workFascination with novelty and tendency to enjoy diversityDescription Possible Work Behaviour IssuesHighLow 6
  • 7. ExtroversionExtroverts tend to:• Enjoy the excitement of crowds• Be sociable / make close friends easily• Be energetic / action-oriented / active• Speak out, take charge, and direct theactivities of others (assertive)• Often experience positive emotions• Get bored without high levels of stimulation(e.g. loud music)People high on this dimension could possibly:• Spend more time than necessary on socialactivities at the workplace• Get bored easily where social stimulation islacking (e.g. working behind a desk)Introverts tend to:• Be self-reflective (seeking stimulation fromwithin rather than outside world)• Be more independent workers• Be reserved (greater need for privacy andpersonal time)• Follow a leisurely pace of life (not thrill /excitement seeking)• Dislike noise / commotionsPeople low on this dimension could possibly:• Be inhibited and have problems handlingsituations involving strangers• Not speak up in teams / meetings• Appear to lack energy / exuberance• Have difficulties in building professionalnetworksTendency to seek stimulation and engage with external world (people, etc.)HighLowDescription Possible Work Behaviour Issues7
  • 8. Someone who scores medium is neither high nor low. One advantage isthat it is easier for them to switch between tasks that require high andlow levels of that dimension. However, they might not be able to exhibitthe same level of characteristics that a high or low person might.Example:A job has 2 tasks: Task A requires high extroversion and Task B requireslow extroversion. Person X has high extroversion. Person Y has mediumextroversion Person X fits Task A 100% but does not fit Task B. Person Y fit Task A80% and Task B 80%.Note:Ignore any positive or negative connotations that words like conscientiousness havein everyday language. The 5 traits, in themselves, are not positive or negative. Theyare simply characteristics that all individuals exhibit to a greater or lesser extent.Adapted partly from: The ‘Big 5’ aspects of personality. (2009). Retrieved and summarised January 25, 2009, from the PsychometricSuccess website: ‘Medium’8