Feb 142011

Attitudes Definition: An attitude is a way of thinking or feeling about something, a certain state of mind at the time.

Behaviours Definition: Behaviour is defined as the way one acts towards themselves and others around them. To link the two we could say that due to the attitude a person has towards spiders, he/she may behave differently.

What are Attitudes?

Mental states, developed through experience, which are always ready to exert an active influence on an individual’s response to any conditions or circumstances to which the person has been directed

Allport (1935)

Certain regularities of an individual’s feelings, thoughts and predispositions to act toward some aspect of his [sic] environment

Secord and Backman (1969)


There are said to be three components of an attitude, which can easily be remembered using ‘ACB’. These three components are;

  • Affective Component – feelings of an attitude – For example if a person is scared of spiders or dogs.
  • Behavioural Component – Predispositions to act towards an attitude. – For example if the person scared of spiders sees one, they will react and scream.
  • Cognitive Component – Thoughts about an attitude. – For example this is why they justify their actions against the spider, believing it to be dangerous in some way.

The main point about the ABC model is that we believe a person will be consistent with the attitudes towards things that they have. For example a person will always be scared when they see a spider. However, this is not always true, most people have the attitude that drinking excessively will be damaging to their health, yet despite this their behaviour around alcohol is to carry on drinking.

Attitudes in the Workplace

Attitudes come into the workplace under four different headings, these are;

  • Work Situation – Attitude towards the actual job; pay, co-workers, working conditions, etc. – This will influence how the culture is in the company, how people see the work situation will change their behaviours. If they believe they are not being paid enough, they may well act out behaviourally.
  • Personality – The way someone attitude is in the first place. – Completely dependant on the actual employee and a reason why the hiring process can be such a big part of a business, to ensure that they hire the right personality, the right person whose attitudes and behaviours fit in with those already working in the organisation.
  • Values – What comes out of the work. – The attitude towards the standard of work.
  • Social Influences – What co-workers, managers etc. attitudes are like. – If fellow co-workers are lazy, then the attitude is likely to by ‘well why should I work harder?’ and this will cause the behaviour of not working hard enough just because others are.

Key Learning Points

  1. What is the Definition of Attitudes?
  2. What is the Definition of Behaviours?
  3. What are the Three Main Components of Attitude?
  4. What are the Four Main Attitudes in the Workplace?

Organisational Behaviour Theories to Learn for Exam

 Organisational Behaviour, Theories  Comments Off on Organisational Behaviour Theories to Learn for Exam
Jan 122011

The following is just a list of the Organisational Behaviour Theories that you will probably need to learn for an OB exam.

Organisational Behaviour

  • Multidisciplinary Approach
  • Fundamental Attribution Error


  • One General Intelligence
  • Theories of Multiple Intelligence
  • Emotional Intelligence


  • Predicting Job Performance
  • Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors (16PF)
  • 2 Dimensions of Personality
  • Big Five Model
  • Psyche (Freud)
  • Personality Types A and B


  • Gestalt Principles
  • Fundamental Attribution Error


  • Motivation Model
  • Common-sense 1, 2 and 3
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory
  • Modified Needs Hierarchy Model
  • Achievement Motivation Theory
  • Expectancy Theory
  • Goal-setting Theory

Attitudes and Behaviour

  • Organisational Behaviour Modification
  • Social Cognitive Learning Theory
  • Single and Double-loop Learning

Job Design

  • Taylor’s Five Principles of Scientific Management
  • McDonaldization
  • Core Job Characteristics Model
  • Motivating Potential Score
  • Analysis of Job Characteristics Model

Groups and Team

  • Building an Effective Team
  • Five Conditions of Successful Teamwork
  • Stages of Team Development
  • Adair’s Three Circles
  • The Four Phases and Seven Stages of Team Development
Jan 062011

Here are some practice exam questions for you to practice. If you find any more, please send them to me.


  1. Evaluate Spearman’s contribution to our understanding of intelligence.
  2. Compare and contrast a structural model of intelligence and a systems model of intelligence.  Explain the relevance to organisational behaviour.
  3. Define three different kinds of intelligence and evaluate the practical value of each within an organisational setting.


  1. Compare and contrast two different approaches to personality.
  2. You are a manager who wants to improve performance in your team.  With reference to two different theories, explain how an understanding of personality might help you practically.
  3. Evaluate the contribution of trait theories of personality to the study of Organisational Behaviour.
Dec 052010

Personality Definition: A personality is a mixture of a person’s characteristics, beliefs and qualities which make them who they are.

Personality Types A and B Definition: These two theorists came up with two extreme ‘behaviour syndromes’ to allow us to look into different stress levels people endure. Each side of the spectrum was split into its own category; Type A Personality and Type B Personality.

Type A Personality

  • Works better with long hours
  • Works better with larger amounts of work
  • Works better with tight deadlines

Type A Personalities are also said to be quite competitive, and therefore a food type of person to have within an organisation because they are willing to work and are always striving to be better. On the other hand, because they are always on the edge, it means that they may not be able to relax, look back on things and make sure everything is being done properly. Therefore it could cause problems within a business or management team.

Type B Personality

Type B Personalities are obviously the opposite, they are able to sit down and relax, be confident they will meet deadlines, without rushing and not doing the work properly. They also cope with pressure well and therefore can turn decisions around. However, their relaxed approach could mean that work doesn’t get done on time they are less likely to strive for perfection.

Friedman and Rosenman (1974)

Key Learning Points

  1. What is the Definition of Personality?
  2. What are the Key Points for a Type A Personality?
  3. What are the Key Points for a Type B Personality?
Dec 042010

Personality Definition: A personality is a mixture of a person’s characteristics, beliefs and qualities which make them who they are.

What is the Definition of Personality?

“A relatively enduring pattern of thinking, feeling and acting that characterizes a person’s response to her or his environment”

Bratton (2010)

Importance of Personality in an Organisation?

Personality is a key element in an organisation as it defines what the culture will be like, what the attitudes and behaviours are and in turn the success of the company.

When hiring a person their personality needs to fit in with the rest of the company so that the culture which has been created, can be kept the same and a company can continue striving for results. Although in most cases this is true, personality can also be important when a company needs a change in direction, as a new personality, say in the CEO position of a business, can dramatically alter the way the company works and therefore how well the company does in terms of revenue and profit.

Therefore the Human Resource Management section of a company really needs to figure out a personality before they are hired. This is why a number of questions are asked in terms of motivation, personal development and hobbies, as matching these with what the company already has is the best way of getting the right culture.

If you would like to read more about personality within organisations and management, then please read the following theories;

Predicting Job Performance

Predicting Job Performance: Personality

 Personality in Organisations  Comments Off on Predicting Job Performance: Personality
Dec 042010

Personality Definition: A personality is a mixture of a person’s characteristics, beliefs and qualities which make them who they are.

The following is information to help predict how a person will act within a job and what abilities they need to be a good employee.

  • Conscientiousness: Some argue this is a valid predictor of performance. But negatively correlated with creativity. Conscientiousness is how you act around people, how careful you are with people and your work. It’s about self-discipline, carefulness and thoroughness.
  • Emotional Stability: Has been said that it is positively associated with job performance. Emotional stability refers to whether you cope with situations, not bringing problems to work and letting them affect your performance.
  • Extraversion: This has been found to correlate positively with performance in jobs such as sales, because people find it easier to interact with potential customers.
  • Agreeableness: Positively correlates with job performance because it indicates that you get on with people better. However, for people in higher positions this is normally lower, due to them having to stick up, put there point across.

Catell’s 16 Personality Factors

There are also a few more in-depth theories to how people will do in jobs based on their personality. One which is still used widely today, even though it is getting older, is Catell’s 16 personality factors:

  • Reserved v warm
  • Concrete reasoning v abstract reasoning
  • Reactive v emotionally stable
  • Deferential v dominant
  • Serious v lively
  • Expedient v rule-conscious
  • Shy v socially bold
  • Utilitarian v sensitive
  • Trusting v vigilant
  • Practical v imaginative
  • Forthright v private
  • Self-assured v apprehensive
  • Traditional v open-to-change
  • Group-oriented v self-reliant
  • Tolerates disorder v perfectionist
  • Relaxed v tense

Eysenk’s 2 Dimensions of Personality


Stimulated by the outside work, the environment, consisting of other people and things. Below are some words to describe extroverts;

  • Active
  • Outward
  • Sociable
  • People
  • Expressive


Stimulated by themselves, from within, from thoughts about themselves and reflections of the past. below are some words to describe an introvert;

  • Reflective
  • Reserved
  • Privacy
  • Quiet

2 Dimensions of Personality

After thinking of the above diagram, Eysenk came up with a third dimension, this was called Psychoticism. This meant that his theory now had three dimensions; Psychoticism, Extraversion, and Neuroticism

Big Five Model (Costa and McRae, 1970’s)

The big five, also known as OCEAN, which will be explained later, describes main personality traits which are seen in people. Each dimension has an idea of what kind of people will fit in with each side of that dimension. Those in the middle of each of the dimensions are usually people who can move from one side to the other with ease, although in some cases this can be a problem because someone may be needed who always stick to their side. Below are each of the dimensions explained:

  • O – Openness – Artistically sensitive, intellectual, interests, reflective, insightful, curious.
  • C – Conscientiousness – Efficient, reliable, responsible, ethical, organised, self-disciplined, scrupulous.
  • E – Extroversion – Talkative, outgoing, candid, energetic, adventurous, sociable, assertive.
  • A – Agreeableness – Good-natured, forgiving, generous, non-critical, warm, cooperative, trusting.
  • N – Neuroticism – Anxious, tense, hostile, excitable, emotionally unstable, impulsive.

(Arnold, 2005, 184-185)

Key Learning Points

  1. What is the Definition of Personality?
  2. What are the Four Personality Predictors?
  3. What are the 16 Personality Factors?
  4. What are the 2 Dimensions of Personality?
  5. Explain the Big Five Model?

Fundamental Attribution Error

 Personality in Organisations  Comments Off on Fundamental Attribution Error
Dec 042010

Personality Definition: A personality is a mixture of a person’s characteristics, beliefs and qualities which make them who they are.

Fundamental Attribution Error Definition: The tendency to focus on the individual and reasons why they did something, based upon their personality, whilst overlooking external factors, such as social aspects and contextual influences.

The Fundamental Attribution Error often means there are false reason why something happened, we have to look into why something happened, but look at it in a broad way, not just straight away looking into people’s minds and behaviour. We must look at the external influences to gain a proper picture of what is going on.

Below I have provided some examples of individual factors which affect people;

  • Not coping with work
  • Learning problems
  • Personality problems
  • Communication problems
  • Perception problems
  • Motivation problems

We can now look at some context factors which may be affecting how someone works, or say how a shop operates;

  • Competition
  • Not enough demand (sales going down)
  • Taxes rise
  • Social problems
  • Political problems
  • Economic problems
  • Technology problems

Now we can have a quick look at group factors which affects employees and their businesses;

  • Group formation problems
  • Group structure problems
  • Group process problems
  • Group progress problems
  • Teamwork problems

Management factors can also affect the above;

(Ross, 1977)

Key Learning Points

  1. How Would You Define Personality?
  2. What is the Fundamental Attribution Error?
Dec 042010

Organisational Behaviour and Management comes with many different theories. On My Organisational Behaviour we are trying to provide you with an overview of each of these theories, as well as this I’ll be trying to add more depth in future posts. Take a look at the current available theories below:

Theories of Intelligence

Theories of Personality

Theories of Motivation

Theories of Perception

Theories of Attitudes and Behaviour

Organisational Behaviour

 Expand Your Understanding, Organisational Behaviour  Comments Off on Organisational Behaviour
Dec 042010

Organisational Behaviour is a multi-disciplined approach to how an organisation works. It takes into account the personality system of a organisation, the cultural system and also the social system.

A lot has been written up about Organisational Behaviour, and many theories have been made to try and show us what the whole concept is. On this website you should hopefully get an idea of what it is, and how we use it within management to get the most of of employees and ourselves.

Take a look at the following pages to learn a bit more;

What is Organisational Behaviour?

Intelligence in Organisations

Personality in Organisations

Motivation in Organisations

Perception in Organisations

Groups and Teams in Organisations

Job Design in Organisation

Culture in Organisations