The paper "Strategies for Improving Workplace Effectiveness" is a perfect example of management coursework. Individual personality determines the way in which a person performs in a work setting, and while individual performance is by itself very important, the interaction of individuals in groups – which, after all, characterises almost any work setting – affects and is affected by the individual personality. Personalities can be defined in terms of combinations of broad archetypes (Guthrie, Coate, and Schwoerer, 1998; Antonioni, 1998; Manning, Pogson, and Morrison, 2008), or by the “ formula” of different motivations that exist within each person.
(Reiss, 2001) These characteristics, which have common components in each person but in unique, individual proportions, are largely “ programmed” into the person and cannot be significantly changed. (Balkin, 1998) Self-assessment tools available to those wishing to learn more about their own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses fall into three categories. First are self-assessments to help one determine his or her personal priorities and objectives. (Cottrell, 2003) A second tool is the Belbin Team Inventory (Belbin Associates, 2010), which helps one to determine his or her natural role in a group.
Finally, there are different ways to assess one’ s learning style, which helps to determine how a person acquires and processes new information and skills, and communicates with others. (Honey & Mumford, 1992; Chislett & Chapman, 2005) These various self-assessment techniques can help one to focus on areas in which job performance can be improved. Introduction This essay briefly reviews some of the wide range of literature addressing the components of individual personalities, how people are motivated to perform at work, and how they relate to others in organisations.
With this background and using some of the tools described by the literature, I discuss the results of a self-assessment, concluding with a strategy focusing on areas where I can improve my work performance. These areas include learning skills and ways in which I can improve my communications skills. 1. Literature Review In his book Who Am I psychologist Steven Reiss (2001, pp. 17-18), presents the idea that all human behaviour is determined by 16 basic desires, which exist at least to some small degree in every person, though their relative importance differs greatly from one individual to another.
What is most interesting about Reiss’ assertion is that he views the proportions of basic desires as being largely determined by heredity; environment, learning, and experience do play some part, but a person’ s genes are more influential. (Reiss, 2001, p. 83) The objective of every person, whether they realise it or not, is to strive for what Reiss calls value-based happiness, which is achieved when the basic desires are met in their proper proportions according to the individual’ s unique personality. (Reiss, 2001, p.
123) Other research into individual personality traits that affect work and organisational performance focuses on variations of Eysenck’ s Type Theory, which describes four interconnected parts of a personality (Extroversion, Introversion, Neuroticism, and Stability), usually by separating the personalities into five types: Extroversion or Introversion, Agreeableness or Stubbornness, Anxiety or Calmness, Conscientiousness, and Openness or Circumspection. (Guthrie, Coate, and Schwoerer, 1998; Antonioni, 1998; Manning, Pogson, and Morrison, 2008) This characterisation of personality agrees with Reiss’ in that it is thought to be largely hereditary, and varies in relative proportions from one person to the next.
These basic determinants of personality are what J. M. Balkin (1998) calls a person’ s “ cultural software, ” a sort of program combining heredity, experience, and environment, and which is difficult to change. (Balkin, 1998: 43)