Job-individual Interaction: The Preceding Role of Personality Dynamism.

AuthorDubey, Naman


Western conceptualizations of individual personality differences can be traced back to at least 2,000 years, to the ancient typologies of Hippocrates and Galen. (Mc Adams, 1997). Humans, the only species with a highly functional brain region-the neocortex, was objectified as existing without the potential to modify. In contrast to the type approach, psychologists like Allport, Cattell, and Eysenck, introduced the trait approach to interpret personality (McAdams, 1997). Unlike the type approach, the trait approach considers personality as a dynamic construct wherein an individual's personality is assumed to be existing on a continuum and the personality differences are due to the varying degree of trait present among individuals. As a result, the traditional type approach to personality that did not provide room for individual improvement or development is contradicted. The disadvantage is that such approaches (e.g., trait approach) are constrained in their implementation.

The application of these theories in the practical scenario is less frequent. e.g., the organisational sector is an area wherein the human and his actions are not explicitly studied, though every organisation is highly reliant on a manual workforce. Organizations all around the world work rigorously on their recruitment process to search, select, and hire employees based on the job requirements. The most difficult challenge in doing so is to find the best match (an individual) who could be a fit for the job offered. In the long run, the focus shifts towards retaining the hired employee. Several factors work over how an employee could be retained. Ensuring that the employee is provided with all the hygiene factors is the first area and the second is the motivational factors to be looked into. But the primary emphasis here is solely on physiological factors such as desirable remuneration, career advancement prospects, and working hours. This necessitates a minute monitoring of the perspective of the working climate, and in doing so the motivational factors are often overlooked. However, organizations focus on these attributes on priority assuming that an employee's primary focus is on physiological factors.

As discussed earlier, the human being is a complex entity and his personality --being a dynamic construct may change, as his interaction with his environment expands. Personality, as described by Allport, "is a complex organisation within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristics, behavior and thought" (Allport 1961; McAdams 1997). Drawing from the given definition of personality, it could be concluded that a person evolves as s/he works in the organization. Common job recruitment procedures often overlook this factor in the recruitment procedure, and this in the long run accounts for lower job participation, job satisfaction, and lower commitment towards the organization. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the causes of these negative job attributes, but the number of studies investigating the construct of dynamism of personality in recruitment is limited. Prior scholars in organizational psychology have worked majorly around exploring the fit between individuals and different job attributes. The person-environment (P-E) fit is one such example (Tomoki Sekiguchi, 2004). The origins of person-environment fit can be found in psychologist Lewin's interactionist theory of behavior (Chatman, 1989; Muchinsky & Monohan, 1987), which argued that behavior is a feature of both the person and his environment. The degree of congruence or match between personal and situational variables in producing significant outcomes is described as individual environment (P-E) fit (Muchinsky & Monahan, 1987). "Despite, or perhaps because of, the ambiguity of this description, many distinct forms of fit have drawn attention." (Brown, Christopher, 2005). In a vocation, much focus has been put on the match between people's needs and those of others (e.g., Holland, 1985). However, other forms of match have arisen as essential study realms, such as an individual's alignment with his or her workplace, organisation, work group, and supervisors. Although research on these other types of fit has been prolific, rarely have they been synthesized to draw conclusions about the true impact of fit on individual-level outcomes (Kristof Brown 2005). Many researchers have investigated the application and influence of Person-job (P-J) fit, Person-organization (P-O) fit, Person-environment (P-E) fit, Person-vocation (P-V) fit (Holland, 1997), Person-Person (P-P) fit (Van Vianen, 2000) and PersonGroup (P-G) fit (Werbel & Johnson, 2001), but we did not find studies which investigated the synergic effect of these perceptions. Assessing an individual in isolation of all perceptions and typecasting him would eventually close all other realms of development, attracting feelings like lowered work satisfaction and job commitment, while integrating all these suits as one domain and considering it as a function of dynamic personality would open doors to change and progress. Previous research done in this area has neglected the role of dynamism in personality, and looked at job-individual fit as contributing factors in the recruitment process. This paper endeavors to highlight this gap, and tries to provide a theoretical basis for the role of the construct of dynamic personality in the organizational employee recruiting process. The current paper will contribute towards the literature of recruitment procedure by putting forward a new approach with the dynamism of personality as a new construct. Lastly, this paper will also help in exploring a new dimension of looking into the reasons for higher attrition rates and/or poor wellbeing of employees within the organisation.

Literature Review

Dynamism of Personality: From the time of Plato, there is the ongoing debate on whether the being, or the stable aspect of humans, is to be valued more; or should the becoming aspect, which refers to the possibility of growth and change (Tripathi & Sinha, 2009). Data from several multi-wave longitudinal studies have provided ample evidence supporting significant and meaningful mean-level changes in personality traits across the adult life span (Helson, Jones & Kwan, 2002; Mroczek & Spiro, 2003; Roberts & Mroczek, 2008). Such personality changes are a result of the interaction of an individual with his environment. A change in personality over a period of time is accompanied by changes in other psychological attributes as well, such as attitude and interest. Researchers investigating turnover intention have found several job attributes that play a significant role in turnover intention or intention to quit. Job involvement is among such attributes. "Job involvement is defined as the extent to which the individual psychologically identifies with his/her job, i.e., feels that the job represents the core of one's self-image" (Kanungo, 1982a). Job involvement as defined here is viewed as a construct that depends heavily on self-image, which may change with the evolution of personality. Thus, job involvement as assessed at the time of recruitment may not be the same at later times.

Similarly, "Organizational commitment is defined as the degree to which an employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals, and he/she wishes to maintain membership in that organization to facilitate reaching those goals" (Porter, Crampon & Smith, 1976). Searching for ways to heighten organizational commitment in an individual or looking for aspirants who are already high on commitment is a tedious task. Although, being high on commitment traits is not the only factor that accounts for an employee's retention in the organization. For example, Holland (1985) in...

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