The Big Five is a classification system of personality traits that many psychologists propose as being the principle traits of individual differences in personality (Carleton University, 2013). These traits may determine how an individual perceives the world and how they interact with it. While these may not be the only traits involved in distinguishing individuals’ personalities, it is clear that they have an important role that may be relevant to the issue of job satisfaction.
The Big Five traits are:
- Neuroticism (or Emotional Stability)
- Openness to Experience
Personality traits form the basic foundation of a person’s behavior and actions (Carleton University). It can impact how the person perceives the world and how they react to it. This is important to understand in relation to job satisfaction because it can determine how likely someone is to find satisfaction from areas of their lives and may help to determine how best to help employees find satisfaction in their work. The below-cited research is just a small sampling of the wealth of information establishing the Big Five traits as predictors of human behavior and personality types.
A study conducted in 2011 was able to predict personality types using the Big Five personality traits (Germeijs & Vershueren, 2011). Figure 111 shows the degree of which each personality trait is recorded and the corresponding personality trait. The study focused on determining indecisiveness as a personality type using the Big Five. This prediction of personality types may lead to being able to identify how people with certain personality types could perceive situations and make helping them gain more meaningful and satisfying work easier.
A 2004 study showed that a relationship exists between higher scores in neuroticism and lower scores in conscientiousness can determine the likelihood of an individual being open to career exploration (Reed et al., 2004). Further sources of studies cited in this study showed a link between career exploration and the openness trait. This study resulted in being able to predict the likelihood of a person being open to a wider range of career options and established links between this outcome and personality traits.
Another study conducted by staff at the University of Teknologi in Malaysia sought to determine whether the Big Five personality traits could be used to predict the likelihood of job satisfaction. A small, but significant, relationship was found between an increase in the extroversion trait and an increase in job satisfaction, as well as a relationship between an increase in the openness to experiences trait and an increase in job satisfaction (Husin & Zaidi, 2011). This research seems to show that the more open and extroverted you are, the more likely you are to be satisfied with your job. This may have a lot to do with aspects that make up an extroverted personality and seeking gratification from outside of oneself.
With these studies, as well as thousands more, a link between a person’s personality and the likelihood of finding satisfaction in a job can be seen. What these studies do not say is that there is no hope for someone with some personality traits to never find satisfaction in their job; it merely shows that an extroverted and open person is more likely to find job satisfaction. The other employees may be harder to satisfy, but nothing seems to indicate that most of them cannot be satisfied in their job.
Originally Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Administration Concentration in Information Resource Management on April 28, 2015
The above is an excerpt from the scientific literature review section of my graduate project. You can learn more about the Big Five Personality Traits here or get one of the e-books below.
Books on the Big Five Personality Traits
Carleton University. (2013). Big five personality factors. Retrieved April 4th 2015 from http://http-server.carleton.ca/~tpychyl/011382000/BigFive.html.
Caumont, A. (2014). 6 key finding about going to college. Retrieved October 12th, 2014 from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/11/6-key-findings-about-going-to-college/.
Germeijs, V. & Vershueren, K. (2011). Indecisiveness and Big Five personality factors: Relationship and specificity. Personality and Individual Differences. Vol. 50. Is. 7. May, 2011. Retrieved April 14th 2015 from http://0-www.sciencedirect.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/science/article/pii/S0191886911000237.
Herzberg, F. (1987). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review September–October, 109–120. Retrieved January 14th, 2015 from http://0-web.a.ebscohost.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=092efb8b-d356-4e43-8baa-5fcd94169387%40sessionmgr4005&hid=4204.
Husin, L.I, & Zaidi, N.A. (2011). The correlation effects between Big Five personality traits and job satisfaction among support staff in an organization. Retrieved April 14th 2015 from http://0-ieeexplore.ieee.org.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6163863.
Kurian, G. T. (2013). AMA Dictionary of Business and Management. AMACOM, p.136. Retrieved October 14th 2014 from https://app.knovel.com/web/view/swf/show.v/rcid:kpTAMADBM2/cid:kt00C96V41/viewerType:pdf/root_slug:ama-dictionary-business?cid=kt00C96V41&page=4&b-toc-cid=kpTAMADBM2&b-toc-root-slug=ama-dictionary-business&b-toc-url-slug=habitual-buying-behavior&b-toc-title=The%20AMA%20Dictionary%20of%20Business%20and%20Management.
Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., & Barton, S. M. (2002). Satisfied correctional staff: a review of the literature on the correlates of correctional staff job satisfaction. Criminal justice and behavior 29.2 (2002):115. Retrieved January 7th, 2015 from http://0-cjb.sagepub.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/content/29/2/115.full.pdf+html.
Lin, I. & Kwantes, C.T. (2014). Potential job facilitation benefits of “water cooler” conversations: The importance of social interaction in the workplace. The Journal of Psychology. Vol. 149. Iss. 3. Retrieved April 16th 2015 from http://0-www.tandfonline.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/doi/full/10.1080/00223980.2013.874322#.
Mourshed, M., Farrell, D., & Barton, D. – McKinsey Center for Government,. (N.D.). Education to employment: Designing a system that works. Retrieved from mckinseyonsociety.com website: http://mckinseyonsociety.com/education-to-employment/report/.
Oswald, A.J., Proto, E., & Sgroi. D. – University of Warwick (2008). Happiness and Productivity. Jole 3rd Version. 10 Feb, 2014. Retrieved October 14th, 2014 from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/eproto/workingpapers/happinessproductivity.pdf.
Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries. (2015). Job satisfaction. Retrieved January 16th 2015 from http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/job-satisfaction.
Ravari, A., Bazargan, M., Vanaki, Z. & Mirzai, T. (2012). Job satisfaction among Iranian hospital-based practicing nurses: Examining the influence of self-expectation, social interaction, and organizational situations. Journal of Nursing Management. Vol. 20. Iss. 4. Pp. 522-533. Retrieved April 16th 2015 from http://0-onlinelibrary.wiley.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01188.x/abstract.
Reed, M.B., Bruch, M.A., & Haase, R.F. (2004). Five-factor model of personality and career exploration. Journal of Career Assessment, 12 (2004), pp. 223–238. Retrieved April 14th 2015 from http://www.scopus.com/record/display.url?eid=2-s2.0-3242701403&origin=inward&txGid=85A6C2387AE650DD0842FCF9E493C3C6.y7ESLndDIsN8cE7qwvy6w%3a2.
Riggio, R.E. (2014). What is authentic leadership? Do you have it? Psychology Today. Retrieved April 15th 2015 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201401/what-is-authentic-leadership-do-you-have-it.
Smerek, R. E., & Peterson, M. (2006) Examining Herzberg’s Theory: Improving Job Satisfaction among Non-academic Employees at a University. Research in higher education 48.2 (2006):229-250. Retrieved October 15th 2014 from http://0-link.springer.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/article/10.1007/s11162-006-9042-3/fulltext.html.
Spagnolo, G. (1999). Social relations and cooperation in organizations. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Vol. 38 Iss. 1. Retrieved April 16th 2015 from http://0-www.sciencedirect.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/science/article/pii/S016726819800119X.
Sut I Wong , H. & Perry, C. (2011). Employee empowerment, job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Retrieved April 16th 2015 from http://0-search.proquest.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/docview/888255484?OpenUrlRefId=info:xri/sid:primo&accountid=10181.
Vedder, R., Denhart, C., Robe, J. (2013). Why are recent college graduates underemployed? Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Retrieved April 4th 2015 from http://centerforcollegeaffordability.org/uploads/Underemployed%20Report%202.pdf.
Wong, C.A. & Laschinger, K.S. (2012). Authentic leadership, performance, and job satisfaction: The mediating role of empowerment. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Vol. 69, Iss. 4. pp.947-959. Retrieved April 14th 2015 from http://0-onlinelibrary.wiley.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06089.x/full.
Wright, T. A., & Straw, B.M. (1999). Affect and favorable work outcomes: two longitudinal tests of the happy-productive worker thesis. Journal of organizational behavior 20.1 ;1-23. Retrieved October 16th, 2014 from http://0-search.proquest.com.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/docview/224884806?accountid=10181.
Wyatt, I. D., & Hecker, D. E. (2006). Occupational changes during the 20th century. Monthly Labor Review, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 9th, 2013, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2006/03/art3full.pdf.
Verbeke, W. & Wuyts, S. (2006). Moving in social circles: Social circle membership and performance implications. Retrieved April 16th 2015 from http://0-www.jstor.org.catalog.lib.cmich.edu/stable/30162564?seq=2#page_scan_tab_contents.