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Basic human processes: individual difference, personality, skills and abilities

In the context of Basic human processes, skills, and abilities, it is pertinent to study the individual differences among the workforce as their unique and un-matching qualities, skills and abilities can transform the ways in which an organization work. These factors also influence our thinking and behavior.  The researchers have defined individual differences as the ways in which people differ from one another.  Organizations now cultivate these individual differences in order to create a diversified culture where creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship become common practices (Hampson S. E., Colman A. M., (1995).

In the present state of a rapidly changing external environment, the organizations (small as well as large) are under demanding pressures to alter their internal environment to make it compatible with the external environment. Hence, organizations in an effort to make certain adjustments learn the individual differences in their personal and try to develop such personalities, skills and abilities that their human resources become a core competency for them to win competitive advantages in the marketplace (Rynetta R., Charlotte D., Hubert S., (2006).


Describing your own personality in a single sentence has proven to be a much difficult task as it was represented in the fairly devastating dialogue of a famous movies star of the 1940s and 1950s. We can also observe and experience it how hard and the complex is it? to put our own uniqueness into words. However, uniqueness is one of the features of personality. Organizations deploy resources to study personality as it is a crucial element to appreciate individual differences.

Personality can be defined as an individual’s unique and relatively stable patterns of behavior, thoughts, and emotions.  Then the question arises about the stability of various aspects of personality or individual differences, however, researchers have confirmed that these are quite stable as we can have various examples at the workplace to explain the fact. For example, we can consider how job satisfaction varies from employee to another employee in the same working environment. It has been found that changes in working conditions do impact some employees as their satisfaction level remains similar, whereas some employees remain dissatisfied under any conditions (Hampson S. E, 1996).

This personnel is hard to be satisfied. This scenario clearly depicts that altering working conditions do not affect job satisfaction; however this is not the case as some other factors also determine job satisfaction.  A turning point has also been clearly observed in this illustration that is job satisfaction, as well as many other aspects of organizational behavior, are much influenced by stable individual differences.

It has been observed that many situational factors such as job demands and social norms determine the strength of the effects of personality. Job demand is the set of certain specific job-related tasks and duties that work as a motivator for persons to behave in a certain way; and social norms represent the peer pressures felt in a group. As a personality and situational factors encourage as well as discourage certain behaviors, they work as facilitators and constraints (Allport, G.W. (1961).

Skills and Abilities:

As this quotation suggests, people differ greatly with respect to their abilities—the

capacity to perform various tasks—and also differ greatly with respect to specific

skills—dexterity at performing specific tasks, which has been acquired through training

Both abilities and skills are important, of course, but since abilities are more general in

nature and have implications for a broader range of organizational behavior, we’ll pay a bit

more attention to them in this section of the chapter. Our discussion of abilities will focus

on two major types: intellectual abilities (or simply, intelligence), which involve the capacity

to perform various cognitive tasks, and physical abilities, which refer to the capacity to

perform various physical actions.

When most people speak about intelligence or intellectual abilities, they generally are

referring to one’s capacity to understand complex ideas. Of course, this is certainly very

important To succeed in a job, one must have the mental capacity to undertake the intellectual

challenges associated with it. However, this kind of mental prowess is not the only

kind of intelligence there is. In fact, on the job, several distinct types of intelligence have

proven to be very important.

cognitive intelligence

The ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, and to overcome obstacles with careful thought.

Emotional Intelligence:

Originally, emotional intelligence was defined as a cluster of abilities relating to the emotional or “feeling” side of life, and was viewed as involving four basic components:

(1) the ability to recognize and regulate our own emotions (e.g., to hold our temper in check),

(2) the ability to recognize and influence others’ emotions (e.g., the ability to make them enthusiastic about our ideas),

(3) self-motivation the ability to motivate oneself to work long hours and resist the temptation to give up), and

(4) the ability to form effective long-term relationships with others.

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the physical tasks required to perform a job. Although different jobs require different physical

abilities, there are several types of physical ability that are relevant to a wide variety of

jobs. These include the following.

_ Strength: The capacity to exert physical force against various objects

_ Flexibility: The capacity to move one’s body in an agile manner

_ Stamina: The capacity to endure physical activity over prolonged periods

_ Speed: The ability to move quickly

If we were to consider all jobs that people perform, it might be possible to identify

those that require primarily intellectual abilities and those that require primarily physical

abilities. For example, being a chemist in a research laboratory of a large company

involves mainly intellectual abilities, whereas being a construction worker involves

mainly physical abilities. However, such oversimplification can be misleading. Almost

all jobs require both cognitive and physical abilities for success. For example, consider a

firefighter. Obviously, such individuals must have high degrees of strength, flexibility,

stamina, and speed to be able to perform their jobs well. At the same time, however, such

individuals also must possess appropriate cognitive abilities so they can assess the complex

demands of the scene (e.g., wind velocity, the structure of the building on fire, likely

presence of victims, sources of oxygen, and so on). In sum, when it comes to assessing

Types of Social Skills.

What do social skills involve? Although there is far from total

agreement on their precise nature, most researchers who have studied social skills and their

role in organizational behavior would include the following:

_ Social perception—Accuracy in perceiving others, including accurate perceptions of

their traits, motives, and intentions (see Chapter 3)

_ Impression management—Proficiency in the use of a wide range of techniques for

inducing positive reactions in others

social skills

The capacity to interact effectively

with others.

and to

interact effectively with people from many different backgrounds

_ Emotional awareness/control—Proficiency with respect to a cluster of skills relating

to the emotional side of life (e.g., being able to regulate one’s own emotions in various

situations and being able to influence others’ emotional reactions; see Chapter 5)

If these particular skills remind.

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