Productive Personality Types in the Workplace

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Ty Palmer, Utah Valley University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

With productivity in the U.S at an unexpected low for the last quarter, it is apparent that employers and employees alike are struggling to meet the financial demands of their companies. Similar to the critical situation Chrysler was facing in 1979, the right leader, Lee Iacocca was all that was needed to save the company from going under. Researchers have studied effective leaders such as Lee Iacocca and their qualities for many generations, but little research has been conducted to gauge employer’s leadership abilities from the perspective of employees. Personality theory has been a topic well researched in the field of Psychology. A personality classification tool generally accepted by most Psychologists today is the Big Five personality characteristics, which are agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, and neuroticism. Many studies have utilized this tool in gathering valuable data about individuals, but few studies have used this tool to evaluate a second person. The Big Five Inventory (BFI) is composed of 50 questions designed to evaluate behavior to determine personality type. The BFI utilizes a 4-point Likert scales, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree to further gauge the prevalence of certain personality traits in a person. The BFI has been created for self-evaluation, so an adapted personality assessment will be constructed to measure a second persons personality. The proposed research would ask employees to take the personality test in behalf of their boss to determine the type of person they are. Participants will also be asked basic questions about their relationship with their boss and how satisfied they are working for them. Specific questions will be asked to determine how productive they want to be at work, and why. Through this study we expect to see a common trend among employees who appreciate one personality characteristic above others. Based on past analyzed studies regarding effective personalities, we anticipate that conscientiousness will be rated to make employees to feel more productive, but less satisfied with their work. The insight gained from this research may provide valuable information and instruction to all employers regarding what characteristics make employees want to be more productive at work.