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MGT701 Managing Organisations

Published : 10-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


Description of appropriate theory of perception and personality including current literature review for each. Practical application of theories to workplace for managers.. Convincing recommendations and conclusions drawn.Quality of presentation including clarity of expression, professionalism of layout and formatting, grammar and spelling.


Personality refers to the combination of qualities and characteristics that sum up the individual’s distinguishing character. Perception on the other hand can be termed as the ability to become aware of something sensing. The personality and the perception of an individual toward self and others is an important aspect of organization management. The personality of an manager is the main attribute of that assist that manager to understand others as much as self understanding. On the other hand the perception a manager has over an issue is important quality of management. The interaction between individual’s personality and perception toward an issue determines their relationship with other staffs. There are many different theories that have been advance to explain the personality and perception of manager with respect to their effectiveness in management. These theories can be divided into personality theories and perception theories. Manager needs to understand some personality theories such as internal locus of control, work ethic and the big five model of personality. On the other hand, manger need also to understand perception theories such as selective projection, halo effect, stereotyping and theory of attribution. Understanding this theory is essential for a manger since the theories shape individual’s relationship with other staffs in work place (Ricky 2013, p. 259). The following paper explores the literature on theories that explain the effectiveness of manager through understanding theories of personality and perception.

Understanding personality and the perception theories is important aspect of management. Firstly understanding theories of personality is important for accountability and becoming conscience of individual action in management. Personality dictates the ability to manage one’s self before managing other staffs within an organization. Secondly, perception on the other side is important for individual’s response to situation in an organization. Personality of a manager and their perception defines the effectiveness of a manger to relate or manage other staffs or the organization. There are many theories that explain the individual’s personality and management abilities. To understand theories of personality and perception in is important first to understand personality (Schultz & Schultz 2005).

Understanding theories of personality

It is important to understand the different theories that explain the personality traits of a manger as this has effect on their relation and ability to manage the organization. According to Moskowitz (2005), there are some theories that have been advance to explain the personality of manager. Some of this theories include internal locus of control, the big five model of personality and work ethic among others. To understand personality lets first understand some of these theories that explore the personality and its influence on management.

Locus of control

Understanding locus of control theory of personality is key for desirable managerial skills such as self-esteem and knowing self. As explained by April, Dharani & Peters (2012, Vol.4), individual’s locus of control is the belief in external and internal control of personal destiny. The personality according to this theory is an individual’s destiny may be controlled by external or internal factors. According to Meyerhoff (2004, pp 8), external locus of control is factors that control outcome of personal life that are beyond their control. Internal locus of control has proved to the best aspect of this theory as explained by Dormann, Fay and Zapf (2006, pp 27–51). Internal control is based on the belief in controlling own destiny and this has been attributed to self esteem. Those individuals that have strong believes in themselves have full control of resources they have at hand. This can also be reflected in individual’s achievement and success in activities these individuals does. High self-esteem is connected to high performance on an individual and this is directly reflected competence and capabilities. Low self-esteem on the other hand plays a role poor performance and low self dependence (Roddenberry & Renk 2010, pp 353–370).

Work ethic

Work ethic is another theory that also explains the importance of personality of a manger. According to Daniel (2014), a manager need to understand the work ethic theory of personality as this is the basis of ethical practices within the workplace. Study by Grucza & Goldberg (2007, pp 167–187) explains that there are some individuals that believe in hard work for good achievement. According to Hock (2013, pp. 190–197), work ethics tries to explain the connection between hard works as oppose to idleness that attract low reward. As related by Sanderson (2010, p. 118), those individuals who have work ethic are subjective to leadership regardless of the type of leadership whether authoritative or democratic leadership. According to Takaki and Yano (2006, pp 5–11), some aspects on work ethic that are important personality traits are professionalism, dependability, respectful, dedication, accountability, humility, and determination. These traits exhibit the required personality traits for one to perform in workplace. Work ethics may range from dressing code to individual’s behaviour in an organization.

The big five model of personality

The big five model of personality is another theory that also explain the attributes of personality.  Some of the element of big five model are openness, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness and emotional adjustment. According to Ashton, Lee and Vries (2014, 139–152), openness refers to the ability of a person to appreciate new things and is open to new experience. Openness of someone determines their level of interaction with others in an organization. Secondly, agreeableness is personality trait that shows the degree of cooperative, friendly and compassionate to others. This indicates individual’s ability to accept other people’s ideas or opinions. Thirdly, extraversion is the personality trait that emphasis on getting energy from other people as opposes to introversion that gets energy within themselves to do things. The ideas explain importance of depending on other people in an organization to contributes toward a discussion and provide solution to situation. According to Cobb and Schurer (2012, pp11–15), conscientiousness is the trait that shows the ability of one to organize activities in methodic way and thorough manner. Finally, emotional adjustment shows the stability of emotions that is also related to emotional experience and tense. Emotional stability is important when dealing with conflict in an organization.

Theories of perception

There are theories that support or explains the perception of individual manger on others or situation as an important quality of a manager. Some of the suggested theories are halo effect, attribution theory, perceptual distortion and selective perception (Canosa 2009, pages 11& 34).

Understanding halo effect theory of perception according to Denmark (2010, p. 1277), halo effect is the perception theory that indicates that personal perception of an individual manager may be based on overall impression of an issue. The overall impression of a manger about an individual’s behaviour is important for judgment of a conflict or performance appraisal of individual employee. When there is opinion about purchase of an object or equipment the individuals’ impression about this product may be explained with halo effect theory of perception (Forgas 2011, pp 812–817).

Secondly, as explained by Cochran, Boots and Heide (2003, pp 65–93), attribution theory explained that personal behaviour may attribute to certain outcome. This is not similar to another theory called perceptual distortion that shows someone can deny occurrence of some issues in an organization. The attribution theory explains the relationship between outcomes of behaviour with the personality attributed to the outcome. This implies that the theory explains the perception that is attributed to personality traits of an individual manger.

Selective perception according to Coombs and Holladay (2006, pp. 37–43), is the tendency for a manger to be influence with own interest and not others interest. Selective perception in the current contemporary workplace can also refers to situation where manager decide to used media messages instead of staffs opinion on certain issue. This theory also explains that one may decide to ignore other peoples’ perception or view point at the expense of their own perception.

Finally, another theory, stereotyping also gives the perception on judging others based on their groupings. This theory explains that a manger can judge the character of other staffs based on their group memberships (Flore & Wicherts 2014, pp 25–44). Stereotyping theory of perception leaves no doubt the biasness that is caused due to the personal beliefs or feeling about certain groups within an organization. The manager therefore judged the group members based on their group character (Agerström & Rooth 2011, pp 790–805).  

Application of theory

The practical application theories on the perception and personality of manager in work place are an important practical management. To fully apply theories on perception and personality it important to divided into personality and perception.

Applications of theories of personality

Firstly, mangers need some personality traits as explained by internal locus of control, big five model of personality, and work ethic. Internal locus of control model cites self-esteem as one of the aspects of internal control that makes the manger control the outcome of events in an organization. Managers with high self-esteem can control others as this is reflected on their ability to control themselves (Toegel & Barsoux 2012, pp 51–60). Secondly, work ethic instills the professionalism in a manger that makes them perceive working hard as the key to success. Other personality traits such as humility, dedications, accountability and respectful makes the manager have convenient working environment. Respectful for instance is personality trait that allow human manger to respect junior employee and treat them in respectful way. The human resource manger therefore reward staffs according to their competency and hard work (Sanderson 2010, p. 118).

The manager needs to know the big five model of personality since many aspects of character that a manger need to have in order to mange organization is the best way are explained in this theory. Firstly, manager who is open to all staffs have ample time to sort organizational issues. Managers need to be aware that their level of friendliness is important in time of crisis in an organization that needs discussion (Ashton, Lee & Vries 2014, 139–152). Openness brings about trust among other staffs especially junior staffs. Secondly, agreeable character is important for negotiating with other staffs. For instance, at the point of employment the agreeable personality trait help the human resource manager to agree on payment with the new employee. Thirdly, emotional adjustment is another important personality trait that enables management of conflict in an organization.

A manger should not express much of emotions in time of conflict and need to approach issues with clear conscience (Paunonen & Ashton 2001, pp 524–539). Fourthly, a leader or manager needs to have personality of conscientiousness which shows the personal organization of activities and events. A manger who is able to organize activities is a good leader and this is particularly important for reporting. Finally, extraversion is another personality trait that emphasis getting solution from other people as opposes to getting solution from within. Mangers who relay in others people’s solution can manage organization with the leadership style such as democratic leadership. This contradicts the theory of introversion that involves fully depending on self for solution for some issues. Manager need not to depend on self for solution but instead relay o other staffs within the organization (Gosling, Rentfrow & Swann 2003, pp 504–528).

Applications of theories of Perception

Knowing or understanding and application of theories of perception in the day to day activity of management within organization are keys for the success of organization. Firstly, stereotyping is not a good perception for manager since judging other staffs should not be based on group membership. For instance, solving conflict due to individuals character need to based on the group membership as this leave feeling of unfairness among staffs. In contrast, human resource manger need to judge based on behaviour exhibited by staff.

Secondly, halo effect theory offers managers skills that are used to evaluate the character of staffs based on the overall impression about the staff (Gordon & Graham 2006, pp. 142–144). Manager can decide to develop some opinion about staffs may be because of their behaviour, when promoting or demoting this employee may be based this opinion. This is an example of halo effect of perception that some manager develop about other employees (Rosenzweig 2007). Thirdly, manager can use selective perception where manager consider personal interest more important than the interest of others. When marketing manager review product performance and decide use media messages instead of opinion from sales team.

The application of both theories of personality and perception can be combined to assist mangers in good managerial skills. Some personality traits are not fit for application within an organization as compared to other positive personality traits. For instance, self-esteem is an important personality trait that enables managers to develop confident in themselves before managing other staffs and resources. This is contrary to selective theory that believes in opinion from other for grater impression about product and others. This also implies that mangers need to develop the big five personality traits so as to make good perception about an individual employee based on their openness, acceptability, extraversion, conscientiousness and emotional stability.


After deeper understanding of theories that explains personality and perception of a manger that enable them to manage the organization effectively, there are some recommendations that need improvement to need to be applied in order to produce good results. Firstly, some personality theories need not be frequently used by senior managers as they are most likely to raise conflicts (McGarty, Spears & Yzerbyt 2002a, pp. 186–199). For instance, selective perception that considers manger’s interest as compared to the interest of staffs. This is most likely to undermine the contribution of other staffs in decision making. Staffs normally feel isolated in decision making being one of the stakeholders in an organization hence their opinion is important in decision making (Verhulst, Brad & Lavine 2010, pp 1–2).

Secondly, some theories of personality are recommendable; work ethic for example is important theory for professionalism and accountability practice at workplace as compared to other theories. Senior managers need also to adopt locus of control theory as it help manger believe in achieving their own goals before organization’s goal. This is particular important for risk investment that require confident in achieving good results. Thirdly, human resource managers need to full balance personality and perception when managing employees within an organization. As explained by theories, human resource manger that chooses to apply theory of internal locus of control should also consider the opinion from staffs and incorporate with personal abilities to appraise employees accordingly (Weber 2002, pp.9-12).


In conclusion, manager needs to understand theories of perception and personality so as to be effective in managing organization. Literature reveals stronger personality traits that need to be adopted and used by managers. For instance personality traits based on internal locus of control emphasis on the importance of self-esteem in managing an organization. Other personality traits as explained in work ethic and big five model of personality are equally important in managing an organization. Perception on the other hand is connected to individual’s selective perception, stereotyping and attribution ability and influence personal judgement. Application of these theories of personality and perception in managing organization is critical in achieving good result in and organization.


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