Personality Theories and the Workplace

402 words | 2 page(s)

A number of personality theories fit into the workplace. In particular, schema theory, Bandura’s Social-Cognitive Learning Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Schema theory looks at how an individual responds to a variety of situations and experiences. The schema is a certain piece of information that is taken in through the cognitive processes of the brain and then stored in memory. Given this, in the workplace, an employee in observing how to properly (for example) write up a report for a conference room meeting takes in the schemas associated with how to do it properly. Thus, the experience of writing the report is stored to memory so the next time there is a need for a report of a similar nature, the employee can create it based on their memory.

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The Social-Cognitive Theory examines how individuals learn through observation. This particular theory provides self-efficacy for an employee in the workplace. The concept of self-efficacy is what an individual believes about themselves as opposed to how they are. Given this definition, in the workplace, the theory provides employees the opportunity to perform well above what may be required of them to do with respect to tasks. This contributes to both personal and professional growth for the employee should they excel at the tasks they are given.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory on motivation. Maslow’s theory expresses that each individual has needs and they need to be satisfied for an individual to achieve true fulfillment and self-actualization. In terms of the workplace, each component of the theory – physiological, safety, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization play a role in the employee’s life. Since the theory is humanistic, the employee needs to feel that their physiologicla needs are taken care of by the job (i.e. making money to be able to eat, sleep).

For their safety needs, the individual needs to feel that the job is secure or at a minimum, provides them with a sense of security. Belonging applies to the individual feeling that they are a part of the workplace and having a sense of confidence and positivity while working there. This then contributes to their self-esteem. Their self-esteem needs are met when the individual is motivated through tasks and the achievement of those tasks being recognized. As far as self-actualization, this occurs when the individual feels that they have achieved some sense of accomplishment in the workplace on all levels.

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