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MGMT 411 Advanced Organizational Behaviour

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Compare and contrast the different theoretical arguments of personalities.

In your analysis, you must discuss the implications of personality differences for organisations and provide real world examples.


Advanced Organizational Behavior


The term personality can be generally defined as the characteristic pattern of feelings, thoughts and behaviors that makes every individual unique and different from others. According to researchers, while several external factors have the potential to influence how certain traits are expressed, the personality of an individual majorly originates within him or her (Lewin, 2013). The personality of a person generally remains consistent with minor changes that take place due to age and experience. The four major perspective of personality includes Psychoanalytic that is unconscious motivations, Trait which is specific dimensions of personality, Humanistic inner capacity for growth and social cognitive perspectives that includes influence of environment. From immemorial period of time various theories have been developed by the researchers about personality. In this report, different theoretical arguments of personalities will be compared and contrasted. Not only that, the impact of personality differences in organization will also be discussed in this report.

Comparison and Contrast between the different theoretical arguments of personalities

Majority of the personality theories, irrespective of their different perspectives share the basic concept that personality is a specific pattern of thinking and demonstrating behavior that prevails across time as well as situations and is unique in every individuals. The chief argument that exists between various theories of personality includes whether personality is inherited or developed through the interaction of an individual to the environment.  In the following paragraphs, compare and contras of two of the chief theories including the Psychoanalytical theory by Freud and Social Learning Theory by Bandura will be conducted Anderson, 2014).

The Psychoanalytical theory of personality as being demonstrated by Freud, states that the thoughts, feelings and behavior of human beings are determined by the interplay of unconscious physiological processes. As being argued by Freud, the personality of a human being is comprised of three major systems that include id, ego and superego. The id is defined to be the biological part of personality and is supposed to be present in an human being  by birth and is comprises of physiological energies and inherited instincts. The pleasure principle operates the id for avoiding pain and obtaining pleasure.  The ego, on the other hand, which is considered to be the executive part of personality, is the conscious part of one’s mind. Ego satisfies the desires of id keeping accordance with the demand of the superego and the reality. The superego is defined by Freud to be the moral or the judicial part of the personality.  Superego determines the permissible behaviors and punishes wrong doings of an individual with the felling of guilt. Not only that its also responsible for the ego rewards that includes high self esteem and feelings of pride for good behaviors. Freud believed that in order to demonstrate an healthy personality, an individual must keep all the three systems in balance.  

In the Victorian era, the personality theory of Freud had created controversies As beinfg proposed by Freud, the thoughts as well as behavior of an adult is rooted to his childhood memories and unconscious forces of the mind. However this theory has been severely disagreed by a good number of neo-Freudians. Carl Jung, one of the Neo-Freudians, argued several forces other than id, superego and ego, like collective unconscious forms a core part of the personality of the human beings (Cervone & Pervin, 2015). He argued that personality is a conscious state of mind and is comprises of ideas, emotions, perceptions and memories that a human being is totally aware of. According to Alfred Alder, Freud has overemphasized the role of sexuality in the personality development (Cervone & Pervin, 2015). Alder through his personality theory argued that the complex of inferiority within an individual can be considered to be playing the key role during the development of personality. Karen Horney, had demonstrated his disagreement with Freud by arguing that sex and aggression are not the primary themes of personality (Horney, 2013). However, she agreed with the concept of Freud that stated that Anxiety is the basic issue of unhealthy personality. Horney believed that personality of an individual is highly dependent on the environmental variables she stated that instead of only considering the phycodyanamic forces within the mind, it is crucial to consider the environmental factors with respect to which the forces are reacting. Eric Erikson disagrees with Freud about the timing of personality development. As being stated by Freud, the majority of one’s personality gets developed during early childhood. However, Erickson argued that an individual’s personality develops with age and experience and changes throughout the lifetime. He added that a person’s personality can be defined as a series of crisis that he or she encounters in their social relationship with the people. Since these crisis continues throughout the life, the personality development within a person does not top when he or she become an adult.

While the Psychoanalytical theory state that personality depends on the unconscious mind, the theory of Social learning argues that personality is comprised of learned behaviors’. According to the social learning theory, the consequences of behavior along with the beliefs of n individual about the consequences are the two chief determinants of personality (Rogers, 2013). Unlike the theory of pschycoanalysis, the social learning theory is the mixture of a good number of psychological approaches. According to the theory of social learning, one of the chief features of human personality is expectancy which can be defined as the belief of individual that a specific action will be followed by specific consequences (Guntrip, 2018). Along with expectancies, the social learning theory has also put emphasis on observational learning. Observation learning is defined as the form of learning where expectancy of reinforcement is formed by observing the behavior of others and the consequences produced by it. Unlike several others personality researchers, Albert bandura, did not believe that that personality of a human being is dependent on environmental factor or personal characteristics alone. Rather, according to him, the personality of a human being is a resultant of the interaction of environmental variables as well as personal variables like expectations, cognitions and perceptions (Kline, 2013). Bandura stated that the self efficiency is highly crucial since enables an individual change his environment. This concept of bandura is also supported by Walter Mischel. In addition, Mischel had proposed five variables of social earning that impose ample impact on the personality of the individual (Mischel, 2013).

According to researchers, the extent to which one perceives oneself to be in control of a specific situation highly determines that individual’s personality (Horney, 2013). The Locus of control is defined that whether an individual believes that the happenings are taking place due to external variables or taking place due to his own acts. Individuals who perceive that they an control their own Fte is said to have internal control where as individuals with the thought that their life is being controlled by external forces are said to have external locus of control.

Implications of personality differences for organizations

The personality differences among the employees have the potential to impose several impacts on the organizations. Personality of an employee imposes several impact on his or her job preferences and satisfaction. The personality of the employees in an organization can be defined with the help of the big five traits that includes openness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness. According to researchers, employees who are high in openness are not only constructive and imaginative but also poses a down to earth attitude (Freud, 2018). Open minded individuals are found to be fond of emotions adventures, unusual ideas and art. They are good performers be it training session or acquiring new kills and flexibility. When it comes to consciencetiousness, people with this personality types are much organized, achievement driven, dependable, systematic and punctual. While employees having extraversion personality are more outgoing, talkative and sociable, employees who posses agreeableness in their personality possess more compassionate and corporate individuals. However suspisciousness and antagonism are two negative aspect of this traits


From the above discussion it can be concluded that while according a group of researchers, personal traits within a human being are responsible for their personality development, according another group of researchers, environmental factors are responsible for gradual development of personality (Dweck, 2013). The theory of psychoanalysis justifies the behavior of an individual from the biological point of view. However, the mentioned theory has totally ignored the roe of socializations totally. On the other and the theory of social learning have must more emphasis on the influence of environment on the personality of  an individual and thus have totally ignored the impact of  internal concepts like motivation or traits on an individual’s personality. According to the Social Learning theorists perception, cognition as well as expectations play an integral role when it comes to  determining the personality of a n individual (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). When it comes to impact of personality difference on organizations, it has been found that the personality of the employees depends on five personality traits that include openness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness.

Reference list

Anderson, N. H. (2014). A functional theory of cognition. Psychology Press.

Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2015). Personality, binder ready version: theory and research. John Wiley & Sons.

Dweck, C. S. (2013). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Psychology press.

Freud, A. (2018). Ego and id. In The Harvard Lectures (pp. 21-35). Routledge.

Guntrip, H. (2018). Psychoanalytic theory, therapy and the self. Routledge.

Horney, K. (2013). Our inner conflicts: A constructive theory of neurosis. Routledge.

Kline, P. (2013). Fact and Fantasy in Freudian Theory (RLE: Freud). Routledge.

Lewin, K. (2013). A dynamic theory of personality-selected papers. Read Books Ltd.

Mischel, W. (2013). Personality and assessment. Psychology Press.

Rogers, C. R. (2013). A Theory of Therapy and Personality Change: As Developed in the Client-Centered Framework”. Perspectives in Abnormal Behavior: Pergamon General Psychology Series, 341.

Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2016). Theories of personality. Cengage Learning.

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