RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONALITY TRAITS, WORK ENVIRONMENT AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP AT WORK


Content

Abstract

Studies have shown that in as much as there are more than one person who work in an Organisation, interpersonal relationship is about the most important factor in the productivity and success of such Organisation. The objective of this study therefore is to examine the influence of Personality factors and work environment on interpersonal relationship at work.

A survey research design was adopted using a total sample of one hundred and eighty-one employees, across different industries in Lagos. The responses from the sample were used to test the various hypotheses relationships proposed in the study.

The findings reveal the importance of Interpersonal relationship at work. It was found that work environment significantly predicts interpersonal relationship, β = 0.59, t(181) = 0.59, p<0.05. Work environment explained 35% of variance in interpersonal relation scores, R2 = 0.35, F (1,181) = 35.87, p< 0.05. Also, the study revealed no significant correlation between openness and interpersonal relationship (r =.08, p>.05); so also, Openness does not predict Interpersonal Relationship, β = 0.08, t(181) = 1.05, p>0.05. Openness explained 0% of variance in Interpersonal Relationship scores, R2 = 0.00, F (1,181) = 1.11, p>0.05; so also for conscientiousness. This study also revealed no significant correlation between openness and interpersonal relationship (r =.08, p>.05). Pearson R Correlation conducted revealed significant positive correlation between Extraversion and Interpersonal Relationship (r =.41, p<.05). Agreeableness significantly predicts Interpersonal Relationship, β = 0.62, t(181) = 11.47, p<0.05. Agreeableness explained 12% of variance in Interpersonal Relation scores, R2 = 0.12, F (1,181) = 17.56, p<0.05. Neuroticism does not predict Interpersonal Relationship, β = 0.10, t(181) = 1.30, p>0.05. Neuroticism accounts 2% of variance in Interpersonal Relation scores, R2 = 0.12, F (1,181) = 1.70, p>0.05. From the independent-samples t-test conducted there was Abstract

xii  significant difference in scores on interpersonal relationship for males (M = 30.84, SD = 8.52) and females, (M = 21.26, SD = 9.89); t (181) = 6.21, p<.05.

The findings presented here contributes to workplace interpersonal relationship literature in a number of ways. Most importantly, the findings contribute to the emerging stream of research recognizing the relationship between all the components of Big Five Personality Inventory and Interpersonal relationship at work.

Keywords: Personality traits, Work environment, Interpersonal Relationship at work.

Word count: 372


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Title page…………………………………………………………………………. i

Table of Contents………………………………………………………………… ii

List of tables……………………………………………………………………… v

List of Figures……………………………………………………………………. vi

Certification……………………………………………………………………… vii

Dedication………………………………………………………………………… viii

Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………….. ix

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………… xi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………. 1

1.2 Background of the study……………………………………………….. 2

1.3 Statement of the Problem………………………………………………... 4

 

1.4 Objective of the Study……………………………………………..… 4

1.5 Significance of the Study………….…………………………………… 5

1.6 Operational definition of variables……………………………………… 6

 

1.7 Literature Review…..…………………………………………………. 7

1.7.1 Theoretical Review ……..….………………………………………. 12

1.8 Research questions……………………………………………………. 19

 

1.9 Research hypotheses…………………………………………………… 19

 

CHAPTER TWO: METHODS

2.1 Research Setting………………………………………………………… 21

2.2: Sampling Method……………………….………................................ 21

2.3 Research Design ……………………………………………………….. 21

2.4 Instrument …………………………………………………………….. 22

2.5 Sampling Procedure……………………………………………………. 24

2.6: Data analysis……………………………………………………………. 24

CHAPTER THREE: RESULTS

3.1: Summary data analysis and statistics…………………………………… 25

3.2 Descriptive statistics……………………………………………………. 25

3.3 Inferential statistics……………………………………………………… 26

CHAPTER FOUR: DISCUSSION

4.1: Objectives of the study………….………………………………………. 33

4.2 Summary of findings…………….……………………………………… 36

4.3: Discussion…………………………………………………………………. 37

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION

5.1: Summary………………………………………………………………. 39

5.2 Suggestion for further Study..…………………………………………. 40

5.3 Contributions to Knowledge …………………………………….…... 40 Table of contents

iv
5.4 Recommendation ……..……………………………………………. 41

REFERENCES………………………………………………………………… 42


 

 List of tables

 

 v

 

 List of tables

Table 3.1a: Table of Means and standard deviation of variables

Table 3.1b: Pearson product moment correlation between work environment and interpersonal relationship

Table 3.2: Regression analysis for predictive ability of work environment on interpersonal relationship

Table 3.3: Pearson product moment correlation between Openness and Interpersonal Relationship

Table 3.4: Regression analysis for predictive ability of openness and interpersonal relationship

Table 3.5: Pearson product moment correlation between Conscientiousness and Interpersonal Relationship

Table 3.6: Regression analysis for predictive ability of Conscientiousness on Interpersonal Relationship

Table 3.7: Pearson product moment correlation between Extraversion and Interpersonal Relationship

Table 5b: Regression analysis for Extraversion and Interpersonal Relationship

Table 6a: Pearson product moment correlation between Agreeableness and Interpersonal Relationship

Table 6b: Regression analysis for predictive ability of Agreeableness on Interpersonal

Table 7a: Pearson product moment correlation between Neuroticism and Interpersonal Relationship

Table 7b: Regression analysis for predictive ability of Neuroticism on Interpersonal

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION


Interpersonal relationships at work have impact on both organizations and employees. This impact can be either positive or negative depending on the nature of the interpersonal relationship. Positive interpersonal relationship can improve individual employee attitudes such as job satisfaction, job commitment, engagement and perceived organizational support (Ellingwood, 2001; Morrison, 2009; Song & Olshfski, 2008; Zagenczyk, Scott, Gibney, Murrell, & Thatcher, 2010). Also negative work attitudes can be reduced when employees discuss bad and unpleasant work experiences (Morrison, 2009; Odden & Sias, 1997; Song & Olshfski, 2008). On an organisational level, valued work relationships can influence organizational outcomes by increasing institutional participation, establishing supportive and innovative climates, increasing organizational productivity and indirectly reducing the intent to turnover (Berman, West, Richter, & Maurice, 2002; Crabtree, 2004; Ellingwood, 2004).

 

Previous research has examined contextual and demographic antecedents to workplace relationships to better understand what influences the likelihood that employees develop positive relationships at work. One of the key characteristics that has been identified to play a role is personality (Ilies et al., 2009).

 

According to Akintayo (2012), working environment refers to the immediate task and national environment where an organization draws its inputs, processed it and returned the outputs inform of products or services for public consumption. These include the supplier, customer, stakeholders, social-cultural, economic, technological, managerial and legal environment.

Research in the field of industrial psychology revealed that work environment, which can be measured through employees’ perceptions about the feature of their organisation, has significant relationship with several domains of organisational behaviour such as job performance, organisational commitment, motivation etc. According to Adeniji (2011) researchers in organizational behaviour have long been interested in understanding employees‘ perceptions of the work environment and how these perceptions influence individuals‘ work- related attitudes and behaviours. Early researchers suggested that the social climate or atmosphere created in a workplace had significant consequences- employees‘ perceptions of the work context purportedly influenced the extent to which people were satisfied and perform up to their potential, which in turn, was predicted to influence organizational productivity (e.g Katz & Kahn, 2004; Likert,1997, McGregor, 2000). The construct of climate has been studied extensively and has proven useful in capturing perceptions of the work context (Denisson, 2006; Ostroff, Kinicki & Tamkins, 2007). Climate has been described as an experientially based description of the work environment and, more specifically, employees‘ perceptions of the formal and informal policies, practices and procedures in their organization (Schneider, 2008).  

It is deduced that studies on organizational climate also refers to the work environment since organizational climate, conceptually, is a description of the work environment based on employees’ perceptions. In this study, the researcher probes into the work environment as it affects interpersonal relationship among employees. Also, personality is investigated as a dispositional factor with implications on the level and quality of interpersonal relationships of employees.

 

1.2          Background of the Study

Work environment on the behaviour of its members has been an important issue of discussion and analysis since long back. In industrial context, the problem of increasing production and making the work environment more pleasant have been approached through the introduction of durable changes in working environment. The environment in work organizations comprises several components of two major categories, namely, physical and psycho-social. During early days of development of industrial psychology only physical environment in work place was given importance and was considered as a predominant determinant of employees’ productivity. Numerous earlier studies examined the effect of illumination, temperature, noise, and atmospheric conditions on productivity of the workers (Bennett, Chitlangia, & Pangnekar, 1977; McCormic & Sanders, 1982; Moreland & Barnes, 1970; Peterson & Gross, 1978; Vickroy, Shaw, & Fisher, 1982). However, no consistent relationship could be noted between these components of physical work environment and performance. After Hawthorne studies industrial psychologists started shifting their attention to the study of social and psychological environment and its effects on employees’ job behaviour.

 

The recognition of the significant role of psycho-social environment led to the emergence of organizational psychology, and further the concept of ‘quality of work life’. The importance of physical work environment has now been again realized. The modern organizations are making all possible efforts to make work environment more comfortable, safe and healthy, which resulted in emergence of a new branch of industrial/organizational psychology, namely ‘occupational health psychology’. This is a more holistic method of looking at the work environment and the health of the workers.

The influence of organizational climate, which is mostly composed of several organizational, social and psychological factors, has been extensively examined in past two decades. In a number of studies employees’ motivation, job satisfaction, job involvement, job performance, and health have been found to be markedly influenced by psycho-social environment of work organization (Anantharaman & Subha, 1980; Dugdill, 2000; Mishra, 1986; Muchinsky, 1977; Tumuly, Jernigan & Kohut, 1994).

 

 

1.3       Statement Of The Problem

 

Interpersonal relationships among employees pose significant concern to management. This is due to the fact that it has serious implications for organisational outcomes. When employees have negative interpersonal relationships, conflict is the inevitable consequence. Thus, studies have looked into aspects of the work environment that could foster an atmosphere of harmony and cohesiveness in the workplace. Furthermore, a boost to productivity is expected when employees have good interpersonal relationship. This is because ideas will flow more easily through the organisations and problems will be solved more readily.

 

However, the determinants of positive interpersonal relationships is an issue organisational psychologists have been contending with over the past two decades. Aspects of the work such as job design, feedback, etc and individual factors such as motivation, job involvement, have been the focus of most research. Nevertheless, work environment and personality traits are beginning to surface as relevant predictors of interpersonal relationship. The ability of work environment to stimulate positive interpersonal relations and of personality traits to predispose employees to seeking meaningful relationships in the work place are important discourse in the literature on organisational behaviour.  

 

Taking this fact into consideration, the present study aimed at examining the influence of work environment and personality traits on interpersonal relationships among employees.

 

 

1.4       Objectives Of The Study

 

The general objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between work environment, big 5 personality traits, and interpersonal relations.

 

The specific objectives of this study are as follows:

(1)                 To determine the relationship between work environment and interpersonal relationship.

(2)                 To investigate the relationship between openness and interpersonal relationship.

(3)                 To examine the relationship between conscientiousness and interpersonal relationship.

(4)                 To observe the relationship between extraversion and interpersonal relationship.

(5)                 To investigate the relationship between agreeableness and interpersonal relationship.

(6)                 To investigate the relationship between neuroticism and interpersonal relationship.

 

1.5       Significance Of The Study

 

This study is important for the following reasons:

Interpersonal relationships have significant impact on productivity among employees. Positive interpersonal relationships enhance cooperation among workers and lead to achievement of organisational goals in due time. More so, management does not spend time on resolving conflict when interpersonal relationships are positive and beneficial. Thus, this study, by exploring the roles of two possible determinants of interpersonal relationships (work environment and personality traits) provides insight into better management practice.  

 

Consequently, in the presence of positive interpersonal relationships turnover intentions are reduced as employees feel they are part of one big family. Successful organisations have succeeded in retaining their best talents by giving a sense of belongingness to them.

Personality traits are individual factors which employers cannot change, per se. nevertheless, they can be used in determining placements for individuals in different segments of organisations. On the other hand, the work environment can be improved with the aim of fostering positive interpersonal relationships. This study highlights this points by investigating the roles played by work environment and personality.  

1.6       Operational Definition Of Terms

Interpersonal relationship: refers to patterns of interaction with specific partners such as fellow employees over time.

Work Environment: In the context of this study, refers to the psychosocial aspects of the office as perceived by the employee.

Extraversion:             this refers to high energy and activity level, dominance, sociability, expressiveness, and positive emotions as measured by the Big Five Inventory by John, Donahue & Kentle (1991).

Agreeableness:           refers to prosocial orientation, altruism, tender mindedness, trust, and modesty as measured by the Big Five Inventory by John, Donahue & Kentle (1991).

Conscientiousness:    refers to impulse control, task orientation, goal directedness as measured by the Big Five Inventory by John, Donahue & Kentle (1991).

Neuroticism:              refers to anxiety, sadness, irritability, and nervous tension as measured by the Big Five Inventory by John, Donahue & Kentle (1991).

Openness:                   refers to the depth and complexity of an individual’s mental and experiential life as measured by the Big Five Inventory by John, Donahue & Kentle (1991).

1.7       Literature Review

1.7.1    Theoretical review

 

Employee Interpersonal Relationships

 

Past research has focused on the formation of interpersonal relationships at work as a function of employee demographics and the work environment. Song and Olshfski (2008) proposed that who we claim as our friends is influenced by our family ties, class, ethnic background, race, gender, age, experience, interests, and geography. Many theories support the proposition that demographic characteristics impact social relationships between individuals (Sacco & Schmitt, 2005). Social categorization (Turner, 1987) and social identity theories (Tajfel & Turner, 1986; Turner, 1982) put forth that people categorize themselves and others into in-groups and out-groups according to salient characteristics, including race and sex.

 

Individuals tend to minimize differences among in-group members and maximize perceived differences between groups. Individuals react more positively to interactions with people in the same group, even when group distinctions are arbitrary (Sacco & Schmitt, 2005; Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, & Sherif, 1961). Similarly, the similarity-attraction paradigm (Berscheid & Walster, 1978; Byrne, 1971) and relational demography theory (Tsui, Egan, & O’Reilly, 1992; Tsui & O’Reilly, 1989) suggest that demographic similarity leads to attraction and liking and positively impacts the social relationships between employees. Interestingly, these theories suggest that demographic effects on workplace relationships and the consequences of such relationships may occur even without extensive employee interaction.

 

In addition to demographic antecedents, organizations have many environmental characteristics that can facilitate friendship making (Pogrebin, 1987). Song and Olfshki (2008) suggest that organizational cultures which foster informal communication provide more opportunities to form friendships. Specifically, organizational norms and rules that encourage communication between immediate superiors and subordinates have a positive impact on friendship opportunity. Further, friendships at work may form simply because of the close proximity, interactions and shared experiences of coworkers (Lu, 1999; Berman et al., 2002).

 

Rousseau (1995) suggested that managers may be instructed to promote a climate of openness and friendship among their staff and to set positive examples of desired workplace relationships. In a study of senior managers, Berman et al. (2002) identified common strategies for promoting a climate of friendship. The strategies included providing employees the opportunity to socialize; encouraging them to act friendly toward one another and to seek each other for emotional support; and training supervisors to establish positive relationships with employees.

 

Relationship between Personality and Interpersonal Relationships at Work

The research focus thus far on demographic and situational antecedents of interpersonal relationships at work neglects the argument that an individual’s dispositional differences likely also influence the formation of positive work relationships. Indeed, researchers have paid limited attention to identifying individual, non-demographic attributes that facilitate the construction of social ties even though meaningful relationships on the job are likely to be a function of the nature of two people who come together. Developing positive interpersonal relationships at work should be rooted in dispositional differences. Kalish and Robins (2006) suggest that psychological predispositions are critical factors at the most basic level of a social relationship between two individuals. The five-factor model of personality (Barrick, Mount, & Judge, 2001; Hogan, 1991; Hough & Furnham, 2003), including openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (emotional stability), provides a meaningful theoretical framework for postulating the likelihood that certain traits lead to the development of interpersonal relationships at work.

 

Extraverts are described as energetic, participative, gregarious and expressive. Because they tend to be social, assertive and bold in nature, extraverted individuals should form and maintain interpersonal relationships at work. Employees high on extraversion enjoy socializing and developing relationships. They are therefore more likely to cultivate social interaction and build new connections. Taking a social networks perspective, Kalish and Robins (2006) provide evidence that extraverted workers tend to construct broad, dense, heterogeneous social networks.

 

Extraverts not only have a higher quantity of interpersonal relationships, but they also perceive those relationships to be of higher quality. Extraverted individuals feel closer to their friends and value those relationships more highly (Berry, Willingham & Thayer, 2000).

 

Agreeable individuals are described as compassionate, flexible, fair, generous and considerate (Goldberg, 1992). They have the tendency to be highly approachable because of their supportive nature and sensitivity. Costa and McCrae (1992) suggested that agreeable people are altruistic, sympathetic, and eager to help others, with an expectation that such behaviour will be reciprocated. Such individuals strive for cooperation over competition. The formation and development of interpersonal relationship are partially a function of warmth and kindness, both attributes of agreeableness (Sprecher & Regan, 2002). Klein, Lim, Saltz, and Mayer (2004) found that agreeable individuals are central in friendship networks, perhaps due to their longing for close relationships (Graziano, Jensen-Campbell, & Hair, 1996), their ability to provide social and emotional support to others and their welcoming of new friends. Agreeable individuals are predisposed to seek out interpersonally supportive and accepting environments (e.g., Barrick et al., 2002; Wiggins, 1991). Agreeable people strive to foster pleasant and harmonious interpersonal relationships (Ilies et al, 2009) and increase group harmony (Graziano et al., 1996). People prefer to be friends with individuals high on agreeableness because there is less irritation in the friendship (Berry et. al., 2000). They like other people more and tend to be liked by others in return.

Emotionally stable individuals are described as confident, controlled, and well-adjusted. They have a tendency to be calm, unemotional and secure (Barrick & Mount, 1996). These characteristics combined with their positive disposition attract others to emotional stable individuals as a source of support. Emotionally stable individuals are pleasurable to be around because they tend to be happy (Hills & Argyle, 2001; Vitterso, 2001). Contrarily, individuals low in emotional stability (i.e., high in neuroticism) often express anger, moodiness or insecurity and are not central in their friendship networks (Klein et. al., 2004). Individuals high on emotional stability experience more positive relationships with others because they possess higher levels of tolerance, forgiveness, and an even-temperedness resulting in less conflict (Berry et al., 2000; Walker & Gorsuch, 2002). Emotionally stable individuals are more likely to be liked by others, a basic prerequisite for forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships at work (Xia, Yuan, & Gay, 2009).

 

The Big Five Personality Theory

 

Srivastava (2008) had reinstated that the term “Big Five” was coined by Lewis Goldberg in 1976 and was originally associated with studies of personality traits used in natural language. While, the term “Five-Factor Model” has been more commonly associated with studies of traits using personality questionnaires. The two research traditions yielded largely consonant models (in fact, this is one of the strengths of the Big Five/Five-Factor Model as a common taxonomy of personality traits), and in current practice the terms are often used interchangeably. Roccas, Sagiv, Schwartz, and Knafo (2002) stated in their introduction that this five factor personality model is a dominant approach for representing the human trait structure today. Similarly, empirical evidences by Digman (1990), Goldberg (1993), Mc Crae and Costa (1996), and O’Connor (2002) have all supported that the Big Five Personality Dimensions represents the taxonomy to describe human personality in a very orderly manner.

The Big Five Personality Dimensions implies that personality consists of five separate dimensions that altogether provide a comprehensive taxonomy for the study of human behavior. According to this emerging consensus, the Big Five Personality Dimensions consists of extroversion, emotional stability/neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience (Costa & Mc Crae, 1985; Mount & Barrick, 1995). According to Ivancevich, Konopaske, and Matteson (2008), each of these five dimensions are described as follows:

 

Extroversion: a broad dimension which encompasses traits such as being active, gregarious, sociable, assertive, talkative and energetic. People who are high in extroversion are usually very jovial, vocal and interactive people. They naturally seem to have a good deal of social interaction. The research by Judge, Heller and Mount (2002) indicates that individuals who are extroverted seem to perform well in sale, customer service and managerial jobs; tend to do better in training programs; and usually have higher levels of interpersonal relationship.

 

Neuroticism (sometimes it’s reversed and known as Emotional Stability) is the tendency to experience positive emotional states. People who are high in emotional stability/neuroticism would feel secure, relaxed, calm and confident. In contrary, people who are low in emotional stability/neuroticism would feel worried, insecure, depressed, overly anxious and angry. These low emotional people are more likely to experience stress and emotional break downs as and when they encounter a new or challenging job.

 

Agreeableness refers to the characteristics of being courteous, tolerant, forgiving, soft-hearted and caring. Being high in agreeableness would mean that they are the kind of people who can get along easily with others on any occasion. It is a dimension that can help make someone an effective team player and can pay off in jobs where developing and maintaining good interpersonal relationships is of utmost importance (Neuman & Wright, 1999). Here again, it looks like this dimension would be crucial for jobs related to sales, customer service, teaching, social work and many others in which a person has to interact with people in general.

 

Conscientiousness includes the characteristics of being persevering, organized, responsible, dependable, thorough and industrious. Individuals with this dimension are naturally hard working, result oriented, and ambitious. No doubt this dimension is highly valued by all organizations. In contrast to this dimension, are people who are lazy, inefficient and disorganized in anything that they do. Judge and Ilies’s (2002) research indicates that conscientious individuals exhibit a higher level of motivation and job satisfaction.

 

Openness to experience (sometimes called Intellect or Imagination) reflects the extent to which a person has broad interest and the urge to take risks in dealings. Some of its traits include broad-mindedness, being imaginative, intelligent, curious and flexible. People who exhibit this dimension are always able to work in an environment where change is continuous and innovation is ongoing.

 

Besides the above mentioned Big Five Personality Dimensions, there are literally hundreds of other personality dimensions, factors or traits that have been classified by psychologists and academicians for the last many years.

However, for the purpose of this study, which is very much related to the school of organizational behaviour, the Big Five Personality Dimensions are employed due to its validity, comprehensiveness and wide acceptance in many researches.

 

1.7.2    Theoretical Framework Of The Study

Interpersonal Behaviour Theory by King, George, & Hebl (2005)

This theory was formulated to explain the role of personality traits in interpersonal behaviour. The authors focused on interpersonal helping behaviour at work, a closer examination reveals that it can be extended to other areas of interpersonal relationship. According to the researchers interpersonal relationships consist of helping behaviors voluntarily performed to aid or assist other organizational members with work-related tasks. There are three key components of this definition: the behaviors are voluntary, they entail taking the initiative to do something that is good for the organization, and they involve initiating an interpersonal exchange to help another person. Interpersonal helping entails actions that are driven from at least two different motives—the motive to engage in discretionary behaviors for the good of the organization (e.g., solving or preventing a work-related problem) and the motive to volunteer to help other people (e.g., behaving prosocially to help a coworker with a difficult task)

Conscientiousness is seen as a necessary antecedent of interpersonal helping as it provides the diligence, responsibility, and dedication required by the first motive—taking the initiative to voluntarily engage in behaviors that are not required for the good of the organization. However, it may not be sufficient as people high in conscientiousness can express their dedication in multiple ways that may or may not involve interpersonal helping. Furthermore, there are other dispositions that might discourage the expression of conscientiousness and dedication through interpersonal helping.

 

For example, a person who is very shy or very distrustful of others may be reluctant to initiate helping behaviours unless asked to do so. People can express conscientiousness in multiple ways in organizations (e.g., through their own job performance) and voluntarily helping others might not be the most readily chosen route unless an individual is also positively predisposed toward the second motive of interpersonal helping—taking the initiative to offer and supply help to other organizational members. In fact, under certain circumstances, individuals high on conscientiousness may actually e very reluctant to engage in interpersonal helping. For example, individuals high on conscientiousness are motivated to meet deadlines and achieve their goals (McCrae & Costa, 1989). Individuals high on conscientiousness may seek to avoid helping others to the extent that time spent helping detracts from time spent on role prescribed behaviours and jeopardizes meeting a deadline or achieving a goal. Because helping behaviours are not formally required of individuals on the job, taking the time to undertake such behaviours may actually interfere with those behaviours that are required. As such, being high on conscientiousness may only support helping behaviours to the extent that individuals also possess a positive interpersonal orientation. Without the influence of a positive interpersonal orientation, conscientiousness could actually inhibit interpersonal helping.

 

To the extent that individuals who are high in conscientiousness also possess a positive interpersonal orientation, helping behaviours are likely to be exhibited. A positive interpersonal orientation may be derived from three Five-Factor traits or dispositions: agreeableness, extraversion, and emotional stability. Agreeableness encompasses a ‘‘prosocial and communal orientation’’ (John & Srivastava, 1999), which suggests that individuals who are high on agreeableness might be more likely to engage in helping behaviour than individuals low on this trait. When conscientiousness is high, individuals are dedicated to doing what is being able to achieve their own goals and objectives. Helping others might not even occur to such individuals, and if it does, they often might feel too pressured themselves to take the time to lend a hand to others. Thus, conscientiousness will have a stronger positive relation with interpersonal helping when emotional stability is high than when neuroticism is low.

 

With an emphasis on intellect and creativity, openness to experience is not particularly relevant to the interpersonal side of workplace behaviours. An orientation toward aesthetics and a wide range of intellectual interests is unlikely to contribute to a positive social orientation, or to be related to the degree to which workers engage in helping behaviours.

 

1.7.3    Empirical Review

 

Adeniji (2011) investigated the relationships that exist between the different variables of organizational climate and job satisfaction among academic staff in some selected private Universities in South-West Nigeria. The study also set to establish if those related factors in organizational climate can cause satisfaction among academics thereby impacting on their academic excellence; and to determine if there are differences in the way senior academics and junior academics perceive the existing organizational climate. A total of 384 copies of questionnaires were administered to selected five (5) private Universities in the South-West Zone of Nigeria but a total of 293 questionnaires were returned fully and appropriately filled. The study made use of both descriptive and inferential statistics such as frequencies, means, and standard deviation, including Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient, Multiple Regression and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to obtain results. The results indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between organizational climate and job satisfaction among academics in Southwest Nigeria at F= 453.524, df= 292, significant at 0.000 and at a correlation of 0.671, also significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed). In the overall analysis that was done on the perception in the way junior and senior academics experience their organizational climate, it was found that there is a significant difference in the way both the senior and junior academics experience their organizational climate at F= 430.768.

 

Akintayo (2012) investigated the relationship among working environment, workers` morale and perceived productivity in industrial organizations in Nigeria. This was for the purpose of ascertaining the influence of working environment, workers` morale and perceived productivity among industrial workers in Nigeria. The descriptive survey method was adopted for the study. A total of 311 respondents, from public and private organizations were selected for the study using stratified proportionate sampling technique. For data collection, the researcher utilizes three sets of questionnaire titled, Working Environment Scale (WES), Workers’ Morale Scale (WMS) and Workers` Productivity Scale (WPS). The Regression analysis, Pearson Product Moment Correlation and t-test statistics were used for data analysis. The finding of the study revealed that a significant relationship exist among working environment, workers` morale and perceived productivity. Also, it was found that working environment is significantly related to workers` morale. Besides, working environment significantly correlated with perceived workers` productivity.

 

Peeters, Van Tuijl, Rutte, Reymen (2006) investigated the relationship between team composition in terms of the Big-Five personality traits (trait elevation and variability) and team performance. The number of teams upon which analyses were performed ranged from 106 to 527. For the total sample, significant effects were found for elevation in agreeableness (r = 0.24) and conscientiousness (r = 0.20), and for variability in agreeableness (r = 0.12) and conscientiousness (r = 0.24). Moderation by type of team was tested for professional teams versus student teams. Moderation results for agreeableness and conscientiousness were in line with the total sample results. However, student and professional teams differed in effects for emotional stability and openness to experience.

 

Wright & Cooper-Thomas examined co-worker relations and person-organization misfit. 537 participants responded to a questionnaire about social relationship in the workplace. In the questionnaire, there was the opportunity for respondents to write open-ended comments regarding the quality of their co-worker relationships. 167 participants spontaneously provided comments regarding various aspects of fit or misfit in their organization and the quality of their co-worker relations. This group were largely professional employees (researchers, accountants, lawyers, HR specialists), ranged in age from 25 years through to 60 years (mean = 43 years), and were mostly female (72%).  Result showed that individual differences affect perceptions of misfit. Person-organisation fit was experienced by those whose personality matched those they worked with, and this was largely linked to the quality of interpersonal interactions.  Those who reported a mismatch between their personality and those of their co-workers experienced stronger feelings of misfit. A mismatch in social inclusion needs between colleagues also contributed to feelings of misfit

 

Olannye (2014) focused on the assessment of the effect of interpersonal relationship on marketing performance in the Nigerian Hotel industry. A survey research design technique was used. The convenience sampling method was employed to select 350 participants. The research instrument was a 30 item validated structured questionnaire. The analytical tools employed are a principal component factor analysis, correlation and multiple regression analysis. The findings revealed that friendly interactions exhibited overwhelming positive effect on customer retention, indicating the importance of the dimension of interactive factor in perceived service quality.

 

Buchanan (1998) explored the impact of Big Five Personality patterns on both group cohesiveness and group performance on creative, brainstorming tasks. At the group level, it was predicted that teams with personality patterns consisting of moderate levels of extraversion, high level of openness to experience, and high levels of conscientiousness would perform significantly better on innovative task than teams with personality patterns that varied from this pattern. It was also hypothesized that group cohesiveness would mediate this relationship. Results showed that groups with the optimal pattern outperformed those of other personality patterns in terms of creativity and ideas generated.      

 

Eswaran, Islam, & Yusuf (2011) examined the relationship between the Big Five Personality Dimensions and job involvement was examined with a sample of one hundred and five (105) sales/customer service staff of a foreign based banking/financial institution in the Northern Region of Malaysia. Hypotheses were tested by means of regression analysis. Results indicate that extroversion and agreeableness are positively related to job involvement. Emotional stability/neuroticism, conscientiousness and openness to experience did not show any significant relationship with job involvement. Overall, the findings established the existing of a relationship between the Big Five Personality Dimensions and job involvement, although they are not very strong or extensive.

 

In a study of government workers in South Korea and the United States, Song and Olfshki (2008) found that in both countries friendships between superiors and subordinates positively affect work attitudes. Robinson et al. (1993) found similar results when examining work units of nurses. Unit morale was directly related to supervisor support and co-worker relationships.

King, George, & Hebl (2005) investigated personality as it affects helping behaviour at work. Potential participants were drawn from the membership directory of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). The responses of 374 women and their supervisors reveal significant interactions between conscientiousness, on the one hand, and agreeableness, extraversion, and emotional stability, on the other, in predicting helping behaviours. Clarifying the relationship between personality and helping, these results suggest that the impact of conscientiousness in a social context depends on a positive interpersonal orientation.

Zaidi et al. (2012) examined the big five personality traits and their relationship with work engagement among public sector university teachers of Lahore, Pakistan. Participants of the study were 399 teachers, 237 male and 161 female. They were selected randomly from all public sector universities of Lahore. In this study, Big Five Inventory (BFI) was used to measure various dimensions of personality (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience). The instrument used to measure engagement was the Utrecht Work engagement Scale (UWES), which includes three subscales: vigor, dedication, and absorption. Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience were found to be positively related to work engagement. Neuroticism was negatively related to work engagement. Multiple regression analysis showed that personality traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience have significant effects on work engagement. However, the strength of relationship between big five traits and work engagement was not very strong (R-squared = 0.28 ).

 

1.8       Research Questions

This research will aim at answering the following questions:

 

1.       Is there a significant relationship between work environment and interpersonal relationship?

2.      Is there a significant relationship between openness and interpersonal relationship?

3.      Is there a significant relationship between conscientiousness and interpersonal relationship?

4.      Is there a significant relationship between extraversion and interpersonal relationship?

5.      Is there a significant relationship between agreeableness and interpersonal relationship?

6.      Is there a significant relationship between neuroticism and interpersonal relationship?

7.      Would male employees do better in interpersonal relationship than female employees?

1.9       HYPOTHESES

The following hypotheses were deduced and put to test in the course of this study;

1.      There will be a significant relationship between work environment and interpersonal relationship.

2.      There will be a significant relationship between openness and interpersonal relationship.

3.      There will be a significant relationship between conscientiousness and interpersonal relationship.

4.      There will be a significant relationship between extraversion and interpersonal relationship.

5.      There will be a significant relationship between agreeableness and interpersonal relationship.

6.      There will be a significant relationship between neuroticism and interpersonal relationship.

7.      Male employees will score higher on interpersonal relationship than female employees.  

 

 

 

 

 

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