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HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Professor and Head (Retired)
Department of Psychology
University of Madras
Prof. P.Rama Rao, PhD, 48/4, Surya Apartments, Welcome Colony, Anna Nagar Western
Extension, Chennai, 600101, Telephone: 9841759390, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dedicated to my wife
Jayalakshmi Palamanda who
Has been my companion
For over five decade
There is a deepening and pronounced interest in human development process. Lifespan
psychologists have particularly followed the process of development tracing and
elaborating several stages and have described how each stage merges with the next stage
as a natural process...
Each stage of development makes new demands. Successful adjustment to these demands
is a healthy sign. These adjustments come naturally and people by and large experience
no difficulty in the process. Flexibility and adaptability are the hall marks of normal
development. This makes transition from one stage to another smooth and effective.
Psychologists have long recognized individual differences and affirm uniqueness and at
the same time accept common base line among individuals in behaviour.
If this is the general pattern in large social settings certain narrower social settings call for
special attention specific to the situation not necessarily linked to stages of human
development, namely childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.
Academic achievement, achievement in social life, and achievement in occupational life
are examples. This book concerns itself in the development of persons in their
The term “human resource” is used in a broad sense, and sometimes in a restricted sense
when it is referred to a given behaviour setting
Business enterprise or any other organization uses the term human resource in a narrow
sense similar to any material resource. The development of human resource makes human
behaviour effective related to the behaviour setting. Therefore there seems to be a link
between organization and the development of human resource. The development of
human resource enhances the effectiveness of the organization. We are landing on a
sticky situation. We are finding ways and means of enhancing the level of human
resource and thereby enhance the effectiveness of the organization. The aim is that both
the individual and the organization should become effective and thereby derive benefit.
This would result in the economic growth of the society.
I would raise the issue whether we are getting close to mechanistic view of the human
element, which could be developed and used. To move away from such a possible
criticism we have to consider that human resource development is for the benefit of both
the employees and the organization.
Accepting the fact that human resource development program is a reality I wish to make a
point that such a program cannot exist in isolation or to the exclusion of the organization.
The two are inseparable. The employee and the organization are willing partners in the
The book is divided into 15 chapters. I have made each chapter short enough for
readability by eschewing narrative style. If we scan the decades of second half of 19th
century we notice attitudinal changes among experts. Earlier experts were of the view that
financial incentives coupled with changes in work methods were all that was needed for
enhancement of performance level. Then the awareness of recognition of social factors,
and a host of motivational theories for enhancement of level of performance was realised
Today we are seriously considering human resource development.
The 15 chapters reflect this orientation. Then there is the emphasis on research and
development in this all-important area. I have added a separate chapter on research needs
in human resource development. I recommend the establishment of a separate R&D
department in every organization on a permanent basis. This department should have
efficiency experts and psychologists who continually update knowledge in this vital area.
In Chapter XIV Exercises for illustration are included with permission from Dr. Mrs.
Parvathi, Head, Department of Psychology, and University of Madras.
The completion of my endeavour in writing this book leaves me in a deep debt of
gratitude. My wife Jayalakshmi Palamanda rendered me enormous support. My grand
daughter, Vidya Palamanda helped me by typing the manuscript neatly. She is well versed
in the use of the computer. Hope this book will be useful to many beginning students in
this special area and to large numbers of students pursuing higher studies and research
scholars. My gratitude to all experts in the field whose contributions I have cited.
Place: Chennai P.Rama Rao
Chapter I Introduction
Human resource as an asset
Chapter II the Organization –Representative Views
The Classical Theory
The Work Group
More on Creativity
Passage of time and temporal perspectives
Chapter III Personality components in Human Behaviour
Job Requirements, personnel specifications.
Coefficient of Stability
Coefficient of validity
Specifications based on Judgment.
Introduction to use of personality tests
The Trait Approach
The Psycho Analytic Approach
Social-Learning Theory of Personality
Humanistic Approach to Personality
Chapter IV Abilities as Human Resources
Basic human abilities
Chapter V Attitudes and Job Satisfaction
How do we Structure Attitude Change Message
Behaviour Related to Job Satisfaction
Measurement of Job Satisfaction
Chapter VI Motivation
Brief Historical Note
Motivation and Specialty Areas
Specific Terms and Assumptions
Relation of Emotion to Motivation
Success, Failure, Causal Believes and Need For Achievement
Motivation and Environment Chapters
Chapter VII Organizational Psychology: Motivation and Behaviour
Fear of failure
Fear of success
Rational: Economic Man
Goal – Activity
Theory X and Theory Y
Motivation: Hygiene Theory
Chapter VIII Performance Appraisal
Personality Traits and Job Performance
Methods of Performance Appraisal
Chapter IX Leadership Behaviour
Behaviour Dimension of Leadership Effectiveness: The Effective Leader
Leadership Effectiveness- An Assessment – Three-dimensional Model – Organization
Chapter X Personality
Chapter XI Psychology Tests and Their Use
Research into intelligence
The Creativity Process
Chapter XII Employee Selection – Induction
Ethical Issues in Personnel Selection
Chapter XIII Human Resource Development
Chapter XIV Research Needs in Human Resource Development
Ethics and Responsibilities of Psychologists
Chapter XV Synthesis and Summary
List of References
LIST OF TABLES
Cattel‟s 16 Personality Factors
Abhidamma Mental Factors
Herzberg‟s Two Factors
McGregor‟s Theory X and Theory Y
Giselle‟s Management Success Factors
LIST OF FIGURES
Behavioural goal directed – five steps
Moderate probability of success and high motivation strength
3 – D managerial style
Types of reinforcements
Endowment – environment relationship in development
CHAPTER – I
Physiological discoveries provided the important breakthroughs for development of
psychology. Experimental psychology can be considered as the product of union of
philosophy and physiology. Physiology brought the physiological data and more
importantly scientific method to psychology. Scientists from other disciplines have made
important contributions to the development of psychology. The physicist Fechner who
was also a medical doctor and a philosopher spent a lot of his time investigating the
relationship between the objective physical world and the subjective personal world.
Several others may be mentioned as significant contributors to psychology in its early
In 1879 formal academic psychology came into being. Wilhelm Wundt trained in
medicine, physiology, and philosophy initiated the first formal psychology laboratory in
Leipzig, Germany. Unity in psychology as a unitary science during early periods got
decomposed into several distinct schools of psychology, each with stubborn and staunch
Francis Galton initiated mental testing and works in this area continued and expanded
with the works of Binet, Spearman, and a number several scholars in this significant area.
Mental testing at that time and immediately thereafter had a long list of areas such as
intelligence, aptitudes, creativity, and other cognitive aspects of human behaviour.
Subsequently non- cognitive areas such as personality, motivation and allied areas
stepped in asking for psychologist‟s attention. Efforts were afoot for understanding the
dynamics of all these.
The list of psychological functions under measured categories is very long and
Psychology developed deep roots in fundamental research and theory building
endeavours. Main objective was to understand human behaviour in various behaviour
settings. Convergence of objective and subjective attributes in relation to human
behaviour came to be accepted as a reality.
However, psychology without losing grounds in fundamental research diversified into
application interests in several areas of human behaviour and behaviour settings.
Professional psychologists in applied and fundamental areas of interest developed
interactional relationships providing a rewarding progress in both streams. The mutuality
and reciprocity are evident in the form attainments in both areas.
It is difficult to define "Human Resource." A resource is an asset that is available for use
when needed. Material resources can be easily identified in terms of quantity and quality.
Human resource is distinct from other forms of resources because it is behaviourally a
variable factor. Resources like equipment or other material are behaviourally constant and
could be manipulated according to the needs of the user without invoking unpredictable
or invisible reactions from them. But human resource is very distinct from the material
resources. It is too complex a resource to be adequately defined and manipulated at will.
At best we can say that it is a set of interrelated assets, ready for use, and has a potential
for training and development.
As already mentioned human resource is a complex set of interrelated assets possessed by
an individual at a given point in time. We have to identify every one of them in a closed
system of assets or skills the totality of which can be brought under the rubric of human
Psychologists have long recognized the reality of individual differences in behaviour.
And it cannot be different in the context of human resources. The fact of individual
differences in skills already present and nature of reactions when subjected to training or
utilization confronts us as a formidable problem. Emphasis on individual differences in
every aspect of human behaviour has to be given its place.
Individual oriented industrial psychology with emphasis on economic benefit of human
endeavour gave the impression that a diligent management can by proper work methods
and proper arrangement of work related environment could enable workers to minimize
work effort and maximize work output. This did not survive long. Principles of scientific
management of F.W. Taylor and time and motion studies of Gilbreth had their relevance
at that point in time. But progress made in psychological research and theory enabled us
to move forward. Next we moved on to human relations concept in work environment
with the advent of Hawthorne studies of Elton Mayo and his collaborators. Later
motivational theories came to dominate the scene. By then we had come a long way. We
will revert back to these developments in later sections.
A closer and a deeper look at the past events that are consigned to history will enable us
to look forward to the future. A well thought out present makes past meaningful and the
The meaning of work as a form of human activity is changing very rapidly. The work
behaviour in an organizational set-up remains the most critical dimension of human
behaviour. Therefore it is crucial to study “work” that takes place in organizations
systematically based on psychological methodology. We have to have new perspectives
of work and work place in the modern cyber age. Global communication today facilitated
by electronic transmission which connects individuals regardless of geographical location
The meaning of work as a form of human behaviour is changing yet for another reason as
well. The changes in economic policies the entire world over to free market and globalise
economy has its impact on human work related behaviour. The impact is not only
economic aspirations but also very much the experiential aspect of work and work
ambience. Therefore work needs to be conceived and defined differently than hitherto
done. A new look is warranted. Work by itself has objective connotations but experiential
aspect of work is subjective. Work setting refers to physical and social situations.
Experiential aspect of work situation is the result of interaction between work settings
and the individual. The very evolution of work from simple to complex form both in
quality and quantity presents many ramifications to both work and the persons at work.
Human resource development (HRD) programmes are not new really. Only that we have
to reformulate the same to suit the new context of modern socio-economic ambience of
the electronic age.
The computer, the 20th century marvel has its impact on work with all its physical
aspects and on the individual with all his subjective experiences. The interaction between
the two renders HRD programmes very complex. Handled diligently HRD programmes
can provide marvels for all concerned.
It was recognized long ago that people vary in general intelligence and special abilities. It
was even suggested that attempts should be made to discover each individual‟s special
bent in order to give him suitable training. Industrial psychology could not make a
beginning until psychology could assert itself as an experimental science with a
methodology of its own and attained a scientific status. This happened in the second half
of 19th century.
A prominent personality who could be considered as one of the first in the field is
F.W.Taylor. His colleagues called him „Speedy Taylor.‟ He made attempts to get an entry
of experimental psychology to problems of industry. He was not a psychologist. He
carefully planned and executed a study of how to get the maximum from a worker with
minimum energy input. This opened an avenue for enhancing efficiency of the worker by
scientifically arranging the work and organizing its execution. He proposed three basic
principles which came to be known as principles of scientific management they .are:
To select the best men for the job
To induct him in the most efficient methods
To give incentives in the form of higher wages to the best workers
The second of the three principles is a rudiment of training programme that can result in
The outcome of this laborious work in testing the above three principles raised a few
question. They are:
What is the nature of man as an individual, and what if any, are his basic needs?
What is the nature of man as a social animal, and how does he relate himself to society?
What is the nature of industry, and how far does it fit in with what we know of man as a
human being both socially and individually?
Another landmark of importance is Time and Motion Studies (Gilbreth & Gilbreth,
1911). This was a significant contribution from the point of view of economy of energy
input in executing a work. This was also as in the case Taylor proved to be more of work
output rather than worker as a key element. This refers to job design for efficient work.
Emphasis was the job.
Both approaches give the impression that man is like any other machine to be
manipulated for higher production. This is in spite of their apparent recognition of what
was then called human nature. But any discerning critic could see the mechanistic concept
of work and worker combination.
Hawthorne studies heralded a very much different perspective of man and work. The 19th
and early 20th century approach to men at work was essentially directed towards amount
of production. The principles of management of Taylor and time and motion studies of
Gilbreth do create such an impression. The second decade of 20th century saw a new
realization that non-material factors operate which motivate the workers in good measure.
But wage rise and other forms of material incentives were given high prominence in both
Taylor‟s and Gilbreth‟s formulations.
Hawthorne studies heralded a new thinking where worker gets his due place in the totality
of work. Financial gains are both for the organization and the worker. In this triangle
worker stands out prominently. Thus the 20th century gave birth to new thinking.
Hawthorne studies, which started in 1927 under the leadership of Elton Mayo of Harward
University, were a full-fledged field experimental study. There are five studies one
leading to the other. They are:
Experiments on illumination
Relay assembly test room experiment:
Second relay assembly test room
Mica splitting test room
Mass interviewing programme
Bank wiring observation room
Blum and Naylor (1968) state that Hawthorne Studies are significant because they
represent an honest effort to understand employees instead of approaching the problem
from purely management point of view. The studies have brought out social aspect in
Training the Worker
In the past training confined to teaching the worker the mechanism of operating a
machine. Industries themselves were mostly man-machine combination. In modern days
training implies much more than mechanical skills related to a job. It is not shop floor
worker alone subjected to training programmes but also those in higher hierarchical
positions. Training for development and not merely for performing a task became the
motto of organizations. Several methods were evolved making use of rapid strides made
by psychologists both in fundamental research and applied research. In the present
context of HRD area applied research relates men and work. The training programs are
specially geared to human resource development.
Human Resource as Asset
As already mentioned human resource is a distinct form of resource compared to material
resources. The asset character of human resource is highly complex. It involves subjective
experiences and individual differences in skills and abilities besides, personality, temper,
temperament, and many other personal qualities
If we consider human resources as assets we should be able to devise methods to quantify
and measure the same. However human asset value does not yield a value of standard
return as material resources do. It may be possible to use the concept of performance
effectiveness for those employees whose work cannot be measured directly. It is possible
in such cases performance effectiveness index can be devised using psychometric
Organizational performance effectiveness evaluation should be based both on
productivity and various intervening variables. More will come about this later. If the
importance of intervening variables is accepted then we can assume that developing
human resources becomes a possibility. Qualities like leadership, motivation,
communication, and problem solving skills to mention a few become part of human
resource development programme.
The organization‟s aim is enhancement of performance effectiveness both quantitatively
and qualitatively with emphasis on personal (the job) satisfaction
Expectation Intervening variables Performance level
The intervening variables play a very important role in performance level overriding
expectations made by the management. These intervening variables have two locations.
They operate in the management who make expectations and also in the personnel who
are to respond to these expectations. In that sense it is complex process. The expectation
may have a spiralling effect. The spiralling effect may be negative or positive. Therefore
it is advantageous to make an assessment of both these factors. Because enhancing
positive aspects in both sources of intervening variables will definitely be rewarding.
Work behaviours are affected both by organizational factors and worker factors. There are
factors, which can enhance work ego. There are methods for enhancing work
performance and at the same time generate positive experiential aspects of work on
All these are multidimensional issues and psychology is a dominant dimension.
Sociological, anthropological, and economic dimensions have their role to play in this
Interest in work behaviour is not new. But a systematic appreciation, and evaluation for
work effectiveness is recent. Work effectiveness should be understood both from the
point of view of high-level performance and worker psychological satisfaction.
Human resource development programme is to be directed toward both these aspects.
This is so because development is a dynamic process and not just a matter of growth, the
latter is a mechanical process. If the aim is the latter the outcome is destined to be
consumed to archives as happened to principles of management of Taylor and time and
motion studies of Gilbreth. Success is at best short lived.
Scientific study of human behaviour in the work setting has its origin in industrial
psychology. All the work of Taylor, Gilbreth, Munsterberg, McKean Cattel, and others
did illuminate but the euphoria was short lived. The influence of the World War I had its
impact on later development in the field.
But one crucial field- experimental study of Mayo and his collaborators did pave the way
for future development of industrial psychology. This work began in the mid 1920s and
ended six years later due to economic depression all the world over. But fortunately by
that time the impact of these studies showed the path for further development of study of
human behaviour in work setting.
The 1930s produced some significant development as a consequence of labour
movement. Management-labour conflicts created a need for studying job satisfaction. A
trend of utilization of services of psychologists in industries was witnessed.
World War II had its share of influence on further growth of science and psychology was
one of them. Psychology came to the foreground in this important area of human
behaviour. Psychological tests sprang up. Training methods came to be systemized. We
also saw a dominant theoretical interest in American psychology in 1940s. Social and
motivational aspects in job performance came to be incorporated into leadership training
as a result of Hawthorne studies. Lewin‟s action research and theory of group dynamics
almost swept the floor. There occurred a growth in psychological literature in the form of
books and scientific journals. The number of companies using psychological tests
increased from 14% in 1939 to 75% in 1952(Barite, 1960). Thousands of special courses
and services were offered on the nature and meaning of leadership.
The decade between 1955 and 1965 was a period of severe test for psychology. Industrial
psychology was attacked by a variety of sources. One such source was psychologists
themselves. These psychologists who were not committed to management point of view
in looking at organizations and their functioning expressed their opinion that
psychologists were becoming technical assistants to personnel management.
Yet another criticism was that the tools developed by psychologists did not meet the
claim of practical usefulness.
The thinking that job satisfaction enhances production effectiveness was also disputed
and even found not fully true. The correlation could not be established. Finally it was felt
that perspectives of industrial psychology were not adequate.
The need for incorporating changes in organizations was mainly fitting men to jobs. This
was not practicable because workers are governed by social, sociological, social
psychological and anthropological factors. These are to be reckoned with and
incorporated into psychological perspectives. Study of human behaviour itself is inter -
disciplinary and in the context work setting it cannot be different.
The focus in this book is human resource development. This can be realized only when
we understand human behaviour in organizations. This later mentioned goes by the name
Organizational effectiveness (OE). Therefore we can say human resource development in
an organization is by the organization for the organization through its employees.
Basic Issues in Training
Within a certain limited constraints imposed by heredity, by and large behaviour is
acquired or learned.
Individuals, when they join an organization as employees, bring with them their own
repertoire of behaviours including physical skills, temper, temperament, character,
interests attitudes, habits, idiosyncrasies, and a variety other behaviour dispositions.
Now that they have joined an organization as employees they will have to acquire some
knowledge and additional skills to fit into the needs of the job that they have to perform.
This acquisition of new learning happens in two ways. They are day-to-day work
experience and advantages of systematic training.
Day-to-day work experience is a non-stop continuous process. This is one of the most
effective ways of developing expertise in some jobs. But many jobs require systematic
and well-planned training programmes for mastery in addition to day-to-day work
experience. Systematic training programmes provide for expertise and has a definite
advantage over the day-today work experience based learning. The latter has some
inherent weaknesses. This is because it is time consuming and may not afford the best
foolproof opportunity. The jobs themselves may be poorly planned.
Therefore, emphasis is on a systematic training program not as a replacement of day-
today- work experience, but as a strong supplement and a complement.
The content of the training programme depends upon the need and purpose. However we
may broadly state them as:
The development of actual job knowledge and skills
The transmission of information or orientation training
The modification of attitudes or attitude changes towards work or the job on hand and
work environment – both physical and social in terms of sensitivity and psychosocial
skills are the need.
The training programme irrespective of its purposes should establish on sound principles
and practices conducive to learning process. These principles, which are basically
psychological, should take into account sociological and cultural anthropological
background of not only the individuals under a training program, but it should also take
into account the geographical location of the organization.
Training is a process; it is an activity of the organization, which puts its employees on
high level of skills and performance effectiveness. Therefore any management, which
carries out a training program, expects behaviour change related to job in question. These
change if any can only be inferred by noting the difference between before exposure to
training and after. The success of training depends upon training plan and execution,
motivation and abilities of the trainees
The Training Program
Employee induction: It is typically an orientation program. The entrant learns about the
organization and people in it.
On-the-job training: This is used in helping the on the job employee to learn the job
organized in a systematic manner or on a catch-catch- can basis.
. Off- the job training: this covers a wide range of training activities, namely, vestibule
training for specific jobs, and supervisory and management training,
Out–side training: Training arranged with outside experts from universities, and other
professional organizations have to arrange.
Prior to starting a training program a given organization should identify its training needs.
The organization is committing its resources in terms of time and money. This requires a
Any organization expects change in their employees as a result of exposure to training
program. The training program should support the organizational goals. These goals
briefly stated are: greater efficiency in work, reduction of operational costs, improved
quality in goods and services, and effective and affable interpersonal relations within the
organization. Modification of employee behaviour through training program should be
beneficial to the employees and the organization. This should also make it possible for
better performance of those who are deficient in their work. In the totality of the training
program the all-important aspect of personal development of the employees should have a
recognizable priority. This besides all other benefits so far presented gives the
organization an imperceptible but an important advantage of being noticed by all others
Personnel development training program will be useful to workers and to the organization
both in short term and long term goals. In the fast changing socio-economic scenario a
demand for extending such a program is visible. The extending of training programs to
less efficient workers serves its own purpose serving both the organization and the
employees do not face a lay-off situation.
CHAPTER – II
THE ORGANIZATIONS- A FEW REPRESENTATIVE VIEWS
Industrial organizations have a long past. Several writers have contributed to
organizational theories, both classical and traditional There are differences among them,
but in one sense they had a common factor that is, all of them were on a similar ground
These can be stated as assumptions of human nature. They all had similar views on
human nature, and the nature of work details. They had similar views on quality of work
environment. They all knew that an organization operates within such a framework.
Every organization strives to make itself an effective organization.
The Classical Theory
Etzioni (1964) made a significant contribution in the form of administrative theory with
division of labour as its main thesis. The assumption is that any job can be broken down
into simple components. Workers could specialize in these components and each
individual worker can carry out his part of the job efficiently. This is division of labour
and is supposed to enhance efficiency as the worker can specialize and master his part of
the job. The worker could attain a good amount of skill in his part of the job. Therefore
we can safely assume that organizational effectiveness will be high.
But the authority to effect this division of labour should be the central authority following
a central plan of action. Then there should be a plan to supervise each work unit, which
may consist of 5-6 workers. Each such unit needs a supervisor. These are called first line
supervisors each with a manageable span of control. These supervisors need to be
supervised by second line supervisors each with a manageable number of supervisors.
Thus a pyramid is developed with the ultimate authority at the helm of the pyramid. This
is the pyramid of control leading to the top executive. This results in one central authority
controlling the whole organization.
Can this classical administrative theory make for an effective organization? It can be seen
from this theory that practical problems do arise. Division of labour as envisaged in the
classical administrative theory makes room for simple repetitive tasks for the workers to
carry out and that too under close supervision.
Max Weber developed a theory based on his view of human behaviour. Weber was a
sociologist He was also of the opinion that all tasks should be broken down to smallest
possible units. Division of labour should be carried and experts should be responsible for
this. There should be a consistent system of abstract rules that could ensure uniformity.
Accountability rests with the superior officer. Employment in the bureaucratic
organization should be based on qualifications (Weber, 1947).
Classical theories as brought out above can defy human logic and essentially oppose
Practical application of division of labour and fragmentation of tasks into mini tasks can
lead to repetitive, monotonous simple tasks which do not agree with practicality. The
avowed purpose of specialization of classical theory is disputable and better methods can
lead to more meaningful specialization of a complex and absorbing nature. Specialization
should lead to efficient economic activity.
Traditional theories argue that efficiency is increased if personnel are in a strict
hierarchical order. Whether this hierarchical argument satisfies the criterion of
specialization as specialization cannot fit into organizational hierarchical system, as
specialists are in their own place in the total organizational structure.
The traditional organizational model leads to in-group and out-group feelings. Workers
tend to identify themselves with matters relating to their own sub groups which can breed
inter–sub–group tensions. Therefore we can surmise that such orientations towards parts
lead to negative outcome and particularly lower creativity and heighten inter group
Dependence on the superior at every step, i.e., the approval of superiors in the
organization could curb motivation and creativity. Hierarchical organization has high
potency for curbing creativity. Creativity, by its very definition is the development of
new, socially useful ideas that are not likely to occur where approval of superiors is
needed at every step the workers have to take.
What then would be the liabilities of hierarchical structure of organizations? There can be
a long list of negative impact on creativity. In order to make the issue clear Argyris
(1964) suggested behavioural implications which may be summarized as below
The traditional theory lays emphasis on rules, hierarchical authority and external control,
i.e., external workers in the form of superiors.
The workers will eschew risk taking and experimenting. They tend to play safe.
Avoid new inputs.
Avoid trusting others.
Avoid owning responsibility in future and try to find scapegoats.
In an ever-growing society creativity has the prime place. Traditional theory hardly
encourages it. In addition it encourages passivity, dependency, and low level self-
An organization is not many interrelated subsystems, but it is only a human social system.
There cannot be a rigorous administrative mechanism of hierarchical order where every
one has a superior and is dependent on him. .
We have seen in Chapter I, Introduction, the sequence of historical events, which led us
to make organization as a serious topic of study. We have also seen how a study of
organization and human behaviour of work is interdisciplinary. Study of organizations is
a combination of psychology, management, sociology, anthropology, mathematics and
An organization has the following characteristics:
The pyramidal shape increases interpersonal competitiveness.
The hierarchical distribution of authority encourages dependency.
Any big task can be broken down to simpler components.
Large sized organizations have difficulty in communications.
All these as shown earlier in this chapter curb individual autonomy and create
Planning Human resource
Relating to external
Figure 1: Management Process
The Work Group
Every worker works within the framework of an organization, but he spends some part of
his working time in a work group. There are certain important characteristics in a work
group that does influence the workers. Hawthorne studies amply brought this out. There
are certain unique aspects, for example size of the group.
Porter and Lawler (1965) have shown that group size tends to be negatively related to
performance. But decreasing the size of a work group is not that easy. Any given work
group should have enough abilities and resources demanded by the job. We have to strike
at an optimum number of persons needed to accomplish a task. Increasing the number to
more than the optimum leads to greater emotionality and aggression, this is so because
presence of too many people in the group leads to a sense of insecurity and increases fear
of negative evaluation. But then large groups have become a reality and we have to learn
to live with them and make them better. We should have some mechanism to convert the
negative impact of largeness of a group to positive impact.
Then we are confronted with problems and variation within a group large or small. There
is the homogeneity aspect of a group. In creative work heterogeneity is better than
homogeneity as a group character and is more desirable.
Then there is the issue of how members communicate among themselves and the
different communication structures.
Group communication structure has been a topic of interest for psychologists. The
practical side of this interest is how it influences work performance.
Communication can be centralized or decentralized. It could be open democratic style of
communication or centralized one-way communication where the leader is the dominant
Psychologists are especially interested in the individual‟s participation in organizational
social systems which we call groups.
The term group has a rather specific definition in social psychology. It refers not only to a
plurality of number of individuals, but specifically to a number of individuals as
participants in organized systems. Groups have been identified in six ways (Shah, 1976).
In terms of perceptions – members make an impression on others.
In terms of motivation (Is the group membership rewarding?),
In terms of goals (Working together with a purpose),
In terms of organisation (Each person has some organized role to play).
In terms of independence (Each person is some what dependent on others).
In terms of interaction (small group allow face to face communication).
Lewin (1948) emphasizes that the essence of a group is the interdependence and all other
issues are secondary to it. French (1944), states that in addition to interdependence
membership in a group presupposes identification with the group.
One of the key concepts in-group dynamics is group cohesiveness. Cohesiveness refers to
the forces that bind the parts together which resist disruptive forces. Festinger, Schahter,
and Back (1950), Cartwright and Zander, (1960) have defined cohesiveness in terms of
group members as the total field of forces acting on individual members vary from
individual to individual (Festinger, 1960).
An efficiently functioning work group appears to be a simple social form to the
onlookers. But this simple exterior of an efficiently functioning group is an extremely
complex phenomenon. When analysed we can discern specific elements and general over
all functioning of the group at work.
Group dynamics is used to refer to the elements that influence the functioning of the
group. Anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and those in the field of industrial
relations are all concerned with the nature of groups and group functioning process. In the
recent years this has caught the attention and imagination of organizational effectiveness
As recently as a few years ago there was relatively little interest in the work groups as
entities to be taken note of, be it social organization or factory. Management viewed and
perhaps still does so, more in terms of financial decisions, planning in production, work
methods, wage payment plans and concentrated primarily on the individual than the
nature of work group and social relation in the plant. But now, there is a great deal of
interest in things like leader and leadership in work group, the effect of group
participation in the decision making process, and the motives and attitudes of members
that compose the group. Within a span of 6 – 7 decades there has been tremendous
growth in the interest in problems connected work group and their importance .A useful
The current interest now expressed in employee attitudes identifies several influences on
these attitudes: They are:
Size of the group
Permeability, (refers to restrictions of membership in the group)
Polarization, (the degree of orientation toward clear and defined goals)
Position in the group
Potency of each member
Hedonic tone, (pleasure of being a member of the group)
Participation, (the amount of involvement)
Interdependence is degree of dependence on the group.
It will be of interest to note that when a person becomes a member of a group, his
impulses, feelings, and behaviour are modified in various ways to various degrees
depending on the nature of the group.
In small groups a number of variables are related to work group and job satisfaction, and
job involvement. They are:
Size of the work group
Homogeneity /heterogeneity of work group membership
Influence, including participation in group activities
Organizational climate and physical environment
Employee control over the pacing of work
Feedback on job performance
Status of goal interdependence and the extent to which attainment of individual goals
determine the cohesiveness of the group.
Individuals of organizations are a major resource. Their attitudes towards various aspects
of their work- life play a very important role in moulding their behaviour. Individuals in
interact with their jobs, with other people, and with the organization where they work. As
a major resource individuals are the most important and at the same time most complex
resource for an organization. Employee attitude constitutes a major component of the
Human resource factor in an organization is not confined to workers at the lower levels.
Qualitative aspects of personnel at all level have to be viewed as precious resource.
Creativity for example, is not the monopoly of any particular worker. For purposes of
illustration we may look at the middle level management personnel.
In an organization institutional leadership is a function of the manager at any level
management cadre. The manager has the advantage offered by the top management. He
has the opportunity for application of the art and science of managerial functions. He has
the opportunity for self- expression, one of the factors primarily responsible for the
growth and development of our dynamic economy, especially in the present context of
liberalized, consumer oriented global economy. New standards of development and
utilization of human resource is not too much to ask. They should be in place. The role of
the professional manager with flair for innovation is the need. Human resource
development program itself calls for innovation. Social scientists should address this
issue in collaboration with management scientists/experts.
The manager, therefore entrusted with administering the firm, its mission, its destiny, has
to utilize all resources available to him, prominent of them being human resource. This is
the main managerial function.
Considering managers as human resource we can raise a query as to why some managers
succeed remarkably while others with similar qualifications do not succeed or to put
differently, are not effective. The word succeed should be interpreted as effective. This is
a crucial issue that needs to be addressed. We may hazard to answer this query by taking
recourse to personality and attribute this to the fact that success is not merely a matter of
ability alone and that there is something more to it. These issues and many others will be
examined in later sections. Some people crumble at the very thought facing difficult
problems, some attend to such probable situations in a relaxed manner. .
More on Creativity
Interest in the concept of creativity has been there down the ages. A scientific approach to
understand this all-important cognitive process is recent. There are several definitions of
creativity. The sum of these points out that creativity involves developing something
unique. Productive thinking was thought to be enough to explain all cognitive behaviour.
But later a new thinking dawned. Thinking is of two types. One of them is convergent
productive thinking; the other is divergent productive thinking. It is the latter that relates
to creativity. In fact it is the same thing as creative thinking. This view received complete
clarification with the advent of Guilford‟s Structure of Intellect Model (Guilford, 1956,
1967). Human abilities could be classified into three categories
Operation, the content, and the Product
Operation: This involves psychological processes such as cognition, memory, convergent
thinking, divergent thinking, and evaluation.
The Content: This refers to the kind of material employed, for example, figural, symbolic,
The Product: This refers to the fundamental kinds of products that may ensue as a result
of combinations of operation and content. These are classes, units, relations, systems, and
Guilford recognizes five kinds of operations, four kinds of contents, and six kinds of
products. (5x4x6=120). Each of these 120 can be described in terms of operation, content,
and product. This in essence is a tri-dimensional theory of intellect as Guilford conceived.
All these abilities are distinctly unique abilities. The Structure of Intellect Model
delineates the whole range of human abilities including creativity.
We are particularly interested in the context of this book on organizational effectiveness
and human resource development two modes of intellectual operations; namely,
convergent thinking and divergent thinking are under consideration. Convergent thinking
refers to traditional type of intelligence, whereas divergent thinking involves production
of as many answers as possible as different from convergent thinking process where only
one solution is possible for a problem. Divergent thinking moves into different directions,
sometimes searching, sometimes seeking variety. It emphasizes several logical
possibilities .In convergent thinking possibilities centre on limited logical necessity.
Divergent thinking stands apart from conventional concept of intelligence. .
Creative thinking according to Guilford bears a special character of flexibility and
Creativity as an asset in terms of human resource cannot be over emphasized.
Siva Prasad Reddy (1987) made a systematic study of personality and creativity correlates
of job success among middle level executives in Indian industries. After informed
consent these 137 subjects were administered Cattel‟s 16 Personality Factor Questioner
and Creativity Test (Paramesh, 1972) an adopted version of Wallach and Kogan Tests of
Creativity. Both verbal and non-verbal forms were employed. These subjects were
classified into top, middle, and low-level success groups based on ratings of their
superiors. The major finding on creativity was that a rather surprisingly a very small
contribution of creativity to job success of these middle level managers. The 16
personality factor questionnaire and two creativity factors together accounted for 38% of
the variance of managerial job success. Taken separately creativity factor, namely,
ideational productivity, accounted for a mere 5% of the variance of job success of these
personnel. This could be the managerial population from which the sample was drawn did
not face a demand for this resource. Further studies are needed to make definitive
Further we may argue that job success in the middle level management may not demand
creative functions. It may also be that the middle managers chosen for the study did not
have a need for creative effort. If the top management desires to have creative people in
middle level management job structure has to be modified giving them more room for
creative effort and choose those with proven record of being creative. Creativity is too
important a human resource to be ignored.
Risk Taking Behaviour
Capacity to take calculated risk is a cultivated personality trait. The activities of any
organization are dynamic because of its setting in an environment which is ever changing.
As time moves on its constituent members whose aspirations, expectations and
achievements take new dimensions. An organization is a system of structured
interpersonal relations differentiated in terms authority, status, and role they play or
expected to play. When organizations evolved through division of labor, division based
on specialization of tasks that provide for identity of those who perform these tasks.
Manager is supposed to be a change agent whose job is to influence the behavior of his
subordinates in specified direction. The primary task of the middle managers consists of
carrying out the policies of the top management and maintaining a well coordinated and
efficient organization of work (Niles, 1949).
Middle level management sharpens and implements the broad plan of their superiors
(Piffner and Sherwood, 1960). General conception of these middle level managers is that
they should minimize the losses and stay with static risk. The static risk relates only to
potential losses. Top management is more often seen as dealing with dynamic risk
through maximizing opportunities (Byrd, 1974).
Individual differences are a fact in risk taking behaviour. Risk taking propensity is
hypothesized as an important determinant in problem solving (Bruner, et al 1956).
Atkinson (1959) on motivational determinants of risk taking behaviour explains that the
strength of motivation to perform some act is assumed to be the multiplicative function of
the strength of the motive and the expectancy (subjective probability) that the act will
have as a consequence, the attainment of an incentive and the value of the incentive.
Risk taking is necessary to realize one‟s potential. For those who are for self- realization
the risk may seem small, while the fearful and faithless see these same risks chasms to be
Risk taking is an important variable in functions of personnel in an organization. It can
even be considered an asset to be nurtured in human resource development programs.
Vijayalaksmi (1982) studied the relation between “Risk taking behaviour, Future Time
Perspective, and Job Performance of Managerial Personnel.” She reported that
performance and physical risk taking, and social risk taking were positively and
significantly related to performance of management personnel in the age group 35-
45years. However job performance and ethical risk taking were negatively and
significantly related to performance of managerial personnel in the age group 40-45 years.
They were not prepared to take ethical risks. All correlations did not reach significant
Risk taking at low, moderate, and high levels reveals another picture. Low risk takers and
high risk takers were low achievers (Vijalakshmi, 1982). Moderate risk takers are those
who take calculated risk in physical, social, and monetary areas were high achievers.
Ethical risk taking is not conducive to organizational health. Therefore it is eschewed.
Vijayalakshmi‟s study confirms this in the sense ethical risk taking was not related to
younger age groups and negatively and significantly related in older age groups. .
Passage of Time and Temporal Perspectives in HRD
To be conscious is to be aware of the three temporal categories – the past, the present, and
the future. The degree of awareness of these temporal dimensions and the ability to
manipulate their potential determine the capacity of the individual to plan proper
temporal regulation of his activities. These are a measure of the individual‟s capacity to
utilize the past experience in the present and anticipate future needs (Rama Rao, 1978).
Time consciousness is a basic factor in human culture (Braudon, S.G.F., 1970). Modern
civilization is a product of time consciousness. ”Time, with all its celerity, moves slowly
on to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight.” (Johnson). The past and future
aspects as related to the present are not equally dominant in all individuals. There are
those who live predominantly in the past, and there are those who live in the present, and
those who live in the future in constant hope.
Bakan (1955) in a study of the effect of set and work speed on estimation of elapsed time
reported a significant negative correlation between time estimation and speed of work.
We may infer that when speed of work is high it result in under estimation of elapsed
time. Rama Rao and Sai Prasad (1973) reported a significant negative correlation between
amount of work done and estimation of elapsed time. The inference is that persons whose
out put of work is high experience time as moving fast and for those who linger on in
their work tend to experience as time moving slowly. They tend to overestimate elapsed
Factors like interest vs. boredom, filled vs. unfilled, repetitiveness of activity, and activity
vs. passivity have their impact on experiential time. These influence subjective passage of
time as slow or rapid (Loehlin, 1959).
Rama Rao (1978) considers subjective time could be brought under the rubric of
personality dynamics. This facilitates intervention in aspects mentioned by Lohlin.
Man is an information processing system and time is an experiential dimension of
information. It could be considered equivalent to other non- temporal aspects of
information such as intensity, etc. (Michon, 1972).
Time perspectives may be defined as an individual‟s cognitions concerning the content,
placement, and unfolding of events in the past, present or future (Lehman, et al, 1974).
Temporal perspectives develop gradually along with activities and it has proved to be one
of the most seminal concepts in this relatively new area of psychological research .Time
perspectives involve total personality, memory of past events, and hopes and aspirations
of future success. Past, present, and future are interrelated where past is memory, future is
anticipation, present as we experience is a small bit of duration between past and future
Vijayalaksmi (1982) has highlighted temporal perspectives, an intriguing area of
psychological research in the field of organizational effectiveness. We can draw on this to
relate to human resource development. Our personal experience seems always located in
time. Awareness and conceptions of time are products of human mind. However time
itself seems to posses an existence apart from its passage, impersonal and inexorable.
Time is experienced as a continuous succession of events. It is also at the same time
experience as not all of it is successive to one another, because some events are
experienced simultaneously. Time is not a straight line nor is it a curved line. It is a
stream in which events stand in transverse as well as longitudinal directions.
Temporal experience can be viewed as an emergent set of cognitive constructive systems
based on personal experiences and identity, influenced by socio-cultural aspects. Time, as
we experience is personal and social. Time is significant in our lives. We must grasp it
and shape it in order to be successful in our lives.
Time perspectives of an individual have different dimensions. They are his past
experiences, present happenings. We live in the present, i.e., here and now situation. The
present has several dimensions:
The present things past
The present things present
The present things future (St Augustine‟s Confessions)
The present is only a part of the continuum whose stretch includes past and future. Time
perspective is a function of a psychological structure mediating between the here and now
situation and the total probability of self-past and future (Kastenbaum, 1964).
The construct of time perspective developed by Frank (1939) and Lewin (1952) is of
great importance in the study of human motivation. Lewin defined time perspective as the
totality of the individual‟s views of his psychological future and psychological past
existing in the present. This he called contemporaneity.
Western industrial societies view time as linear and see achievement as occurring in time
(McClelland, 1961). Today economically developing countries following new economic
policies have to view time as linear and realize that achievement is distinctly related to
time experience. Idle time is a waste and time spent in meaningful activities results in
achievement and time passes rapidly and seems short. Recall the study of Rama Rao &
Sai Prasad (1973) where they reported that amount of work done was negatively
correlated with estimation of elapsed time.
Time sense is culture specific. Mead (1968) found a significant relation between
motivation and future time perspective. Meade‟s study clearly indicates that minimal
future time perspective among Indians reports that this not a general trend among Indians.
Meade‟s study further indicates that achievement motivation and future time perspective
are correlated. But learning experiences are important in this aspect. It can therefore be
conjectured that time perspectives have a lot of meaning for self-actualisation. Such
persons have learned to evaluate the present more positively in relation to past and future.
Vijayalakshmi (1982) considered four variables of time experience variable. They are:
Factor I: Immediate Time Pressure Factor
Relaxed mastery and adaptive flexibility in time vs. Harassed and lack of control in time
Factor II: Long Term Personal Direction Factor
Continuity and steady purpose for time vs. Discontinuity and lack direction in time
Factor III: Time Utilization Factor
Efficient utilisation of time VS Preoccupation and inefficient utilization of time
Factor IV Personal Inconsistency Factor
Inconsistency and changeability in time vs. Consistency and dependability in time
The main findings are:
Job performance and long term personal direction factor are positively and significantly
correlated (r= .35, p<. 05) in the age group 30-34 years. Other time factors did not yield
significant correlations with any age group. The 30-34 year age group managers showed a
strong sense of continuity, direction, and purpose to individual‟s life, with of long term
goals and confidence in their attainment.
This study should enable HRD professionals to sit up and consider of including time
experience as an item in the development-training program. I would suggest more and
more research be conducted in this vital of human experience. It has the potential for
Further findings of Vijayalakshmi‟s work (1982) may be summarized as below:
Factor I: Immediate Time Pressure Factor:
Subjects in the age group 40-44 had a mean score significantly lower than 25-29, and 30-
34 year age groups. The younger age groups have shown calmness and confidence within
the allotted time to finish their tasks than the subjects in the 40-44 year group.
Factor II: Long term personal Directional Factor:
Subjects in the age group 35-39 years had a longer time personal direction than those 25-
29 year age group. Similarly those in 40 - 44 year age group scored higher than those in
20-29 age groups. The 40-44 year age group scored higher than those in 30-34 years age
group in this factor. The study further revealed that in 35-39 year and 40-49 year age
group had continuity and steady purpose for time and has strong motivation and positive
anticipation of full structured future than 25-29 and 30-34 year age groups
Factor III: Time Utilization Factor
The four age groups did not differ significantly in Time Utilization factor Scores have
been consistently high in all the age groups.
Factor IV: Personal Consistency and Dependability Factor
The findings in this factor indicate that 20-24 year and 30-34 year age groups were more
consistent and dependable than the age groups, namely, 35-39 and 40-49 year age groups
indicating consistency with steadiness, adherence to routine and a preference for the
familiar. All the four age groups have shown a personal consistency and constancy
Human relations professionals need to have very sound information in the area of
temporal experiences. This area is also known as experiential time. There is no need to
overemphasize this dimension of human behaviour and particularly in organizational
effectiveness and human resource.
It is extremely rare that human beings live exclusively in the present for any length of
time. Events of the past and probable events of the future intrude into the present time
and the result is an integrated action. The individual develops a sense of continuity by of
such integration. Cottle (1976) defined time perspectives as temporal horizon, the time
zones called past, present, and future.
Working time for any individual occupies a major part of the day. We all spend larger of
the part of the day in work situation than otherwise. But temporal perspectives engulfing
the entire life span up to the time of counting involve certain dimensions. Prospecting
future through expectation or planning and fantasizing direct pre knowledge and
prediction is a part of life. Perception of duration of elapsed time (past) and anticipation
of future event are very much involved in all our activities. The link between past and
future through the present is done through integration of these zones.
Studies related to job satisfaction and temporal perspectives are scare. The studies of
Goodman (1967) and Hass (1969) are a few among them. Many more are needed.
Growth in the study of organizational effectiveness is prompted by a realization that the
individual possesses the capacity to change his work situation to suit his own ability and
goals and in turn be flexible enough to mould himself according to the situation in which
he is working. The interactional aspect of person X environment is the obvious factor for
the growth of interest in organizational effectiveness. Keith Davis (1977) described
organizational effectiveness “as a study concerned with understanding and describing
human behaviour in a work situation. As an academic discipline it sheds light on the
causes and effects on human behaviour.‟
The purpose of the study of organizational effectiveness is to understand, predict, and
control the behaviour of people in organizations. Three approaches are .indicated to the
study of organizational effectiveness. These are classified as:
Contingency approach (Scott, 1981).
Systems approach emphasizes the interrelatedness of parts of an organization, part
interpreted in the context of the whole. The traditional approach is based on principles
that are applicable to all organizations. The contingency approach is based on diagnosis
of each situation and deal with it in an appropriate manner.
The field of organizational effectiveness is dynamic and constantly changing requiring
continuous research to update all issues connected with organizations. Human resource
development program requires constant repair to suit ever growing and changing
organizations and that such changes taking place at a rapid pace owing to in good
measure to swift changes in socio-economic scenario.
Management is the basic resource of any organization. Even in most automated industry
human factor cannot be taken for granted. The resourcefulness to manage an automated
industry cannot be underestimated. It may that new resourcefulness has to be developed
and stabilized as long as it works. And when new demands spring up the organizations
should gear up to new demands. Managers have to be capable of meeting such demands.
There are different levels of management and each level has distinct demands to meet.
They too require changing their style to keep the organization in good shape and health.
Rangnekar noted that this area of human behaviour is a state of confusion because of lack
of empirical studies. However a few studies that are done have shown the importance of
studies in this area. A few notable studies are: Singh (1967), Unni (1976) Subha (1979).
But none of has reached the level of developing theoretical models of managerial
motivation and to establish their influence on managerial behaviour.
But then we have come a long way particularly in organizational effectiveness and human
Another Indian study using temporal perspectives can be cited as one of the variables.
Parvathi (1985) draws conclusions based on her studies that managers fall into certain
specific categories. They are: Order and group achievement, Personal enhancement,
Support and interaction, Security and maintenance, Dynamism and achievement
This classification is based on Wofford‟s Managerial scale (1970).
Further Managerial styles are briefly described here under:
Order and group achievement style: This style relates to care, thoroughness, neatness, and
high intentions of achieving goals with group support
Personal enhancement style: This style is concerned with authority and control. They
always pressurize subordinates for compliance
Support and group achievement style: This style relates to care, thoroughness, neatness,
and high intentions of achieving goals with group support
Security and maintenance style: This style is concerned with authority and control. They
always pressurize subordinates for compliance
Dynamism and achievement style: The managers with concerns for dynamism and
achievement are dynamic and self-assured. They have of confidence. They are action
In her study Parvathi had 31 subjects in the 1st group, 19 subjects in 2nd group, 16 in the
3rd group, and 19 in the 4th group. These four groups evolved after sophisticated
multivariate analyses from the data gathered by using Wofford Scale. These four groups
were independent of each other statistically. These groups did not differ among
themselves on need variables. The study did not attempt to compare the relative
performance effectiveness, as it was not the part of the investigator‟s study.
The four groups identified by Parvathi in the study cited above are named as here under:
Group A: Personal order and group achievement
Group B: Support and interaction oriented
Group C: Personal enhancement, security, maintenance oriented.
Group D: Personal dynamism, Personal achievement, Personal enhancement oriented.
These groups did not differ among them selves on need variables. The study did not
attempt the relative performance effectiveness, as it was not part of the author‟s work.
CHAPTER – III
PERSONALITY COMPONENTS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Personnel selection is at the core of human resource development as much as it is in
organizational effectiveness. This is a critical function of the management of selecting
individuals for specific functions or positions. The process is matching person to jobs.
Equally important function of the management is training the selected personnel for
enhancing performance effectiveness, job satisfaction, and ad commitment. The persons
selected may be on the one hand having previous experience or may be raw hands. Both
groups should have the benefit of a well-planned training program.
Personnel selection is basic to human resource development. It is the primary
responsibility of the management to train and develop the resources they have acquired on
a planned and scientific basis.
Personnel selection stands on the philosophy that those selected have the best chance to
do well and contribute to job success and organizational effectiveness. Well-directed
selection is the gateway to success but that is not success itself. The selected and placed
employees have to be fine tuned for their jobs and to whatever other opportunities that
may arise for them.
We have to consider two significant aspects of the whole procedure: they are selection
and training. Training has dual purpose, namely, to fit selected person to the job and fit
him to the totality of social and psychological ambience. In brief it can be said training is
holistic not just fitting the man to the job. This would otherwise be a mere mechanical
We may now turn our attention to the first basic issue that is training to fit the person to
Job Requirements Personnel Specifications
There are personnel specifications that are intrinsic to the job and required for
performance effectiveness. There are other specifications related to labour market that is
available with suitable persons. The intrinsic requirements vary from job to job. Some
jobs have well defined personnel specifications and some jobs have some degree of
vagueness in this aspect.
How are personnel specifications established? This is a significant question. Personnel
specifications may be considered predictor variables that they are independent variables
of a criterion the management has in mind.
Examples of Personnel Specifications
Who is the management seeking? Are they trained or experienced people or raw
untrained persons? This issue is significant because a trained person gets into the job
straightaway, but may be less amenable for moulding in accordance with the
organizational needs. The untrained may take some time to adjust after joining the
organization; the management may have to wait for such recruits to become performance
effective. This involves initial loss. But it has the advantage of moulding them in terms of
the philosophy and ideology of the organization.
The individual in the organization, his behaviour is all very complexes, influenced by
many forces both within the organization, the individual himself, and the society at large.
There is another facet to this dimension that is group dynamics and its effect on the
Personality and cognitive structures of the individual have profound influence on the
behaviour of the individual. These constitute a complexity of interacting factors. For the
sake of convenience of exposition we take them separately though this would be
unrealistic in human nature.
The word personality is used in different ways. The most popular of these fall under two
main categories. This equates personality to social skills. An individual‟s personality is
assessed by the effectiveness with which an individual elicits positive responses from a
variety of persons under a variety of situations. This view encourages the most talked
about “personality training.” The other use of the term personality considers the
outstanding impression an individual is able to make on others. One may be an aggressive
personality; the other may be submissive and so on. Thee descriptions refer to the most
visible trait of a person and does not claim as a full description of a person. .In any case
both these are evaluative in nature.
Personality is thus considered as having social stimulus value. The way others react
towards a person is indicative of his personality.
There is also an omnibus definition for personality. This definition embraces personality
by enumeration. Personality includes everything about the individual that a theorist may
list out. Different theorists have lists of varying length. Some theorists speak of
integrative function of personality. It is an organization, an integrated whole of several
characteristics. There are theorists who speak of consistency of behaviour and others
describe personality in terms of adjustment of the individual. Others describe personality
in terms of uniqueness. Some others consider personality as the essence of human
When we consider the above views of the theorists we get the impression that personality
refers to that aspect of the individual that is most representative of the individual.
There could be an argument against multiplicity of theories of personality and we could
raise a question whether we could have a single viewpoint that could incorporate all that
is implied in each one of these theories. But it can also be argued that any theory that can
well stand the test of empirical support would be good enough. But, whether such a
choice is possible is the question. Synthesis of theories can at best be a dream. I would
accept the multiplicity of theories of a complex attribute like personality as more
desirable than a single and simple unitary theory. Irrespective of multiplicity of theories
organizations are utilizing personality and interest factors of individuals as having
profound influence on their job performance.
It is common to describe human personality in terms of qualities or traits, like
extraversion-introversion, sociability, dominance and host of others. Organizations do not
seem to go by theories of personality but use a few terminologies that by their thinking
are adequate for their purpose.
Guion (1965) stated that the dimensions of personality and interests are vaguely defined.
Although it is probable, it is not possible to declare that there actually are certain general
syndromes that can be used to characterize the outward behaviour of persons. Herman‟s
(1975) construct of 28 “temperament” factors seems to be longest as on date. A few of
these are dependability, alertness, stability, gregariousness, self-confidence, etc. We may
not altogether be on the wrong side if we describe that traits such as these can be
measured is not a figment of imagination of the concerned test developers.
Personality inventories are paper and pencil tests or questionnaires with either
dichotomous or multiple choice response format. Eysecnk‟s and Cattel‟s questionnaires
are very popularly used in research and in practical applications. There various other
psychological tests and inventories in use. There are number standardized tests of ability
tests covering areas such as intelligence, aptitude and special interests. There are tests
developed and standardized in countries other than India and in the recent years tests
made by Indian experts are also available. I would make bold to offer a suggestion that
every organization in need of psychological tests develop their own tests by using the
services of qualified psychologists. A well-developed and standardized test on rigorous
psychometric methodology would be most desirable.
After carefully establishing job requirements tests that are simple, which are made
scientifically satisfying all psychometric criteria would answer the need.
While personnel specification is being established checks must be made for reliability and
validity of these specifications. Several statistical procedures have to be employed.
Correlation analyses have to be made to establish stability and internal consistency.
Coefficient of Stability
A measuring instrument is applied to the same group of persons twice with an interval of
two or three weeks between the first and second administration. The results of these two
measures are subjected to correlation analyses (Product Moment Method). If the
correlation coefficient is significant we can accept the stability of the instrument. This is
one of the important criteria of reliability of the instrument. The other forms reliability is
based on internal consistency concept. Split half correlation method, Chronbach‟s alpha
method, and K.R.20 formula methods are generally employed.
Reliability measures cannot be absolutely accurate in measurement of psychological
attributes. It is sufficient if the correlation coefficient, in this context coefficient of
reliability is statistically significant. Respectable reliability lends credibility and
confidence in the use of these measures.
Coefficient of Validity
Guion (1974) refers to validity as a concern of how relevant test scores are to something
else. This something else can be the criterion of the attribute or any other established as
reliable and valid. Here also statistical processing is done by the use of correlation
analyses. Correlation coefficient in this context is known as validity coefficient. As in the
case of reliability there cannot be an absolute validity coefficient. A value that satisfies
statistical significance is all that is needed for acceptability.
There are three types of validity of tests. They are:
Criterion related validity
Construct validity and
In the previous paragraph mention is made of criterion related validity without
mentioning it by name.
The construct validity is concerned with the extent to which the test measures the
construct it is intended to measure. A construct may be identified by factor analyses or
by conceptualisation by reviewing relevant literature on the subject. In other words it is an
assessment whether a measure in question is a measure of the attribute under
Content validity refers to the extent to which the measure (instrument) reasonably
provides for measurement of a representative sample of the domain of the attribute under
investigation. In other words the contents of the test are representative of the attribute
the test is supposed to measure.
In the area of personnel specifications job component validity is the major issue. This is
beside the three validity procedures already mentioned. It is also known as synthetic
validity. The procedure to establish synthetic validity consists the following:
Quantification of the various elements with due weight age; establish or determine
experimental sample of human attributes required successful performance of the job, and
some method of combining the estimates of human attribute requirements for an entire
Among all these three types of validation procedures criterion related validity,
(particularly predictive validity) is most favoured.
How do we establish Personnel Specifications?
As we scan through application forms we should be able to separate those who are
experienced and those who are inexperienced for the job for which they are applicants.
Personnel specifications differ between them.
Experienced applicants: Personnel specifications should be used on sound job analyses
describing each of the job activities. Then evaluate the candidate in terms of adequacy of
their experience in different job activities.
The inexperienced applicants: The procedure for these candidates is a little more
complex. In these cases attempt to predict suitability of the candidates is what is
warranted. This has to be done by determining the basic abilities, such as aptitudes,
personality, interests, and other attributes presumed to be required for learning the job in
question and adopting the same. Reliability and validity stated earlier hold good here.
Specifications based on Judgment
Judgments of personnel specifications should be based on sound knowledge and
understanding of the job activities. This method has the weakness of being subjective,
and at the same time there are chances of missing a few elements or components of the
job which may be crucial to the job performance. Psychologists do not generally favour
this method. But in the hands of professionals who are familiar with the concerned job
this method can safely and confidently used.
Structured Job Analyses Method
This is a more analytical method. This allows analyses of a job into units or components.
The personnel requirements can be based on statistical procedures. The analyses should
be the basis to constructing the total requirement by consolidating all the specifications.
Introduction to the use of Personnel Tests
Psychological tests can serve as an integral part of an organization‟s personnel
management and human resource development. These tests should be where there are
reasons to believe that they could deliver. . Many psychologists have argued for reliable
and valid measures to be used. They should be culture-fair and not discriminative.
It should be accepted that psychological tests are not infallible. Fake good is more
common than fake bad. It is possible that a person who does well on a reliable and valid
psychological test may not do well in actual work situation. Simulated situation cannot
totally represent the real.
Tests are classified into individual tests and group tests; performance tests and paper and
pencil tests. The content of the psychological tests are of three types:
Basic human abilities, such as mental abilities and psychomotor skills
The job specific tests, such are typical skills and knowledge of the job in question.
Tests that measure personality, interests, and attitudes
The merits and weaknesses of psychological tests will be taken up later.
Apart from the content and construct validity, which are descriptive criterion, related
validity measure is the most relevant to personnel selection. We may differentiate
between concurrent and predictive types of validity and see their utility in personnel
This type of validity of a test for particular jobs is also referred to as present-employee
method of validation. It is based on the use of a sample of incumbents who at the time in
question are on the job.
Select a battery of tests to be tried. Assumption is that they are considered to measure
attributes judged as important for job success. This is based on job analyses
Select a group of employees on a voluntary basis with an assurance that their standing on
the tests will not have a bearing on their position in the organization. Administer the tests.
Select appropriate criteria which in the opinion of the experts would assure good job
Obtain criterion information of the selected sample of subjects and divide into high and
low performance groups.
Apply suitable statistical method to find out whether the groups differ and if so the
direction of difference and its significance.
If the difference is significant in favour of high performance group the natural inference
will be that the measures are valid.
Predictive validity is determined by follow-up method of test validation. The procedure is
to administer the tests to the candidates at the time of recruitment. Test results are filed
and not used for selection of these candidates. They are selected on the basis of other
criteria generally followed.
Select a battery of tests.
Administer these tests job applicants.
Select an appropriate criterion for success on the job.
Obtain criterion information on the new employees after they have demonstrated their
abilities to do the job that is after training.
Analyse the results comparing initial test scores and criterion performance data furnished
by their superiors. Apply suitable statistical processes and arrive at decision regarding test
.Predictive method is the more preferred of the two. Both the concurrent and predictive
test validation has advantages and disadvantages. Employing concurrent validity has a
possibility of test scores achieved can be a reflection of combination of whatever level
was already there and the level achieved subsequently. This possibility is true in the case
of aptitude tests. But statistical processing is sophisticated enough to separate what was
already there and what is now acquired. This is done by using partial correlations and
eliminates the possible error of contamination of the second testing by the potential
already present at the initial resting. But this is a bit more circuitous than the predictive
validation method that is more direct.
Concurrent validity may involve Hawthorne effect that is the subjects develop a mental
feeling of being specially chosen. This may affect the outcome of the second testing.
Content validity has many shortcomings and is controversial. We believe that it should be
viewed as an attribute of the test itself. This raises questions. Item selection for the test is
a hazardous procedure. The items may not fully represent the job requirements. Domain
sampling is not an easy procedure and it is doubtful the chosen sample of the domain
represents the domain.
The extent to which a test represents a construct leads to several questions. Selection of a
construct is another issue. To match the test contents with a construct provides for
Job Status Method of Test Validation
This is a variation of concurrent method of validation. In the concurrent method a single
job is considered and performance effectiveness in that job. But in the job status method
of validation if we consider a job family instead of a single job .we will be on safer
grounds. An individual may be working in different departments and is likely to have
migrated into a type of work here he can do better to survive. Now the test scores of each
of these of employees on each of two or several jobs are compared to ascertain whether
there are significant differences in test scores among jobs performed. A multiple
comparison using t tests would tell us the position. In addition we can compare the test
scores with job performance in each of these of jobs that can help us in taking
administrative actions such as promotions or transfers.
Job Component Method
There are situations where the validation procedures are not feasible. We may have to
satisfy ourselves and bypass the conventional methods in ascertaining which tests to use
for employee selection for a given job.
Several jobs may have similar if not identical components; therefore a test could be valid
for all jobs where similarities exist. This sounds hypothetical but seems feasible.
The management should be able to use a generalized basis for job component validity by
identifying common denominators. A test battery like GATB may answer this question.
Personality and Interest Tests
Among human resources ability factors appear more predominant. It is a fact of history of
psychology that abilities came first under quantitative measurement and scales were
developed. Starting with Binet, Spearman, Turnstone, we find a galaxy of psychologists
devoting time and energy in conceptualising and developing instruments to measure the
ability attributes. Ebbinghaus is pioneer in the area of memorizing and its measurement
by his ingenious methods
It was later in history of psychology that non-cognitive and affective areas came under
quantitative research and developing measuring instruments. Personality and motivation
saw a bloom and developed into a very promising area of empirical area of empirical
study moving away from speculative and descriptive methods.
Historically empirical and quantitative studies of non-cognitive attributes came later than
ability testing. However after they got to start we noticed a rapid expansion of research in
the non cognitive area. This came to be looked upon as a vital area for empirical study
and application. Personality and interests give qualitative dimension to human behavior
and presently personality occupies the centre stage and has very deserving position in
theory and practice. It is known now that performance effectiveness is not solely
determined by ability but personality makes it possible or otherwise for ability to express
itself. Work efficiency is carried through the route of motivation and interest. Hence there
is a strong case for strengthening and utilizing this aspect of human resource. We can
expect that individuals with certain interests and personality patterns are likely to look for
certain types of jobs in preference to other jobs. Their job adjustments and satisfaction
could very be determined by these factors rather than by efficiency factor alone. There are
jobs which have direct bearing on the adequacy with which people can fulfil the functions
more satisfactorily. .
But in spite of these the fact remains that these measures are being used but not to an
appreciable extent. It cannot be questioned as to why such a meaningful factor has not
been put to use in organizations either in personnel selections or human resource
Different experts define personality differently. Psychologists are concerned with
individual differences that are the characteristics that distinguish one individual from
another. Psychologists do not agree on an exact definition of personality. But for purposes
of simplicity we can define personality as the characteristic pattern of behaviour and
modes of thinking that determine a person‟s adjustment to the environment.
There are several approaches to the understanding of personality. Most personality
theories can be brought under one or the other of four classes. They are: Trait approach,
Social learning, Psychoanalytic and Humanistic.
These theoretical approaches differ among themselves in the basic constructs used by
them and also the way they assess or measure personality. Personality cannot be studied
scientifically and satisfactorily unless there are satisfactory ways of measuring personality
variables. In fact the theoretical conception of personality determines the methods to
The Trait Approach
C.J. Jung, one of Freud‟s earlier students, classified people into two major types, namely,
Introverts and Extraverts. According to him introverts are of withdrawing type where as
extraverts are outgoing type. But extreme introverts or extreme extraverts are far fewer
than those occupying a midway position somewhere in the bipolar continuum of
introversion –extraversion. These are designated ambiverts. This makes the Type Theory
involve in a continuum between extremes and individuals occupying a position between
two extremes, thus rendering type theory untenable because we do not find typical types
Instead of trying to sort out people into types it was postulated that persons could be
described by their position on a number of continuous dimensions, each dimension called
a trait. This approach requires postulating innumerable traits or dimensions with
appropriate calibration of each dimension.
These large number of traits represented by word pairs characteristic of polar opposites
such as, calm-anxious, serious minded- light heartedness, etc. and ask a group of people
to rate themselves on each of these bipolar adjectives or rate others in order to quantify
how much of the trait on which rated is present in the concerned person or persons (self
or others rated).
Cattel‟s 16 PF test (1973) is a typical example of this approach both in terms theory and
personality assessment. Eysenck & Eysenck (1963) described personality using only two
basic dimensions, namely, introversion-extraversion dimension and stability dimension.
Cattel‟s 16 Personality Factors
LOW SCORE DESCRIPTION HIGH SCORE DESCRIPTION
Reserved, detached, critical, cool, Out – going, warm hearted, easy
schizothymia going, participating, and