There is evidence that cultures differ in terms of people's relationships to
their environment.36 In some cultures, such as those in North America, people
believe that they can dominate their environment. People in other societies, such
as Middle Eastern countries, believe that life is essentially preordained. Notice the
close parallel to internal and external locus of control.37 We should expect, there-
fore, a larger proportion of internals in the American and Canadian workforce
than in the Saudi Arabian or Iranian workforce.
     The prevalence of Type A personalities will be somewhat influenced by the
culture in which a person grows up. There are Type A's in every country, but
there will be more in capitalistic countries, where achievement and material suc-
cess are highly valued. For instance, it is estimated that about 50 percent of the
North American population is Type A.38 This percentage shouldn't be too surpris-
ing. The United States and Canada both have a high emphasis on time man-
agement and efficiency. Both have cultures that stress accomplishments and
acquisition of money and material goods. In cultures such as Sweden and France,
where materialism is less revered, we would predict a smaller proportion of Type
A personalities.

ACHIEVING PERSONALITY FIT

Twenty years ago, organizations were concerned with personality primarily be-
cause they wanted to match individuals to specific jobs. That concern still ex-
ists. But, in recent years, interest has expanded to include the individual-orga-
nization fit. Why? Because managers today are less interested in an applicant's
ability to perform a specific  job than with his or her flexibility  to meet changing
situations.

The Person-Job Fit  In the discussion of personality attributes, our conclu-
sions were often qualified to recognize that the requirements of the job moder-
ated the relationship between possession of the personality characteristic and job
performance. This concern with matching the job requirements with personality
characteristics is best articulated in John Holland's personality-job fit the-
ory
.40 The theory is based on the notion of fit between an individual's personal-
ity characteristics and his or her occupational environment. Holland presents six
personality types and proposes that satisfaction and the propensity to leave a job
depend on the degree to which individuals successfully match their personalities
to an occupational environment.
      Each one of the six personality types has a congruent occupational environ-
ment. Exhibit 4-3 describes the six types and their personality characteristics and
gives examples of congruent occupations.
      Holland has developed a Vocational Preference Inventory questionnaire that
contains 160 occupational titles. Respondents indicate which of these occupa-
tions they like or dislike, and their answers are used to form personality profiles.
Using this procedure, research strongly supports the hexagonal diagram in Ex-
hibit 4-4.41 This figure shows that the closer two fields or orientations are in the
hexagon, the more compatible they are. Adjacent categories are quite similar,
whereas those diagonally opposite are highly dissimilar.
      What does all this mean? The theory argues that satisfaction is highest and
turnover lowest when personality and occupation are in agreement. Social indi-
viduals should be in social jobs, conventional people in conventional jobs, and
so forth. A realistic person in a realistic job is in a more congruent situation than
is a realistic person in an investigative job. A realistic person in a social job is in



















personality-job fit
theory

Identifies six personality
types and proposes that the
fit between personality type
and occupational
environment determines
satisfaction and turnover.


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