Study confirms bosses are more disagreeable than their staff

June 9th, 2009 - 3:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 9 (ANI): A new study by researchers at the University of Western Sydney has confirmed that bosses are actually more disagreeable than their staff.

In their study paper, the researchers say that job types and personality traits do go together, with managers more antagonistic, labourers less conscientious, and salespeople more extroverted than the rest of us.

The study further states that, in many cases, personality plays a bigger role in the chances of someone ending up in a particular job than their school certificate or university degree.

According to the researchers, personality is also a more persistent influence than parents’ social and occupational status on the work people choose or are chosen for.

Using data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, the researchers looked at the prevalence of five personality traits-openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and emotional stability-in different occupations.

The personality effects were “significant, relatively large and persistent across all occupations,” said study authors Robert Wells, Roger Ham and Raja Junankar.

Their analysis suggests that bosses are likely to be more extroverted, tougher, and more aggressive than their clerical peers because “individuals with lower agreeableness tend to be able to progress into management at the expense of their more agreeable counterparts.”

The researchers further revealed that clerical workers exhibited less emotionally stable behaviour, and were more prone to stress and neuroticism than professionals who juggled a larger number of less routine and stressful tasks.

Labourers were likely to be less open to new ideas and training and to score lower on measures associated with diligence, self-discipline, punctuality and organisation.

“Conscientiousness, the trait associated with hard work and effort, is found to significantly increase the probability of an individual being in a management or clerical position, and decrease the probability of an individual being a salesperson, operator or labourer,” the paper noted.

The report suggested that labour shortages could be solved in future, and joblessness minimised, by examining choice of occupation based on personality, rather than just educational credentials.

It said that economics had in the past discounted individuals’ preferences as too numerous and difficult to use as a predictor of future careers. (ANI)

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