Unit 8 Research Project Assignment

Unit 8 Research Project Assignment

Unit 8 Research Project Assignment

Program

Diploma in Business

Unit Number and Title

Unit 8 Research Project

QFC Level

Level 5

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Research

1.1 Topic of the Research

The research topic for this study is: The effects of personality of the group members on the performance of the group

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1.2 Research Aim

The main reason for initiating this project is to research on the various personality types and traits of employees, to highlight the effects of these traits on group performance. A good performance of the organization depends on the personality of each individual in a group. The main aim of the research project that will help to achieve the objectives of the study is stated below 

  • What are the effects of Personality on group performance?

This research will be limited to the analysis of the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg personality and how this traits can affect the performance in the proposed organization, as its operations are mostly executed in groups.

1.3 Research Objectives

The research objectives is the set of underlying guidelines on the basis of which the research is carried out. The researcher attempts to fulfil these objectives of the study in order to conclude the research in an effective as well as efficient way. The objectives also help the researcher in carrying out the research in a planned manner and for ensuring that the research process does not sway from the ultimate goals of the study. A set of research objectives have been developed for this study as well for these reasons. These research objectives are outlined as follows:

  • To identify the various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group.
  • To identify the negative effects of personality traits on group performance in an organization.
  • To identify ways of improving group performance in an organization.

1.4 Rationale of the Study

The study started with a casual discussion amongst the employees as well as the employers of Harris Calnan Construction Company on the topic of their views on group performances as well as their expectations. In view of the fact that the company has as much as 25 years of experience in the domain of refurbishment, public and commercial projects in Central London and South East, the nature of the industry calls for a strong group dynamics as well as enhanced group performance from this entity. A study conducted by Rutherford (2006) indicates that for complex problem solving, groups made up of different types of individuals with a variety of skills, knowledge abilities and perspectives are more effective than groups that are more homogeneous. One of the reasons for creating a group is for individuals or employees to showcase their skills and to contribute in the development of the organization or to achieve the group's goal, but some individual's personality affects or influences the effectiveness of the group or team. In view of the fact that various personalities are involved in a team, it may lead to lack of harmony and trust between individuals in the sense that there will be the limitation of information because of the different personalities that are involved. The researcher developed more interest in this topic and decided to get more information from more employees and other secondary data (Digman, 1997).

This will also help in development of a proper understanding of the readers regarding the various ways and methods which can be implemented for the development of the strong group ethics as well as performance of the employees of any company.

1.5 Introduction to the Research Topic

In the current context of the modern business world, due to various factors including the technological development as well as standardisation of the information technology tools in addition to the advent of internet, the competitive advantage which the companies are being able to draw from the technological and operational excellency has got minimized to a significant degree. As a result of this, more and more companies in the current business world are trying to derive as much efficiency and competitive advantage as possible from the human resources of the company (Digman, 1997). It can be confirmed with a higher degree of confidence that the companies which are in the business of any type of project management tend to work in a setting of group. Hence the overall performance of the company depends heavily on the way the groups of those companies work. One of the major factor on which the performance of the group is significantly dependent is the personality of the individuals who are working as a part of the group and their compatibility amongst themselves. It has been seen in many cases that even if the people who belong to a specific group are fairly talented, if they fail to gel with each other within the group due to their specific personality traits, the effectiveness of the performance of the group is diminished significantly. Hence in this research report, the factor which will be looked into will be dealing with these aspects of the group dynamics.

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Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

In this section the researcher will be detailing information gathered from various previously carried out research papers and journals which have discussed the topic of group behaviour, personality characteristics of the group members as well as the effect of the same on the overall performance of the group to great extent. This will help in developing a theoretical background for the researcher in addition to the readers of the report (Hahn, 2010). This will not only help in creating a detailed understanding regarding the research topic and answering the questions which have been chosen for the study, but will also help in creating a platform for the primary research which will be done in this study with the help of a questionnaire. The main themes which will be looked into through this critical review of past literature are as following:

  • Identification and understanding of  the various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group
  • Identification and understanding of  the negative effects of personality traits on group performance in an organization
  • Identification and understanding of  the ways for improving group performance in an organization

2.2 Identify the various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group

The various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group can be explained by the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg personality and how this traits can affect the performance in the proposed organization, as its operations are mostly executed in groups. These factors will be first looked into to discuss this topic:

  • Openness to experience: The first point amongst these factors is the openness to experience which defines if characteristic of the individual is biased more towards inventive and curious or consistent and cautious. An individual with more preference towards inventiveness will have more appreciation for emotion, out of the box ideas, curiosity etc. On the other hand a cautious person will be keener on maintaining the status quo etc. This factor decides the extent of creativity, intellectual curiosity as well as a preference for variety and novelty which the individual exhibits. It also define the imaginativeness or independence which the individual likes. This also represents the preference of the person for various out of the box activities compared to stern schedule of works (Hahn, 2010).
  • Conscientiousness: This factor determines if the individual is organized and efficient or careless and easy-going. The first type of people have a higher tendency towards being dependable and organized, showing discipline, acting dutifully, aiming for various achievements, and prefer spontaneous behaviours rather than planned.
  • Extraversion: This factor determines if the individual is outgoing and energetic or solitary and reserved. These factors also determine the energy as well as urgency of the individual apart from their assertiveness, positive emotions, sociability and propensity for seeking stimulation in the company of others.
  • Agreeableness: This factor determines if the individual is friendly or compassionate as opposed to analytical and detached. This determines if the tendency of the individual is to be cooperative as well as compassionate in comparison to being hostile towards other group members as well as suspicious towards their activities. This also determines if the nature of the person is trusting as well as helpful and if the person is well tempered.
  • Neuroticism: This factor determines if the individual is sensitive and nervous as opposed to secure and confident. This determines if the tendency of the individual is to experience unpleasant emotions including anger, depression, anxiety as well as vulnerability easily. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, "emotional stability".

Following is the graphical description of the various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group:

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2.3 Identify the negative effects of personality traits on group performance in an organization

The personality traits of the individuals who are member of a specific group will certainly have some serious effect on the overall performance of the group. As far as task performance is concerned, which is quite significant in terms of the group performance especially in the project management company which is being discussed here, it is necessary that they score high in the openness as well as conscientiousness factors. In view of the fact that these are the factors which help the team in ensuring that they are able to deliver the works which have bene entrusted on them with utmost meticulousness, a group with higher number of individuals  with these traits will be more successful in carrying out its jobs.

2.4 Identify ways of improving group performance in an organization

The most important aspect which the companies like Harris Calnan Construction Company need to ensure for improving the performance of the groups is to train all the members well in their respective domains. An adequate training program will benefit the members of the team to perform in a more efficient as well as effective manner which also helps in the group running smoothly (Senior, 1991). Also right enablers and tools are needed to be provided to the members of the group in view of the fact that these are required for working effectively.

2.5 Summary of the Literature

The various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group can be explained by the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg personality and how this traits can affect the performance in the proposed organization, as its operations are mostly executed in groups. These factors will be first looked into to discuss this topic:

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

As far as task performance is concerned, which is quite significant in terms of the group performance especially in the project management company which is being discussed here, it is necessary that they score high in the openness as well as conscientiousness factors. The most important aspect which the companies like Harris Calnan Construction Company need to ensure for improving the performance of the groups is to train all the members well in their respective domains (Senior, 1991).

Chapter 3: The methodology for the Research

3.1 Research Questions

The research questions are the set of questions which the researcher attempts to answer through the research process. These act as the guiding principles for the study in view of the fact that the researcher will be trying to answer all of these questions in order to complete the research in an effective as well as efficient way. Following are the research questions which have been developed for this study:

  • What are the various personality traits exhibited by the employees who are part of the group?
  • What are the various negative effects of personality traits on group performance within the context of the selected organization?
  • What are the various ways for the improvement of group performance in the selected organization?

3.2 Research Approach and Data Collection Methods

The research approach will consider a primary as well as a secondary research process. The secondary data collection and analysis is done through a critical review of previous literature on the topic of this study. The primary research will be done for the study through a questionnaire method with the sampled respondents. The sample will be selected from the Harris Calnan Construction Company in view of the fact that this is the company which is being discussed in this research.

3.3 Sample, sampling methods and sample size

The sampling for this study will be done through a random sampling method for identifying 100 employees from the Harris Calnan Construction Company. These locusassignments.respondents then will be sent the questioned through e mail which they are supposed to fill in.

3.4 Methods of data analysis

Data collected for the study will be analysed using frequency distribution as well as the percentages. These frequencies and percentages will enable the researcher to clearly represent data characteristics and findings with accuracy.  

3.5 Research plan

Following is the time table for this research:

Prepare proposal by

05-Mar-2015

Complete  literature review by

20-Mar-2015

Complete fieldwork by

30-Mar-2015

Complete analysis by

10-Apr-2015

Complete final report by

15-Apr-2015

Prepare the presentation by

25-May-2015

Following is the Gantt chart which will be used for the various stages of the research:

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Identifying the research topic

†††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gathering secondary sources on the topic

 

†††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrying out secondary research

 

 

†††††††

†††††††

†††††††

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing the report

 

 

 

 

†††††††

†††††††

 

 

 

 

Preparing the tools for primary research

 

 

 

 

 

 

†††††††

 

 

 

Carrying out primary research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

†††††††

†††††††

 

Analysis and finalization of the report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

†††††††

3.6 Questionnaire for Data Collection

The purpose of the questionnaire is to gain good results and the advantage is that is quick and the respondents can complete and do not feel pressured in any way so they can give more realistic answers in the surveys. In the questionnaires the results are easily identified and then can be plotted in numerous graphs, e.g. bar charts, line graphs, pie charts and others.

3.7 Code of Ethics

In view of the fact that the process of this research will entail a primary as well as a secondary study, the code of ethics for the study will also be developed keeping in mind the same. Following are the code of ethics which have been developed for this research process:

  • The researcher needs to ensure that the confidentiality of all respondents to the primary research is being observed
  • Prior to the start of the primary research method, the consent of the respondents is needed to be taken through a consent form. If the respondents belong to some specific organization as employees, it will also be important to ensure that the company’s consent is taken before interviewing the respondents
  • The privacy of the information gathered through the primary research method has to be ensured which along with the anonymity of the respondents will help in keeping the identity of the respondents secured. The group must agree to the release of information or may chose to remain anonymous
  • All information gathered through the primary research process needs to be treated as confidential and used for academic purposes only

Chapter 4: Presenting the Results

4.1 Results from the Secondary Research

The various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group can be explained by the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg personality and how this traits can affect the performance in the proposed organization, as its operations are mostly executed in groups. These factors will be first looked into to discuss this topic:

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

As far as task performance is concerned, which is quite significant in terms of the group performance especially in the project management company which is being discussed here, it is necessary that they score high in the openness as well as conscientiousness factors. The most important aspect which the companies like Harris Calnan Construction Company need to ensure for improving the performance of the groups is to train all the members well in their respective domains.

4.2 Results from the Primary Research

Out of the 100 questionnaire which were sent to the employees, the research has received 77 completed questionnaire and the results from the same will be analysed with the intention of doing the primary research for this study.

Following is the gender distributing of the sampled respondents. 

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It shows that the sample is unbiased towards any gender preference and hence the outcomes will also be unbiased for the study.

Following questions looked into the educational qualification of the respondents. Following is the response:

 

Frequency

%

Basic Education 

21

27%

JHS 

13

17%

Technical/Vocational Education 

15

19%

University Education

17

22%

Professional Studies/education

11

14%

Next question looked into the department in which the respondents work. Following is the response:
 

Frequency

%

Operations

31

40%

Research, Planning and Monitoring

16

21%

Finance

21

27%

Administrations

9

12%

Next question looked into the years of working experience of the respondents. Following is the response:
 

Frequency

%

1 year to 5 years

41

53%

6 years to 10 years

13

17%

10 years to 30 years

16

21%

More than 30 years

7

9%

Following set of questions were asked to the respondents to identify the various personalities exhibited by the employees of the selected organisation.

For the question “Does your organisation engage you in group tasks” following is the answer gathered:

 

Frequency

%

Yes

69

90%

No

8

10%

For the question “If 'Yes' have you undertaken a group assignment before” following is the answer gathered:
 

Frequency

%

Yes

69

90%

No

8

10%

For the question “If ‘Yes’ are there various personalities in your group” following is the answer gathered:
 

Frequency

%

Yes

69

90%

No

8

10%

For the question “If 'Yes ' which of these personality traits are exhibited by the members of your group” following is the answer gathered:
 

Frequency

%

Inventive traits

11

14%

Consistent traits

3

4%

Efficient / organized traits

6

8%

Easy - going traits

9

12%

Out - going traits

13

17%

Solitary / reserved traits

6

8%

Friendly traits

9

12%

Cold / unkind traits

8

10%

Sensitive / nervous traits

4

5%

Secure / confident traits

8

10%

The next set of questions were asked to identify the effects of personality traits on group performance. While asked if the personality of employees affect group performance in the company, 100% of the respondents confirmed that it is the case. Asked regarding if they enjoy working in the set up of a group, it was also confirmed by almost 100% of the respondents. Couple of respondents who had responded that they do not like working in a group due to the reasons of lack of co-operation from the employees.

On asking to what extent do you think personality differences can negatively impact in group performance along the following dimensions, following are the responses:

 

Not at all

Not seriously

Neutral

Seriously

Very seriously

Incomplete/poor group output

21

13

16

23

4

Financial loss

23

17

19

13

5

Delayed results/output

12

13

17

19

16

 

Not at all

Not seriously

Neutral

Seriously

Very seriously

Incomplete/poor group output

27%

17%

21%

30%

5%

Financial loss

30%

22%

25%

17%

6%

Delayed results/output

16%

17%

22%

25%

21%

  • The last set of questions were asked to identify the ways to improve group performance in an organisation.
  • While asked if the group performance be improved in an organisation, 100% of the respondents said yes.
  • While asked regarding the ways in which group performance can be improved in an organisation, following is the response:
 

Frequency

%

Through performance tests

31

40%

Forming heterogeneous groups

22

29%

Appointment of an effective leader

14

18%

Clearly defining group task

10

13%

However none of them said that they have proposed these improvement suggestions to your managers.

Chapter 5: Interpretation and analyses the results in terms of the original research specification

From these data analysis it can be said that since the groups are made up of different types of individuals with a variety of skills, knowledge abilities and perspectives, they influence the groups differently and the groups tend to be more effective if the members are homogeneous. One of the reasons for creating a group is for individuals or employees to showcase their employability skills and to contribute in the development of the organization or to achieve the group's goal, but some individual's personality affects or influences the effectiveness of the group or team. In view of the fact that various personalities are involved in a team, it may lead to lack of harmony and trust between individuals in the sense that there will be the limitation of information because of the different personalities that are involved.

The base of employees who have been questioned for this research predominantly belong to the operations group of the selected company. This department and the employees of the same tend to work in higher number of groups by the very virtue of the kind of operational tasks which they are supposed to do. Hence an overwhelming 90% of the total respondents confirmed that the organisation engages them for the group tasks. Also all of them have confirmed that there have been various different personalities in their groups which is a quite common phenomena. Some of the predominant styles of personality which can be identified include the following:

  • Out - going traits
  • Inventive traits
  • Easy - going traits
  • Friendly traits

However there are fair share of the following negative traits as well:

  • Cold / unkind traits
  • Solitary / reserved traits
  • Sensitive / nervous traits

These can be very negative for the overall health of the group. While asked regarding the extent to which the personality differences can negatively impact in the group performance the responses which were received show that a very significant share of the respondents which is 68% confirms that the same has moderate or high negative impact on the delayed results or output. This is very significant for the business organizations in view of the fact that timely delivery of product or service is of utmost importance for the companies in the context of the current business scenario. A significant share of 56% also confirmed that incomplete or poor group output is also caused by the personality differences within the group dynamics. In terms of the task performance, which is very important for the group performance especially in the project management company which is being discussed here, it is necessary that the group members score high in the openness as well as conscientiousness factors. In view of the fact that these are the factors which help the team in ensuring that they are able to deliver the works which have been entrusted on them with utmost meticulousness, a group with higher number of individuals  with these traits will be more successful in carrying out its jobs.

Some of the factors which seem to have serious influence on the group performance are:

  • Inventive traits
  • Efficient / organized traits
  • Friendly traits
  • Sensitive / nervous traits
  • Secure / confident traits

The factors through which the group effort can be improved are through performance test as well as through forming heterogeneous groups. As much as 70% of the respondents have confirmed that these traits are necessary to develop the not only the efficiency of the group but also the opportunity for developing group members.

Chapter 6: Conclusion and recommendations

From this study it can be concluded that the various personality traits exhibited by employees in a group can be explained by the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg personality and how this traits can affect the performance in the proposed organization, as its operations are mostly executed in groups. These factors will be first looked into to discuss this topic:

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

It can be confirmed that any group will have their fair share of members with negative qualities which is harmful for the overall health and dynamics of the group. Cold, unkind, solitary, reserved, sensitive or nervous are these traits. Regarding the extent to which the personality differences can negatively impact in the group performance the study shows that the same has moderate or high negative impact on the delayed results or output. This is very significant for the business organization in view of the fact that timely delivery of product or service is of utmost importance for the companies in the context of the current business scenario. It can also be found out that incomplete or poor group output is also caused by the personality differences within the group dynamics. In terms of the task performance, which is very important for the group performance especially in the project management company which is being discussed here, it is necessary that the group members score high in the openness as well as conscientiousness factors. In view of the fact that these are the factors which help the team in ensuring that they are able to deliver the works which have been entrusted on them with utmost meticulousness, a group with higher number of individuals  with these traits will be more successful in carrying out its jobs.

As far as task performance is concerned, which is quite significant in terms of the group performance especially in the project management company which is being discussed here, it is necessary that they score high in the openness as well as conscientiousness factors. Some of the factors which seem to have serious influence on the group performance are:

  • Inventive traits
  • Efficient / organized traits
  • Friendly traits
  • Sensitive / nervous traits
  • Secure / confident traits

The factors through which the group effort can be improved are through performance test as well as through forming heterogeneous groups.

6.1 Limitations and Future Scope of the Study and the Learning Experience

One of the major limitation for this study is that it was limited to the analysis of the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg personality and how this traits can affect the performance in the proposed organization, as its operations are mostly executed in groups. There are various new personality traits which are shown by the members of the groups which may not come under the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg. Especially with the global operations and the diverse workforces which the major companies these days have, the limitation becomes starker. However the big five personality traits proposed by Lewis Goldberg can be used as a good barometer for the group organization behaviour and this opens up a scope of further research on this topic which may be looking into the other factors of group behaviour. Also this has been a very enriching research process personally for this researcher. This has led to a detailed understanding not only on the subject of this study for the researcher but also the ways which are to be followed for conducting an research in an efficient as well as effective process.

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References

Digman, J.M. (1989). "Five robust trait dimensions: Development, stability, and utility". Journal of Personality 57 (2): 195–214.
McCrae, R. R. & Costa, P. T. (1990). Personality in adulthood. New York: The Guildford Press.
Cobb-Clark, D. A.; Schurer, S. (2012). "The stability of big-five personality traits". Economics Letters 115 (2): 11–15.
Poropat, A. E. (2009). "A meta-analysis of the ?ve-factor model of personality and academic performance". Psychological Bulletin 135: 322–338.
Schacter, Gilbert, Wegner (2011). Psychology (2nd ed.). Worth. pp. 474–475.
Levine. (1998). The Handbook of Social Psychology.
Senior. (1991). Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.
Hahn, M. (2010). Group Norms in Organizations.

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