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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 371-376
Correlation between personality traits and organizational commitment in the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2015


1 Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health (RCEDH), Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
2 Nursing Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017
 

   Abstract 

Background: The staff' personality traits are important factors that can affect their organizational commitment. Objective: The current research was aimed to determine the relationship between personality traits and organizational commitment among the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive-analytic study, 270 staff working in the headquarters of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were selected through simple random sampling. The instrument of data collection included NEO personality inventory and Allen and Meyer's organizational commitment scale. Data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics (Pearson's correlation coefficient and regression analysis). Results: The maximum and minimum means for personality traits were reported for conscientiousness (2.96 ± 0.40) and neuroticism (1.85 ± 0.55), respectively. With regard to organizational commitment, however, affective commitment (4.77 ± 0.80) and continuance commitment (4.77 ± 0.80) obtained the maximum and minimum means, respectively. From among the five personality traits, conscientiousness and agreeableness were significantly correlated with organizational commitment. Conclusion: Since conscientiousness and agreeableness variables were correlated with organizational commitment, it is suggested that the managers of organizations pay a special attention to the given personality traits in the selection and appointment of the staff in organizational positions in order to enhance the efficiency of human resources in organizations. They are also recommended to take these variables into account during job interviews.

Keywords: Organizational commitment, personality traits, staff

How to cite this article:
Ziapour A, Khatony A, Jafari F, Kianipour N. Correlation between personality traits and organizational commitment in the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2015. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:371-6

How to cite this URL:
Ziapour A, Khatony A, Jafari F, Kianipour N. Correlation between personality traits and organizational commitment in the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2015. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 9];10:371-6. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/2/371/208725

   Introduction Top


Personality is a complicated psychological construct used to find out about the people's behavior, and in general, various human behaviors in different situations.[1] Different classifications have been presented for personality dimensions. McCrae and Costa[2] developed a five-factor model. According to this model, personality is divided into five dimensions, including neuroticism (tendency to experience anxiety, tension, hostility, shyness, irrational thinking, depression, and low self-confidence), extroversion (tendency to attend to the external world, care for other people, and enjoy interaction with others), openness to experience (active search of using the others' experience and craving for curiosity, appreciation of art, imagination, open-mindedness, and innovation), agreeableness (tendency to respect others and agree with them), conscientiousness (ability to organize, stability, control and motivation in targeted behaviors and tendency toward competency, discipline, attempt for improvement, restrain, and contemplation).

According to this model, every person can have a specific attitude and disposition toward the responsibilities and objectives of the organization depending on his/her own personality traits.[3] Hence, personality differences of the people can be the source of creativity, development, or the origin of many organizational problems and can affect their conduct, practice, decisions, and organizational behavior.[4] Since personality traits are considered as factors to determine the people's behavior, their identification can help provide a framework to predict behavior. In fact, knowledge about the personality of people can assist the manager of organization to appoint qualified individuals in different organizational positions in order to reduce staff turnover and to increase their organizational commitment.[5]

Stears, Mowdy, and Porters Cohen defined organizational commitment as accepting the values of organization and getting involved in the organization, and considered motivation, desire to continue the job, and accepting the organizational values as its measurement criteria.[6] Organizational commitment includes affective commitment, normative commitment, and continuance commitment. Affective commitment is defined as emotional attachment and devotion to perform the tasks and the desire to stay in the organization. Continuance commitment is based on the costs associated with leaving the organization; the more investment on the staff, the less possibility for the staff to leave organization. On the contrary, when the staff work for a long time in the organization, they will not easily leave organization and continue their job because of the need and necessity. In normative commitment, the staff regard continuing their job and providing service for the organization as their duties, thereby fulfilling their responsibilities in the organization.[7]

Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between one's organizational commitment and personality traits, for example Tziner et al. (2008), Ziapour et al. (2017), and Chan et al. (2008) [8],[9],[10]. The findings of the above studies have indicated that individual characteristics and differences of the staff are one of the most important predictors of organizational commitment. In fact, the staff are different in terms of individual characteristics and personality traits. It is evident that these personality traits affect their behavior and practice, which in turn influence their decisions and organizational behavior.[11] Given the lack of information about personality traits among the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences and the association of these traits with organizational commitment, the present study was carried out to analyze this relationship.


   Objective Top


The current research was aimed to determine the relationship between personality traits and organizational commitment among the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences.


   Materials and Methods Top


This descriptive-analytic study was performed on the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical sciences in 2015. The study sample was calculated to be 270 people (132 males and 138 females) based on Kerjesi and Morgan sampling table. Sampling was carried out by simple sampling technique using the table of random numbers. The criteria for inclusion in the study consisted of agreement to participate in the study, having at least a high school diploma or higher degrees, 2 years job experience in the university and willingness for participation in the study.

The data collection instrument included demographic information form, NEO five-factor inventory (NEO-FFI) and organizational commitment questionnaire. The demographic information form included four items about age, gender, education, and work experience. The personality traits inventory was first formulated by McCrae and Costa,[2] which comprised of five personality traits of neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, each involving 12 items. The Persian version of this questionnaire was formulated by Haghshenas[12] the validity indices of the given five factors of neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness reported by Amanalahifard,[13] using concurrent validity, were 0.66, 0.56, 0.59, 0.59, and 0.39, respectively. He reported the reliability indices of 0.87, 0.84, 0.79, 0.80, and 0.82 for neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness by test-retest method, respectively, and reliability indices (Cronbach's alpha coefficient) of 0.76, 0.56, 0.59, 0.48, and 0.85 through internal consistency.

The validity and reliability of the scale were calculated again in the present study. Content validity was used to evaluate the validity. To this end, the questionnaire was given to 12 experts in the field and their corrective comments were applied to the questionnaire. Internal consistency measure was used to determine the reliability of the scale by 30 subjects with the same characteristics of the study sample. The alpha coefficients for neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were reported to be 0.89, 0.78, 0.72, 0.80, and 0.91, respectively. This questionnaire consisted of 60 items that were designed based on 5-point Likert scale, including strongly disagree, disagree, undecided, agree, and strongly agree options. The scores given to these options ranged from 0 to 4 (0 = strongly disagree, 1 = disagree, 2 = undecided, 3 = agree, and 4 = strongly agree). The total score range of the questionnaire was 0–240.

The organizational commitment questionnaire formulated by Allen and Meyer[20] was utilized to measure organizational commitment. It included 24 items measuring affective commitment, continuance commitment, and normative commitment. For every dimension of the questionnaire (affective, normative, and continuance) 80 items were designed. The validity of this questionnaire has been confirmed by various studies. Allen and Meyer reported the reliability indices of 0.87, 0.75, and 0.79 for affective, continuance, and normative commitment, respectively, using internal consistency measure.[14] Ebrahimi[15] translated and validated this questionnaire in Iran. He reported the total reliability index of 0.81 for this scale, measured by internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha).

The validity and reliability of this questionnaire were analyzed in the present study as well. Content validity was used to determine the validity. Thus, the questionnaire was given to 12 faculty members and their corrective comments were applied to the questionnaire. Internal consistency measure was used to determine the reliability of the scale by 30 subjects with the same characteristics of the study sample (α = 0.86).This questionnaire comprised of 24 items designed based on 7-point Likert scale, including strongly disagree, disagree, somewhat disagree, undecided, somewhat agree, agree, and strongly agree options. The scores given to these options ranged from 1 to 7 (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 4 = somewhat disagree, 4 = undecided, 5 = somewhat agree, 6 = agree, and 7 = strongly agree). The total score range of the questionnaire was 0–100.

To collect the required data, permissions were taken from the vice chancellery of research of the university and were delivered to the authorities of the university. First, the objectives of the study were explained to the subjects, the confidentiality of the personal information, and responses were ensured and informed consent forms were taken from the participants. The questionnaires were completed by the samples and collected by the researchers afterward.

Descriptive statistics [frequency (%), mean and standard deviation] as well as inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple linear regressions were applied to analyze the correlation between the five-factor personality traits and organizational commitment. P < 0.05 was considered significant.


   Results Top


From the total of 270 samples, 132 (48.9%) participants were males and 138 (51.1%) participants were females. The mean and standard deviation of the samples was 36.4 ± 0.67 and the age group of 31-40 had the maximum frequency (n = 169, 62.6%). In terms of education, 150 samples (55.6%) had bachelor degree. With regard to work experience, 30 samples (11.1%) had 20 years of work experience (18.8± 6.1). Regarding the type of employment, however, 124 (45.9%) of participants were contractual [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of participants

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The findings of the samples' personal traits showed the maximum and minimum levels for conscientiousness (2.96± 0.40) and neuroticism (1.85 ± 0.55), respectively [Table 2].
Table 2: Mean standard deviation, minimum score, maximum score and respondents' rank in the variables

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Further, the results indicated the maximum level of organizational commitment for affective commitment (4.77 ± 0.80) and minimum level for continuance commitment (4.12 ± 0.71) [Table 2].

With regard to the correlation between personality traits and organizational commitment, the findings of Pearson's correlation showed a positively significant correlation between personality traits and affective commitment (r = 0.159, P < 0.05) and normative commitment (r = 0.131, P < 0.05), but no significant correlation was reported between personality traits and continuance commitment. Among the dimensions of organizational commitment, affective commitment, and continuance commitment were reported to have the maximum and minimum correlation with personality traits [Table 3].
Table 3: Internal correlation coefficients between the five-factor dimensions of personality and organizational commitment and its dimensions

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Moreover, the results of stepwise multiple linear regressions indicated that among the variables included in the initial regression model, only conscientiousness and agreeableness variables remained in the final model and neuroticism, extroversion, and openness to experience variables were eliminated. On the basis of beta coefficients, both of the above-mentioned variables significantly explained organizational commitment. The comparison of the standardized coefficients showed that conscientiousness and agreeableness had the maximum (β = 0.173) and minimum (β = 0.143) effects on organizational commitment [Table 4].
Table 4: Multiple regression analysis of organizational commitment in terms of the personality dimensions

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   Discussion Top


In the present study, the maximum and minimum levels of personality traits were reported for conscientiousness and neuroticism, respectively. This finding was consistent with the results of studies conducted by Ziapour et al. (2015), Baay et al. (2014), and Gutierrez et al. (2005).[16],[17],[18] The people with conscientiousness personality trait are mainly reliable, disciplined, powerful, and hardworking and insist on solving the problems in spite of the existing obstacles. According to the five-factor inventory of McCrae and Costa,[2] it can be argued that the conscientious people, who have perseverance and self-discipline, possess higher levels of organizational commitment than other people. In line with this, it can be stated that conscientious people are disciplined, development-oriented and logical, committed to their organization, and actively work in the organization and enjoy being a member of organization.

Moreover, the maximum and minimum levels of organizational commitment were reported for affective commitment and continuance commitment, respectively. This finding was concurrent with results of studies conducted by Nartgün and Menep (2010), Joiner and Bakalis (2006).[19],[20],[21],[22] Since affective commitment is reported to be important among the dimensions of organizational commitment, the researchers believe that organizational commitment is an attitude toward the staff's loyalty to the organization and is a mutual process in which, owing to the participation of the staff in organizational decisions, attention to the staff of the organization leads to organizational achievement and welfare. Generally, it can be suggested that an efficient manpower is the main indicator of the superiority of an organization compared with other organizations.

Further, the results of this study showed a positively significant correlation between personality traits and affective commitment and normative commitment, but no significant correlation was observed between personality traits and continuance commitment. These findings confirm the results of[8],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27] argued that conscientiousness and agreeableness were the best predictors for deciding to leave one's job. The results of the study by Silva[28] showed that extrovert people are conscientious, emotionally stable, and highly committed; however, no significant correlation was reported between organizational commitment and openness to experience and agreeableness. The authors believe that organizational commitment is a mental state that determines the relationship of the staff with their organization and creates a sense of emotional and mental conformity with the organizational values and aspirations in the staff. On the contrary, personality is a key factor that affects the behavior of the managers and staff in the organization.

Furthermore, the obtained results in this study revealed that only conscientiousness and agreeableness significantly explained organizational commitment among the five personality traits. The results of the present study revealed that conscientiousness and organizational commitment were correlated, which was consistent with the results of studies performed by Chioqueta and Stiles (2005) and Gutierrez et al.(2005).[29],[18] It can be argued that conscientious people are mainly reliable, disciplined, powerful, and hardworking, and persistently try to solve the problems despite the presence of barriers. According to the five-factor theory of McCrae and Costa, the conscientious people have perseverance, self-discipline, and sense of planning. In fact, the people with conscientiousness personality trait have higher organizational commitment than other people.[2]

In addition, the results of the current research about the correlation between agreeableness personality trait and organizational commitment are in agreement with the findings of Chioqueta and Stiles.[29] In can be said that the people with higher score in agreeableness domain are reliable, sympathetic, and friendly. They are more successful in various domains, especially in group work activities.

There were several limitations in the present study. First, the data were collected through self-report method, which may have affected the accuracy of the results. Also, the samples in this study were the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences; therefore, the findings cannot be generalized to staff in other medical universities around the country.

Given the important role of the staff's personality traits in organizations, further studies are recommended to be conducted in other governmental or private organizations for the sake of comparative analysis.


   Conclusion Top


The maximum and minimum mean scores of personality traits were reported for conscientiousness and neuroticism, respectively. Also, affective commitment and continuance commitment were reported to have the maximum and minimum means among the staff. Among the five personality traits, conscientiousness and agreeableness were significantly correlated with organizational commitment. To increase manpower efficiency in organizations especially in important and managerial positions, the managers of organization are suggested to seriously take into account the personality traits during selection, appointment, and recruitment of the human resources. They are also advised to consider these variables during job interviews.

Acknowledgement

This article was drawn from a Research Project (No. 93291) sponsored by Deputy of Research and Technology, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. Hereby, the authors would like to appreciate the president and co-workers of the center and all the staff of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences who helped us in this research.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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Correspondence Address:
Alireza Khatony
Nursing Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.208725

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