Case Study The nice trap Question

Question 1: Do you think there is a contradiction between what employers want in employees (agreeable employees) and what employees actually do best (disagreeable employees)? Why or why not? Agreeableness is one of the Big Five personality models. This dimension refers to an individual’s propensity to defer to others. Agreeable individuals are better liked than disagreeable people, which explain why they tend to do better in interpersonally oriented jobs such as customer service.

Compared to disagreeable people, agreeable people can get better along with others. They are also more compliant and make fewer mistakes. However, agreeable employees tend to have lower level of career success. Compared to disagreeable people, agreeable people are practically considered as bad negotiator. They are less aggressive in negotiating starting salaries and pay raises for themselves. They are poor in executive administration and are harder to be promoted. Instead, the disagreeable employees are more ambitious and perform better.

Therefore, there is a contradiction between what employers want in employees and what employees actually do best. Question 2: Often, the effects of personality depend on the situation. Can you think of some job situations in which agreeableness is an important virtue? And when it is harmful? The apparent contradiction implies that agreeableness has both benefits and harms to the career development of those who own this trait. When talking about the interpersonal relationships, the agreeableness is an important virtue.

It is essential to get well along with the colleagues, superiors and juniors, which the agreeable people have an advantage in this aspect. Additionally, they are compliant and rule-abiding. On the other hand, agreeableness sometimes hinders the development of career. Those who are agreeable lack of ambition and courage. They are poor at competing with others. It is hard to stand out and be promoted. In addition, management is also their weakness. It is difficult to establish credibility. They may give little criticism to the juniors.

In a word, it is still controversial whether employee should be agreeable in the workplace because the impacts of personality vary in accordant to different situations. If the employees can balance the pros and cons and put the agreeableness in the suitable situation, they will achieve success. Question 3: In some research, the negative effects of agreeableness on earnings are stronger for men than for women. Why do you think this might be the case? In some research, being agreeable hurt men’s earnings more than women’s.

As a rule, agreeableness is reflected more on women. Most women are gentle and friendly. It is the common impression. So, in the workplace, agreeableness has fewer effects. However, men are strong, enterprising, strictly and supporting a family in the common impression. Agreeableness influences more in the workplace. On the other hand, men are more likely to be promoted than women. Therefore, the negative effects of agreeableness on earnings are stronger for men than for women.

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