Type A and Type B Personalities in Organizations: Definition & Characteristics

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  • 0:05 Type A and B Characteristics
  • 1:41 Type A Investigation
  • 2:50 Type B Investigation
  • 4:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Type A and Type B personality characteristics are two contrasting descriptions of traits. In organizations, it is important to identify individuals with these traits and understand the best scenario for employee motivation, output, and job accomplishment for both types.

Type A and B Characteristics

Understanding personality traits is important in the workplace. Type A and Type B are two contrasting personality theories that explain how certain employee characteristics can affect workplace behavior.

People with Type A personality traits are aggressive, ambitious, controlling, highly competitive, preoccupied with status, workaholics, hostile, and lack patience. People with Type B personality traits are relaxed, less stressed, flexible, emotional and expressive, and have a laid-back attitude.

There can be great difficulties in the workplace when these two personalities have to work together. People who have either of these personality types are usually best at specific tasks within an organization. Let's look at an example.

A huge project needs to be completed at the Fun Town Water Park. Every year, the water park unveils a new water ride. Production has begun on this year's Lava Falls water ride, which carries kids through a volcano on rafts and then shoots them out of the top down a huge slide.

Two managers want to be in charge of completing the project. Type A Alfred and Type B Beatrice have a deadline of May 15th to get the new ride completed and ready for the season. The current report on the ride shows it's behind schedule. Is Alfred or Beatrice the better manager choice to bring this project to completion before the May deadline? A consultant has been hired to investigate both managers and see who should be selected to manage completion of the ride.

Type A Investigation

Type A Alfred wants to work twelve-hour days and pushes for all of his ideas to be used to get the ride finished. In the past, he has created a hostile work environment with his lack of patience with employees. Workers do not always respond to his demands, and therefore, upper management is worried that the ride will end up further behind schedule.

On the other hand, Alfred is very aggressive and will focus on finishing the job as quickly as possible so he can apply for a promotion to a director position. He is also extremely focused and would stay on top of the suppliers for the project. The consultant spent many hours with Alfred and now has some recommendations that will improve his productivity and work relationships.

Consultant's recommendation: Alfred needs goals with specific times and dates for completion of the ride. Performance incentives need to be tied directly to his overall performance, which includes how his workers rate his managerial skills. Since he is a self-motivator, upper management does not need to micromanage Alfred. However, the consultant feels that Alfred could use a training class on having patience and motivating employees in an efficient manner.

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