The Effects of Type A-B Personality on Symptoms of Stress

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The Effects of Type A-B Personality on Symptoms of Stress
Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities
Vol. 5, No. 11, November 2015, pp. 75-85.
Asian Journal
of Research in
Social Sciences
and
Humanities
ISSN 2249-7315
www.aijsh.org
Asian Research Consortium
The Effects of Type A-B Personality on Symptoms of
Stress: Employee Experience
Hasnun Anip Bustaman*; Tuan Mohd Rosli Tuan Hassan**;
Roslan Ab Rahim***
*University Technology,
MARA Kelantan, Malaysia.
**University Technology,
MARA Kelantan, Malaysia.
***University Technology,
MARA Kelantan, Malaysia.
DOI N UMBER-10.5958/2249-7315.2015.00248.8
Abstract
This study is an attempt to explore which personality types invulnerable to stress environments.
Personality identified in this study as personality type A and personality type B. Employee’s
personality remains anonymous until it was discovered using adopted instrument called Jenkins
Activity Survey (JAS). Then the stress defined using universal stress symptoms consists of physical
symptom, emotional symptom and behavior symptom. The study conducted consists of 282
employees from various telecommunications companies operating its business all over Malaysia to
reveals which personalities responds higher to the stress symptoms intercepted by length of service.
Result discovered partially personality type A-B significantly different on symptom of stress
influenced by length of services. Precisely physical symptom of personality types A demonstrated
declining while personality type B showing growing patent by longer of services. Furthermore
personality type A-B reveals significantly different influence on symptoms of stress. In conclusion,
selection of employee by means of method personality identifications who is capable handling
stress environment should be included as a new practice in recruitment and selection process
particularly occupying Telecommunication Company.
Keywords: Personality Type A/B, Recruitment and selection, Stress and Stress Symptoms.
________________________________________________________________________________
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
1. Introduction
Interest in the matching external candidate with organization environment and hiring employee’s
competence invulnerability to stress environment has increase markedly during last few years, as
indicated by several reviews of the literature ( amber, 2007: Shin goo park et al. 2008: Keinan and
Tal, 2004). Despite widespread interest, there have been relatively few reports of empirical
investigations of employee’s personality invulnerable to organization stress environments. Amber
Raza (2007) study on workplace stressor using personality type A and personality type B to
measure the impact of stressor on employee‘s personality. Original research pertaining personality
type A-B first identified by Friedman and Rosenman (1959), who are suggest that a particular
group of behaviors is common among coronary patients. Enrichment of knowledge on personality
type A-B from the health field to vicinity of business was started by Jenkin, Zyzanski and
Rosenman (1979). A study was conducted until establish a model so call Jenkins Activity Survey.
Then modification of the instrument took place from the original version where initially focusing
on individual jobs or incomes to the items pertaining schoolwork. Enlargement of knowledge in
the realm of personality type does not come to the end but more on just started mainly in human
resource management subject. Regardless of development of personality study, the ultimate
purpose must be drive the finding to the personality that invulnerable to workplace stress.
Workplace stress does not have the same effect on all individuals. There are a range of personal,
social, and environmental moderators within each of us that influence our susceptibility and coping
abilities in relation to the stressors we experience. Personality differences, gender differences, age,
and social support all seem to be important factors in determining how well individuals cope with
workplace stress (Wichert, 2002). Personality differences have been acknowledged as influential on
database (Borgman, 1989). Although long experiences in database searching usually reduce the
influence of personality, shyness and weak self-esteem may initially have a negative impact on
search outcome (Bellardo, 1985). Recognized on previous study was navigating researcher to
initiate development of first hypotheses as stated:
H1:
Types A personality is less significant characteristics demonstrated in longer experiences
would be less impact to stress symptoms (physical, emotional and behavior) compare to
Type B
According to Friedman and Rosenman (1974) have identified two personality types which they
have labelled „Type A‟ and „Type B‟. The Type A personality has what Friedman and Rosenman
(1974) called „hurry sickness‟.
A typical Type A personality:
- always seems busy and runs his or her life by the clock
- speaks quickly and loudly
- walks quickly
- eats rapidly
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
- is impatient and irritable
- tries to do more than one thing at a time
- feels guilty when relaxing
- is competitive and plays to win
- schedules too many activities into a day
- and is intolerant of failure
Not surprisingly, Type B individuals are the complete opposite. A typical Type B personality:
- can stay patient and calm
- has no inner anger nor hostility
- cooperates with others
- can relax without feeling guilty
- plays for fun, not to win
- is flexible and easy going
- and works without agitation
Studies have shown that individuals displaying Type A characteristics have a significantly
increased risk of experiencing the deleterious effects of stress. It is argued that individuals
exhibiting Type A behaviors are more likely to enter into demanding jobs, more likely to overreact
to them, and for this reason would be more vulnerable to stress and coronary heart disease in
particular (Wainwright et. al, 2002).
The research by Janice (1995) shown that, Type A individuals will perceive and experience more
stress than Type B individuals. Janice (1995) study revealed type A individuals are those who are
in a constant and urgent struggle to get a number of things done in the least amount of time. Type B
individuals, on the other hand, have no driving urge or desire to succeed base on subjects study
were executives from the banking, finance and insurance companies in Singapore. Extraction from
previous study generated second hypotheses as below:
H2:
Type A personality demonstrating higher than Type B personality on the symptoms of
stress (physical, emotional and behavior)
Surprisingly when refer to Dr. Sheeba Khan (2011) stated that people with type A more often
shows the personality characteristics such as highly ambitious, energetic, impatient, competitive,
hardworking, time urgent and high achiever. In this type of profession person with type A are more
successful but it is also true that due to their personality characteristics they become restless and
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
their self satisfaction level reduces to a very low. So if they fail to achieve their targets in time they
are more likely to create tension around them.
2. Methodology
The data used in this study from 282 employees working in telecommunications industries
operating its business all over Malaysia. Total three listed companies at Kuala Lumpur Stock
Exchange (KLSE) involve in telecommunications industries contribute giving respond to the
instruments designed. In specify, study from 10 branches located at big city such as Kuala Lumpur,
Pulau Pinang, Johor Bharu, Kuantan, Shah Alam and Bandar Melaka taking into account peak area
leading to more stress environment. Majority of respondents working as front-office employee
those are dealing with customer in their daily jobs. Crowded customers, various questions,
complaints and critics could heat up the position further creating negative environment contributing
to employee stress (Ellison C. W. & Maynard E. S., 1992) explaining a concrete reason why does
this study confine its respondents to the front-office employees. Moreover creating conducive
environment should be begun with front-office employee are paramount in projecting hospitable
image (James A. Bardi & et al. 2007) is an important initiative to guarantee survival of an
organization.
Questionnaire was adopted from Korean Occupational Stress Scale (KOSS-SF) as instruments for
stress symptoms. Chang et al. (2005) validated the reliability of the KOSS in a nationwide
epidemiological study (NSDSOS project) conducted in Korea. Reliability result from what has
been achieved in original instruments showing no different compare to result from this study.
Three main subscales physical-0.94, behavior-0.756 and emotional-0.761, refer to Cronbach’s
Alpha measurement by Sekaran (2006) indicating acceptable result. Meanwhile, instrument to
measure personality had been adopted from Jenkin Activity survey (JAS: Jenkin, Zyzanski &
Rosenman, 1979) is a self report measure of Type A behavior. The instrument consists of 20 items
encompassing personalities of employee. Type A behavior has been operationally defined in
several ways. A structured interview asks questions regarding Type A characteristics and notes
both the content and the expressive style of the patient's responses (Rosenman, Straus, Wurm,
Kostichek, Hahn, & Werthessen, 1964). Supernumerary, an alternate version of the JAS was
developed for use with college students (Krantz, Glass, & Snyder, 1974). This modified form is
identical to the original version except that items pertaining to individuals' jobs or incomes have
been either dropped or changed to refer to schoolwork.
Procedure analysis, respondents have to answer three different sections in a questionnaire. Firstly
respondent have to answer section regarding demographic information followed by instruments
related to personality type and finally instruments related to symptoms of stress. Frequency
analysis to reveal the number of Type A and Type B participate in this study. We then analyze the
data using chi-square test for independent to discover the relationship between personality type and
symptom of stress. Other than that, through the analysis of study researcher also could determine
the different influence between Type A and Type B to the symptom of stress.
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
3. Result
Descriptive statistics are presented in Table 1. 55.4 percent out of a total 282 employee were
included in the study are female employee. Type A personalities representing 39.3 percent from
total respondent. Meanwhile length of service were divided into 2 categories, below than 1 year
consist of 37.5 percent and remaining balance are employee who have experience more than 1 year.
Respondents with age between 25 – 27 groups made up the largest group of respondents with 46.4
percent followed by 26.8 percent for 22 – 24 age group, 14.3 percent for 28 and above and lastly
for 19 – 21 age is 12.5 percent. Most of respondents in this study were Malay 67.9 percent consists
of 191 respondents followed by Chinese 19.6 percent and Indian 12.5 percent. Coincidently, ethnic
distribution in this study aligns with Malaysian’s composition (Department of Statistic Malaysia,
2011).
Base on the table 1 result from two-way analysis of variance Levene’s test showing hypotheses one
on physical symptom F (2.775), P<0.05 partially accepted. Result explains on the impact of
physical stress symptom significantly different in longer service for personality type A-B.
personality type A showing gradually declining impact of physical stress in longer service while
reverse impact found on type B personality progressively demonstrating growing physical stress
symptom in longer service. Meanwhile, emotional and behavior symptoms respectively recording
F(1.446), P=0.240 and F(1.690), P=0.181 not significant difference on personalities types A/Bin
longer service. In addition further analysis found total mean on physical (31.43 to 31.06) and
emotional (27.71 to 26.11) demonstrating high stress symptom on the beginning than declining at 1
year and above. Nevertheless behavior recording lowest total mean on the below than 1 year
service with company (26.05). Personalitys’ type A/B presenting significant difference to the
symptoms of physical stress, emotional and behavior consistent table 2 results. Further discussions
on the topic during analyzing table 2.
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
Table 1: Symptoms of Stress, Length of services and Personalities among
Telecommunication Employees in Malaysia
Levene's Test for Equality of Variances
SYMPT
PERSONAL
OMS OF
LENGTH
ITIES
STRESS
PHYSIC
BELOW 1
TYPE A
AL
YEAR
TYPE B
TOTAL
1 YEAR AND
ABOVE
TYPE A
TYPE B
TOTAL
EMOTIO
NAL
BELOW 1
YEAR
TYPE A
TYPE B
TOTAL
1 YEAR AND
ABOVE
TYPE A
TYPE B
TOTAL
BEHAVI
OR
BELOW 1
YEAR
TYPE A
TYPE B
TOTAL
1 YEAR AND
ABOVE
TYPE A
TYPE B
TOTAL
Me
an
26.
83
33.
27
31.
43
25.
50
35.
74
31.
06
27.
00
28.
00
27.
71
23.
94
27.
95
26.
11
24.
67
26.
60
26.
05
24.
63
30.
11
27.
60
80
Std.
Deviat
ion
F
Si
g.
6.113
11.405
Interce
pt
Length
2.7
75
.0
50
10.453
Persona
lity
Length
by
Persona
lity
F
Si
g.
.03
9
8.3
01
.8
45
.0
06
.43
2
.5
14
1.1
09
2.8
68
.2
97
.0
96
1.0
35
.3
14
.97
5
4.4
66
.3
28
.0
39
1.0
22
.3
17
8.741
10.115
10.707
2.966
5.593
Length
1.4
46
.2
40
4.931
Persona
lity
Length
by
Persona
lity
5.013
4.983
5.323
3.615
7.018
6.209
6.592
4.886
6.283
Length
1.6
90
.1
81
Persona
lity
Length
by
Persona
lity
Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
Figure 1: Physical Symptom, Length of Services and Personalities
Table 2 specifically to answer hypotheses 2 discovering personality type A/Bhigher respond to
symptoms of stress (physical, emotional and behavior). Refer to Levene’s test for equality of
Variances only physical symptom F(7.120), P<0.010 presenting significant different on
personalities type A-B. Nevertheless result from stronger and powerful analysis equal variances
assumed demonstrating significant difference in all study symptoms physical symptom P<0.002,
emotional symptom P<0.023 and behavior P< 0.020. Mean result disclosed type A personality
lower than type B in symptoms of stress and the biggest different recorded by physical stress
symptom mean (25.86 - 34.65). Figure 2 giving better picture on personalities Type A/Brespond
higher on stress symptom researcher refers to figure 2. The figure show type B personality respond
higher than type A personality entirely (physical, emotional and behavior) and as well the biggest
different between type A/Bpersonalities contributed by physical stress symptom as being mention
before. Thus, study reject hypotheses 2 since personality type B demonstrate higher than
personality type A on symptoms of stress (physical, emotional and behavior).
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
Table 2: Symptoms of Stress and Personalities among Telecommunication
Employees in Malaysia
Levene's Test for Equality of Variances
Symptoms of
Personalities Mean
Stress
PHYSICAL
TYPE A
25.86
TYPE B
34.65
EMOTIONAL TYPE A
24.77
TYPE B
27.97
BEHAVIOR
TYPE A
24.64
TYPE B
28.56
Std.
Deviation
7.990
10.608
4.690
5.179
5.844
6.086
F
Sig.
7.120
.010
.057
.812
.409
.525
Equal
Unequal
Equal
Unequal
Equal
Unequal
Sig.
(2-tailed)
.002
.001
.023
.021
.020
.020
Figure 2: Personalities Type A/B respond Differently to the Symptoms of
Stress
4. Discussion
This study unearth new knowledge on personalities type A-B influence toward symptoms of stress
relating demographic factor in the realm of length of services. The result reveal partially significant
on hypotheses developed. The variable’s significant turns to be new landmark in the field of
personality type A-B study. In some extent, this study is a beginning to the intention somehow
personality type A-B will become a topic of discussion in recruitment and selection chapter is one
of the important functions of human resource.
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
Discussion on the result of study had divided into two mains chapter base on hypotheses developed.
Research found physical stress symptom demonstrating significant different on personalities type
A-B intercepted by length of services. This mean employee of type A personality declining
demonstrating symptom of physical stress in longer service. Physical stress defined by Stephen P.
Robbin (2005) related to employee physical conditions of healthy such as headache, high blood
pressure, heart disease and other. Thus organization will less spending on employee medical if
organization hire type A personality. In addition, less consent on employee low productivity due to
health problem will improve employer concentration to the organization core business driving
organization to remain competitive. It is crucial for an employer to select employee match with
organization environment to free from crisis in future (Sara Khan et. al, 2012). Employer could
concentrate on core competency to achieve competitive advantage instead of dealing with fruitless
issues (Thomas C. Powell 2005).
Physical stress symptom of personality type B demonstrating aggravation as time move by.
Additional programs should be planned to deal with this type of employee’s personality to prevent
any issues cause by physical stress symptom. Programs such as massage, mindfulness base, stress
reduction class and others should be implemented immediately after one year employee service due
to physical stress problem getting obvious when time goes by.
Meanwhile emotional and behavior reveal that no significant different found on type A-B
personalities to the symptoms of stress after taking into account length of services. Without
considering length of services, personality type A-B responds positively to the stress symptoms. In
other word, there is a significant different between personality types A-B toward stress symptoms
(Keinan & Tal, 2005).
Generally type B personality recording higher mean of stress’ symptom compare to type A
personality. Figure 2 presenting comparison between type A-B toward symptom of stress. The
figure obviously indicating employee with type A personality is a company choice. Previous study
from Wainwright et. al, (2002), Janice (1995) and Friedman and Rosenman (1974) agreed that
Type A individuals will perceive and experience more stress than Type B individuals. Result in
this study however never disagree with previous study but more on intensify result on stress
component. Previously study on personality type A-B using stress as a subject matter slightly
different from the this study considering symptoms of stress as a subject matters. Hence,
personality type A employee in fact better in wrapper stress symptom than personality type B even
type A employee experience more stress than type B personality. This might be a reason behind Dr
Sheeba Khan (2011) finding that type A personality employee are more successful than type B
employee following they are undisclosed their stress symptoms even though they experience stress
more than type B mainly on physical stress symptom.
Furthermore table 2 indicates physical symptom of stress of personality type A reporting highest
mean compare to others symptoms (emotional and behavior). Even physical symptom of type A
personality producing highest comparing other symptom in personality type A, none of the means
in stress symptoms of type B personality producing lower mean than that. Insight that type A
personality are excellent in covering their physical, emotional and behavior of stress make them the
best candidate for a company with highly stress environment. In addition, a company necessarily
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Bustaman et al. (2015). Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. 5, No.11, pp. 75-85.
execute special program to extend type A employee service longer for as long as possible following
the symptom of stress will decline when the time goes by.
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