Effect of Dominant Personality Traits on Team Roles

Randa Diab-Bahman*

Department of Business and Management, Kuwait College of Science and Technology, Doha, Kuwait

*Corresponding Author:
Diab-Bahman R
Department of Business and Management,
Kuwait College of Science and Technology,
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: March 22, 2021; Accepted Date: April 05, 2021; Published Date: April 12, 2021

Citation: Diab-Bahman R (2021) Effect of Dominant Personality Traits on Team Roles. Clin Psychiatry Vol.7 No. S3:91.

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The purpose of the paper being reviewed is to analyze the dominant personality and corresponding team role of individual employees and determine if there is any correlation. It further investigates the impact of the findings in a workplace setting. The study’s objective is to aim in determining the impact of personality type on team-role performance along with the influence of diversity on team-roles. It also aims to expand the knowledge and influence of individual personalities and employee behavior in the workplace in order to enhance value creation. We collected Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI personality tests and Belbin team roles result from 119 participants from Egypt, India, Lebanon and Philippines working in the Food and beverage industry of Kuwait. Based on the test results the participants were divided on the basis of their ethnicity, having one personality among 16 personalities and team-work role played. The ethnicity, personality type and team-work role played were measured in terms of the frequency. Hypothesis was tested to determine the relationship among the variables of the study and cross-tabulation was done amongst personality and team-work roles to determine the association between them. The test results indicated that there is a significant relationship between the ethnicity and personality type; however, personality type and ethnicity do not impact the team role. Furthermore, it was observed that those with outcomes of ENFP (Extravert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver) personality types were complete finishers, coordinators and monitor evaluators in a team. ESTP (Extravert, Sensor, Thinker, and Perceiver) personality types were implementers, team-workers and specialists. While the ISTP (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, and Perceiver) types played the role of plant, investigator or specialist, the ISTJ (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, Judger) types were observed to be shapers.


Dominant traits; Ethnicity; Economy; Human resources


This paper includes implications for the development of knowledge in the field of applied psychology human resources and management, and for effectively managing a team based on scientifically-correct assumptions of their individual traits. It gives management new insight on an identified research need of individual attributes and how they can impact the workplace. It advances the current understanding and connection between personality traits and value creation in a team setting. In the aspect of ethnicities and their impacts on the workplace, there has been very limited research in the field. From this part of the world (Kuwait) where over 80% of the workforce is an expat, it is crucial to understand our similarities and differences in order to be able to sustain human resources. The idea is to embrace all aspects, both negative and positive, in order to produce a more productive worker in a comfortable work environment. Harboring the idea of understanding cultural differences will undoubtedly give way to a better work dynamic. The outcome of this research proves that there are matters and correlations between ethnicities and their impact on the workplace and aims to give policy makers insight on the matter.

Though there is plenty of research on various culture perspectives and dynamics, there is a dearth of information available when it comes to applied psychology and the impact of ethnicities on the well-being of the individuals in the workplace, especially from a Middle East context. It is essential to highlighting important directions for future inquiries at the intersection of feedback and cultural theories as there have been several negative reports from the area. The concerning trend, as it looks on the surface, could very well be impacted by the diverse groups of workers which pour into the Gulf countries. Thus, a look into the possible cultural aspects of the workplace dynamic would be worthwhile as ethnicities have been proven to impact various elements of the equation.

Linking Reality to Academic Necessity

The trend of human resources when it comes to the Kuwaiti population is headed in the wrong direction. In the most recent official report by the government, more than 72% are employed in the public sector and the numbers have been steadily rising since then [1]. As Kuwait continues to fumble when it comes to the sustainability of privatizing the job market, Stois [2] suggests that Kuwait’s workforce demographics trends could very well be influenced by national culture. These potential causes based on cultural traits may give insight on the Kuwaiti people’s partiality for a job in the public sector and the significance of the influence of human performance on the economy. In fact, national culture might bring an answer to this conundrum as suggested by Hofstede [3], well-known for his cultural dimensions research, who highlighted the importance of a society’s culture on the values its members. Based on Hofstede’s research on the matter, the scores for Kuwait could very well explain the Kuwaiti people’s preferences. Many indicators are in line with some of the values found to typify Arab societies traditionally (e.g., collectivism, uncertainly avoidance); but also deviate in some areas (e.g., power distance). Kuwait scored high in the power distance dimension, which indicates that people have a deep respect for the hierarchical system, and that they have no problem with the unequal distribution of power. In short, public sector jobs also accommodate higher salaries, less stressful work often, and shorter working hours, which is why locals see that according to social psychology theories, they have more power.

Judging by the second result that Kuwait obtained for this dimension (individual versus collective), then Kuwait is considered a collective society characterized by dedication, commitment and loyalty towards a certain group loyalty, which may explain some phenomena of "preference" or favoritism in the workplace. Also, according to the results of the third indicator (masculine versus feminine), Kuwait is considered a relatively feminine society, and this reveals a willingness to submit, while standing outside the crowd is considered outside the public road, which the group usually leaves behind. Consequently, the majority of local people in general do not like risks, especially when they are associated with high risks. The fourth indicator relates to avoiding uncertainty about society’s perception of the future, in many cases this indicates job security, and Kuwait’s score for this dimension reveals a tendency to move away from uncertainty. Generally speaking, not only in Kuwait, it appears that getting a job in the public sector is safer than a job in the private sector. Currently, there are no results for the cultural dimensions (longterm orientation, indulgence) included in the Hofstede Social Index.

Over the years, local statistics have shown that the majority of the Kuwaiti population works in the public sector. As the numbers steadily increase, the local authorities have been calling for a multitude of changes to avoid the pitfalls of this development such as empowering the youth and initiating special funds for youth projects. While on a global scale, local numbers are attractive such as a low unemployment rate, there are many implications on the economy. Meanwhile, in Diab-Bahman [4] research, it was found that there were in fact some relevant correlations of ethnicities and team roles yet this school of thought, which evidently implicates the workplace settings, has rarely been taken into consideration. Therefore, it is essential to take into consideration the implications of national culture as they are deep-rooted in the development of the economy.

International Laborers

Moreover, Kuwait, being a small economy with a small native population, cannot survive on its own labor force. Foreign labor helps the country but has some serious consequences. It is claimed that every year hundreds of workers – many young men between 25 and 35 years old-die while working in Qatar, a neighboring Gulf country with similar cultural and demographical dimensions to Kuwait [5]. Qatar’s construction boom created an influx of migrant young workers from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan who travel to the country to build the stadiums, roads and hotels that will service the tournament. While the official reports state a natural cause of death for the majority of cases, an investigation by the Wire [6] corroborates a different story. Reports argue that although the most common cause of death is natural death, causes noted in official records range from blunt trauma to asphyxia and hanging. They further claim that the country has been plagued by allegations of human rights abuse and labor violations for years with international organizations consistently reporting that migrant laborers have been subject to serious exploitation and abuse. According to the US state department, expatriate workers face conditions equivalent to involuntary servitude with some labor violations taking the form of beatings, sexual assault, restrictions on freedom of movement as well as the withholding of salaries [6].


Recent publications

In a popular publication done by Fischer and Issa [7], who conducted a research on dimensions of culture with an Arab student sample, results obtained differ from what the literature suggests. Scores for power distance and uncertainty avoidance were lower than expected, while scores for masculinity and individualism were higher. The researchers even piloted an Arab version of Hofstede’s questionnaire which is updated from the original and more in line with their findings. Moreover there is a growing body of the literature argues the effectiveness of the transformational leadership. Yet, it has recently been reported that cultural background has different impacts on this leadership style and that this may have various levels of impacts and consequences various cultures [8]. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the way leaders and laborers interact, especially in a case where they come from different ethnicities. In terms of team dynamics, a recent paper by Gabelica and Popov [9] contended that research can be advanced by specifying how cultural dimensions may shape individual perception and processing of feedback and team processing of feedback in homogeneous and heterogeneous teams with respect to cultural dimensions. They incorporate the role of culture in team feedback models and discuss how cultural dimensions can have an influence on the perception and processing of feedback and communication. They further provide propositions concerning culturally informed differences in specific feedback responses at individual and team levels, which could be vital for effective communication with workers from different backgrounds.


National culture and ethnicity are clearly an impactful element on the workplace equation. Communication is key in any relationship and identifying obstacles or noise which may complicate matters should be taken into consideration. Therefore, it is advised that more relevant research is carried out on the subject, particularly in countries where a large number of domestic workers are imported from other countries. There are plenty of observations which cluster dimensions of culture into ethnicities, yet there is little consideration as to how this notion unfolds in the workplace. Given the mentioned incidents above, it is crucial that psychological elements of both giving and receiving information are critically considered, including the potentially undetected subconscious understandings and effects of diversity in the workplace. Further research will surely pave the way to more insight and better understanding of possible correlations and causes.


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