MARS model is based on four factors affecting a person in their behavior and performance. These four factors are motivation, ability, role perceptions, and situational factors (McShane & Glinow, 2014). If one of these factors is not on a sufficient level, the performance given out by an individual will be low. Therefore, regarding the case, Jack shall analyze all these aspects in Max, giving him related questions to find the information required, or if he has enough data to answer these questions about Max, he can assess these on his own. If he decides to ask Max, the questions must relate to the factors. How motivated Max is, does he have the skills to complete the tasks related to the initiative, how well he understands his duties, and if he has appropriate conditions to perform well in that task.
The Five Factors Model is a model that tries to organize all traits of a personality into five factors. These factors are conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness to experience (Widiger et al., 2018). High scores on these factors can have positive effects on performance, yet Neuroticism is decreasing it as the values on the score go up. In this specific case, it seems like the most important factors to clarify are conscientiousness and extraversion, as a person has to be organized to lead the project and communicative, as the prevalent part of planning it will be dedicated to interacting with employees. Nevertheless, it would be easier for Jack to assess this by observing Max and reflecting on the experience of communicating with him. This must suffice to evaluate the necessary factors for the project that Jack suggests. If Jack finds Max extraversive and conscious enough in terms provided by the theory, he can be confident that Max will be capable of conducting the project.
Attribution theory is based on assessing the causes of an individual’s behavior and attributing it to external or internal factors. External factors may be defined as the environment, whereas internal factors are related to the personality of an individual (Spitzberg & Manusov, 2021). They are affected by consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus. Therefore, Jack should address these factors regarding the situation. Yet, the most important one would be consistency, as it would allow to analyze the motives for Max to lead this project. Accordingly, Jack should ask himself if Max’s motives in the past were related to self-promotion and if he was consistent with it. If the answer is positive, it would be correct to suggest that there is a high possibility that Max seeks his own benefits in this case as well. If the answer is negative, it would mean the opposite.
The dialogue should address Jack’s concerns directly, as he could possibly gather useful information from Max’s answers.
J: What are your motives for working on this project?
M: I believe that we, as members of our organization, must be interested in making our employees as satisfied as possible at their workplace.
J: How are you going to manage the team working on the project?
M: I will try to listen to everyone’s advice and make decisions based on collective discussions and data collected from the employees about their wishes and complaints. (If Max’s values and style of management are mutual with Jack’s, this will mean that this issue has been addressed and the consensus was found)
J: Do you have the necessary skills and experience to work on this project? (Addressing the Ability factor from MARS)
M: Yes, I have previously led a couple of similar projects regarding employee satisfaction, and they were successful. In terms of skills, I know how to collect data using surveys and how to manage a team of specialists properly to achieve the best result possible.
J: Alright, I think that I will participate in the project and do my best to help achieve this goal.
McShane, S. & Glinow, M.A.V. (2014). Organizational behavior. McGraw-Hill Education.
Spitzberg, B. H., & Manusov, V. (2021). Attribution theory: Finding good cause in the search for theory. In D.O. Braithwaite & P. Schrodt (Eds.), Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication (pp. 39-51). Routledge.
Widiger, T. A., Crego, C., Rojas, S. L., & Oltmanns, J. R. (2018). Basic personality model. Current Opinion in Psychology, 21, 18-22.