Locus Of Control Theory


Readings for the week and

A Review of Personality Types and Locus of Control as Moderators of Stress and Conflict Management (Links to an external site.)


After completing the following assessment, do you have an internal or an external locus of control? Provide examples to support your answer. Cite your references as needed.

Locus of Control Personality Assessment, my results were 32 points ( Internal Locus of Control (moderate) )

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2014 1 ISSN 2250-3153

A Review of Personality Types and Locus of Control as

Moderators of Stress and Conflict Management


Lecturer (Prob.), Department of Human Resources, Faculty of Commerce & Management Studies, University of Kelaniya,Kelaniya 11600, Sri Lanka

Abstract- Abstract

Today managing conflicts and stresses in organizations became a

prudent factor for gearing the journey of organizational success.

Due to the fact of inevitability of conflicts and stresses (Gultekin

et al.2011) it is vitalto study the factors which affect the level of

conflicts and stresses since root cause of the conflicts and

stresses are incompatible goals of the individuals (Galtun,

1973).Numerous studies examined the role of personality and its

interaction with situational demands to the perceived stress and

ways of coping with stress (Costa, Somerfield, & McCrae, 1996).

Meanwhile, the studies on work- family conflicts (Greenhaus &

Beutell ,1985) elaborated three dimensions; time-based, strain-

based, and behavior-based conflicts. Locus of Control is a strong

positive correlate of mental strain. Externals tend to report more

negative moods when faced with stressful events. Internals tend

to perceive less stress, and have better coping skills (Arsenault,

Dolan, & Ameringen, 1991). Pilisuk and Montgomery (1993)

found that an external Locus of control was related to a greater

number of stress-related somatic symptoms than an internal

Locus of controller. There, the study examines and develop a

model to elicit how A and B Personality types introduced by

Friedman and Rosenman (1974) and locus of control moderate

stresses and conflicts rendering different theories and models and

the impact of coping strategies with the particular personality


Index Terms- A/B Personality Type, Conflict, Coping, Locus of

Control Stress


he words stresses and conflicts (SaC) are most common in

today’s’ world. With the overloaded work and craves SaC

have been internalized and already harbored. Every human in the

world runs a journey which seemingly endless. There SaC are

envisaged since they cannot kept as secluded apart from the man.

Many numbers of researchers have been researched on types of

stresses and conflicts. And found that incompatible goals are the

root cause of SaC (Galtun, 1973). According to Robbins (2000)

“personality” is a state of psychology which leads to human

emotions and behavior. Lazarus (1993) stated that stresses are

psychological rather than physiological. Yet, there is very little

attention has paid on personality types and its’ influence on

conflicts.Only lately researchers have considered the role of

individual difference variables in the work-family link ( Carlson,

1999; Noor, 2003; Stova, Chiu, & Greenhaus, 2002).The

psychological stress is considered as a part of a larger topic, the

emotions. Through many numbers of theoretical aspects it entails

that stress is an emotion which impacts ones psychology. It is

important to note this study discusses on psychological stress and

not on physiological. Stress defines an unfavorable person-

environmental relationship; its essence is process and change

rather than structure or stasis (Lazarus, 1993) and traditional

approaches to coping had emphasized traits or styles–that is,

stable properties of personality.(Lazarus 1966, 1981; Lazarus &

Folkman 1984; Lazarus &Launier 1978).Further, Lazarus stated

in his study (1993) that the personality variables and those that

characterize the environment come together in the appraisal of

relational meaning. An emotion is aroused not just by an

environmental demand, constraint, or resource but by their

juxtaposition with a person’s motives and beliefs. Hence, this

study focuses on how the A and B personality types introduced

by Friedman and Rosenman (1974) clinging to the locus of

control moderate stresses and conflicts. The early research on

locus of control beliefs conceptualized it as a bipolar, Funi-

dimensional construct (Lefcourt, 1976).

External locus of control was conceptualized as a

generalized belief that outcomes are determined by external

factors, whereas an internal locus of control was conceptualized

as the belief that outcomes are contingent on one’s own responses

(Kim L.S et al ,1996). Fogas and colleagues (1992) found

evidence that locus of control was a partial mediator of the

relations between stressful events and anxiety and depression

problems. These researchers show the relationship between stress

and locus of control and how the locus of control influence on

stresses that will be discussed with the early theoretical findings.

Fogas found that an external locus of control orientation was

significantly related to higher stress and lower achievement

orientation. Higher achievement orientation was positively

related to the use of active coping styles. The review by Cohen

and Edwards (1989) concluded that locus of control is the

personality characteristic that provides the most consistent and

the strongest evidence of stress-moderation.

According to the study of Keinan and Tal (2004) type A

behavior is a coping response to the threat of control loss. The

study revealed that Type As are more inclined to stress than

Type Bs and this study was able to comply with Friedman and

Rosenmans’ study on similar. However, these studies examined

the attributional style of the two types A and B personalities;

internal-external. There, it is apparent the relationship among

stress levels, A and B personality types and the locus of control.

This study further renders the relationship among these factors

and in between conflicts and personality.


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A and B type personality:

Personality, according to (George, 1992), is the enduring

ways a person has of feeling, thinking, and behaving, is the first

determinant of how people think and feel about their jobs or job

satisfaction. Policemen’s personality (like every other person)

influences the extent which thoughts and feelings about a job are

positive or negative. (Afolabi, 2011) There are two personality

types, type A and typeB.Type A/B behavior pattern is a

behavioral trait (Spector &O_Connell, 1994) referring to how

one responds to environmental challenges and threats

(Ivancevich& Matteson, 1984).

Type A individuals respond in ways characterized as

aggressive, achievement oriented, dynamic, hard driving,

assertive, fast paced (in eating, walking, and talking), impatient,

competitive, ambitious, irritated, angry, hostile, and under time

pressures (Cooper, Kirkcaldy, & Brown, 1994; Fried- man, 1967;

Jamal, 1990; Rosenman& Chesney, 1985). Type A personalities

are very hurried, impatient and can be hostile and aggressive.

They are very cynical of the world and are very competitive and

tend to be tense and agitated when it comes to work. They have

poor impulse control and feel that they always need to be active

in all things. When it comes to emotions, they express their anger

with outburst and verbal comments, display strong emotional

reactions, can be unpredictable with emotional inconsistency,

and experience negative emotions.

Type As always watches others and can react in a hostile

manner towards others. They like to have control over everything

so they tend to be team leaders but are difficult to please. Type A

personalities are risk takers, rigid and inflexible, and according to

Irikefe (2006), McShane and Von Glinow (2000) this contributed

to their low level of job satisfaction. Type As develop coronary

heart disease (Friedman, 1967; Schaubroeck, Ganster, &

Kemmerer, 1994) and experience more stressors and strains

(Jamal, 1999; Sharpley, Dua, Reynolds, & Acosta, 1995) than


According to the study of Douglas’s the usefulness of the

Type A personality construct has come under serious

examination as it relates to stress. Many authors suggest that

Type A personality is tooglobal a definition and that there are

specific personality traits of Type A individuals thatare more

related to stress than other traits (Matthews, Glass, Rosenman,

&Bortner, 1977;Matthews, 1988). The hostility and irritability

components of Type A behavior (reflectinganger, and an

obsession with time) have been most often linked to stress-

related illnesses.Pred, Spence, &Helmreich (1987) found that

impatience and irritability, but not achievement strivings, were

positively correlated with somatic self-complaints. They argue

that it is highly unlikely that the same components of the Type A

behavior pattern are responsible for both vocational excellence

and stress-related health problems. Additional studies (Bluer,

1990; Matthews, 1988; Robbins, et al., 1991) show that certain

Type A traits like anger, impatience, and irritability are more

likely to lead to stress-related health problems than achievement


On the other hand, Type Bs are open to criticism and they try

to make others feel accepted and at ease and so they are more

satisfied with their jobs. When they are angry, they use humour

subtly to make their point, but they are angry about the issue not

the person. They can be more accepting of emotions and tend to

go with the mood at the moment. They are supportive of others

and are more likely to express positive feelings and be more

satisfied with their jobs (Kirkcaldy et al., 2002). Type B

individuals are casual, easygoing, and never in a rush to get

things done (Bortner, 1969).

People’s values, attitudes, abilities, and emotion vary. This is

probably because of the differences in personality. Personality is

defined as the combination of stable physical and mental

characteristics that gives the individual his or her uniqueness.

These characteristics or traits, including how one looks, acts, and

feels are the products of interacting genetic and environmental

influences. (Afolabi, 2011)

Type A is one of the few personality characteristics that has

been previously studied in relation to WFC. Individuals who

exhibit Type A behavior are characterized as being ambitious,

competitive, impatient, and aggressive or hostile. Individuals

lacking these characteristics are relaxed and patient, and are

referred to as Type B (Spence, Helmreich, &Pred, 1987). Type A

individuals experience a keen sense of time urgency, are more

likely to be involved in conflict with coworkers, more overloaded

at work, and more likely to be overcommitted than Type B

individuals (Baron, 1989; Jamal & Baba, 1991; Strube,

1991).According to the study of Bruck et al…Type A behavior

would be more likely to relate to WFC than would the

achievement striving dimension.


Internal–external LOC refers to an individuals beliefs that

she or he has control over events (Phares, 1968; Ritchie &Phares,

1969; Rotter, 1975; Terborg, 1985). Internals generally believe

they are primarily responsible for and in control of what happens

to them; externals generally believe mainly other people or

forces beyond themselves determine major events in their lives.

Previous research (e.g., Harari, Jones, &Sek, 1988; Kirkcaldy &

Cooper, 1992; Spector & O_Connell, 1994) showed that internals

tended to report more stressors and strains than internals.

The single personality characteristic acting as a stress-

mediator to which stress researchers have paid the most attention

is locus of control (Kobassa, 1993). Control is expressed as a

tendency to feel and act as if one is influential (rather than

helpless).Individuals with an internal LC believe their

reinforcements are contingent on their own behavior, capacities,

and attributes. External LC individuals believe their

reinforcements are under the control of powerful others, luck, or

fate (Rotter, 1966). Internal LC individuals possess a pervasive,

enduring feeling of confidence that one’s internal and external

environments are predictable and that there is a high probability

that all things will work out as well as can be expected dependent

on their own efforts (Kobassa, &Puccetti, 1983 ). This implies

the perception of oneself as having a definite influence on life

events through the exercise of imagination, skill, knowledge, and

choice. Internal LC individuals also tend to have higher

achievement motivation, be more purposeful and goal-directed,

be more extroverted, sociable, active, and less neurotic and

dogmatic than externals (Ormel, & Schaufeli, 1991). LC is a

strong positive correlate of mental strain. Externals tend to report

more negative moods when faced with stressful events. Internals

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tend to perceive less stress, and have better coping skills

(Arsenault, Dolan, &Ameringen, 1991).


Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) defined WFC as occurring

when an individual_s efforts to fulfill roles at work interfere with

efforts to fulfill roles outside of work and vice versa. Greenhaus

and Beutell identified three dimensions of WFC: time-based,

strain-based, and behavior-based conflict. Time-based conflict

occurs when time spent on activities in one role impede the

fulfillment of responsibilities in another role. Strain-based

conflict occurs when pressures from one role interfere with

fulfilling the requirements of another role. The source of these

pressures can arise from either the work (Jones & Butler, 1980)

or the family domain ( Chadwick, Albrecht,& Kunz, 1976;

Eiswirth-Neems&Handal, 1978; Holahan& Gilbert, 1979).Lastly,

behavior-based conflict occurs when behaviors performed in one

role are difficultto adjust to be compatible with behavior patterns

in another role. As underscored by the dimensions of WFC,

conflict can originate in the workplace and interfere with the

family (WIF conflict), or conflict can originate in the family and

interfere with work (FIW conflict). Thus, the nature of WFC is

that it is bidirectional and that it consists of time-based, strain-

based, and behavior-based conflict.

Work–family conflict (WFC) has become a growing topic of

interest among researchers due to its implications for both

organizations and employees (Allen, Herst, Bruck, & Sutton,

2000). The majority of WFC research to date has focused on the

consequences of WFC, and two recent reviews have identified

multiple work-related, non work-related, and stress-related

outcomes associated with WFC (Allen et al., 2000;

Kossek&Ozeki, 1998).

The dominant theoretical approach has been based on role

theory (Kahn,Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964) and the

examination of role variables such as role conflict, role

ambiguity, and role overload (Aryee, 1992; Bacharach,

Bamberger, & Conley, 1991). Another area of focus has been on

demographic factors such as gender, marital status, and number

of children (Greenhaus, Collins, Singh, &Parasuraman, 1997),

and number of hours worked per week (Burke, Weir, &DuWors,

1980). Although these studies have provided significant insights

into the causes of WFC, the address of personality factors on

WFC is less. Bruck et al…’s study was to further investigate

correlates of WFC through an examination of the relationships

between dispositional or personality variables and WFC.

Specifically, Type A behavior and negative affectivity are the

only two dispositional variables that have garnered research

attention in relation to WFC (Burke, 1988;Carlson, 1999; Frone,

Stoeva et al., 1992).


The process of coping is a stabilizing factor that helps

individuals maintain psychosocial adaptation during stressful

episodes (Holahan, & Moos, 1987). This process is complex but

it is directed toward moderating the impact of life events on

individual’s physical, and social functions (Billings, & Moos,


Coping with stressful events is viewed as a dynamic process

consisting of the environmental Stressors (i.e. demands,

constraints), a cognitive appraisal process, levels of stress

experienced psycho-physiologically/behaviorally, and coping

responses, behaviors, or styles (Lalack, 1986). The bulk of this

discussion will deal with the appraisal process and work done on

coping responses, behaviors, or styles.

Folkman and Lazarus (1984, 1985, 1988) developed the

cognitive theory of psychological stress and coping. It views the

process as transactional in that the person and the environment

are in a dynamic, mutually reciprocal, relationship. In order for

individuals to experience stress, they first must appraise the

situation as threatening or challenging. Cognitive appraisal is the

process whereby the person evaluates whether an encounter with

the environment is relevant lo his or her well-being, and in what

way (Folkman, Lazarus, Gruen, &DeLongis, 1986). The process

of appraisal actively negotiates between the demands of the

environment and the goals and beliefs of the individual.

Appraisal consists of both primary and secondary appraisal.

In primary appraisal, the individual evaluates whether he/she has

anything at stake in an encounter with the environment. It is the

interpretation of the situation, rather than some objective quality

of the situation, that determines its stressfulness to the individual.

Secondary appraisal is the process of thinking of responses to a

situation deemed threatening or challenging. It involves

judgments regarding available options. Various coping options

are evaluated for their worth and chance of success in a particular


Appraisal is affected by both situation and person factors.

One of the main points made by Folkman and Lazarus (1984)

though, is that one’s beliefs about one’s mastery over the

environment may have significant effects on threat or challenge

appraisals. LC is related to beliefs about mastery of the

environment and is thought to affect the appraisal process and

influence the coping responses made. This will be discussed in

more detail later, but generally internal LC individuals are less

likely to report being threatened by a Stressor and more

accepting of Stressors deemed unchangeable (Vitaliano, Russo,

&Maiuro, 1987).

Internal LC individuals tend to have better coping skills than

externals (Arsenault, et al., 1991). They tend to use more

instrumental strategies and engage in less task-irrelevant self-

preoccupation (Solomon, 1988). As Pinwall and Taylor (1992)

believe that an internal LC leads people to adopt active coping

strategies by contributing to a sense of self confidence needed to

confront problems directly. The trait approach to coping (Bolger,

1990; Holahan, & Moos, 1986) assumes that coping responses

are a property of the person and are influenced by biology,

personality, learning, and socialization. In the trait approach,

coping responses are referred to as coping styles- any pattern of

coping behavior which an individual exhibits over the longer-

term, resulting either from the way the individual tends to

appraise events, or from semi-habitual behavior (Newton, &

Keenan, 1990). These long-term coping styles may exist

relatively independently of the environment, and they might also

be conditioned through learning the relative efficacy of different

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coping responses. This definition of coping styles acknowledges

that people may have a tendency to cope in a certain way over

time. This coping style may result because the person tends to

appraise events in a certain way, because they have a tendency to

behave in a certain way, or the coping style may be a product of

existence in a certain type of environment (e.g. very high demand


In the trait approach to coping, people do not approach each

coping context anew, but bring a preferred set of coping

strategies that remains relatively fixed across time and

circumstances. Certain personality dispositions in fact, such as

internal LC, constructive thinking, self-confidence, learned

resourcefulness, self-efficacy, optimism, a desire for mastery,

and hardiness all appear related to certain coping styles (Lazarus,

1993) that will be discussed later. These facets of personality

affect a variety of factors in the coping situation to include range

of coping responses considered, interpretation of the stressful

event, and effort expended on coping.

Even Folkman and Lazarus (the major proponents of the

process approach to coping) admit that there are relatively stable

coping styles and that to understand stress, we must consider

individual differences in motivational and cognitive variables

which intervene between the Stressor and the reaction (Lazarus,

1993). Buntrock and Reddy (1992) provide further argument for

studying coping styles. Even though appraisal can change

throughout a stressful encounter as a result of the bidirectional

influence of the person and the environment, and the

environment/situation is important to consider in understanding

the coping process, focusing on change does not preclude

investigating the influence of personality traits on the coping

process. They argue that looking at only one specific stressful

encounter makes it difficult to determine whether or not a coping

strategy is effective. A single coping strategy may be effective in

only some domains.( Douglas, 1995)


Robbins et al. (1991) found that stress-related problems

correlated only with negative affect characteristics- low self-

esteem, pervasive dissatisfaction, disgust, anger, irritability,

hostility, and guilt, but not achievement strivings. The hostility

and irritability components of Type A behavior (reflecting anger,

and an obsession with time) have been most often linked to

stress-related illnesses. Pred, Spence, &Helmreich (1987) found

that impatience and irritability, but not achievement strivings,

were positively correlated with somatic self-complaints.

As per the theoretical aspect on locus of control Internal LC

individuals possess a pervasive, enduring feeling of confidence

that one’s internal and external environments are predictable and

that there is a high probability that all things will work out as

well as can be expected dependent on their own efforts (Kobassa,

&Puccetti, 1983 ). Internal LC individuals also tend to have

higher achievement motivation, be more purposeful and goal-

directed, be more extroverted, sociable, active, and less neurotic

and dogmatic than externals (Ormel, &Schaufeli, 1991).

LC is a strong positive correlate of mental strain. Externals

tend to report more negative moods when faced with stressful

events. Internals tend to perceive less stress, and have better

coping skills (Arsenault, Dolan, &Ameringen, 1991).

These studies elaborate the relationship between A Type

personality characteristics and the external locus of controllers’

behavioral characteristics are most frequently common. And the

relationship between internal locus of control and B type

personality; external locus of control and A type personality is

inevitable. Yet, it is proven Locus of control and A/B type

personalities are combined and they act simultaneously for a

given external situation.


Little attention has been paid to the effects of personality

factors on work-family conflict. Only lately have researchers

considered the role of individual difference variables in the

work-family link ( Carlson, 1999; Noor, 2003). The study by

Carlson (1999) showed that Type A and negative affectivity

(NA) explained for significant additional variance beyond those

attributed by the role variables (role ambiguity and role conflict)

in the work and family domains. In addition, Stova et al. (2002)

examined the mechanisms by which NA influenced work-family

conflict and found that NA played both mediator and moderator

roles in the relationship between role stress (job stress and family

stress) and work-family conflict. The study by Noor (2002) used

another personality variable that of locus of control, in the

relationship between work-family conflict and well-being to

examine the different pathways control can impact upon well-

being. However, in this case, work-family conflict was

considered as the antecedent, rather than the outcome variable.

Locus of control, the generalized belief on the part of the

individual concerning the extent to which outcomes are

determined by internal factors (such as personal effort and

ability) as opposed to external ones (such as fate, chance or

powerful others), is chosen as the personality variable of interest

in this study. Past studies in the areas of both work and general

life stresses have indicated the beneficial effect of internal

control beliefs on well-being (Frese, 1989). Following from this

reasoning, a sense of control should be associated with less

work-family conflict. While control is a personality trait, it may

also reflect the degree to which individuals actually does have

control over the environment.

An individual learns through social interaction and personal

experiences whether his/her actions and efforts affect outcomes

or not. In addition, locus of control has been shown to moderate

the relationship between stress and mental health outcomes

(Parkes, 1994). The review by Cohen and Edwards (1989)

concluded that locus of control is the personality characteristic

that provides the most consistent and the strongest evidence of

stress-moderation. In this case, external control was found to act

as a vulnerability factor. Having supportive workplace policies

offers workers the opportunities to exercise initiative and

independent judgment, giving them a sense of autonomy and

control within the workplace. A sense of control originating

within the workplace may promote feelings of efficacy and

effectiveness in coping with the environment leading to less

work-family conflict being experienced.

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Evidence has accumulated indicating that various personality

characteristics, such as locus of control and optimism, are related

to how people cope with stress (Lefcourt, 1980). For example, an

optimistic orientation has been associated with increased

problem-solving efforts (Scheier& carver, 1987), especially in

controllable situations (Scheier et al., 1986). Also, intemal locus

of control beliefs have been found to be associated with

increased problem-focused coping or more adaptive coping

(Anderson, l97l; Parkes, 1984).

The cognitive-relational theory of stress (Lazarus

&Folkman, 1984) postulates that the effects of personality on

coping are mediated by cognitive appraisal. More specifically,

secondary appraisal (Lazarus, 1966;Lazarus&Launier, 1978) has

been hypothesized as playing an important mediating role. A

major function of secondary appraisal is to determine what can

be done about a stressful event, or whether it is controllable

(Wong & Weiner, 1981).Control appraisals assess whether

personal coping resources are capable of meeting situational

demands (Folkman, 1984).


A positive association between appraisal of the situation as

controllable (changeable) and problem-focused coping has been

reported in several studies (Bachrach&Zautra, 1985; Folkman&

Lazarus, 1980; Folkman, Lazatts, Dunkel-Schetter) .However,

Forsythe and Compas (1981) found that perceived control of an

event was associated with problem-focused coping for major life

events but not for daily problems. Furthermore, conflicting

results have been obtained concerning the relation between

control appraisals and other types of coping (e.g. Folkman&

Lazarus, 1985; Stone & Neale, 1984).

Coping schemas represent generalized knowledge about

which coping strategies are effective in common stressful

situations. The objective of coping schemas is to reduce stress

and resolve problems. When a person is faced with a stressful

situation, coping schemas determine the specific coping

strategies to be utilized. The selection of coping strategies is

based on accumulated knowledge of the characteristics of

situations, coping responses available, and the effectiveness of

these coping strategies for different situations. Each coping

schema is a fuzzy category of the coping strategies most effective

for a given type of situation. Therefore, once a coping schema is

activated, the coping strategies most representative of the schema

or most typically effective will be selected (Peacock, 1996).

Reker& Wong (1984b) proposed a two dimensional view of

optimism: people’s expectation of positive outcomes can be

based on either confidence in one’s own efficacy or an

expectation of good forlune. Both internally based optimism (e.g.

perceived self-efficacy) and extremely based optimism (e.g.

belief in good luck) may contribute to the expectation of positive

outcomes (Marshall & Lang, 1990; Reker& Wong, 1984)

According to the congruence model introduced by Peacock,

Wong, &Reker in 1993, locus of control beliefs and optimism

affect coping primarily through their impact on control

appraisals. For example,a person with strong internal control

beliefs is more likely to view a stressful situation as personally

controllable and this appraisal will result in increased problem-

focused coping efforts. (Peacock & Wong, 1996) This renders

that the internal locus of controllers are more likely to cope up

with stresses and conflicts in a positive way while they are

emotionally controllable. Similarly, an optimistic individual, who

expects positive outcomes, is also likely to view a problem as

manageable and consequently engage in more problem-focused


Much research shows the relation between LC and stress.

Antonovsky (1979) proposed the construct of stress-resistance

resources (a combination of internal locus of control and a

supportive social network) as the most beneficial moderator of

stress. Pilisuk and Montgomery (1993) feel that LC may be the

central psychosocial variable in resistance to stress-related

illness. They found that an external LC was related to a greater

number of stress-related somatic symptoms than an internal LC,

and that LC was a reliable predictor of stress-related physical

symptoms. These authors believe that one’s sense of control may

affect the types of coping strategies used and this is the link

between LC and stress. LC orientation may influence reactions to

Stressors through use of specific types of coping strategies.


The literature elaborate A and B personality type and locus

of control are glued combined factors. And these psychological

states rise simultaneously in a particular external situation.

Therefore, the researcher discusses LC and A/B personality type

as a combined factor in the paper. Further, deriving personality

characteristics from LC behavioral characteristics the researcher

discusses the relationship between LC and stress; personality and

stress; WFC and LC and how coping strategies balance all the

factors. Most of the authors developed models and discussed

theories on how conflicts and which type of conflicts lead to

stress and which type of stressors. Here, the researcher by

reviewing different authors’ findings derived a model in order to

elicit the relationship between stress and conflicts. And how

stress leads to conflicts and how personality factors affect on

each variable. The model renders that the stress cause for

conflicts and conflicts cause for stress in vice-versa. Further, the

researcher has studied a moderating variable for stress and

conflicts;which is A and B type personality factor combing with

Locus of control. Therefore, it is considered both LC and A and

B personality factors as moderating variables. And the literature

proves all variables are influenced by the coping strategies of the


According to the social learning theory personality types can

be changed with the life experiences and exposes. Hence, when a

person gets stress and it moderates by the personality combining

LC he is the person who lets that stress in to a conflict or not. It

is vital to study individual differences and make an environment

where people do not expose to a conflicting climate. Especially,

organizations which take their transformation in to a learning

organization should recognize the individual differences since

the organization itself can create a place where people do not

engage in conflicts by changing their surroundings. And the

social learning theory is a rational and vital practice to study in

doing the change in people by changing their personalities.

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The researcher has elaborated the relationship between

stress and conflicts via getting a combined moderating variable

(A and B type personality and LC). Thus, the paper presents the

vitality of managing personality characteristics in order to

prevent potential conflicts and unnecessary illnesses due to

stresses. According to the reviewed literature and through a

thorough study of relationships of each variable the researcher

develops a model to exhibit the relationship between each

variable and how stress leads to conflicts via personalities and

coping. The model renders that a person who can manage his

emotions can control his own stresses while coping in a positive

way. Either he would be able to cope-up or tolerate the external

cause since stresses are psychological rather physiological

according to the literature. Cope –up controls the human

psychology towards an external stimulus or stimuli. Thus, there

are many ways of balancing A and B type personality traits and

locus of control situations rather sticking to extremes. According

to Rotter none of the personality types or type of the Locus of

control is not right or wrong. They are only psychological states.

The needed factor is maintaining a balanced behavior rather

expecting too much, being over estimated or being depend on

fate, being too much easy going. That is known to be stress

management and conflict management. Regardless the occasion,

situation or on a time knowing the root cause for conflicts and

stresses gives a countless value since it leads to inner peace.

Whenever, a person is internally peaceful, calm and self well-

behaved the external stimuli cannot make a sabotage to the inner

peace or to the psychology of the particular. There, it leads to

reduced stressors and conflicts in organizations, families, in

relationships and within the person. The paper presents the model

to emphasize the vitality of knowing the root cause of these

stresses and conflicts for the management of the root causes by

developing coping strategies. These strategies can be either

problem focused or emotion focused. Taking decisions are

sudden and unexpected. Yet, it determines by the personality and

the locus of control simultaneously. Practice makes everyone

better. Therefore, practice of balancing these moderating factors


Locus of


A & B

Personality Type



International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2014 7

ISSN 2250-3153

would be much important rather moving to take any action in

order to prevent stresses or conflicts. Because it is always

advisable that “prevention is better than cure”.


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First Author – R.K.N.D.Darshani, Lecturer (Prob.), Department

of Human Resources, Faculty of Commerce & Management

Studies, University of Kelaniya,Kelaniya 11600, Sri Lanka,

Mobile; +94784808383, Email:

Score Interpretation

Score Comment

22-25 Internal Locus of Control (strong)

26-33 Internal Locus of Control (moderate)

34-44 External Locus of Control

Note: This assessment has not been validated and is intended for illustrative purposes only. It is patterned after the Locus of Control Scale developed and presented in Rotter, J.B. (1966), “Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement,” Psychological Monographs, 80 (Whole No. 609).

Internal Locus of Control (strong)

If you have a strong internal locus of control, you will likely feel that you’re in full control of the events in your life. You are self-motivated and focused on achieving the goals you have set for yourself. For these reasons, people with a strong internal locus of control often make good leaders.

However, there is a potential downside to having a very strong internal locus of control. Your powerful self-belief may mean that you find it difficult to take direction, so be careful to avoid seeming arrogant or “walking over” other people in pursuit of your objectives. And be sure to manage risks properly – random events do occur for all sorts of reasons.

A very strong internal drive may lead you to believe that you can control everything, and if your plans don’t work out you may feel responsible for their failure – even when events were genuinely beyond your control. This can lead to frustration, anxiety and, in extreme cases, stress or depression.

Internal Locus of Control (moderate)

You likely see your future as being in your own hands. As a result, you engage in activities that will improve your situation: you work hard to develop your knowledge, skills and abilities, and you take note of information that you can use to create positive outcomes.

However, few people have a wholly internal or external locus of control: most of us fall somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum. Your locus of control may vary in different situations – at work and at home, for example – and it may change over time. People often tend toward a more internal locus of control as they grow older and their ability to influence the events in their lives increases.

Having a moderate, rather than strong, internal locus of control may make you more able to accept situations that you can’t influence, and to manage them effectively when they arise.

External Locus of Control

If you have an external locus of control, you likely believe that what happens to you is the result of luck or fate, or is determined by people in authority. You may tend to give up when life doesn’t “go your way,” because you don’t feel that you have the power to change it.

To overcome this, pay attention to your self-talk . When you hear yourself saying things like “I have no choice,” or “There’s nothing I can do,” step back and remind yourself that you can always make choices. Set goals for yourself and note how you are making positive changes in your life by working toward and achieving these goals. You’ll find that your self-confidence quickly builds.

You may find it useful to develop your decision making and problem-solving skills. These tools can enable you to take greater ownership of situations, rather than blaming circumstances or forces “beyond your control” when things go wrong.

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