Do Personality States Predict Momentary Task Performance? The Moderating Role of Personality Variability

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Abstract

We investigated how state neuroticism and state conscientiousness related to
momentary task performance and tested whether these relationships were affected by the extent to which a person varies in his level of state neuroticism/conscientiousness across situations. We hypothesized that state neuroticism relates negatively, while state conscientiousness relates positively to momentary task performance. Moreover, for both personality dimensions, we expected the state personality–momentary task performance relationship to be stronger for employees who behave, feel, and think more consistently
across situations. These hypotheses were tested using a 10-day experience sampling study in a large financial institution. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that state neuroticism related negatively and state conscientiousness positively to momentary task performance. Moreover, the relationship between state conscientiousness and momentary task performance was stronger for people lower in situational within-person conscientiousness variability. From a theoretical point of view, our findings suggest that personality states relate to momentary task performance and that this relationship is stronger for people low in situational within-person variability. From a practical point of
view, they emphasize the importance of taking into account an employee’s state personality levels and the variability herein, in addition to assessing his/her overall trait level of personality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330–351
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume89
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

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