The goal of this article was to investigate the mechanisms through which personality relates to task performance. We argue that perceptions of work pressure and task complexity trigger momentary levels of neuroticism (i.e., state neuroticism) and that these momentary levels of neuroticism predict momentary task performance. Moreover, we hypothesized that the relationship between momentary job demands and state neuroticism is moderated by trait neuroticism. To test this model, we conducted an event reconstruction study and a day reconstruction study. The results revealed that trait neuroticism indeed moderated the momentary job demands-state neuroticism relationship, and in three out of four cases state neuroticism was found to mediate the relationship between momentary job demands and momentary task performance. From a practical point-of-view our results suggest that employees' task performance can be improved by enhancing the way in which individuals perceive job demands. This strategy would be particularly helpful for individuals for whom the momentary job demands-state neuroticism relationship is the strongest (i.e., employees high in trait neuroticism).
|Journal||European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- Neuroticism; Task performance; Moderated mediation