Research on the effects of within-person personality variability has mainly focused on the consequences for subjective well-being. Drawing on a resource-based approach, we extend this field to the work domain, expecting that since deviating from one’s average trait level is resource intensive, it should relate negatively to behaviors that require the investment of additional resources, such as organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), while it should relate positively to behaviors that replenish one’s resources, such as counterproductive work behavior. Using two personality dimensions that are predictive for work-performance (conscientiousness and core self-evaluations), and a new variability index that is not confounded by the mean, we find an effect of personality variability on negative performance outcomes (counterproductive work behavior), while no relation is found with positive forms of extra-role performance (organizational citizenship behavior). These results were replicated across three separate experience sampling studies, confirming that, while within-person personality variability is related to performance, those relationships are relatively weak and they do not hold for every performance facet.
- relative variability index
- within-person personality variability