A contextualized study on the effect of personality on performance

Onderzoeksoutput: Other scientific journal contribution

Samenvatting

Personality has proven to be a predictor of performance, but the effect sizes found between both concepts are always small to moderate at best (Barrick & Mount, 1991). These findings led some researchers to prefer just abandoning the use of personality assessment tools in selection of future employees (Morgeson et al., 2007). We are however convinced that these weak relationships are due to our limited knowledge about the way in which personality affects performance. If we can better grasp how personality and performance are related we can develop better tools assessing the relationship between them. This in turn will lead to better hiring decisions, resulting in a better use of (human) resources and less personnel turnover. To arrive at the understanding of how personality and performance are related we will address three strategic goals:

* Identify task or job characteristics that interact with personality. If we want to improve our understanding of the personality-performance relationship we should acknowledge that both the person and the situation play a key role in the coming about of behavior, and hence performance. In doing so, we need to identify which task characteristics play an important role in the personality-performance relationship.

* Study the nature of the relationship between personality and performance. More and more evidence points in the direction of non-linear relationships between personality and performance (Le et al., 2011). For a good understanding of the personality-performance link we first need to distinguish which type of relationship exists between personality and performance before studying the predictive value between them.

* Study the effect of personality on task performance, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and counterproductive work behavior (CWB). While most research focusses on task performance, recently researchers argued that performance also entails other forms of performance, such as OCB and CWB (Rotundo & Sackett, 2002). Effects of personality on these two, other, types of performance are much rarer, but serve as a large avenue for (further) research.

Currently conscientiousness and neuroticism have proven to be the best predictors of performance (see Judge, Klinger, Simon, & Yang, 2008), which led us to focus on these personality dimensions in particular. As regards to task characteristics we focus on four different task characteristics: work pressure, task complexity, goal orientation and task proficiency. These characteristics have shown to influence personality in previous research (Debusscher & Hofmans, working paper).

This reconceptualization of personality and the personality-performance relationship has a major practical implication as well. Whereas current personality assessment tools still primarily rely on traits which generate a very superficial image of a person her/his personality, the reconceptualization suggested in this project will lead to a more fine-grained personality assessment (tool) which, according to us, will allow for better prediction of performance.
Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftUnknown Journal
StatusPublished - 2013

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