Within industrial-organizational psychology there exists a voluminous literature linking big five personality traits (i.e., emotional stability, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) with work criteria, demonstrating that personality is a consistent predictor of work outcomes of interest. However, the existing research literature has generally utilized a variable-oriented perspective, looking at relationships among variables, with much less research employing a person-oriented perspective, examining configurations of personality traits within an individual. As a complement to the existing variable-oriented research, the present study utilizes a new criterion-related profile pattern technique developed by Davison and Davenport (2002) to examine the relationship between big five personality configurations or profiles and job performance (i.e., task performance, organizational citizenship behaviors, counterproductive work behaviors) in Study 1 and leadership (i.e., evaluations of performance, promotion potential, and derailment potential) in Study 2. Overall the present results show that the relative contribution of personality level and personality profile mostly cross-validated within a given sample, but there also appeared to be variability in both the form and contribution of the personality profile across samples. Generally, personality level (i.e., mean elevation across big five traits) was consistently related to the work criteria examined across samples. Future research directions regarding the utility of configural methods, sources of variation regarding profile and level effects, substantive meaning of personality level effects, and the usefulness of a configurally-based approach to employee selection are proposed and discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2011. Major: Psychology. Advisor: Dr. Paul Sackett. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 253 pages, appendices A-B.
The application of a person-oriented criterion-related configural approach to the relationship between personality traits and work behaviors.
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