Personality in the Workplace Module from SIOP Personality in the Workplace • Personality includes the unique ways people think, act, and behave • Personality tends to be fairly stable over the lifespan, though it can be influenced by situations • Thus, personality is an individual difference variable that could be viewed as important in the workplace Personality Traits in the Workplace • Trait theories are most relevant to work and the workplace – The Big Five, most common – Research on other traits: negative affectivity, curiosity • How do different personality traits become important in the workplace? The Big Five and Job Success • Conscientiousness – Shown to be related to success in most jobs – Also predicts honesty • Extraversion – Related to success in sales jobs – Also related to leadership • Openness to Experience – Related to success in training on the job – And related to success in working overseas • Agreeableness • Neuroticism Other Workplace Issues and Personality Traits • Negative Affectivity – Defined as the tendency to display negative states or view situations negatively – Correlated with reports of job satisfaction (negatively), organizational commitment (negatively), work stress (positively), work-family conflict (positively) • Trait Curiosity – Defined as the desire for new information that influences a person to explore issues and ideas – Predicts information seeking in new hires and the tendency to frame new information positively Class Discussion • How can employers use the research on personality traits to help them find employees who will be successful on the job? • Are there legal implications of using personality testing for employment decisions? • What are some examples when you or others acted in a way that was not consistent with their personality? – What characteristics of the situation might be responsible for this? Further Reading • Barrick, M.R., & Mount, M.K. (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A metaanalysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1-26. • Barrick, M.R., Mount, M.K., & Judge, T.A. (2001). Personality and performance at the beginning of the new millenium: What do we know and where do we go next? International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 9, 9-30. • Harrison, S.H., Sluss, D.M., & Ashforth, B.E. (2011). Curiosity adapted the cat: The role of trait curiosity in newcomer adaptation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 211-220.