Personality and Job Performance: Using Innovative Techniques to Improve Predictive Validities

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Personality is important to job performance. Yet while meta-analyses have repeatedly shown that self-rated personality traits can significantly predict overall job performance, the actual amount of variance explained is low. Improvements in predictive validities have been found by employing innovative techniques such as utilizing: narrow measures (facets) or observer-ratings of personality; situational specificity; or narrow measures of job performance. Furthermore, most practitioners are interested in specific traits that are predictive of specific jobs, yet very little scholarly research has explored outcomes based on the narrow job requirements regularly utilized by practitioners.

We combined these suggestions and explored observer-ratings of narrow personality facets predicting narrow measures of job performance. This large-scale study started by developing an inventory for work-personality facets. Findings suggest that at least 51 personality facets can describe work-personality. We then examined the correlations of 51 facets based on observer-ratings, with 9 job performance outcomes. Integrity, leadership, self-discipline and empathy showed the highest correlations across multiple outcomes. Lastly, we selected a few facets as predictors of each outcome, and found that combining two or three facets can explain up to 30% of the variance in narrow job performance measures. Implications for theory and future research directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2019
Event79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management

- Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019
Conference number: 79th


Conference79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Personality
  • Job Performance
  • Other-ratings
  • Facets


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