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Keywords:

  • job performance;
  • personality;
  • work roles;
  • proactivity;
  • adaptivity

Abstract

This research examined the prediction of the form and direction of work role performance from the Big 5 model of personality traits. Nine dimensions of work role performance are created by cross-classifying the form of work role behavior (proficient, adaptive, and proactive) with the level at which that behavior contributes to effectiveness (individual, team, and organizational). The authors collected self-report measurements of personality from 1447 government employees and supervisor ratings of performance. Openness to experience and agreeableness had opposing effects on individual proactivity – openness was positively related, whereas agreeableness was negatively related to this dimension. Openness to experience also had opposing effects on the form of work role performance – it was positively related to individual and organizational proactivity but negatively related to team and organizational proficiency. Conscientiousness was a stronger predictor of individual task proficiency than the remaining eight dimensions, whereas the reverse was true for neuroticism. Extraversion was negatively related to individual proficiency. Using a broad taxonomy of performance that incorporates a theoretical framework for distinguishing between constructs shows promise for identifying which personality traits are important for which aspects of work role performance. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.