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Keywords:

  • personality;
  • trait activation theory;
  • group personality composition;
  • core group evaluations;
  • performance;
  • counterproductive behaviors

Summary

Although most researchers now espouse a person-by-situation interactionist approach, there remains much work to be carried out to fully understand how different features of the environment interact with personality to influence behavior. Thus, this study sought to examine the moderating effects of three group-level constructs on the relationships between two personality traits (conscientiousness and extraversion) and individual performance and counterproductive behaviors. Specifically, using trait activation theory as an organizing framework, we considered the moderating effects of the following: (i) a previously unexamined construct called core group evaluations (CGEs); (ii) group conscientiousness composition; and (iii) group extraversion composition. Data were obtained from a sample of university football players (N = 225–252 from 40 groups). The results indicated that CGEs moderated the relationships between individual conscientiousness and both performance (subjective) and counterproductive behaviors. Group conscientiousness composition also moderated the relationships between individual conscientiousness and both performance (objective and subjective) and counterproductive behaviors. Lastly, group extraversion composition moderated the relationship between individual extraversion and counterproductive behaviors. These findings highlight the importance of considering a team's CGEs, as well as the personality composition of team members when investigating the effects of conscientiousness and extraversion on individual performance and counterproductive behaviors. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.