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Linking Personality to Helping Behaviors at Work: An Interactional Perspective


  • Eden B. King and Michelle R. Hebl, Department of Psychology, Rice University. Jennifer M. George, Jesse H. Jones School of Management and Department of Psychology, Rice University.
    Portions of this research were presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's annual conference in April 2003.
    We thank the National Association of Women in Construction, the Rice Scholars Program, Sharon Matusik, and David Harvey for their invaluable assistance in the completion of this project.

concerning this article should be addressed to Eden B. King, Department of Psychology, Rice University, 6100 Main Street- MS 205, Houston, TX 77005. E-mail:


Abstract Previous efforts to elucidate dispositional antecedents of organizational citizenship behaviors have yielded equivocal results. The current study presents and tests a theoretical argument for expecting conscientiousness to interact with interpersonal dimensions of personality in predicting helping behaviors. As hypothesized, the responses of 374 women and their supervisors reveal significant interactions between conscientiousness, on the one hand, and agreeableness, extraversion, and emotional stability, on the other, in predicting helping behaviors. Clarifying the relationship between personality and helping, these results suggest that the impact of conscientiousness in a social context depends on a positive interpersonal orientation. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.