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Personality Configurations in Self-Managed Teams: A Natural Experiment on the Effects of Maximizing and Minimizing Variance in Traits


Stephen E. Humphrey, Department of Management and Organization, The Pennsylvania State University, Smeal College of Business, University Park, PA 16802. E-mail:


In this study, we examined the impact of seeding teams to create maximal and minimal levels of extroversion and conscientiousness variance. Using the theories of complementary and supplementary fit, we make predictions regarding the main and interactive effects of extroversion and conscientiousness variance on performance. Testing our hypotheses in a longitudinal study of MBA teams, our results demonstrate that the combination of minimizing conscientiousness variance (consistent with complementary fit) and maximizing extroversion variance (consistent with supplementary fit) produced the highest levels of short-term and long-term performance.