THE SUBSTANTIVE NATURE OF PERFORMANCE VARIABILITY: PREDICTING INTERINDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN INTRAINDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE

Authors


  • We thank Neal Schmitt and Alexander von Eye for helpful discussions about aspects of this study, and especially Rick DeShon and Lynn McFarland for providing valuable feedback on earlier drafts of this paper. The help from these individuals is greatly appreciated.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Robert Ployhart, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1117; ploy-hart@pilot.msu.edu.

Abstract

The nature of intraindividual performance variability over time, along with individual difference predictors of such variability, was examined using latent growth curve methodology. Quarterly sales performance for a sample of securities analysts (n= 303) was measured at 8 times. Average intraindividual performance approximated a basic “learning” curve, although there were considerable individual differences in each of the latent performance growth parameters. Individual difference predictors from a biodata inventory were moderately related to these latent growth parameters. Theoretical and practical implications of performance variability for personnel selection are also discussed.

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