Short research note
Multitasking: Do preference and ability interact to predict performance at work?
Article first published online: 19 JUN 2013
© 2013 The British Psychological Society
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume 86, Issue 4, pages 556–563, December 2013
How to Cite
Sanderson, K. R., Bruk-Lee, V., Viswesvaran, C., Gutierrez, S. and Kantrowitz, T. (2013), Multitasking: Do preference and ability interact to predict performance at work?. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 86: 556–563. doi: 10.1111/joop.12025
- Issue published online: 3 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 19 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 9 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 24 FEB 2012
This study examined the moderating role of polychronicity, the preference for multitasking, on the relationship between multitasking ability and performance. The results support the importance of fit in understanding the interaction between preference for and ability to multitask. The relationship between multitasking ability and an overall performance composite was stronger for individuals higher in polychronicity. For employees low in polychronicity, having the ability to multitask did not translate into meaningful performance differences.
- Overall job performance is optimal for employees with both the ability to multitask and the preference for doing so.
- The relationship between multitasking ability and overall job performance is negligible for monochronic employees.