Linking personality to interpersonal citizenship behaviour: The moderating effect of empathy

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Shannon G. Taylor, Rucks Department of Management, Louisiana State University, 3152A Patrick Taylor Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA (e-mail: stayl31@lsu.edu).

Abstract

To account for generally low direct relationships between Big-Five personality traits and interpersonal citizenship behaviour (ICB), researchers have suggested that Big-Five traits are associated with such helping-related behaviour in interactive rather than direct fashion. This study investigated empathy as a potential moderator of Big-Five trait – ICB relations. Hypotheses were tested with data obtained from employees of a youth treatment facility and their supervisors. Results provided evidence that empathy interacts with three Big-Five personality traits, suggesting traits functioning at conceptually different hierarchical levels may jointly explain specific behaviours. Empathy could play an important role in understanding connections between these Big-Five traits and ICB.

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