How does personality relate to contextual performance, turnover, and customer service?

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Personality measures are often used by organizations to select and develop employees in a way that maximizes their performance. Studies examining the relationship between personality and job performance have found some evidence for their utility in a variety of situations. Data was collected from a large restaurant company (N=9,800) in which hourly employees took a personality test for selection. Supervisory performance ratings and turnover data were also included for some employees. A three factor model of contextual performance consisting of personal support, organizational support, and conscientiousness initiative was tested and supported. The personality scales with the strongest relationship to performance, ... continued below

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Impelman, Kevin December 2007.

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  • Impelman, Kevin

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Personality measures are often used by organizations to select and develop employees in a way that maximizes their performance. Studies examining the relationship between personality and job performance have found some evidence for their utility in a variety of situations. Data was collected from a large restaurant company (N=9,800) in which hourly employees took a personality test for selection. Supervisory performance ratings and turnover data were also included for some employees. A three factor model of contextual performance consisting of personal support, organizational support, and conscientiousness initiative was tested and supported. The personality scales with the strongest relationship to performance, included drive and energy, friendliness, and emotional consistency. Effect sizes were relatively similar to previous meta-analytic studies, with the exception of a facet of conscientiousness which revealed a lower correlation with performance than expected. A differential pattern of correlations between the personality scales and performance dimensions was observed that supported some of the theoretically aligned constructs. The correlations between the personality variables and performance were unexpectedly higher among customer facing employees than team-based employees. No hypothesized interaction effects were supported, but some nonlinear relationships were found among some of the personality scales and performance. Drive and energy was a statistically significant predictor in decreasing the rate of turnover, however no support was found for any personality scale predicting job abandonment or involuntary turnover. Finally, a path model was tested that provided marginal support for performance mediating the relationship between personality and customer service ratings at the store level. Implications for human resource practices and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • December 2007

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  • May 2, 2008, 3:14 p.m.

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  • Jan. 16, 2014, 2 p.m.

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Impelman, Kevin. How does personality relate to contextual performance, turnover, and customer service?, dissertation, December 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5163/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .