KEVIN HIBRAHIM OBARA,
LECTURER, GREAT LAKES UNIVERSITY
RESEARCH CONSULTANT, BERIKHO CONSULTANTS
Paul R. S. and Philip T. W. (2014). Which Personality Attributes Are Most Important in the Workplace? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(5) 538–551
The study by Paul and Philip (2014) focuses on the personality attributes that are most important at the workplace. The researchers assert that employees face a variety of work demands that place a premium on personal attributes. This personal attributes include the degree to which they can be depended on to work independently, dealing with stress and interacting positively with coworkers and customers. The researchers examined evidence for the importance of these personality attributes using research strategies anticipated to give feedback on three fundamental questions; how well does employees’ standing on these attributes predict job performance? What types of attributes do employers seek to evaluate in interviews when considering applicants? And what types of attributes are rated as important for performance in a broad sampling of occupations across the U.S. economy? The researchers summarized and integrated results from these three strategies using the Big Five personality dimensions as the organizing framework. Their findings indicate that personal attributes related to Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are important for success across many jobs, spanning across low to high levels of job complexity, training and experience necessary to qualify for employment.
The scholars focus on the research question: which personality attributes are most important in the workplace? To address this question, the scholars examine evidence from three distinct research approaches that operationalize importance in three ways with an intention to integrate these diverse approaches to see whether a common conclusion emerges. An analysis of three different ways in order to come up with an integrated solution is vibrant element of this article. In addition, the first approach to addressing attribute importance was to examine the research literature on the use of measures of the Big Five constructs to predict work behaviors. This is very important in this article since it is proof enough that the study was best a proper desk review. In assessing the attributes that are useful for predicting valued job behaviors, the relative importance of the personality attributes is operationalized in terms of the size of validity coefficients relating these attributes to various facets of job performance. In fact, inferential statistics take precedence here since the relationship between measures of personality attributes and measures of job performance are analyzed using correlation coefficients.
The study focuses on the five-factor model of personality even though the labels for the factors have changed over the years with the accumulation of research. Moreover, the five factors model includes; Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience. In other words, the five factors model is limiting and therefore excludes various personality elements making generalizability of the study restrictive. Another weakness in the article occurs when there exists no necessary relationship between what the research literature reveals about the relative validity of various personality attributes and the value that employers place on these attributes. In addition, the research literature does not reflect a systematic sampling of occupations. Rather, it typically involves studies of individual jobs in single organizations, with these studies done for various purposes.
The article findings highlight robust evidence that attributes related to Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are highly important for workforce readiness across a variety of occupations that require a variety of training and experience qualifications. This article is a major contributor to educational administration since it captures the dynamics of Emotional Stability emerged as an important category in the meta-analytic validity research and in the large-scale, job-analytic research.