Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Occupational characteristics moderate personality–performance relations in major occupational groups
Journal of Vocational Behavior  (IF6.065),  Pub Date : 2021-10-29, DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2021.103655
Michael P. Wilmot, Deniz S. Ones

Personality predicts performance, but the moderating influence of occupational characteristics on its performance relations remains underexamined. Accordingly, we conduct second-order meta-analyses of the Big Five traits and occupational performance (i.e., supervisory ratings of overall job performance or objective performance outcomes). We identify 15 meta-analyses reporting 47 effects for 9 major occupational groups (clerical, customer service, healthcare, law enforcement, management, military, professional, sales, and skilled/semiskilled), which represent N = 89,639 workers across k = 539 studies. We also integrate data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) concerning two occupational characteristics: 1) expert ratings of Big Five trait relevance to its occupational requirements; and 2) its level of occupational complexity. We report three major findings. First, relations differ considerably across major occupational groups. Conscientiousness predicts across all groups, but other traits have higher validities when they are more relevant to occupational requirements: agreeableness for healthcare; emotional stability for skilled/semiskilled, law enforcement, and military; extraversion for sales and management; and openness for professional. Second, expert ratings of trait relevance mostly converge with empirical relations. For 77% of occupational groups, the top-two most highly rated traits match the top-two most highly predictive traits. Third, occupational complexity moderates personality–performance relations. When groups are ranked by complexity, multiple correlations generally follow an inverse-U shaped pattern, which suggests that moderate complexity levels may be a “goldilocks range” for personality prediction. Altogether, results demonstrate that occupational characteristics are important, if often overlooked, contextual variables. We close by discussing implications of findings for research, practice, and policy.