The Moderation of the Conscientiousness – Performance Relationship
Caveats concerning the ability of personality to predict job performance have been raised because of seemingly modest criterion-related validity. The goal of the present research was to test whether narrowing the context via the type of job (i.e., jobs with complex task demands) and adding a social skill-related moderator (i.e., political skill) would improve performance prediction. Further, along with political skill, the broad factor of personality demonstrated in prior research to have the strongest criterion validity (i.e., conscientiousness) was joined with a narrow construct closely related to openness to experience (i.e., learning approach) in a three-way interactive prediction of supervisor-rated task performance. With the employee–supervisor dyads among professionals, but not with the control group of non-professional employees, task performance was predicted by the three-way interaction, such that those high on all three received the highest performance ratings.
Physiological Reactions to Acute Stressors
This study examines the physiological effects of an acute stressor when managers are already experiencing chronic anxiety (i.e., cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety) or when they have a stable resource (i.e., job control). Findings indicate that when individuals are exposed to an acute stressor, those with chronic cognitive and somatic anxiety exhibit more heightened physiological responses (i.e., as measured via muscle tension and skin temperature), than those lower on chronic anxiety. Further, findings indicate that when these managers perceive themselves to have stable, high control over their work, there is a spillover effect to a non-work domain and they experience fewer negative physiological reactions to the same acute stressor than managers with low control.
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