Advertisement

Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 291–322 | Cite as

Applications of Personality Assessment to the Workplace: A Review

  • Leonard D. Goodstein
  • Richard I. Lanyon
Article

Abstract

Our review of the relevant research literature in the recent past strongly supports the view that personality assessment has high utility in the workplace. We review the evidence that personality assessment measures, especially those based upon the Big Five factors of personality, can effectively predict job performance and thus can be used for personnel selection. The validity of integrity testing in predicting counterproductivity on the job has been demonstrated both for overt measures of integrity and, to a lesser degree, for more general (subtle) measures of personality. We also found good evidence of validity for measures of (supervisory) management and (transformational) leadership, a complex field which includes a number of multidimensional instruments each built around its own theory. Finally, we review the empirical literature that supports the use of assessment centers and the use of personality assessment in training and development.

Keywords

Social Psychology Social Issue Good Evidence Research Literature Recent Past 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Association of Personnel Test Publishers (1991). Model guidelines for pre-employment integrity testing programs. Washington, D. C.: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1–26.Google Scholar
  3. Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1993). Autonomy as a moderator of the relationships between the Big Five personality dimensions and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 111–118.Google Scholar
  4. Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1996). Effects of impression management and self-deception on the predictive validity of personality constructs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 261–272.Google Scholar
  5. Barrick, M. R., Mount, M. K., & Strauss, J. P. (1993). Conscientiousness and performance of sales representatives: Test of the mediating effects of goal setting. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 715–722.Google Scholar
  6. Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill's handbook of leadership (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1990). Transformational leadership development: Manual for the Multifactor leadership questionnaire. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bentz, V. J. (1990). Contextual issues in predicting high-level leadership performance. In K. E. Clark & M. B. Clark (Eds.), Measures of leadership. West Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America.Google Scholar
  10. Bray, D. W., & Byham, W. C. (1991). Assessment centers and their derivatives. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 39, 8–11.Google Scholar
  11. Bray, D. W., & Howard, A. (1983). Personality and the assessment center method. In C. D. Spielberger and J. N. Butcher (Eds.), Advances in personality assessment, Vol. 3. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Burke, W. W. (1994). Leadership Assessment Inventory (rev. ed.). Pelham, NY: W. Warner Burke and Associates.Google Scholar
  13. Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
  14. Campbell, D.P. (1991). Manual for the Campbell Leadership Index. Minneapolis: National Computer Systems.Google Scholar
  15. Campbell, D. T., & Fiske, D. W. (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix. Psychological Bulletin, 56, 81–105.Google Scholar
  16. Cascio, W. F. (1995). Whither industrial and organizational psychology in a changing world of work. American Psychologist, 50, 928–939.Google Scholar
  17. Cattell, R. B. (1945). The principal trait clusters for describing personality. Psychological Bulletin, 42, 129–169.Google Scholar
  18. Clark, K. E., & Clark, M. B. (Eds.) (1990). Measures of leadership. West Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America.Google Scholar
  19. Conoley, J. C., & Kramer, J. J. (Eds.) (1989). Tenth mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, University of Nebraska.Google Scholar
  20. Costa, P., & McCrae, R. R. (1992a). Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 653–665.Google Scholar
  21. Costa, P., & McCrae, R. (1992b). NEO PI-R professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  22. Cunningham, M. R., Wong, D. T., & Barbee, A. P. (1994). Self-presentation dynamics on overt integrity tests: Experimental studies of the Reid Report. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 643–658.Google Scholar
  23. De Rand, B., & Van Heck, G. L. (1994). The fifth of the big five. [Special issue]. European Journal of Psychology, 8(4).Google Scholar
  24. Digman, J. M. (1990). Personality structure: The emergence of the five-factor model. Annual Review of Psychology, 41, 417–440.Google Scholar
  25. Eysenck, H. J. (1947). Dimensions of personality. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  26. Fiedler, F. E. (1967). A theory of leadership effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Fielder, F. E. (1986). The contribution of cognitive resources to leadership performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 16, 532–548.Google Scholar
  28. Fiske, D. W. (1949). Consistency of the factorial structures of personality ratings from different sources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 329–344.Google Scholar
  29. Fleenor, J. W. (1996). Constructs and development assessment centers: Further troubling empirical findings. Journal of Business and Psychology, 10, 319–335.Google Scholar
  30. Fromm, E. (1947). Man for himself. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  31. Gaugler, B. B., Rosenthal, D. B., Thornton, G. C., & Bentson, C. (1987). Meta-analysis of assessment center validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 72, 493–511.Google Scholar
  32. Gaugler, B. B., & Thornton, G. C. (1989). Number of assessment center dimensions as a determinant of assessor accuracy. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 611–618.Google Scholar
  33. Goldberg, L. R. (1981). Language and individual differences: The search for universals in personality lexicons. In L. Wheeler (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology, Vol 2, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  34. Goldberg, L. R. (1982). From Ace to Zombie: Some explorations in the language of personality. In C. D. Spielberger & J. N. Butcher (Eds.). Advances in. personality assessment, Vol. 1. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Goldberg, L. R. (1992). The development of markers for the Big Five factor structure. Psychological Assessment, 4, 26–42.Google Scholar
  36. Goldberg, L. R. (1993). The structure of phenotypic personality traits. American Psychologist, 48, 26–34.Google Scholar
  37. Goldberg, L. R., Grenier, J. R., Guion, R. M., Sechrest, L. B., & Wing, H. (1991). Questionnaires used in the prediction of trustworthiness in pre-employment selection decisions: An APA task force report. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  38. Goodstein, L. D., & Schrader, W. J. (1963). An empirically-derived managerial key for the California Psychological Inventory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 47, 42–45.Google Scholar
  39. Gough, H. G. (1972). Manual for the Personnel Reaction Blank, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  40. Gough, H. G. (1984). A managerial potential scale for the California Psychological Inventory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69, 233–240.Google Scholar
  41. Gough, H. G. (1990). Testing for leadership with the California Psychological Inventory. In K. E. Clark and M. B. Clark (Eds.), Measures of leadership. West Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America.Google Scholar
  42. Guastello, S. J., & Rieke, M. L. (1991). A review and critique of honesty testing research. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 9, 501–523.Google Scholar
  43. Guilford, J. P. (1948). The principal trait clusters for describing personality. Psychological Bulletin, 42, 129–169.Google Scholar
  44. Guion, R. M., & Gottier, R. F. (1965). The validity of personality measures in personnel selection. Personnel Psychology, 18, 135–164.Google Scholar
  45. Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K. H. (1988). Management of organizational behavior (5th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  46. Hogan, R., Curphy, G. J., & Hogan, J. (1994). What we know about leadership: Effectiveness and personality. American Psychologist, 49, 493–504.Google Scholar
  47. Hogan, R., Hogan, J. & Roberts, B. W. (1996). Personality measurement and employment decisions: Questions and answers. American Psychologist, 51, 469–577.Google Scholar
  48. Hollinger, R., & Clark, J. (1983). Theft by employees. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  49. Hough, L. H., Eaton, N. K., Dunnette, M. D., Kamp, J. D., & McCloy, R. A. (1990). Criterion-related validities of personality constructs and the effects of response distortions on those validities. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 581–595.Google Scholar
  50. Howard, A., and Bray, D. W. (1988). Managerial lives in transition: Advancing age and changing times. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  51. John, O. P., Goldberg, L. R., & Angleitner, A. (1984). Better than the alphabet: Taxonomies of personality-descriptive terms in English, Dutch, and German. In H. C. J. Bonarius, G. L. M. Van Heck, and N. G. Smid (Eds.), Personality psychology in Europe: Theoretical and empirical developments, Vol. 1. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.Google Scholar
  52. Jones, J. W. (1991). Personnel selection and corporate financial performance. Paper presented at the 1991 Society for Human Resource Management Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio.Google Scholar
  53. Jones, J. W., & Terris, W. (1991). Integrity testing for personnel selection: An overview. Forensic Reports, 4, 117–140.Google Scholar
  54. Joyce, L., Thayer, P., & Pond, S. (1994). Managerial functions: An alternative to traditional assessment center dimensions. Personnel Psychology, 47, 109–121.Google Scholar
  55. Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1987). The leadership challenge: How to get extraordinary things done in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  56. Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1988). The leadership practices inventory. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Co.Google Scholar
  57. Lang, V. R., & Krug, S. E. (1983). Perspectives on the executive personality: A manual for the Executive Profile Survey. Champaign, IL: Institute for Personality and Ability Testing.Google Scholar
  58. Lanyon, R. I., & Goodstein, L. D. (1997). Personality assessment, (3rd. ed.) New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  59. London House Press (1980). Employee Attitude Inventory. Park Ridge, IL: Author.Google Scholar
  60. Lykken, D. T. (1981). A tremor in the blood. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  61. Matarazzo, J. D. (1995). Psychological testing and assessment in the 21st Century. American Psychologist, 47, 1007–1018.Google Scholar
  62. McCrae, R. R. (1996). Social consequences of experiential openness. Psychological Bulletin, 120,323–337.Google Scholar
  63. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 81–90.Google Scholar
  64. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1990). Personality and adulthood: Emerging lives, enduring dispositions. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  65. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1994). The stability of personality: Observations and evaluations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 3, 173–175.Google Scholar
  66. McDaniel, M. A., & Jones, J. W. (1988). A meta-analysis of the Employee Attitude Inventory theft scales. Journal of Business and Psychology, 2, 327–345.Google Scholar
  67. Morris, C. (1956). Varieties of human values. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  68. Mount, M. K., Barrick, M. R., & Strauss, J. P. (1994). Validity of observer ratings of Big Five personality factors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 272–280.Google Scholar
  69. Murphy, K. R. (1993). Honesty in the workplace. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  70. Norman, W. T. (1963). Toward an adequate taxonomy of personality attributes: Replicated factor structure in peer nomination personality ratings. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 547–583.Google Scholar
  71. O'Bannon, A. M., Goldinger, L. A., & Appleby, G. S. (1989). Honesty and integrity testing: A practical guide. Atlanta, GA. Applied Information Resources.Google Scholar
  72. Ones, D. S., Schmidt, F. L., Viswesvaran, C., and Lykken, D. T. (1996). Controversies about integrity testing: Two view points. Journal of Business and Psychology, 10, 487–501.Google Scholar
  73. Ones, D. S., Viswesvaran, C., & Schmidt, F. L. (1993). Comprehensive meta-analysis of integrity test validities: Findings and implications for personnel selection and theories of job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 679–703.Google Scholar
  74. Ones, D. S., Viswesaran, C., & Schmidt, F. L. (1995). Integrity tests: Overlooked facts, resolved issues, and remaining questions. American Psychologist, 50, 456–457.Google Scholar
  75. Posner, B. Z., & Kouzes, J. M. (1992). Psychometric properties of the Leadership Practices Inventory. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Co.Google Scholar
  76. Reed, H. (1982). The Stanton Survey: Description and validation manual. Chicago: Stanton Corporation.Google Scholar
  77. Reid Psychological Systems (1951). Reid Report. Chicago: Reid Psychological Systems.Google Scholar
  78. Reisman, D. (1950). The lonely crowd. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Ryan, A. M., & Sackett, P. R. (1987). Pre-employment honesty testing: Fakability, reactions to test takers, and company image. Journal of Business and Psychology, 1, 248–256.Google Scholar
  80. Ryan, A. M., Daum, D., Bauman, T., Grisez, M., Mattimore, K., Naloda, T., and McCormick, S. (1995). Direct, indirect, and controlled observations and rating accuracy. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 664–670.Google Scholar
  81. Sackett, P. R., Burris, L. R., & Callahan, C. (1989). Integrity testing for personnel selection: An update. Personnel Psychology, 42, 491–529.Google Scholar
  82. Sackett, P. R., & Harris, M. M. (1985). Honesty testing for personnel selection: A review and critique. In H. J. Bernadin & D. A. Bownes (Eds.), Personnel assessment in organizations. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  83. Sashkin, M. (1996). The visionary leader: Leadership behavior questionnaire trainer's guide. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.Google Scholar
  84. Sackett, P. R., & Dreher, G. (1982). Constructs and assessment center dimensions: Some troubling empirical findings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67, 401–410.Google Scholar
  85. Sackett, P. R., & Harris, M. M. (1984). Honesty testing for personnel selection: A review and critique. Personnel Psychology, 37, 221–245.Google Scholar
  86. Sashkin, M., & Burke, W. W. (1990). Understanding and assessing organizational leadership. In K. E. Clark & M. B. Clark (Eds.), Measures of leadership. West Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America.Google Scholar
  87. Schmitt, N. Gooding, R. Z., Noe, R. A., & Kirsch, M. (1984). Meta-analyses of validity studies published between 1964 and 1982 and the investigation of study characteristics. Personnel Psychology, 37, 407–421.Google Scholar
  88. Science Research Associates (1983). Personal Outlook Inventory. Park Ridge, IL: Author.Google Scholar
  89. Slora, K. (1989). An empirical approach to determining employee deviance base rates. Journal of Business and Psychology, 4, 199–219.Google Scholar
  90. Sparks, C. P. (1990). Testing for management potential. In K. E. Clark & M. B. Clark (Eds.), Measures of leadership. West Orange, NJ: Library of America.Google Scholar
  91. Stogdill, R. M. (1963). Manual for the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire. Form XII. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, Bureau of Business Research.Google Scholar
  92. Tett, R. P., Jackson, D. N., & Rothstein, M. (1991). Personality measures as predictors of job performance. Personnel Psychology, 44 703–742.Google Scholar
  93. Thornton, G. C. (1992). Assessment centers in human resource management. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  94. Thurstone, L. L. (1934). The vectors of the mind. Psychological Review, 41, 1–32.Google Scholar
  95. Tupes, E. C., & Christal, R. E. (1958). Stability of personality trait rating factors obtained under diverse conditions. USAF WADC Technical Note, No. 58–61.Google Scholar
  96. U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (1990). The use of integrity tests for pre-employment screening (OTA-SET-442). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  97. Van Eron, A. M., & Burke, W. W. (1992). The transformational/transactional leadership model: A study of critical components. In K. E. Clark & M. B. Clark (Eds.), Impact of leadership. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.Google Scholar
  98. Wiggins, J. S., & Pincus, A. L. (1992). Personality: Structure and assessment. Annual Review of Psychology, 43, 473–504.Google Scholar
  99. Yukl, G. (1993). Leadership in organizations (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  100. Yukl, G., & Van Fleet, D. D. (1991). Theory and research on leadership in organizations. In M. D. Dunnette & L. M. Hough (Eds.). Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard D. Goodstein
    • 1
  • Richard I. Lanyon
    • 2
  1. 1.Washington
  2. 2.Arizona State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations