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112 MURRAY R BARRICK AND MICHAEL K MOUNT, Barrick Mount 1991 we investigated whether moderators reasonable proxy for conditions that permit weak situations or. would affect the relationship between the Big Five and criterion inhibit strong situations individual differences in personality. measures within various job categories e g professionals po to be expressed. lice managers sales and skilled or semiskilled For the mana. gerial occupation we reported that substantial variance in ob. Tests of the Moderating Effects of Autonomy, served validities remained after corrections were made for four. statistical artifacts i e sampling error between study differ Although there is some consensus in the personality litera. ences in test unreliability criterion unreliability and degree of ture that personality traits may be more useful in predicting. range restriction As this suggests it is appropriate to search behavior when autonomy is high than when it is low Mischel. for moderator variables that can account for differences in va 1977 Monson et al 1982 Stagner 1977 very little research. lidities across studies In this study we investigated whether the has directly investigated this in work situations In the closest. amount of autonomy on the job is one such moderator of the study to date Lee et al 1990 found that the degree of auton. relationship between personality and performance omy a person has in his or her job moderated the relationships. between Type A behavior and job performance job satisfac. Situational Strength and Autonomy tion and somatic complaints for employees from a variety of. organizations The results supported the hypothesized effect of. It has long been argued that the relationship between person autonomy because the interactions demonstrated that people. ality characteristics and behavior is moderated by the strength who score high on Type A behavior have the highest job perfor. or demands of the situation Bern Allen 1974 Bern mance and satisfaction when they work in highly autonomous. Funder 1978 Chatman 1989 Mischel 1977 Monson Hesley jobs. Chernick 1982 Stagner 1977 Weiss Adler 1984 That is Some research in the area of job design is relevant to this. the extent to which a person s personality characteristics pre study Hackman Lawler 1971 Hackman Oldham 1975. dict behavior is hypothesized to differ depending on the degree However these studies differ in several ways from those that. to which the external environment inhibits a person s freedom have examined situational strength First personality rather. to behave in idiosyncratic ways than situational strength is assumed to be the moderator be. Researchers in this area have distinguished between strong tween autonomy as one component of the Job Characteristics. and weak situations Strong situations are those in which there Model and measures of job performance and job satisfaction. are considerable demands or pressures to induce conformity Second the personality measures used are different from those. Mischel 1977 In such situations the person is restricted in the in this study For example Growth Need Strength is used to. range of behaviors that she or he may be both willing and able represent the employee s work values or need for personal. to exhibit In contrast weak situations are those in which there growth and development on the job Third most studies exam. are rather few demands or pressures to conform Under these ine such attitudes as job satisfaction as the outcome of interest. conditions the person has considerable discretion in determin rather than such behaviors as job performance. ing which behaviors if any to undertake Thus individual dif There are some studies however that have used personality. ferences in personality characteristics are more likely to influ measures such as need for achievement that appear to be part. ence the specific behavior a person adopts of the Conscientiousness dimension For example Steers and. Most research in this area has occurred in laboratory settings Spencer 1977 used a sample of 115 managers from different. where strong and weak situations are induced experimentally departments of a manufacturing firm and found a sizable mod. In organizational settings it is well known that jobs differ in the erator effect for need for achievement on the relationship be. extent to which the incumbent can perform the job in idiosyn tween autonomy and a supervisor s rating of performance In. cratic ways that is select the appropriate work behaviors de another study with 569 employees in state and local governmen. cide the order and pace of job tasks coordinate those activities tal agencies Mowday and Spencer 1981 reported significant. with other employees and so forth The dimension of work that moderating effects for need for achievement between auton. best captures these differences is the amount of autonomy on omy and absenteeism but a nonsignificant effect when turnover. the job Hackman Oldham 1976 Lee Ashford Bobko was used as the outcome variable A third field study Evans. 1990 Peters Fisher O Connor 1982 Steers Spencer 1977 Kiggundu House 1979 found that need for achievement. For example an assembly line job that is closely supervised did not moderate the relationship between autonomy and per. highly structured and machine paced provides very little op formance ratings The data in Evans et al s study were from. portunity for individual differences in personality to be ex supervisors and managers N 343 in an automobile plant. pressed On the other hand an outside sales position such as Although there are some conflicting results those studies have. life insurance agent that receives very little supervision has suggested that amount of autonomy on the job interacts with. relatively little structure and is individually paced allows for a personality measures to influence such outcome variables as. much broader range of individual differences to be expressed job performance. These extreme examples illustrate that personality variables In this study we test two major hypotheses First on the basis. may predict job performance better in some situations or jobs of recent meta analytic results Barrick Mount 1991 Hough. than in others In this study we examined the extent to which et al 1990 we hypothesized that two personality constructs. the amount of autonomy on the job moderates the validity of Conscientiousness and Extraversion would be valid predictors. personality constructs We recognize that autonomy and situa of managerial performance Second and most important we. tional strength are not identical constructs nonetheless in orga hypothesized that the validity of these two personality con. nizational settings the amount of autonomy on the job is a structs would be higher when the degree of autonomy in the job. MODERATING EFFECTS OF AUTONOMY 113, was high We did not hypothesize any relations for the other mensions We retained items that had rather high factor loadings on a. dimensions of personality Emotional Stability Agreeableness priori factors and exhibited a simple structure i e did not also load on. and Openness to Experience because of the weak and inconsis other factors Of the 232 items in the trial inventory battery 137 items. tent results reported for those dimensions for management jobs were selected as measures of the five personality constructs 25 20 40. Barrick Mount 1991 22 and 30 respectively for Extraversion Agreeableness Con. scientiousness Emotional Stability and Openness to Experience Coef. ficient alpha reliability estimates were 85 67 89 85 and 86 respec. Method tively In addition we gathered test retest reliability data for 63 sales. people over a 9 month period and the values were 73 70 84 73 and. Sample and Procedure 79 respectively, We also obtained additional evidence to support the construct valid. The sample for this study was taken from 154 participants of a train. ity of the scales In one study 205 students responded to both the PCI. ing program presented by the U S Army Management Training Activ. and the NEO PI Personality Inventory Costa McCrae 1985 which. ity Department Ninety five percent volunteered to participate in the. also measures the Big Five Note that there was no overlap in items. study which resulted in a total sample of 146 The subjects were mid. between the PCI and the NEO PI Correlations uncorrected among. level managers 62 and first line supervisors 38 who were primar. similar constructs were 68 56 71 67 and 63 for Extraversion. ily male 68 college graduates 56 and middle aged M 43 years. Agreeableness Conscientiousness Emotional Stability and Openness. SD 6 All were civilians who worked in U S Army installations. to Experience respectively In another study a sample of 88 salespeople. located across the country Fifteen percent of the subjects reported. completed the 20 item bipolar adjective trait scales originally used by. directly to army officers and the remainder reported to civilian man. Norman 1963 to represent the Big Five model The correlations un. agers The job grade levels held by the subjects were Grade 11 4 of the. corrected between similar constructs were 66 51 67 64 and 59. sample Grade 12 45 Grade 13 32 Grade 14 15 and Grade. respectively In both studies correlations across dissimilar constructs. were much lower These results are quite similar to those reported by. The subjects completed a personality inventory and a brief question. other researchers For example Goldberg 1992 reported correlations. naire that measured the extent of autonomy in their job These mea. between similar personality dimensions from a set of 100 Big Five. sures are discussed in greater detail later Supervisors also rated the. markers and the NEO PI that ranged from 46 to 69 as evidence of the. subjects job autonomy as well as their performance. construct validity of those markers, Finally we conducted one other study that is relevant to the con.
Construct Valid Measures of the Big Five struct validity of the PCI In the study 19 doctoral and master s stu. dents in a personnel selection class were presented with the items on. Construct valid measures of the Big Five personality constructs the PCI The items were presented in random order and the subjects. were developed in the following way First the personality scales from were instructed to assign each item to one of the five factor dimen. several established personality inventories were categorized into one sions defined by the set of marker traits identified by Goldberg 1992. of the Big Five personality dimensions described earlier or a miscella At least 18 of the 19 raters assigned each item to the appropriate person. neous dimension by six expert raters A more detailed explanation of ality construct These results provide evidence of the content validity. the rating procedure and inventories included is provided in Barrick of the items derived from the PCI. Mount 1991 These ratings provided initial evidence about the con In summary development of the PCI was based on both a deductive. struct assessed in each personality scale Next the items from these and inductive approach Burisch 1984 That is the choice and defini. personality scales were listed and we identified the underlying traits tion of the Big Five constructs preceded and governed the selection of. assessed by each Items were retained if both of us agreed the item items Items were screened on the basis of the internal structure that. corresponded to one of the prototypical characteristics of which the emerged from a factor analysis of the original PCI Furthermore judg. construct was composed This resulted in a pool of 232 items that ments obtained by trained raters provided evidence of the content. comprehensively assessed the prototypical characteristics of the five validity of the items Finally rather high correlations of similar con. personality constructs structs on the PCI with those on the NEO PI and on the bipolar adjec. These items constituted an instrument called the Personal Charac tive trait scales provides additional evidence about the construct valid. teristics Inventory PCI which was administered to over 800 respon ity of the PCI. dents 415 students in a large midwestern university 298 salespeople. from two large nationwide organizations that manufacture consumer Criterion Measures. durable goods and 100 middle managers from the U S Army a differ We developed a performance appraisal form on the basis of an analy. ent sample of managers than that used in this study Respondents sis of the management jobs Eight dimensions were identified as im. indicated their degree of agreement with each item on a 3 point scale portant for job success a Planning b Administration c Develop. 1 agree 2 neither agree nor disagree and 3 disagree They were ment d Communication e Coordination f Effort g Organiza. instructed to respond as they actually are not as they would like to be tional Commitment and h Know How Raters were provided each. The accumulated data were factor analyzed by the principal compo dimension s name a brief definition and clarifying examples Raters. nents method and varimax rotation Note that several factor analytic were also informed that ratings were being collected for research pur. procedures were performed on the data including different extraction poses Ratings were made on a 7 point scale that ranged from consis. methods i e principal components analysis and principal axes factor tently below 1 to always exceeds job requirements 7 Each supervisor. Kiggundu amp House 1979 found that need for achievement did not moderate the relationship between autonomy and per formance ratings The data in Evans et al s study were from supervisors and managers N 343 in an automobile plant Although there are some conflicting results those studies have suggested that amount of autonomy on the job interacts with personality measures to influence

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