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December 5, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Chet Robie


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Chet Robie

Relationship between major personality traits and managerial performance: Moderating effects of derailing traits (ABSTRACT)

Robie, C., Brown, D. J., & Bly, P. R.

published: 2008 | Research publication | Refereed Journals - OB/HRM

Robie, C., Brown, D.J., & Bly, P.R. (2008). "Relationship between major personality traits and managerial performance: Moderating effects of derailing traits", International Journal of Management, 25 (1), 131-139.



ABSTRACT: In this study of 144 executives (45%) and middle-level managers (55%) we investigated the moderating effects of a derailing trait composite measure on the relations between five major personality dimensions and boss ratings of overall performance, advancement potential, and career difficulty risk. The five major personality traits measured were openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability. A derailing trait is one that is associated with unexpected failure to reach a top position in an organization. The derailing trail composite was composed of five scales including: ego-centered, intimidating, manipulating, micro-managing, and passive-aggressive. Although received wisdom is that a "lack of character" is always detrimental to performance, the results of the study suggested that high scores on derailing traits will typically lead to higher performance ratings when examined across the executive success factors spectrum. Even though derailing traits moderated the relations between several of the personality factors and advancement potential and almost all of the personality factors and career risk difficulty, the expected level of performance for those high in derailing traits is typically much higher at low levels of the personality factors and virtually the same at high levels of the personality factors. The results suggest that derailment traits may actually be more functional than we previously thought. Implications for practice are noted.

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revised Apr 28/08

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