PERSONALITY, POLITICALSKILL AND JOBPERFORMANCEBlickle, G., Meurs, J., Zettler, I., Solga, J.,Noethan, D., Kramer, J., Ferris, G. (2008). Journalof Vocational Behavior, 72, 377-387.
BLICKLE ET AL. PURPOSE To investigate the interaction of political skill with both agreeableness and conscientiousness in the prediction of job performance Wanted to analyze “getting along” and “getting ahead” intentions as it relates to job performance.
SOCIOANALYTIC PERSPECTIVE People are motivated to “get along” and “get ahead” but the desire, ability and ultimate success of individuals to engage differ from person to person. “Social skill is a moderator of the relationships between motivations and performance evaluations” Hogan & Shelton (1998)
HAVE YOU EVER… …met someone in a job or group setting that might have been a great worker but lacked appropriate social skills needed to complete a task? …had someone in a job or group setting that was sincere, inspired trust and support but lacked specific personality characteristics?
POLITICAL SKILL How was political skill defined in this article? “An interpersonal construct that combines social understanding with the ability to adjust behavior to the demands of the situation in ways that appear sincere, inspire trust and support and effectively influence others (Ferris et al., 2005, 2007)” Contextual type of performance Has been associated with higher job performance. Jawahar et al. (in press) –pg 37
AGREEABLENESS Sympathetic, kind, alturistic, generous, fair, eager to help others Agreeableness is a personality trait that reflects the desire to “get along” with others Hypothesis 1: significant interaction of agreeableness and political skill on job performance.
CONSCIENTIOUISNESS Organized, hardworking, determined, self- disciplined, achievement oriented “getting ahead” measure because of it’s strong association with accomplishment and task performance. Hypothesis 2: significant interaction of conscientiousness and political skill on job performance.
METHOD Participants & Procedure Western Germany 610 surveys mailed to people working 12hrs/week or more. 326 surveys were complete 46.6% female, 53.4% male Age range 20-65 years, mean 41.40.
METHOD (CONT’D) Measures BFI-K-German adaptation of the Big Five Inventory (BFI) Measured agreeableness and conscientiousness with 4 items each on a 5 point likert scale. Political Skill Inventory(PSI) 18 items, each with a 7 point likert scale. Job Performance Ratings 6 items, recorded across all supervisor-, peer-, and subordinate ratings for the target participants. Items 1 & 2 task performance, Item 3 adaptive, Items 5 & 6 contextual performance
METHOD (CONT’D) Data analyses Hierarchical moderated multiple regression analyses used to examine the interaction effects of political skill, agreeableness and conscientiousness on job performance ratings.
RESULTS• The coefficient α of the Conscientiousness scale was α=0.54 which is low.• Meaning the items were low on internal consistency.• This scale also had ceiling effects.• Meaning that the mean of this scale on the present sample was higherthan the mean of the validation samples.• The variance of the Conscientiousness scale was also small.• The coefficient α of the Job Performance scale was α=0.80 which is high.• The general factor model of Job Performance had a good overall fit.• Overall inter-rater correlation of the Job Performance assessors wasr=0.39
RESULTS• This table shows if interactions between the 2 personality variables ofAgreeableness and Conscientiousness and Political Skill were significant.• The Agreeableness x Political skill interaction was significant (β = 0.125; p <0.05).• The Conscientiousness x Political skill interaction was not significant (β =-0.080; p<0.05).
DISCUSSION Agreeableness and Job Performance High Agreeableness + High Political Skill = Highest JP Levels. High Agreeableness + Low Political Skill = Lowest JP Levels. Performance (Low Political Skill + Low Agreeableness) > Performance (Low Political Skill + High Agreeableness)
DISCUSSION There is an inverted U-shaped relationship between Conscientiousness and Job-Performance. This non-linear relationship is caused by differences in Political Skill exhibited by the person. Why Political Skill? Because Social Skill (e.g. Political Skill) is a combination of Social presentation and Social Influence. Individuals exhibit Social Influence for personal and organizational advancement. In other words, to get ahead. Therefore, persons high on Conscientiousness and Political Skill are perceived to be more involved in getting ahead than getting along therefore they receive lower Job Performance ratings.
STRENGTHS OF THE STUDY Found support for socioanalytic perspective of performance prediction. Study exhibited generalizability due to sample characteristics such as wide occupation and ranking range of employees from various organizations. Followed a somewhat 360⁰ feedback approach (supervisors, peers, subordinates). This study addresses social effectiveness constructs (e.g. Political Skill) to Job Performance.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Used overall measure of performance. Performance has task and contextual components (Borman & Motowildo, 1993). Political Skill is more related to the contextual components of performance (Jawahar et al., in press). Agreeableness and Conscientiousness are broad personality factors. Better relationships will emerge when facets of these factors are used.
DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURERESEARCH? Suggestions for research ideas that can help expand or build up on this study?
DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURERESEARCH Examine relationship between social effectiveness and motivations/desires to get along in social interactions. Sometimes individuals do not find it necessary to get along with others (i.e. disagreeable). Such people may actually benefit from the lack of social skill. Is it high social skill or effectiveness that is beneficial or detrimental to desires of getting ahead? Explore the composition of social skill or effectiveness. Dimensions include: sensitivity to others, flexibility, ability to persuade others, ability to instill trust in others, consistency in interactions, accountability to others, ability to maintain communication with a wide range of persons. There seems to be an overlap between these dimensions and political skill. This needs to be explored further.
CONCLUSION Personality and Social Skill reflect interactive and important relationships with job performance. Many other social skills other than Political should be explored.