Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.


Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, Managers


Personality variables have been shown to be significant predictors of job performance (Barrick & Mount, 1991; Tett, Jackson, & Rothstein, 1991). Recent advances in methodology for analyzing personality-job performance relationships indicate that interactions among traits may yield incremental validity. Job types in which performance has been shown to relate to trait interactions include clerical jobs, jobs with high interpersonal components, and jobs in realistic and conventional contexts, (Witt, Burke, Barrick, & Mount, 2002; Burke & Witt, 2002; and Burke & Witt, 2004). This study examined the validity of trait interactions for the prediction of managerial job performance. Hypotheses included a main effect for Conscientiousness, an interaction between Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, an interaction between Extraversion and Neuroticism, and finally, a three-way interaction between Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness.

An archival dataset from Personnel Decisions, International (n=680 managers) containing GPI personality scores and supervisor-rated performance scores was analyzed to test the hypotheses. Correlations and moderated hierarchical linear regressions were performed to estimate the relationships of the predictors to the criterion, and to learn whether examination of trait interactions contributes incremental validity to the single trait scales. A main effect for Conscientiousness on managerial job performance was found. No trait interactions explained incremental variance in performance scores. Therefore, Conscientiousness is the recommended personality scale to use for selecting managers. This finding is consistent with previous research on the relation of Conscientiousness to job performance in managers (Barrick & Mount, 1991). Managers from diverse organizations and industries comprised the sample, increasing the generalizability of the results.

Directions for future research include the examination of other trait interactions, more specific criteria such as competencies rather than overall managerial job performance, and effects of the hierarchical level of the manager in the organization.