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J Appl Psychol. 2003 Jun;88(3):500-17.

A personality trait-based interactionist model of job performance.

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Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104, USA.


Evidence for situational specificity of personality-job performance relations calls for better understanding of how personality is expressed as valued work behavior. On the basis of an interactionist principle of trait activation (R. P. Tett & H. A. Guterman, 2000), a model is proposed that distinguishes among 5 situational features relevant to trait expression (job demands, distracters, constraints, releasers, and facilitators), operating at task, social, and organizational levels. Trait-expressive work behavior is distinguished from (valued) job performance in clarifying the conditions favoring personality use in selection efforts. The model frames linkages between situational taxonomies (e.g., J. L. Holland's [1985] RIASEC model) and the Big Five and promotes useful discussion of critical issues, including situational specificity, personality-oriented job analysis, team building, and work motivation.

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