Job performance has been defined as ‘‘behavior or action that is relevant for the organization’s goals and that can be measured in terms of the level of contribution to goals that is represented by a particular action or set of actions’’ (Campbell, 1999; p. 402). According to Campbell and his colleagues (Campbell, 1990; Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, & Sager, 1993), job performance is a multidimensional construct consisting of eight dimensions, one of which is job-specific task proficiency. Job-specific tasks are the tasks that are most central to the job, or the tasks that distinguish one job from another. In this study, we focus on job-specific task proficiency or ...view middle of the document...
Task performance refers to activities that contribute either directly or indirectly to the organization's technical core (Borman & Motowidlo, 1997). To illustrate it, task performance for a postal delivery employee may entail, among other things, delivering mail items to the correct address in a timely manner. Otherwise, contextual performance contributes to organizational effectiveness in ways that shape the organizational, social, and psychological context in which task performance occurs. For the examples of behaviors falling into this category include volunteering for extra duties, helping others, and persisting with extra enthusiasm.
However, defining performance criteria is also a conceptual issue, as criteria should accurately represent all important performance requirements of the target job (Penney & Borman, 2005). Hogan and Shelton (1998) argued for a socio analytic view of job performance, which suggests that people are motivated to get along and get ahead. In order to get along, people need to comply and cooperate with others in a friendly and positive way (Hogan & Holland, 2003). To get ahead, individuals seek responsibility, are competitive, and try to be recognized (Hogan & Holland, 2003).
One construct that has been used to predict job performance is personality. This is one area that is criticized by many people as something that may not be valid to use (Rothstein & Goffin, 2000). Despite these criticisms, most researchers feel that studying the relationship between personality and job performance is extremely useful (Goffin, Rothstein, & Johnston, 2000).
Scheider and Dachler (1978) found that, over time, satisfaction with a job remains unusually stable, which made them believe that it was people’s personality that was due to the performance with their job, rather than other variables. Most studies dealing with job performance in relation to personality are conducted in large organizations; however, very few have been done to view the impact on smaller organizations (Morrison, 1997). There are many different personality factors that have been correlated to job performance (Spector, 1997).
Personality has been conceptualized as “The complex organization of cognitions, affects, and behaviors that gives direction and pattern (coherence) to the person’s life” (Pervin, 1996, p. 414). Personality researchers typically distinguish a trait, considered to be relatively stable, from a state, which is more transient (John and Srivastava, 1999). Turban and Lee (2007) noted that relatively few studies have focused on the role of personality in mentoring and other developmental relationships, an area that deserves more research. We propose that personality variables are also potentially valuable for understanding why individuals develop particular types of developmental networks, a topic to which we turn next. The most widely-accepted theories regarding the relationship between personality and job performance...