Personality subgroup information as a predictor of career success : Big Five personality profiles and Holland's occupational groups
Barroso, Claudia Rocha
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The primary purpose of this study was to use the Big Five Personality dimensions in order to predict career success using profile level judgments of personality in addition to scale level measurements. In other words, would profile level judgments provide a better understanding of career success over scale level predictions? In addition, would differing personality "profiles" emerge as successful when the relationship between personality and career success were investigated within differing occupational groups as categorized by Holland’s typology, and would subgroup membership once again provide incremental predictive validity of career success among different occupations? The profile that predicted both subjective and objective success was characterized by individuals who were extremely extraverted and emotionally stable, and had moderately high levels of agreeableness and openness to experiences. The profile that predicted salary was characterized by high levels of extraversion, but low levels of emotional stability and moderately low levels of agreeableness and conscientiousness. Explanation of the lack of significant findings for the number of promotions is provided. The addition of subgroup information based on the Big Five personality dimensions did not add significant incremental validity over individual personality dimensions to the prediction of objective or subjective career success, however implications and importance of the use of personality profiles is discussed. Only three out of the six hypotheses predicting subjective career success among Holland’s occupations were tested due to insignificant sample sizes among three of the occupational groups. Possibility of using a different taxonomy that is based on more narrowly defined occupational characteristics is suggested. In sum, the current study made the first step in attempting to bridge some of the identified knowledge gaps within the personality and career success literature. While not all research questions can be answered within a single investigation, the current study contributed unique information to the growing body of literature relating personality to career success. The results of this study supported the notion that dispositional characteristics play a key role in organizational behavior, and that personality should definitely be included in models of career success.