Personality characteristics that are valued in teams: Not always “more is better”?

Petru Lucian Curşeu, Remus Ilies, Delia Vîrgă, Laurenţiu Maricuţoiu, Florin A. Sava
Published Online:
16 Jul 2018

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This study investigates the relationships between personality traits and contributions to teamwork that are often assumed to be linear. We use a theory‐driven approach to propose that extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness have inverted U‐shaped relationships with contributions to teamwork. In a sample of 220 participants asked to perform a creative task in teams, we found that extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness were curvilinearly associated with peer‐rated contributions to teamwork in such a way that the associations were positive, with a decreasing slope, up to a peak, and then they became negative as personality scores further increased. We replicated the results concerning the non‐linear association between extraversion, conscientiousness and peer‐rated contributions to teamwork in a sample of 314 participants engaged in a collaborative learning exercise. Our results support recent claims and empirical evidence that explorations of personality–work‐related behaviours relationships should move beyond the linearity assumptions. We conclude by discussing the implications of our research for personnel selection.

© International Union of Psychological Science