PERSONALITY TYPOLOGIES AS PREDICTORS OF EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE JOBS

Open Access
Author:
Grabarek, Patricia Ewa
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
October 14, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Alicia A. Grandey, Committee Chair
  • Rick Jacobs, Committee Member
  • Stephanie Shields, Committee Member
  • Stephanie Lanza, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • customer service
  • performance
  • personality
Abstract:
Customer service jobs are deserving of special research attention due to their prevalence and importance in today’s economy (e.g. Frei & McDaniel, 1998). Employee performance in service settings includes both task and interpersonal components. Since personality has been shown to predict performance in all jobs (e.g., Barrick, Mount, & Judge, 2001), including specific and unique predictions for jobs with high interpersonal interactions (Mount, Barrick, & Stewart, 1998), service organizations would benefit from including personality in their selection processes. However, prior research in using personality to predict job performance has been limited by looking at traits individually. Combining personality traits will allow for a more holistic look at individuals and predict performance more strongly than using individual personality traits. The current study used latent class analysis – a novel person-focused statistical approach in organizational research – to model personality typologies using multiple trait variables. This study identified classes of individuals, using field data of retail convenience store employees, with optimal trait combinations in predicting high task and interpersonal performance in customer service jobs. Importantly, this study also provided strong evidence in favor of the use of a person-focused approach in combining personality traits to predict performance when compared to the variable-focused regression.