Year

2016

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy

Department

School of Psychology

Abstract

This thesis examines several issues of particular relevance to psychologists assisting employers with recruitment decisions. A relatively new model of personality, the HEXACO Personality Inventory (Ashton, Lee & Goldberg, 2004; Ashton, Lee, Perugini et al, 2004), proposes that personality is best conceptualised as consisting of six rather than the five factors that have historically been advocated in the personality literature (Fiske, 1949; Norman, 1963; Digman & Takemoto-Chock, 1981; Goldberg, 1990). Theoretically and empirically, the HEXACO has been positioned as having a superior ability to assess an individual’s antagonism and altruism tendencies as well as their willingness to exploit others (Lee & Ashton, 2005; Lee, Ashton & Shin, 2005; Lee, Ashton, & de Vries, 2005a; Ashton & Lee, 2007; Oh, Lee, Ashton, & de Vries, 2011). The thesis therefore argues that the HEXACO model of personality is likely to provide a more parsimonious assessment of an individual’s propensity to refrain from counter productive workplace behaviours (CWB), or behaviours that have the potential to harm the employer or their colleagues, and their organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB), or their propensity to make a positive contribution to the workplace, or than is provided by the five factor model (FFM). This hypothesis is based on the position that both the OCB and CWB constructs have theoretical underpinnings that include elements of altruism, antagonism and exploitation and the similarities in the theoretical underpinnings of the HEXACO would therefore see it provide a more parsimonious assessment of CWB and OCB than is provided by the FFM which does not have the same theoretical underpinnings.

To test this hypothesis the predictive validity of the HEXACO domains were compared with that of a standardised measure of the FFM that is routinely used in an employment selection context; the NEO-PI-3. The thesis also hypothesised that both the HEXACO and FFM would be able to account for the variance in the important CWB predictors of trait anger and self control in the prediction of CWB as both broader personality models have subscales which were likely to provide an assessment of these constructs. Participants in the data set were individuals undertaking psychological testing for employment purposes. The results indicated that there was little difference between the HEXACO and the FFM models in the prediction of either OCB or CWB. The results also indicated that the prediction of CWB was improved when trait anger and self-control were assessed separately to the HEXACO and the FFM. It was concluded that the large degree of content overlap between the sixth domain of the HEXACO, the honesty-humility domain, and the agreeableness domain of the FFM, saw both models able to account for a similar degree of variance.

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