Moderating Effects of State Conscientiousness Variability on the Relationships Between Trait Conscientiousness and Individual Performance

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YunJoo Lee
HyungIn Park


The concept of metatraits (Baumeister & Tice, 1988) reflects that state personality, the levels of personality that vary based on time or role may moderate the relationship between trait personality and individual performance. This study investigated moderating effects of state conscientiousness variability on the relationships between trait conscientiousness and individual performance indicators; task performance, organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), and counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). It was expected that the relationship between trait conscientiousness and performance would be stronger in case of small variability than in case of large variability, as small variability would imply stable expression of conscientiousness. An experience sampling method was applied to 300 full-time employees recruited through an online panel survey company. Variability of state personality was measured by the standard deviation of state personality measured for three days. The hierarchical regression results revealed that state conscientiousness variability did not moderate the relationships between trait conscientiousness and OCBs. However, it moderated the relationships of trait conscientiousness with task performance and CWBs, such that the relationships were stronger when the variability was small rather than when large. The results suggest that organizations can intervene to the performance of their employees by providing training programs focused on state conscientiousness.


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Lee, Y., & Park, H. (2022). Moderating Effects of State Conscientiousness Variability on the Relationships Between Trait Conscientiousness and Individual Performance. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 35(1), 1–27.
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