The development of a model and instrument for the measurement of personality and prediction of performance sales roles.
The study examines the relationship between personality and work
performance in sales roles. Beginning with an examination of the major trait
personality models and instruments it examines the reasons that personality
questionnaires have had relatively little success in predicting work
performance. The review concludes that instruments based on the
behaviours which distinguish between the most effective and less effective
sales performers are likely to be better predictors of work behaviour than
traditional measures of a broader model of personality.
A detailed work analysis was conducted based with sales staff, their
managers, directors and customers. To this was added documentary
evidence from job advertisements, training manuals and a sales diary.
Following open coding the 3565 behaviours which emerged were subjected
to a process of reduction to produce two pilot behavioural questionnaires
with a total of 717 questionnaire items. Detailed information about each
item was gathered, including the relationship between item response and
work performance, the capacity to discriminate sales staff from other groups
and the relative responses of gender, age and ethnicity groups. A second
pilot was conducted with studies of concurrent and construct validity being
carried out and the data was subjected to oblique factor analysis and cluster
analysis techniques. A final instrument of 153 items was prepared,
measuring a new hierarchical model of personality in sales roles comprised
of 8 lower order factors, three higher order factors and a general factor.
The new instrument also measured attempts to distort the profiles given.
The new instrument was completed by sales staff from a number of sales
roles and measures of their work performance were also taken. Construct
validity studies were undertaken with Eysenck's Personality Questionnaire,
The Manchester Personality Questionnaire and the NEO-PI questionnaire.
In addition the instrument was completed by two samples of none-sales
staff and measures of their work performance and career advancement were
It was found that in general the work behaviour based instrument was no
more successful than broader personality questionnaire at predicting work
success. The possible reasons for these findings, for example criterion
contamination and an incomplete sampling of behaviours or routes are
discussed.The performance of a number of groups on the instrument are
also reported on the basis of gender, ethnicity, age and first language.