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Title: Personality at work : an empirical investigation into higher order factors underpinning the socioanalytic theory of personality
Author: Mansi, Angela
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 6487
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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The study of personality and individual differences has been of interest to academic and practitioner psychologists for more than 100 years. Research into personality differences has provided a comprehensive source of understanding into how, and why, people are different, and what consequences these differences have (Chamorro- Premuzic, 2011; Furnham, 1997; Hogan, 2007). Socioanalytic Theory (ST) (Hogan, 1976: 1982) seeks to explain individual differences in a social setting and argues that personality comprises both reputation and identity. ST posits that three key drivers underpin social interaction and impact on an individual's personal and professional life: (1) the need to get along with others (GAL); (2) the need to get ahead (GAH); and (3) the need to find meaning (FM), (Hogan, 1976). The choice of this theoretical framework was based on three main reasons. First, this is the only personality taxonomy developed explicitly for and within organizational settings. For example, the Five Factor Model is largely derived from student samples and its origins are clinical and social rather than organisational. Second, no other personality framework encapsulates a systematic approach to understanding identity, reputation, bright side, and dark side of individual differences. Third, among science-based personality frameworks and assessments used in real-world contexts, the Hogan model is the most widely used, particularly with managers and leaders. This thesis investigates whether three higher order factors of GAH, GAL and FM can be found within two psychometric measures based on ST: the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) and the Motives Values and Preferences Indicator (MVPI). It argues that while there have been many attempts to look at higher order factors of personality based on reputation, there have been no significant studies so far which consider the higher order factors of identity nor any which look at higher order factors of a combination of reputation and identity. This thesis aims to address this gap in current literature. To this end, six empirical studies are conducted. Studies 1, 2 and 3 investigate which scales of the HPI and the MVPI comprise GAH, GAL and FM and whether three higher order factors will be found within the two measures. Arising from this, the design and development of a new short measure based on ST theory is described. Studies 4, 5 and 6 detail validation studies of the new measure. Study 1 investigates which scales of the HPI and the MVPI comprise higher order factors of GAH, GAL and FM. Results show two higher order factors: GAH and GAL, but no higher order factor of FM. Study 2 confirms the scales of the two higher order factors of GAH and GAL against performance measures. Results confirm two higher order factors of GAH and GAL. Study 3 explains the development and design of a new short measure for GAH and GAL. Studies include Parallel, Exploratory, and Confirmatory analyses, and Structural Equation Modelling. Three validation studies of the new measure are conducted against the Big 5 factors, the Core Self Evaluation Scale, a measure of Engagement, Performance factors, the dark triad of personality, and the Hogan Development Survey (HDS). Study 4 validates the new measure of GAH and GAL against a measure of personality, engagement and performance outcomes. Regression analysis explores the incremental validity of the GAH and GAL constructs in the prediction of work performance. Results confirm two distinct higher order factors of GAH and GAL. GAH offers incremental validity over and above the Big Five factors in predicting both performance and engagement. GAL offers incremental validity over and above the Big Five Factors in predicting engagement. Study 5 validates the new measure against a measure of personality, engagement, the dark triad and work performance. Results show that GAH, but not GAL, has incremental validity over other measures in predicting work performance. Study 5 shows that GAH and GAL correlates with the dark triad traits leading to the inclusion of the HDS in Study 6. Results confirm the positive correlation of GAH with all aspects of the dark triad traits, and a positive correlation of GAL with Narcissism. Study 6 validates the new measure against the HPI and HDS, and investigates how the dark side of personality impacts on GAH and GAL and performance. Hierarchical regressions are conducted to explore the relationships between GAH, GAL, the HPI, the HDS and Performance. Results show that only GAH has incremental validity over and above the HDS and HPI in predicting performance. This thesis advances research in individual differences in personality in a number of key demonstrable ways: (1) by addressing an area of research that, so far, has not been investigated, and demonstrating gaps in current understanding of personality at work, through an investigation into ST; (2) by investigating whether higher order factors, reflecting ST, would be found within the HPI and the MPVI, something that has not been done before; (3) by presenting the design, development and validation of a new short measure for assessing both identity and reputation resulting in two higher order factors: GAH and GAL. In summary, as a result this research contributes to the study of personality differences at work, as well as indicating how the direction future research, building on these findings, can be developed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available