Profiles and Culture: Multi-Level Latent Profiles Based on Personality Traits and Facets and Profile Influences on Performance Outcomes across Cultures
Personality research has traditionally adopted a variable-centric approach but recently more studies have adopted a person-centric approach. A person-centric approach can provide additional insights in that it explores for multiple unobserved subgroups within a population and examines the extent to which relationships may differ across subgroups. The current study adds to this growing area in four ways. First, studies have attempted to identify common personality profiles, but results have been inconsistent and very few studies have examined work-relevant samples. The current study addresses this issue based on a large sample that is diverse in terms of industries, occupations, and countries. Second, past research has established personality profiles using either the Five-Factor Model or the Honesty-Humility Emotionality eXtraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Openness (HEXACO) model (e.g., Conte et al., 2017; Daljeet et al., 2017). However, these models may be too broad for understanding and predicting work-related criteria. The current study establishes personality profiles based on 15 lower-order personality traits, which can inform predictor-performance relationships at a facet level. Third, very few person-centric studies have linked personality profiles to performance outcomes. The current study examines various performance outcomes described in Campbell’s performance taxonomy (Campbell & Wiernik, 2015). Finally, previous research has not examined the potential influence of national culture on profile emergence. The current study builds on Gelfand’s cultural tightness-looseness framework (Gelfand et al., 2006) to examine how national culture impacts personality profile emergence, as well as profile-performance relationships based on different work outcomes. These issues were examined in an archival dataset involving 53,046 employees across 17 industries and 76 countries. These employees completed a proprietary measure of personality, and their dimensional and overall performance were rated by their direct supervisors. Latent profile analysis resulted in a six-profile structure based on five personality traits and an eight-profile structure based on 15 personality facets. Analyses also indicated that each profile was associated with different performance outcomes in a unique way. Additionally, national culture did not have a direct effect on trait or facet profile emergence, but it had a moderation effect such that certain personality profiles were scored higher/lower on specific performance domains depending on the strength of a country’s social norms. Results from this research may inform models of personality and performance and selection systems incorporating personality assessments.