ChapterPDF Available

Character strengths in personnel selection: Can they be used as predictors of job performance?

Authors:

Abstract

Among the core goals of personnel selection is to hire those individuals among applicants who will perform well in the future. Over the last 30 years, researchers investigated various potential predictors of job performance like personality traits and cognitive abilities. Perspectives and constructs, which were neglected in psychological research for a long time, more and more take center stage in psychological research due to the positive psychology movement. Among those constructs there can be found the concept of “character strengths”, which are positive personality traits that contribute to a fulfilled life. Several studies highlight the role of character strengths in the working context. Selected results are described in more detail in the chapter at hand in order to provide a better insight into the nature of the relations between character strengths and job performance. Summarized research showed that individuals with higher scores in specific character strengths receive higher performance ratings by their supervisors. Therefore, it seems very meaningful to consider character strengths in personnel selection. Nevertheless, there are open questions that need to be addressed prior utilizing character strengths (and related assessment measures) as predictors of future job performance of potential job candidates.
This manuscript was published as:
Harzer, C., & Bezuglova, N. (2019). Character strengths in personnel selection:
Can they be used as predictors of job performance? Positiv-Psychologische
Forschung im deutschsprachigen Raum State of the Art [Positive
psychological research in German speaking countries – State of the Art]
(Chapter 10). Lengerich, Germany: Pabst.
Running Head: CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 1
Character strengths in personnel selection: Can they be used as predictors of job
performance?
Claudia Harzer 12 & Natalia Bezuglova 1
1 Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
2 University of Greifswald, Germany
Author Note
Claudia Harzer, Department of Psychology, Technical University Darmstadt,
Germany and Department of Psychology, University of Greifswald; Natalia Bezuglova,
Department of Psychology, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany.
Preparation of this chapter was supported by a research grant from the VIA Institute
on Character.
Address correspondence to Claudia Harzer, Section on Personality
Psychology/Psychological Assessment, Department of Psychology, University of Greifswald,
Franz-Mehring-Str. 47, 17489 Greifswald, Germany, E-mail: harzer.c@gmail.com
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 2
Abstract
Among the core goals of personnel selection is to hire those individuals among applicants
who will perform well in the future. Over the last 30 years, researchers investigated various
potential predictors of job performance like personality traits and cognitive abilities.
Perspectives and constructs, which were neglected in psychological research for a long time,
more and more take center stage in psychological research due to the positive psychology
movement. Among those constructs there can be found the concept of “character strengths”,
which are positive personality traits that contribute to a fulfilled life. Several studies highlight
the role of character strengths in the working context. Selected results are described in more
detail in the chapter at hand in order to provide a better insight into the nature of the relations
between character strengths and job performance. Summarized research showed that
individuals with higher scores in specific character strengths receive higher performance
ratings by their supervisors. Therefore, it seems very meaningful to consider character
strengths in personnel selection. Nevertheless, there are open questions that need to be
addressed prior utilizing character strengths (and related assessment measures) as predictors
of future job performance of potential job candidates.
Keywords: character strengths, job performance, task performance, organizational
citizenship behavior, counterproductive work behavior, incremental validity
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 3
Character strengths in personnel selection: Can they be used as predictors of job
performance?
Among the core goals of personnel selection is to hire those individuals among
applicants who will perform well in the future. Over the last 30 years, researchers
investigated various variables in order to identify relevant predictors of job performance.
Those potential predictors included (but are not limited to) personality traits (e.g., Barrick,
Mount, & Judge, 2001; Salgado, 2003; Tett, Jackson, & Rothstein, 1991), cognitive abilities
(like intelligence; e.g., Kramer, 2009; Hülsheger, Maier, & Stumpp, 2007; Salgado &
Anderson, 2003; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998), self-esteem (e.g., Judge & Bono, 2001; Sekiguchi,
Burton, & Sablynski, 2008), job autonomy (e.g., Morgeson, Delaney-Klinger, & Hemingway,
2005; Wang & Netemeyer, 2002), and work engagement (e.g., Bakker & Bal, 2010;
Christian, Garza, & Slaughter, 2011; Rich, Lepine, & Crawford, 2010). However, prediction
of job performance is far from perfect and further potentially relevant predictors need to be
investigated to improve this prediction.
Perspectives and constructs, which were neglected in psychological research for a
long time (cf. Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), more and more take center stage in
psychological research due to the positive psychology movement. Among those constructs
there can be found the concept of “character strengths” (cf. Peterson & Seligman, 2004) that
represents a positive perspective on personality traits as opposed to more neutral (e.g., Big
Five like extraversion or conscientiousness; Ostendorf, 1990) or negative ones (e.g., Dark
Triad including narcissism, psychopathy, and machiavellism; Paulhus & Williams, 2002).
Character Strengths
Peterson and Seligman (2004) defined character strengths as positively valued
individual differences that manifest in the range of individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and
behaviors. Character strengths are trait-like personality characteristics which dependent on
the circumstances of life and might therefore change in the course of life and can also be
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 4
trained (Peterson & Seligman, 2004; also see Gander, Hofmann, & Ruch, in press). In the
Values in Action (VIA) classification of strengths Peterson and Seligman (2004) subsumed
24 character strengths, which were derived from an extensive literature review on positive
traits (see Table 1).
Table 1
The 24 Character Strengths Included in the Values in Action Classification of Strengths
(Peterson & Seligman, 2004) and Short Descriptions Defining the Strengths
1. Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge
Creativity [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize
and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it
Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in all of
ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and
discovering
Judgement [open-mindedness, critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining
them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one's mind in light of
evidence; weighing all evidence fairly
Love of Learning: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one's
own or formally; obviously related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe
the tendency to add systematically to what one knows
Perspective [wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking
at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people
2. Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of
opposition, external or internal
Bravery [valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for
what is right even if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes
physical bravery but is not limited to it
Perseverance [persistence, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a
course of action in spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing
tasks
Honesty [authenticity, integrity]: Speaking the truth but more broadly and presenting oneself
in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility
for one's feelings and actions
Zest [vitality, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with excitement and energy; not
doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated
Table 1 continues
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 5
Table 1 (continued)
3. Interpersonal strengths that involve “tending and befriending” others
Capacity to Love and Be Loved [short: love]: Valuing close relations with others, in
particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people
Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, "niceness"]: Doing
favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them
Social Intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: Being aware of the
motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different
social situations; knowing what makes other people tick
4. Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life
Teamwork [citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty]: Working well as a member of a group
or team; being loyal to the group; doing one's share
Fairness Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting
personal feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.
Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the
time maintain time good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing
that they happen
5. Strengths that protect against excess
Forgiveness [mercy]: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of
others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful
Modesty [humility]: Letting one's accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding
oneself as more special than one is
Prudence: Being careful about one's choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing
things that might later be regretted
Self-Regulation [self-control]: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined;
controlling one's appetites and emotions
6 Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning
Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence [awe, wonder, elevation; short: appreciation]:
Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains
of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience
Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to
express thanks
Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and
working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about
Humor [playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the
light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes
spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose
and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having
beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort
Note. Labels of character strengths and expressions in brackets emphasize family
resemblance to acknowledge heterogeneity of strengths and to minimize subtle (political or
otherwise) connotations (Peterson & Seligman, 2004).
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 6
The character strengths as shown in Table 1 are grouped together content-wise on a
theoretical basis (cf., Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Character strengths are cross-culturally
valued, distinct from each other, and measurable. There are several measures that aim at
assessing the 24 character strengths in adolescents and adults (e.g., Littman-Ovadia, 2015;
McGrath, 2017; Ruch, Proyer, Harzer, Park, Peterson, & Seligman, 2010; Ruch, Weber,
Park, & Peterson, 2014). The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson,
Park, & Seligman, 2005; German version: Ruch et al., 2010) is a 240-item self-rating
questionnaire which is most often utilized to assess the character strengths in adults. Various
studies showed its satisfactory reliability and validity.
Peterson and Seligman (2004) postulated character strengths contribute to a fulfilled
and successful life. Accordingly, research showed meaningful relations between specific
character strengths and favorable outcomes in different areas of life like physical health (e.g.,
Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2017), life satisfaction (e.g., Park, Peterson, &
Seligman, 2004), psychological well-being (e.g., Harzer, 2016), school achievement (e.g.,
Weber, 2018), and vocational orientation of young people (e.g., Proyer, Sidler, Weber, &
Ruch, 2012). Several studies highlight the role of character strengths in the working context.
Results stem from samples around the globe (e.g., Canada, Germany, Israel, Pakistan,
Switzerland, USA). For example, studies show that character strengths are related to work-
related well-being like positive affect, work engagement, sense of meaning, job satisfaction,
and lower stress (e.g., Harzer, Mubashar & Dubreuil, 2017; Harzer & Ruch, 2015; Heintz &
Ruch, in press; Peterson, Stephens, Park, Lee, & Seligman, 2010). Additionally, job
performance might be seen as another important indicator of a fulfilled and successful life.
Job Performance
Job performance is a multi-faceted construct as employees show different
performance-related behaviors at different times depending on the situation (e.g., Borman,
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 7
White, & Dorsey, 1995; Griffin, Neal, & Parker, 2007; Viswesvaran, & Ones, 2000).
Therefore, several dimensions of job performance have been considered in research.
Firstly, there are aspects of job performance which have a positive value for the
organizational effectiveness (e.g., Viswesvaran & Ones, 2000). These are in-role behavior
(also known as task performance; e.g., Williams & Anderson, 1991) and extra-role behavior
(also known as contextual performance or organizational citizenship behavior; e.g.,
Motowidlo, 2000). The latter includes aspects like job dedication (work motivation),
interpersonal facilitation (support of co-workers), and organizational support (loyalty) (e.g.,
Coleman & Borman, 2000). Furthermore, job performance includes aspects like proficiency
of work-related behavior, adaptability to change, and proactivity to improve processes, all of
which can be observed on individual, team, and organizational level (Griffin et al., 2007).
Secondly, there are dimensions of job performance which have a negative value for
the organizational effectiveness (e.g., Viswesvaran & Ones, 2000). These are labeled
counterproductive work behavior (also known as deviant behavior; e.g., Bennett & Robinson,
2000; Markus & Schuler, 2004). Counterproductive work behavior or deviance at work
“violates significant organizational norms and, in so doing, threatens the well-being of the
organization or its members, or both” (Bennett & Robinson, 2000, p. 349). Accordingly, it
can be directed at the organization itself (organizational deviance; e.g., take property from
work without permission) or at the members of the organization (interpersonal deviance; e.g.,
make fun of someone at work) (Bennett & Robinson, 2000).
Personality traits such as Big Five (especially conscientiousness, but also extraversion
and agreeableness) and intelligence (also labeled as general mental abilities) have proven to
be relevant predictors of job performance (e.g., Avis, Kudisch, & Fortunato, 2002; Barrick et
al., 2001; Kramer, 2009; Salgado & Anderson, 2003; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998; Tett et al.,
1999). For example, several studies consistently showed that conscientiousness is a valid
predictor of various dimensions of and general job performance (e.g., Dudley, Orvis,
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 8
Lebiecki, & Cortina, 2006; Judge et al., 1999; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998; Tett et al., 1991; Van
Scotter & Motowidlo, 1996). In terms of team-related and overall job performance,
extraversion proved to be a strong predictor (e.g., Barrick, et al., 2001). Agreeableness
predicted interpersonal facilitation (e.g., Barrick et al., 2001; Van Scotter & Motowidlo,
1996). Furthermore, meta-analytical studies utilizing different data from different cultures
and countries, impressively showed that intelligence proves to be a valid predictor of training
performance and job performance (e.g., Hülsheger et al., 2007; Salgado & Anderson, 2003;
Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Furthermore, Schmidt and Hunter (1998) found that a combination
of intelligence with other personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness) improves the prediction
of job performance. Intelligence explains about 26% of the variance in overall job
performance; adding conscientiousness and integrity as predictors increased the explained
variance by 1% and 2%, respectively (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Although, personality traits
like the Big Five explain a significant amount of variance in job performance, more research
is needed in order to identify further relevant predictors of the dimensions of job
performance. Character strengths might be interesting candidates as there is a steadily
growing body of research highlighting their meaningful and replicable relations with job
performance.
Character Strengths and Job Performance
Studies show meaningful relations between specific groups of character strengths like
the cognitive strengths and specific aspects of job performance like creative performance
(Avey, Luthans, Hannah, Sweetman, & Peterson, 2012; Kalyar & Kalyar, 2018). Moreover
and of special interest to the chapter at hand, several studies investigated the relations
between character strengths and the various dimensions of job performance like in-role
behavior (e.g., Harzer & Bezuglova, in prep.; Harzer et al., 2017; Harzer & Ruch, 2014;
Littman-Ovadia & Lavy, 2016), extra-role behavior (e.g., Harzer & Bezuglova, in prep.;
Harzer et al., 2017; Harzer & Ruch, 2014), and counterproductive work behavior (e.g.,
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 9
Harzer & Bezuglova, in prep.; Harzer et al., 2017; Littman-Ovadia & Lavy, 2016). Selected
results are described in more detail in order to provide a better insight into the nature of the
relations between character strengths (measured by self-ratings) and job performance
(measured by self- and/or supervisory rating).
For example, a study by Harzer and Ruch (2014) showed that specific character
strengths are related to specific dimensions of job performance meaningfully and across
different samples and methods of performance assessment (i.e., self- vs. supervisory rating).
For example, character strengths such as perseverance, teamwork, prudence, self-regulation,
and honesty positively correlated with task performance and job dedication. Furthermore,
there were positive correlations between job dedication and bravery, curiosity as well as love
of learning. Interpersonal facilitation was related to kindness, teamwork, fairness, and
leadership. Perseverance, kindness, teamwork, and self-regulation were the character
strengths with the numerically strongest correlations with organizational support. Harzer et
al. (2017), Harzer and Bezuglova (in prep.) as well as Littman-Ovadia and Lavy (2016)
reported comparable relations of the 24 character strengths with job performance.
Furthermore, character strengths were negatively related to counterproductive work behavior
across various studies (Harzer & Bezuglova, in prep.; Harzer et al., 2017; Littman-Ovadia &
Lavy, 2016). Honesty repeatedly was among those character strengths with the numerically
strengths correlation with counterproductive work behavior.
To sum up, research has repeatedly shown, that character strengths systematically
correlate with job performance. However, the question arises to what extend character
strengths exhibit incremental validity as predictors of job performance above and beyond
common predictors utilized in industrial and organizational psychological research and
practice. Therefore, from our point of view, character strengths should explain further
variance in job performance above and beyond intelligence and Big Five as both are central
predictors of job performance (e.g., Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Preliminary results of an
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 10
ongoing study indicate that character strengths seem to exhibit incremental validity when
predicting different dimensions of job performance as rated by the direct supervisor above
and beyond intelligence or Big Five (Harzer & Bezuglova, in prep.). More specifically,
adding character strengths as predictors of overall job performance in addition to intelligence
(which explained 19% of the variance in overall job performance), explained variance
increased by 12%. Furthermore, adding character strengths as predictors of overall job
performance in addition to Big Five (which explained 15% of the variance in overall job
performance), explained variance increased by 29% (Harzer & Bezuglova, in prep.).
These results indicate that character strengths might be potent predictors of various
dimensions of job performance. Should they be utilized in personnel selection in order to
optimize prediction of future job performance?
Discussion – Character Strengths in Personnel Selection as Predictors of Job
Performance
Summarized research showed that individuals with higher scores in specific character
strengths receive higher performance ratings by their supervisors. Therefore, it seems very
meaningful to consider character strengths in personnel selection. Nevertheless, there are
open questions that need to be addressed prior utilizing character strengths (and related
assessment measures) as predictors of future job performance of potential job candidates.
Firstly, all the results summarized above stem from cross-sectional studies. Therefore,
causal direction of effects has not been examined yet. Longitudinal and experimental studies
are needed to show that character strengths lead to higher job performance dimensions (and
not vice versa).
Secondly, the results summarized above stem from mixed samples of employees
which worked in different jobs and branches. However, it is reasonable to assume job-
specific effects which need to be examined. For example, the character strengths teamwork
and social intelligence might be more relevant for job performance in jobs in which
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 11
employees work in teams or counsel clients, respectively (see Harzer, 2011, for job-specific
strengths profiles). Therefore, strengths-related job demands analyses might be needed when
selecting new personnel for specific positions.
Thirdly, research is needed to investigate possible differences in (a) the self-ratings of
character strengths and (b) the criterion validity of character strengths when utilized in
personnel selection processes. Research shows that “faking” (i.e., a more favorable self-
description) of applicants in personnel selection does not necessarily decrease criterion
validity (e.g., Marcus, 2006, 2009). However, this needs to be shown for character strengths
as well in order utilize them to predict future job performance.
Fourthly, as character strengths are malleable and thus can be trained (Peterson &
Seligman, 2004), job performance could be improved through the development of specific
training programs and other human resources development tools (e.g., Dubreuil et al., 2016).
Therefore, it might be especially meaningful to consider them in personnel development and
coaching (see McQuaid, 2017, for a description how character strengths might be considered
in coaching and training) as long as the open questions raised above are not answered.
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 12
References
Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., Hannah, S. T., Sweetman, D., & Peterson, C. (2012). Impact of
employees’ character strengths of wisdom on stress and creative performance. Human
Resource Management Journal, 22, 165-181.
Avis, J. M., Kudisch, J. D., & Fortunato, V. J. (2002). Examining the incremental validity
and adverse impact of cognitive ability and conscientiousness on job performance.
Journal of Business and Psychology, 17, 87-105.
Bakker, A. B., & Bal, P. M. (2010). Weekly work engagement and performance: A study
among starting teachers. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83,
189-206.
Barrick, M. R., Mount, M. K., & Judge, T. A. (2001). Personality and performance at the
beginning of the new millennium: What do we know and where do we go next?
International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 9, 9-30.
Bennett, R. J. & Robinson, S. L. (2000). Development of a measure of workplace deviance.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 349-360.
Borman, W. C., White, L. A., & Dorsey, D. W. (1995). Effects of ratee task performance and
interpersonal factors on supervisor and peer performance ratings. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 80, 168-177.
Christian, M. S., Garza, A. S., & Slaughter, J. E. (2011). Work Engagement: A Quantitative
Review and Test of its Relations with Task and Contextual Performance. Personnel
Psychology, 64, 89-136.
Coleman, V. I., & Borman, W. C. (2000). Investigating the underlying structure of the
citizenship performance domain. Human Resource Management Review, 10, 25-44.
Dubreuil, P., Forest, J., Gillet, N., Fernet, C., Thibault-Landry, A., Crevier-Braud, L., &
Girouard, S. (2016). Facilitating well-being and performance through the
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 13
development of strengths at work: Results from an intervention program. Journal of
Applied Positive Psychology,1, 1-19.
Dudley, N. M., Orvis, K. A., Lebiecki, J. E., & Cortina, J. M. (2006). A meta-analytic
investigation of conscientiousness in the prediction of job performance: Examining
the intercorrelations and the incremental validity of narrow traits. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 91, 40-57.
Gander, F., Hofmann, J., Proyer, R.T., & Ruch, W. (in press). Character strengths – Stability,
change, and relationships with well-being changes. Applied Research Quality Life.
Griffin, M. A., Neal, A., & Parker, S. K. (2007). A new model of work role performance:
Positive behavior in uncertain and interdependent contexts. Academy of Management
Journal, 50, 327-347.
Harzer, C. (2011). Profile verschiedener Berufe [Character strengths profiles of different
vocations]. In D. Jungo, W. Ruch, & R. Zihlmann (Eds.), Das VIA-IS ("Values in
Action Inventory of Strengths"), ein Instrument zur Erfassung von Charakterstärken.
Informationen und Interpretationshilfen für die Berufs-, Studien- und
Laufbahnberatung (2. ed., pp. 40-44). Bern, Switzerland: SDBB Verlag.
Harzer, C. (2016). The eudaimonics of human strengths and virtues: The relations between
character strengths and well-being. In J. Vittersø (Ed.), Handbook of eudaimonic
wellbeing (pp. 307-322). Berlin, Germany: Springer.
Harzer, C., & Bezuglova, N. (in prep.). Incremental validity of character strengths in
predicting job performance beyond general mental abilities and Big Five. Manuscript
in preparation.
Harzer, C., Mubashar, T., & Dubreuil, P. (2017). Character strengths and strength-related
person-job fit as predictors of work-related wellbeing, job performance, and
workplace deviance. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 19(3), 23-38.
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 14
Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2014). The role of character strengths for task performance, job
dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and organizational support. Human
Performance, 27, 183-205.
Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2015). The relationships of character strengths with coping, work-
related stress, and job satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 165.
Heintz, S. & Ruch, W. (in press). Character strengths and job satisfaction: Differential
relationships across occupational groups and adulthood. Applied Research Quality
Life.
Hülsheger, U. R., Maier, G. W., & Stumpp, T. (2007). Validity of general mental ability for
the prediction of job performance and training success in Germany: A meta-analysis.
International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 15, 3-18.
Judge, T. A., & Bono, J. E. (2001). Relationship of core self-evaluations traits—self-esteem,
generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability—with job
satisfaction and job performance: A metaanalysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86,
80-92.
Judge, T. A., Higgins, C. A., Thoresen, C. J., & Barrick, M. R. (1999). The Big Five
personality traits, general mental ability, and career success across the life span.
Personnel Psychology, 52, 621-652.
Kalyar, M. N., & Kalyar, H. (2018). Provocateurs of creative performance: Examining the
roles of wisdom character strengths and stress. Personnel Review, 47, 334-352.
Kramer, J. (2009). Allgemeine Intelligenz und beruflicher Erfolg in Deutschland: Vertiefende
und weiterführende Metaanalysen [General mental ability and occupational success in
Germany: Further metaanalytic elaborations and amplifications]. Psychologische
Rundschau, 60, 82-98.
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 15
Littman-Ovadia, H. (2015). Short form of the VIA Inventory of Strengths: Construction and
initial tests of reliability and validity. International Journal of Humanities Social
Sciences and Education, 2, 229-237.
Littman-Ovadia, H., & Lavy, S. (2016). Going the extra mile: Perseverance as a key
character strength at work. Journal of Career Assessment, 24, 240-252.
Marcus, B. (2006). Relationships between faking, validity, and decision criteria in personnel
selection. Psychology Science, 48, 226-246.
Marcus, B. (2009). ‘Faking’ from the applicant’s perspective: A theory of self- presentation
in personnel selection settings. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 17,
417-430.
Marcus, B., & Schuler, H. (2004). Antecedents of counterproductive behavior at work: A
general perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 647-660.
McGrath, R. E. (2017). Technical report: The VIA Assessment Suite for Adults: Development
and initial evaluation. Cincinnati, OH: VIA Institute on Character.
McQuaid, M. (2017). Positive psychology coaching: An approach for human flourishing.
Organisationsberatung, Supervision, Coaching, 24, 283-296.
Morgeson, F. P., Delaney-Klinger, K., & Hemingway, M. A. (2005). The importance of job
autonomy, cognitive ability, and job-related skill for predicting role breadth and job
performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 399-406.
Motowidlo, S. J. (2000). Some basic issues related to contextual performance and
organizational citizenship behavior in human resource management. Human Resource
Management Review, 10, 115-126.
Ostendorf, F. (1990). Sprache und Persönlichkeitsstruktur: Zur Validität des Fünf- Faktoren-
Modells der Persönlichkeit [Language and structure of personality: On the validity of
the Five-Factor Model of personality]. Regensburg, Germany: S. Roderer Verlag.
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 16
Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being.
Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 603-619.
Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism,
machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556-563.
Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Assessment of character strengths. In G.
P. Koocher, J. C. Norcross, & S. S. Hill, III (Eds.), Psychologists’ desk reference (2nd
ed., pp. 93-98). New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and
classification. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Peterson, C., Stephens, J. P., Park, N., Lee, F., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2010). Strengths of
character and work. In P. A. Linley, S. Harrington, & N. Garcea, Oxford handbook of
positive psychology at work (pp. 221-231). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2017). What good are character
strengths beyond subjective well-being? The contribution of the good character on
self-reported health-oriented behavior, physical fitness, and the subjective health
status. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 222-232.
Proyer, R. T., Sidler, N., Weber, M., & Ruch, W. (2012). A multi-method approach to
studying the relationship between character strengths and vocational interests in
adolescents. International Journal of Educational and Vocational Guidance, 12, 141-
157.
Rich, B. L., Lepine, J. A. & Crawford, E. R. (2010) Job engagement: Antecedents and effects
on job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 617-635.
Ruch, W., Proyer, R. T., Harzer, C., Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2010).
Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS): Adaptation and validation of the
German version and the development of a peer-rating form. Journal of Individual
Differences, 31, 138-149.
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 17
Ruch, W., Weber, M., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2014). Character strengths in children and
adolescents: Reliability and initial validity of the German Values in Action Inventory
of Strengths for Youth (German VIA-Youth). European Journal of Psychological
Assessment, 30, 57-64.
Salgado, J. F. (2003). Predicting job performance using FFM and non-FFM measures.
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76, 323-346.
Salgado, J. F., & Anderson, N. (2003). Validity generalization of GMA tests across countries
in the European Community. European Journal of Work and Organizational
Psychology, 12, 1-17.
Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in
personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research
findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 262-274.
Sekiguchi, T., Burton, J. P., & Sablynski, C. J. (2008). The role of job embeddedness on
employee performance: The interactive effects with leader-member exchange and
organization-based self-esteem. Personnel Psychology, 61, 761-792.
Seligman, M. E. P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction.
American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
Tett, R. P., Jackson, D. N., & Rothstein, M. (1991). Personality measures as predictors of job
performance: A meta-analytic review. Personnel Psychology, 44, 703-742.
Van Scotter, J. R., & Motowidlo, S. J. (1996). Interpersonal facilitation and job dedication as
separate facets of contextual performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 525-
531.
Viswesvaran, C., & Ones, D. S. (2000). Perspectives on models of job performance.
International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 8, 216-226.
CHARACTER STRENGTHS AND JOB PERFORMANCE 18
Wang, G., & Netemeyer, R.G. (2002). The effects of job autonomy, customer
demandingness, and trait competitiveness on salesperson learning, self efficacy, and
performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 30, 217-228.
Weber, M. (2018). Character strengths in the context of positive schooling. In A. Kumar P.,
T. S. George, & Sudhesh N. T. (Eds.), Character strength development: Perspectives
from positive psychology (pp. 1-30). New Delhi, India: Sage.
Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1991). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as
predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. Journal of
Management, 17, 601-617.
... Also, it has been suggested that applicability of signature strengths had positive connection with positive experiences (Harzer & Ruch, 2013), role performance, extra role performance (Woerkom & Meyers, 2015), work engagement (Bakker & Wingerden, 2020), job outcomes (Ghielen et al. 2017) and optimal functioning at work (Pelaez, 2020). Role of strengths to increment flourishing in different domains of life including workplace has also been witnessed (Wagner et al, 2021) with an improvement in job performance particularly due to connection of perseverance, teamwork, prudence, self-regulation, and honesty (Harzer & Bezuglova, 2019). These researches had shown a great deal of interest on role of character strengths on an individual's well-being, life satisfaction and positive outcomes at work. ...
... In a recent most study by Harzer et al. (2021), character strengths were found to be predicting job performance irrespective of general mental ability (GMA) whereas theological strengths (e.g., zest, love, hope, gratitude) were predicting life satisfaction whereas intellectual strengths had predicted personal growth (Azanedo et al, 2021). The strengths are considered even in personnel selection as score on a certain strength can predict job performance (Harzer & Bezuglova, 2019). Overall, 12 character strengths are considered to be successful including leadership, integrity, persistence, bravery, open-mindedness, fairness, citizenship, self-regulation, love of learning, social intelligence, perspective and creativity (Boe et al. 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Character strengths are positive traits that are considered important for number of desirable outcomes in an individual’s personal, professional and social life. The present study investigated correlates and predictors of workplace happiness in university teachers. Sample consisted of 102 university teachers (male=66, female=36) selected from different renowned universities in Lahore, Pakistan. Workplace happiness questionnaire (WPQ), Workplace environment questionnaire and VIA-120 translated in Urdu were used as assessment measures. Preliminary analysis, Pearson product moment correlation and linear regression analysis were used to find descriptive statistics of scales, correlates and predictors of workplace happiness, respectively. Findings of study revealed that gratitude, honesty, spirituality, hope and kindness were top ranked strengths while love of learning, perspective, self-regulation, prudence and appreciation of beauty and excellence were lowest in the present Pakistani sample of university teachers. Pearson product moment correlation analysis showed workplace environment was strongly associated with workplace happiness. Among strengths, appreciation of beauty and excellence, bravery, creativity, judgment, perspective and prudence had strong positive relationship with workplace happiness. Regression analysis revealed workplace environment as strong predictor and among character strengths, bravery as moderate while prudence as weak predictor of workplace happiness in university teachers. Study discussed directions for future studies and implications of findings on educational as well as workplace setting.
... Tekintve, hogy a vezető attitűdje és működésmódja meghatározó a vállalat működése szempontjából általában is, nem hagyható figyelmen kívül ez a szempont akkor sem, amikor az innovációs teljesítményt értékeljük. Azt korábbi kutatások alapján már tudjuk ugyanis, hogy az egyén erősségeinek munkában történő alkalmazása versenyelőnyt jelenthet (Harzer & Bezuglova, 2019), és segít jobban kiteljesedni a munkában. Eredményeink is arra utalnak, hogy az innovációt értéknek tekintő vezetéssel működő szervezetek innovációs kapacitása eleve nagyobb. ...
Article
Nemzetközi összehasonlításban a magyarországi vállalatok innovációs teljesítménye gyenge. Bár a szerzők magyarországi feldolgozóipari vállalatok körében végzett kérdőíves felmérésének eredménye alapján kimutatható az ellátási láncban elfoglalt pozíció innovációs teljesítményre gyakorolt hatása, az innovációhoz való viszonyulást nem elsősorban ez határozza meg. Az ellátási lánc alján is találtak olyan vállalatokat, melyek az innovációt a vállalat sikerének tekintették, csak alacsonyabb arányban, mint a többi vállalat. A vállalatvezetők innovációra való nyitottsága és a sikeres vállalati innováció között szignifikáns kapcsolatot tártak fel. A vezető attitűdje meghatározó az olyan stratégiai kérdésekkel kapcsolatban, mint az innováció. Ha a vezető számára az innováció nem releváns, nem értékes, nem fogja támogatni azokat a kezdeményezéseket, amelyek innovációt eredményeznének. Ezzel magyarázható, hogy ahol a vezető innovációs attitűdje alacsony, azok a vállalatok kevés innovációs eredményt tudtak felmutatni. A vezetők innovációra való nyitottsága egyrészt függ a személyiségjellemzőktől, másrészt fejleszthető tudatosan és célirányosan. A fejlesztésben fontos szerepet tölthetnek be a vezetőképzések, vezetői coachingfolyamatok.
Chapter
Full-text available
Im vorliegenden Beitrag wird die Bedeutsamkeit von Charakterstärken für den Lehrberuf mittels einer explorativen Studie untersucht. Dafür wurden Lehramtsstudierende im Rahmen eines universitären, bildungswissenschaftlichen Seminars über die Charakterstärken informiert und zur Bedeutsamkeit für den Lehrberuf befragt. Die gesammelten Daten werden mit vorhandenen Befunden zu Charakterstärken von Lehrpersonen und den Eigenschaften einer humanistischen Lehrerpersönlichkeit abgeglichen. Fairness, Führungsvermögen, Authentizität und soziale Intelligenz stellen sich als bedeutsame Charakterstärken heraus. Urteilsvermögen, Liebe zum Lernen und Sinn für das Schöne werden diskutiert.
Article
Full-text available
Over the last decades, various predictors have proven relevant for job performance [e.g., general mental ability (GMA), broad personality traits, such as the Big Five]. However, prediction of job performance is far from perfect, and further potentially relevant predictors need to be investigated. Narrower personality traits, such as individuals' character strengths, have emerged as meaningfully related to different aspects of job performance. However, it is still unclear whether character strengths can explain additional variance in job performance over and above already known powerful predictors. Consequently, the present study aimed at (1) examining the incremental validity of character strengths as predictors of job performance beyond GMA and/or the Big Five traits and (2) identifying the most important predictors of job performance out of the 24 character strengths, GMA, and the Big Five. Job performance was operationalized with multidimensional measures of both productive and counterproductive work behavior. A sample of 169 employees from different occupations completed web-based self-assessments on character strengths, GMA, and the Big Five. Additionally, the employees' supervisors provided web-based ratings of their job performance. Results showed that character strengths incrementally predicted job performance beyond GMA, the Big Five, or GMA plus the Big Five; explained variance increased up to 54.8, 43.1, and 38.4%, respectively, depending on the dimension of job performance. Exploratory relative weight analyses revealed that for each of the dimensions of job performance, at least one character strength explained a numerically higher amount of variance than GMA and the Big Five, except for individual task proactivity, where GMA exhibited the numerically highest amount of explained variance. The present study shows that character strengths are relevant predictors of job performance in addition to GMA and other conceptualizations of personality (i.e., the Big Five). This also highlights the role of socio-emotional skills, such as character strengths, for the understanding of performance outcomes above and beyond cognitive ability.
Article
Full-text available
The present study aimed at examining the relations between character strengths, three indices of character strengths-related person-job fit (application of signature strengths vs. demanded strengths vs. happiness strengths), and work-related outcomes (work-related well-being, job performance, deviant behavior). A sample of 122 employees from various companies filled in questionnaires assessing character strengths, applicability of character strengths at work, work-related well-being, job performance, and workplace devi-ance. Results showed that possession of character strengths and character strength-related person-job fit explained unique variances in work-related outcomes. Most substantial predictors were teamwork, creativity , and signature strengths fit. Results are discussed with respect to theoretical and practical implications as well as limitations.
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the present study was to test the efficacy of a strengths-based intervention program delivered in the workplace and assess its impact on well-being, performance, harmonious passion, vitality and concentration of workers. The intervention program was conducted on a sample of 78 participants working in a physical readaptation center and comprised three main steps: (1) Discovery, (2) Integration and (3) Action. Results from series or paired sample t-tests revealed a significant increase in participants’ strengths knowledge, strengths use and well-being after the intervention. However, no difference was found regarding work performance, harmonious passion, vitality and concentration. Further analyses revealed that participants who reported high increases in strengths use also showed significant increases in harmonious passion and work performance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
This article summarizes the practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research in personnel selection. On the basis of meta-analytic findings, this article presents the validity of 19 selection procedures for predicting job performance and training performance and the validity of paired combinations of general mental ability (GMA) and the 18 other selection procedures. Overall, the 3 combinations with the highest multivariate validity and utility for job performance were GMA plus a work sample test (mean validity of .63), GMA plus an integrity test (mean validity of .65), and GMA plus a structured interview (mean validity of .63). A further advantage of the latter 2 combinations is that they can be used for both entry level selection and selection of experienced employees. The practical utility implications of these summary findings are substantial. The implications of these research findings for the development of theories of job performance are discussed.
Article
Purpose This study attempts to empirically examine the influence of employees’ character strengths of wisdom on stress and creative work performance, assuming stress to be a potential mediator. Design/methodology/approach The study uses survey questionnaires to gather information. Using random sampling technique, the data was collected from 753 respondents from 200 organizations of Pakistan. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyze data in order to explore proposed relationships. Findings The findings of the study suggest a positive relationship between wisdom strengths and the creative work performance of employees. In addition, stress was found to be negatively associated with both wisdom strengths and creative work performance. Research limitations/implications The contributes to existing literature of human resource and positive psychology as results of the study provide support to develop a link in research between creativity and personality, in general, and character strengths, in particular. Practical implications The findings suggest that by incorporating character strengths, firms may develop and foster the means that can expand the bounded-rationality of employees to help them promote their creative activity and identify new and better ways to accomplish a task, thus ensuring better performance and increasing the likelihood of human resources becoming a source of competitive advantage. Originality/value The study is unique in its scope and implications because it focuses on empirical investigation of effect of character strengths on stress and creative work performance in Asian context, particularly in Pakistan.
Article
Researchers have found that we live in a world our questions create because what we ask people determines what they discover and shapes their ability to imagine plan and create their future reality. So are you asking questions that help people to discover the true, the good and the possible in their situations in ways that fuel their confidence, courage and commitment? In this article we’ll begin by understanding the growth of strengths-based coaching, explore the potential benefits of a strengths approach and see how coaches are putting a strengths focus into practice, the tools they are using, the questions they are asking and the emerging research that is guiding their work.
Chapter
The present chapter was aimed at presenting an overview of the findings on the relations between character strengths and well-being. In order to get a broader picture about these relations, not just eudaimonic well-being but also hedonic well-being was considered. Within the scope of the chapter at hand, focus was on subjective well-being as indicator of hedonic well-being as well as on psychological well-being as indicator of eudaimonic well-being. Following the definitions of these constructs, research findings on the correlations between character strengths and well-being (i.e., subjective well-being: positive affect, negative affect, and global life satisfaction; psychological well-being: environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, autonomy, self-acceptance, and positive relationships) are presented. None of the character strengths systematically showed a correlation coefficient that indicated a detrimental relation between a strength and (indicators of) subjective and psychological well-being. On the contrary and as expected, character strengths seem to be important individual factors facilitating well-being. Across all indicators of well-being (i.e., subjective well-being and psychological well-being) zest, hope, and curiosity were the most substantial correlates among the character strengths. Moreover, in addition to zest, hope, and curiosity, further character strengths were relevant for specific indicators of subjective well-being and psychological well-being as well. In-depth interpretations of the most important relations are presented and discussed. Finally, concluding remarks and open questions are presented, and future directions for research are discussed.