Contextual versus Task Performance and personality as a predictor of each
Task performance relates to transforming raw materials into the goods and services which are specific to the job, the core technical skill. Contextual performance concerns aspects of an individual’s performance which maintains and enhances an organisation’s social network and the psychological climate that supports technical tasks. Borman and Motowidlo, (1997) contend that it is the contextual dimensions of job performance, rather than the technical components, that can be predicted from personality constructs and Borman, Penner, Allen and Motowidlo (2001) conclude that personality (Conscientiousness and Dependability) correlates more highly with organisational citizenship behaviours than with task performance. It appears that, conversely, cognitive abilities are more relevant for the prediction of task performance (Arvey & Murphy, 1998). Other research asserts that when the personality variables used in the prediction of performance are derived through job analysis, they predict task-related performance, as well as contextual job performance (Cue, 2002; Jenkins & Griffith, 2004). Jenkins and Griffith (2004) go on to state that in order to predict narrow aspects of performance, narrow traits (more specific, primary or facet level) should be used rather than broad global traits such as the FFM’s Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.
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