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This paper sets out the arguments for using broad versus narrow personality traits to predict leadership success. It includes a summary of the Five-Factor Model, highlights limitations of using the model, and considers specific practical considerations for researchers and practitioners when choosing whether to take a broad rather than a narrow approach when measuring personality. This paper demonstrates the superiority of specific personality measures (ie Primary Factors) over broad personality measures (ie Global Factors). In summary, keeping it simple does have a negative impact on predictive power and utility, as well as on the value to the respondent. The optimum approach for researchers and practitioners is to assess personality by using narrow trait measures.
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