Personality, Values, And Motivation

Personality, Values, And Motivation
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  Review Personality, values, and motivation Laura Parks a, * , Russell P. Guay b,1 a  James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, United States b University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, United States a r t i c l e i n f o  Article history: Received 12 November 2008Received in revised form 19 May 2009Accepted 1 June 2009Available online 26 June 2009 Keywords: PersonalityValuesMotivationGoals a b s t r a c t Inthismanuscriptwereviewtheconstructsofpersonalityandvalues,clarifyinghowtheyarerelatedandhowtheyaredistinct. Wethenrelatethatunderstandingtomotivation, andproposethatpersonalityandvalues have different influences on different motivational processes. We present a model in which per-sonality andvalues influence motivation via the motivational processes of goal content andgoal striving.   2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 1. Personality, values, and motivation Since 1937, when Allport recommended the exclusion of evalu-ative traits when investigating personality, the constructs of per-sonality and values have rarely been studied together. However,both are expected to influence a variety of behavioral outcomes,andsoit seemsevidentthat weshouldconsiderbothinexaminingtheimpactofindividualdifferencesonbehavior.Yetthispracticeisso infrequent, there is little understanding of how personality andvaluesarerelatedtooneanother,muchlesshowtheymightjointlyimpactbehavior.Assuch,thismanuscriptconsidersbothpersonal-ity and values simultaneously as predictors of motivated behavior.Inthispaperwereviewthepersonalityandvaluesliteraturesinterms of how the constructs are similar and distinct in order toclarify their unique attributes. Because values have received lessliterary attention in recent years, the values construct is reviewedin greater detail. We then reviewhoweach is expected to relate tomotivation theoretically, and how they have been linked to moti-vation empirically. We also propose a model that integrates thetwo constructs into one motivational framework and discusshow they may differentially predict different motivational pro-cesses. The goal of this manuscript is to clarify our understandingof how values and personality are similar, how they are distinct,and how they might collectively influence motivated behavior. 2. Personality  Personality is defined as enduring dispositions that cause char-acteristic patterns of interaction with one’s environment (Gold-berg, 1993; Olver & Mooradian, 2003). Research has demon-strated that personality is related to physiological processes (Olver&Mooradian,2003), andthereis‘‘robustevidencethatgeneticfac-tors substantially influence personality traits” (Caspi, Roberts, &Shiner,2005,p.462),withheritabilitiesaveragingaround.40(Bou-chard, 1997). While there is little evidence for a shared environ-mental effect, there is obviously a significant non-sharedenvironmental component that contributes to an individual’s per-sonality (Bouchard, 2004).Although personality research has experienced a renaissance inthelast25years,untiltheearly-1980smostoftheresearchonper-sonality – particularly on workplace outcomes – concluded thatpersonality did not matter (Barrick, Mount, & Judge, 2001; Gold-berg, 1993). That conclusion changed, however, with the emer-gence of the five-factor model of personality (FFM), whichprovided a relatively parsimonious taxonomy for grouping andclassifying specific traits. Aggregating personality traits into thesefive broad categories produces several benefits, including greaterreliability in measurement and results that are more comparableacross studies. As noted by Mount and Barrick (1995, p. 160),‘‘many personality psychologists have reached a consensus thatfive personality constructs, referred to as the Big Five, are neces-sary and sufficient to describe the basic dimensions of normal per-sonality.” Further, McCrae and Costa (1997, p. 509) state that‘‘many psychologists are now convinced that the best representa-tion of trait structure is provided by the five-factor model.” 0191-8869/$ - see front matter   2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.paid.2009.06.002 *  Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 540 568 5171. E-mail addresses: (L. Parks), Guay). 1 Tel.: +1 319 335 1504. Personality and Individual Differences 47 (2009) 675–684 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Personality and Individual Differences journal homepage:  The FFM’s five factors (and examples of traits) are Conscien-tiousness (responsible, organized, efficient), Emotional Stability(self-confident, resilient, well-adjusted), Extraversion (talkative,ambitious, assertive), Agreeableness (friendly, cooperative, loyal),and Openness to Experience (curious, imaginative, open-minded)(Goldberg, 1992; Mount & Barrick, 2002). Although the FFM isnow widely accepted as a meaningful way to organize personalitytraits and has been shown to have cross-cultural generalizability(McCrae &Costa, 1997), some researchers defendtaxonomies withmore or fewer factors (see, for example, Ashton et al., 2004; Block,1995). Nonetheless, the emergence of the FFM led to increasedactivity in the study of personality, with the conclusion that per-sonality does indeed have meaningful relationships with perfor-mance, motivation, job satisfaction, leadership, and other workoutcomes. 3. Values Broadly defined, values are conceptions of the desirable(Kluckhorn, 1951). More specific definitions have been developed,however, and the proliferation of descriptions has tended to hin-der research in the values domain (Hitlin & Piliavin, 2004). Ingeneral, values research has ascribed to one of two basic models(Ravlin & Meglino, 1987a), which we refer to as ‘‘values as pref-erences” and ‘‘values as principles.” Values as preferences (workvalues) are essentially attitudes. They indicate the  preferences  thatindividuals have for various environments (Ravlin & Meglino,1987a). For example, someone who values autonomy would bemore satisfied with a job that provides considerable discretion.Values as preferences have been studied extensively in relationto career choice and, more recently, within the context of fit. Re-sults typically indicate that values as preferences are related toattitudes, such as job satisfaction. They have not, however, typi-cally been found to relate to behavior (except for career choices)(Dawis, 1991).Valuesasprinciples,oftentermedindividualorpersonalvalues,are guiding  principles  regarding how individuals ought to behave.For example, an individual who values honesty believes that allpeopleoughttobehonest,whileanindividualwhovaluesachieve-ment believes that people ought to have many accomplishmentsthat will be socially recognized. This manuscript focuses on per-sonal values (values as principles), because research and theorysuggest that they are more closely linked to motivation. That is,values as preferences are attitudinal, and should primarily impactattitudes, such as satisfaction. Personal values, however, shouldmore directly impact  motivation , because they are general beliefsthat one  ought   to behave a certain way. In this paper, therefore,any reference to values will implicitly refer to personal values,which we define as  learned beliefs that serve as guiding principlesabout how individuals ought to behave .Values are evaluative; they guide individuals’ judgments aboutappropriate behavior both for oneself and for others. Values arealso general – they transcend specific situations, which helps usto distinguish what values are from what they are not. Valuesare not, for example, attitudes – attitudes are specifically relatedto a given event, person, behavior, situation, etc. Values are moreingrained, more stable, and more general than attitudes (England& Lee, 1974). Additionally, values are ordered by importance, suchthat one will tend to act according to the more important valuewhen two values are in conflict. For example, consider a manwhovalueshedonism(pursuit of pleasure)morethanbenevolence(concernforrelationships). Ifforcedtochoosebetweengolfingandhelping his brother move, he would be more likely to golf, becausehe places greater importance on fulfilling personal desires than onrelationships with others.  3.1. Where do values come from? Values develop initially through social interactions with rolemodels such as parents and teachers. Because values are learned,there tend to be similarities in values patterns within cultures, asshared values are passed from generation to generation (Meglino& Ravlin, 1998). This is supported with research demonstratingrelationships between personal values and culturally-shared val-ues; in fact, Oishi, Schimmack, Diener, and Suh (1998) concludedthat ‘‘patterns of relation between a particular value and othervariables should be investigated at the cultural level”; p. 1186).Values are initially learned in isolation as absolutes (e.g., ‘‘hon-esty is always the best policy”) (Maio & Olson, 1998; Rokeach,1973), and all values are viewed positively. If all values wereequally good, however, we would not be able to make choices be-tween them when determining which values should guide behav-ior. Over time, the values that individuals learn develop into avalues structure, through experiences in which two values areplaced in conflict, forcing the individual to choose one over theother (Rokeach, 1972). This process may also result from personalintrospection (Locke & Henne, 1986). Values tend to change con-siderably during adolescence and young adulthood (particularlyfor students attending college); however they are generally quitestable in adulthood (Kapes & Strickler, 1975; Rokeach, 1972).Nonetheless, because values are learned initially through socialinteractions, being exposed to a new social environment can facil-itate changes in one’s values structure, which is why socializationefforts can sometimes change the values of newcomers to becomemorelikethoseof theorganization(Cable&Parsons, 2001). Not allemployees respond equally to socialization, however, suggestingthat some individuals areless willingto makechangesintheir val-ues structures (Weiss, 1978).  3.2. A taxonomy of values Although other taxonomies of values certainly exist, in theinterest of brevity we focus our discussion on the Schwartz ValueTheory, which is the most widely-used and most well-developedvalue theory. While many prior values researchers, such as MiltonRokeach, developed models to assess values, ShalomSchwartz andhis colleagues made great strides in recent years in improving val-ues measurement by developing a theoretically-based values tax-onomy based on a circumplex structure (see Fig. 1). More highlycorrelated values are situated closer together, while lower correla- Fig. 1.  Schwartz’s value circumplex. Reprinted with permission from Schwartz(1994).676  L. Parks, R.P. Guay/Personality and Individual Differences 47 (2009) 675–684  tions create more distance between the points. Values that areacross from one another on the circumplex will tend to conflict,such that individuals who endorse one will typically not endorsethe other. Those values that are adjacent to one another, however,are more similar and more likely to be endorsed similarly by indi-viduals. Schwartz and his colleagues have tested the circumplexstructure extensively and cross-culturally; results from samplesin over 40 countries have yielded quite consistent results (Sch-wartz, 1992, 1994; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990). Based on theplacement of the values in the circumplex structure, Schwartzhas identified 10 meaningful groupings of values. Although these10 value domains are essentially ‘‘fuzzy sets” (Schwartz, 1994),conceptually they capture the values that tend to cluster togethermost closely, and therefore provide a meaningful and relativelysimple way to group and organize individual values. The 10 valuedomains (and sample values for each) are Power (authority,wealth, social recognition); Achievement (ambition, competence,success); Hedonism (pursuit of pleasure, enjoyment, gratificationof desires); Stimulation (variety, excitement, novelty); Self-direc-tion (creativity, independence, self-respect); Universalism (social justice, equality, wisdom, environmental concern); Benevolence(honesty, helpfulness, loyalty); Conformity (politeness, obedience,self-discipline/restraint); Tradition (respect for tradition and thestatus quo, acceptance of customs); and Security (safety, stabilityof society).  3.3. Why study values? Recent organizational research has tended to shy away fromstudying values (except in terms of fit) in part because valuescan be prone to social influence – a result of being learned initiallythrough social interactions. In this regard, Bardi and Schwartzcomment that ‘‘[p]eople may conform with norms even when thenormative behavior opposes their own values” (2003, p. 1217).Some organizational scholars have therefore concluded that be-causeastrongorganizationalcultureencouragesnormativebehav-ior, personal values are irrelevant to behavior. Yet culture can be achallenging thing to manage, and although individuals may adjusttheir behavior somewhat based on external cues, those externalcuesmaynotimpacttheirunderlyingmotivation,orthegoalstheywant to pursue. If values impact motivation, then understandingthat process may be beneficial to, for example, managers tryingto increase goal commitment. Aligning those goals with the indi-vidual’s values could yield higher performance.Another argument against the study of values is that valuesexpression may rely on cognitive control, meaning we may needto rationally consider options within the context of our values forour values to impact decision-making (Conner & Becker, 1994).Verplanken and Holland (2002) found that individuals madechoices consistent with their values, but only when those valueswere cognitively activated (or made salient). Values might not im-pact behavior, then, if individuals do not regularly consider theirvalues prior to making decisions about how to behave. However,BardiandSchwartz(2003)demonstratedthatvaluesalsoinfluencebehavior through habitual routines, in which case cognitive pro-cessing may not be needed for values to influence behavior. Theysuggested that values impact habitual behavior through affectivemechanisms, suchthatwefeel positiveemotionswhenactingcon-sistentlywithourvaluesandnegativeemotionsotherwise.Humandecision-making is widely believed (among cognitive psycholo-gists) to consist of two different information-processing systems,one experiential and intuitive, the other rational and analytical(Epstein, 1994). The experiential system (System 1) is reactiveand quick, relying on cognitive heuristics, or shortcuts built frompriorexperiencesandtheiroutcomes. Itisthissystemthat enableshumans to act almost instantaneously in the face of danger, with-out rationally considering options and outcomes (Facione & Faci-one, 2007). Additionally, System 1 is often triggered by ouremotions, such that fear triggers an efficient, life-saving response(though it should be noted that efficient is not necessarily better;Epstein, 1994). The rational, analytical system (System 2) of deci-sion-making, in contrast, is deliberative and conscious. When thissystem is in use, the decision-maker considers various optionsand their possible outcomes logically, reflectively, and systemati-cally; this process is better for unfamiliar situations, abstract con-cepts, and when there is time to consider all possible options(Facione & Facione, 2007). Although research is lacking in this do-main, values can potentially influence behaviors through eithersystem. This is consistent with research on goal activation, whichdemonstrates that even unconsciously activated motives impactbehavior(Bargh&Gollwitzer,1994). Iftrue,thencognitivesupportwould likely only be necessary for the rational system (System 2).Finally, researchers have been hesitant to study values becauseof measurementissues (Hitlin&Piliavin, 2004). Until recently, val-ues were examined individually (not aggregated into broader do-mains), making it difficult to discern any pattern across studies.England’sresearchonmanagerial valuesexemplifies thisapproach(England & Lee, 1974). Similar issues were faced with personalityprior to the emergence of the FFM – suggesting that Schwartz’staxonomy could be of great benefit to values research. An addi-tional issue with values measurement is that some researcherscontend that values should be measured ipsatively (using a rank-order scale) to control for social desirability and to better approx-imate the way individuals make choices when considering theirvalues (selecting one over another). This limits the statistical anal-yses that can be performed, because the scores are not indepen-dent. Research is mixed on whether an ipsative scale is reallysuperior to a normative (Likert-type) scale. Ravlin and Meglino(1987b) administered both and found that the ipsative measureproduced results most consistent with theoretical expectations.Maio, Roese, Seligman, and Katz (1996), however, reached theoppositeconclusioninastudythatsimilarlyhadparticipantscom-plete both types of measures. Schwartz has also addressed (or per-haps side-stepped) this issue by suggesting that one use anormative scale and control for scale usage by calculating themean value score and partialling it out of subsequent analyses(Schwartz, 1992). This has the effect of controlling for social desir-ability, in that each individual’s response becomes a measure of how important that particular value is to him/her after taking intoeffect the importance of all the other values they have rated. Thatis, a person’s absolute score on the value domain of benevolence isless important than knowing their benevolence score relative tothe other rated values. One individual might rate all values around6 on a 7-point scale, while someone else might rate all valuesaround 4. A score of 5 for benevolence values would mean some-thing completely different for these two individuals in terms of predicting how they might behave. Partialling out the mean scorecontrols for this possible confound. Multiple researchers (see, forexample, Bardi & Schwartz, 2003) have recently utilized this ap-proach with good results (i.e., results fairly consistent with theo-retical expectations). 4. Personality and values There are several differences between personality and values.Values include an evaluative component lacking from personality.Values relate to what we believe we ought to do, while personalityrelates to what we naturally tend to do. Personality traits do notconflict with one another (i.e., one can simultaneously expressthe personality traits of Extraversion and Conscientiousness), yetvalues do conflict, as some are pursued at the expense of others. L. Parks, R.P. Guay/Personality and Individual Differences 47 (2009) 675–684  677  Additionally, personality traits are relatively innate dispositions(Olver & Mooradian, 2003), while values are learned, socially-en-dorsed beliefs that reflect an adaptation of one’s needs to what isconsidered acceptable in society (Rokeach, 1972). That is, an indi-vidual behaves in an extraverted fashion (personality) becausebeing extraverted is a part of his/her nature. A person behaves inan honest fashion (value) because he/she has learned that honestyis important. Finally, values structures appear to be somewhatmoredynamic(malleable)thanpersonalitytraits. Whileaperson’svalue structure may change somewhat if/when exposed to a newenvironment (Rokeach, 1973), personality traits are relatively sta-ble over the lifetime ( Judge, Higgins, Thoreson, & Barrick, 1999;McCrae et al., 2000), with an estimated annual stability coefficientof .98 (Conley, 1985).In spite of these distinctions between the two constructs, it canbe difficult to disentangle personality and values in practice. Roc-cas, Sagiv, Schwartz, and Knafo (2002) comment that the sameterm can refer to either a trait or a value; i.e., the term ‘‘compe-tence” can relate to a tendency to be competent (personality) orthe belief that it is important to demonstrate competence (value).However, it is not necessarily the case that someone who is natu-rally competent believes it is an important value to have, nor is italways true that someone who values competence actually pos-sesses it. The distinction is also complicated by the fact that weoften think of personality in terms of behavior (and often measureit through behavioral expression of traits). As a result, behaviortends to be attributed rather automatically to personality, eventhough not all behavior is an expressionof personality. Infact, val-uesmaytemperthebehavioralexpressionofpersonalitytraits.Forexample, someone who is naturally impulsive and is an excite-ment-seeking risk-taker may choose to show conscientious ten-dencies and purposely drive more slowly and carefully when he/she has children in the car, out of concern for their well-being(benevolence values). This implies that values and personalitymay interact in predicting behavior.Although personality and values are distinct constructs, theyare not uncorrelated. While social experiences have a significantimpact on the development of one’s value system, personalitymay also play a role (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). For example, anagreeable individual might decide that the value type of benevo-lence is more important than that of power – in spite of whathe/she has learned from parents and other role models – becausethis is consistent with his/her personality. Likewise, a naturallycurious individual (a component of Openness to Experience) maydecide that it is important for individuals to be curious (a compo-nent of self-direction values). Because they like to explore andquestion the status quo, they may believe that this is how individ-ualsoughttobehave. Thusalthoughtherearecleartheoreticaldis-tinctions between the constructs, there are also similarities.Furthermore, both are expected to impact decision-making, moti-vation, attitudes, and other behaviors. In fact, Locke (1997) in-cludes both personality and values in the same box in hisintegrated model of work motivation.A recent meta-analysis (Parks, 2007) clarifies the relationshipsbetween personality and values. Although based on a fairly smallsample size (11 studies), it does lead to the conclusion that whilethere are consistent, theoretically predictable relationships be-tween personality and values, the constructs are distinct. Agree-ableness and Openness to Experience had the strongestrelationships with values, with Agreeableness relating moststrongly to benevolence values ( q =.48) and Openness to Experi-ence exhibiting strong correlations with both self-direction( q =.49) and universalism values ( q =.46). These relationshipsmake sense giventhe constructs – Agreeableness describes the ex-tent to which individuals tend to be friendly, loyal, and coopera-tive, while the Benevolence value domain captures the belief thatindividuals ought to be honest, friendly, and helpful. Likewise,Openness to Experience describes the extent to which individualstend to be curious, creative, and open to new ideas, which relatesboth to self-direction values (beliefs that individuals ought to beindependent and self-directed) and universalism values (beliefsthat individuals ought to be free andseek wisdom). Conscientious-ness and Extraversion demonstrated more modest correlationswith values; the strongest generalizable relationships for thesetraits were Conscientiousness with conformity ( q =.29) andachievement values ( q =.26), and Extraversion with stimulationvalues ( q =.26). Finally, Emotional Stability was not strongly re-lated to any values (the strongest generalizable relationship waswith stimulation values;  q =.11). These relationships are summa-rized in Table 1.These results suggest that there may be room for values to addincrementally to the prediction of motivation (and perhaps jobperformance and other work-related outcomes), because they areonly modestly or weakly correlated with relevant personality fac-tors. For example, Conscientiousness has been shown to relate tomotivationusingseveraldifferent motivationalframeworks( Judge& Ilies, 2002). It is also the strongest personality predictor of taskperformance (Barrick et al., 2001), positively related to citizenshipbehaviors (Borman, Penner, Allen, & Motowidlo, 2001), and nega-tively related to deviance (Cullen & Sackett, 2003). If values werehighly correlated with Conscientiousness, they would be unlikelyto add incremental validity in predicting motivation (or other out-comes) above and beyond the effects of Conscientiousness.Achievement values, the domain most likely to relate to perfor-mance, correlate only .26 with Conscientiousness and .23 withExtraversion (Parks, 2007). Likewise, Emotional Stability is related  Table 1 Relationships between (Big Five) personality traits and (Schwartz Value Theory) personal values (generalizable relationships from Parks (2007) meta-analysis;  N  = 11). Conscientiousness( responsible ,  dependable )Emotional Stability( calm ,  self  - confident  )Extraversion( talkative ,  assertive )Agreeableness(  friendly ,  loyal )Openness to Experience( curious ,  imaginative )Power (  public image ,  authority ) .19   .34Achievement ( ambition ,  competence ) .26 .23Hedonism (  pursuit of pleasure )Stimulation ( variety ,  novelty ) .11 .26 .29Self-direction ( independence ,  self-set goals ) .49Universalism (  justice ,  equality ) .23 .46Benevolence ( honesty ,  loyalty ) .48Conformity ( obedience ,  self-discipline ) .29 .05   .35Tradition ( respect for tradition ) .35   .27Security ( safety ,  stability ) .22   .02 .07678  L. Parks, R.P. Guay/Personality and Individual Differences 47 (2009) 675–684
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