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The Power of Personality at Work: Core Self-Evaluations Earnings in the United Kingdom

Williams, Mark and Gardiner, Elliroma (2017) The Power of Personality at Work: Core Self-Evaluations Earnings in the United Kingdom Human Resource Management Journal, 28 (1). pp. 45-60.

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Organisations are increasingly taking an interest in personality as certain traits purportedly predict desirable attitudes and behaviours. We examine the relationship between one increasingly popular construct—Core Self-Evaluations (CSEs)—and earnings. We argue that if high levels of CSEs really are valuable traits, then high CSE individuals should be observed to earn more than those with moderate or low levels of CSEs. Using the nationally-representative British Household Panel Survey, we find little evidence that individuals with very high CSEs earn more than those with only moderate levels. However, we do find the existence of a pay penalty for individuals very low in CSEs. Similar patterns emerge for the Big Five model of traits. Although the exact mechanisms remain unclear, our findings imply that organisations should play a greater role in the career development of employees scoring lowly in ‘desirable’ traits—especially in a context of increasing career fluidity.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Gardiner, Elliroma
Date : 14 July 2017
DOI : 10.1111/1748-8583.12162
Copyright Disclaimer : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Williams M, Gardiner E. The power of personality at work: Core self-evaluations and earnings in the United Kingdom. Hum Resour Manag J. 2017;1–15., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 01 Jun 2017 09:02
Last Modified : 14 Jul 2019 02:08

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