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Personality Assessment for Employee Development

Cindy Turner, Graduate Student Organizational Psychology Regis University

Psychologists have long debated the extent to which personality plays a role in the workplace, in areas such as teamwork, job-fit, leadership, service, sales, and overall performance and satisfaction (Furnham, 2008). Today, this is an important and pressing topic for human resources and training professionals. Consider the following workplace scenarios: A team of software engineers recently added several members due to an acquisition. There is mistrust between the existing team and the new members, and project dates are slipping due to disagreements and lack of communication. A new sales team has just been put together and the manager wants to assess each persons fit for different types of roles on the team. Employee surveys and turnover rates are indicating that there may be some problems with how certain managers are relating with their subordinates. A technical support team is receiving poor ratings on their customer satisfaction surveys; in particular there are customer comments about unfriendliness and impatience.

What these scenarios point out is that employee personalities can have a significant impact on an organizations overall performance. A persons ability to understand himself as well as the personalities of others plays a large role in his effectiveness at work (Howard & Howard, 2001, 28). So, how do training professionals approach employee development efforts that involve personality, considering debates about whether personality can be measured reliably and described accurately, and whether personality is even changeable? Although somewhat controversial in both academic and business circles, one approach is to use personality tests in conjunction with training and development programs or interventions. Personality tests help identify individual characteristics, provide employees and managers a common language for discussing individual differences, promote self-awareness, and provide a starting point for group discussion, individual coaching, and/or training (Passmore, 2008, 3). Its important that human resources (HR) and training professionals who select and administer personality tests for employee development understand some of the theory, research, and controversy behind them. In this paper, I will attempt to lay the foundation for this understanding, as well as suggest best practices and guiding principles for selecting and administering personality tests for employee development. Specifically, I will review two approaches to understanding personality; describe two theories of personality that most personality tests are based onthe Five Factor Theory and Carl Jungs personality types theory; discuss support and criticism of personality tests for employee development; discuss the importance of test validity and reliability, and provide guidelines for test selection and administration; and review some of the development-focused workplace personality tests in use today. An individuals personality consists of relatively stable characteristics that are partly biological (inherited) and partly shaped by social forces (upbringing, culture, etc.). For decades, personality researchers have been collecting, sorting, and categorizing these characteristics and creating groups of common themes,

often referred to as traits or dispositions (Feist & Feist, 2009, 569). Theories of personality generally seek to describe ways to understand and predict individual differences in three areas: 1) behavior, 2) performance (school/work), and 3) relationships (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2011, 7). However, even if an individual can be described by traits or dispositions, factors such as environment, situation, moods, preferences, attitudes, beliefs, values, and motives also influence behavior, performance, and relationships. So, although personality is considered relatively stable, a person can also be influenced by states of mind and situations, among other factors (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2011, 19). As just suggested, the field of personality psychology is divided by two major approaches to understanding personality, the dispositional approach and the situational approach; personality theorists have been researching and debating the disposition or situation question for decades. The dispositional approach argues that people have consistent dispositions or traits that cause them to act, think, and feel in relatively consistent ways independent of context or situation. The situational approach argues that people behave differently in different contexts or situations, making it impossible to determine a persons core ps ychological attributes (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2011, 27). As the person-situation debate has risen and fallen in the field of personality psychology, the field of organizational behavior has, at times, both embraced and de-emphasized the importance of individual personality in organizational life. The idea that employee personalities can impact organizational behavior has been a point of controversy, and confusion, and has resulted in many organizations choosing instead to focus primarily on situational influences. This situational focus prevailed over the last several decades because it provided organizational researchers and consultants with concrete advice they could give leaders for improving organizational effectiveness and profits. Evaluating systems, processes, and work environment has been, and will likely continue to be, an important component of any organizational change/improvement initiative (Roberts, 2006, 4). However, many organizational behavior professionals are now embracing both approaches, despite disagreement among researchers, looking to concrete, situational approaches, in addition to empirically-proven dispositional approaches for solving complex organizational behavior problems, implementing change, and increasing employee effectiveness. Over the past ten years there has been a resurgence of research about the role personality plays in affecting organizational outcomes such as leadership, job performance, job satisfaction, and person-organization fit (Roberts, 2006, 2 - 4). Today, more than ever, psychologists agree that personality can and does change over the lifespan due to factors such as maturity, environment, role changes/demands, selfawareness, feedback, and modeling others (Roberts, Woods, & Caspi, 2008). However, the changes are usually small and incremental, not dramatic, and many people would rather change their environment to fit their personality than the other way around (Roberts, Woods, & Caspi, 2008). This is key knowledge for managers and human resources professionalsthat personality can change incrementally and that person-environment fit is important. Organizational psychologists have played a major role in the resurgence of interest and research in personality testing by developing tests that provide further evidence for personality traits and their relationship to organizational behavior (Roberts, 2006, 4). There is one personality theory that has been tested and validated over and over again, and on which many personality tests are based the Five Factor Theory, also known as the Five Factor Model (FFM) or Big Five . Although many different theorists contributed to this model, Paul Costa and Robert McRae are considered the primary theorists behind the FFM. The FFM takes a dispositional approach, and proposes that there are five traits (dispositions) that each person has in varying degrees, namely

neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (often abbreviated as NEOAC or OCEAN) (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2011, 55). Anyone involved in administering personality tests in the workplace should have a good understanding of these five factors. Many personality assessments/tests are based on the FFM, although they may use different terminology to describe traits and may measure more or less than five personality dimensions. The five factors are described here (Feist & Feist, 2009, 422): Table 1: The Big Five Traits
Trait Extraversion High Score Affectionate Joiner Talkative Fun loving Active Passionate Anxious Temperamental Self-pitying Self-conscious Emotional Vulnerable Imaginative Creative Prefers variety Curious Liberal Softhearted Trusting Generous Acquiescent Lenient Good-natured Conscientious Hardworking Well-organized Punctual Ambitious Persevering Low Score Reserved Loner Quiet Sober Passive Unfeeling Calm Even-tempered Self-satisfied Comfortable Unemotional Hardy Down-to-earth Uncreative Conventional Prefers routine Conservative Ruthless Suspicious Stingy Antagonistic Critical Irritable Negligent Lazy Disorganized Late Aimless Quitting





Source: Feist & Feist, 2009 People who select workplace personality tests for development purposes look for tests that use less psychological and more positive language, such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (Lloyd, 2012). For this reason, Costa and McRaes personality tests (such as the NEO PI -R, NEO-FFI-3, and NEO-PI-3) are seldom used in business settingsthey were designed primarily for academic research or clinical settings and contain psychology terminology and often negative language to describe personality, as Table 1 shows.

The MBTI is one of the most popular personality tests used in business today. It was developed over 30 years ago by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, who based their test on Carl Jungs theory of personality types. Jung proposed that psychological types are comprised of two basic attitudes introversion and extraversion, and four functionsthinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting. He believed that everyone possesses aspects of both introversion and extraversion; however, one attitude manifests more dominantly in conscious life and the other is more unconscious. When the two attitudes combine with the four functions, an orientation or type is formed (Feist & Feist, 2009, 119). Myers and Myers-Briggs added two more functions to Jungs theory judging and perceivingto come up with a total of 16 types for their MBTI. The test questions determine whether someone is primarily introverted (I) or extraverted (E), and then whether someone is thinking (T) or feeling (F), sensing (S) or intuitive (I), and judging (J) or perceptive (P), resulting in a four-letter type description, such as ISTJ (Burke & Noumaim, 2002, 57). The MBTI has been criticized for weakness related to both its theoretical backing, and its validity and reliability (Furnham, 2008, 92). Although the MBTI was developed using Jungs theory, it does not completely represent or adhere to it (Furnham, 2008, 90). Costa and McCrae (1989) criticized the MBTI on a number of points, including: 1) Jung believed that much of ones personality resides in the unconscious mind, which would make the self-awareness needed for personality testing unreachable, and 2) the judging and perceiving functions were not part of Jungs theory. Despite criticism, the MBTI is one of the most popular personality tests used in the workplace today, perhaps, as Lloyd (2012) suggests, because o f its ability to provide people with an affirming self understanding (p. 31). Researcher Adrian Furnham (2008) proposed that the MBTI is completed every second of the day around the world. Researcher Ben Dattner (2004) cites an article from Workforce Management that claims the MBTI is administered 2.5 million times per year. As implied by the title of Isabel Myers-Briggs book about the MBTI titled Gifts Differing, value judgments about which types are best or more valued are not part of the MBTI experience. Lloyd (2012) believes this explains why the MBTI is so popular; he says, If I discover I am an introvert, the Five-Factor model tells me I lack the much-to-be-desired trait of extraversion. Psychological Type tells me there are many advantages to being introverted, as well as areas of life where I may struggle. The Trait approach will leave me feeling a failure and inadequate; the Type approach will give me an affirming self-understanding that will help me (p. 31). Although the type and trait approaches appear very different, researchers have found similarities, particularly between the MBTI types and the five factors. Costa and McCrae (1989) found that the MBTI types could be correlated with the five factors, specifically that EI could be correlated with extraversion, TF with agreeableness, JP with conscientiousness, and SN with openness. Years later, Furnham (2008) found a correlation between the types EI and TF and the trait of neuroticism. Anyone administering a personality test should become familiar with its unique terminology and descriptions for personality, whether trait- or typebased, as well as have some understanding of the theory on which the test is based. Most, if not all, tests are accompanied by detailed manuals that cover these important points. Moving from theory to application, most workplace personality tests are self-report, meaning the test takers answers questions only about themselves, but some include multi-source feedback, also, which is feedback from peers, direct-reports, and managers. Employees answer somewhere in the range of 50 200 questions about aspects of their behavior, attitudes, values, and beliefs. The employees scores in these different dimensions are then compared to a set of norms that reflect how close or how far from the average dimensions of personality a person falls ( Burke & Noumaim, 2002, 56). Most personality tests are bipolar, meaning that a

trait is measured on a continuum between two polar extremes, for example extroversion and introversion. Only about 10 percent of individuals fall into the extreme scores; most people score somewhere in the middle, for example being neither extremely extroverted or extremely introverted (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2011, 42). Within organizations, personality tests are used primarily for either selecting new employees or developing existing employees. The personality tests discussed in this paper were chosen for their applicability to employee development and may not be appropriate for selection purposes. It s important that people choosing and administering personality tests understand that tests designed specifically for development should not be used for selection; for example, the MBTI (Aamodt, 2012, 186). Personality tests chosen for employee development usually offer the following benefits: promote self-awareness, facilitate personal growth, help ascertain job-fit, encourage discussions, and promote teamwork (see Figure 1): Figure 1: Personality Tests for Employee Development

Figure adapted from Passmore, 2008 In the workplace, despite individual differences, managers and coworkers are challenged with achieving shared organizational goals and objectives, and research has shown that learning about personality can help to those ends. Research has shown that much of the interpersonal conflict that occurs in the workplace stems from individuals acting on their own interpretation of events, through the lens of their own personality. Learning about the personalities and views of others can help minimize conflict and encourage teamwork (Carrell,

Jennings, & Heavrin, 1997, 19). Personality tests can help employees recognize self-defeating behavior, so theyre less apt to explain their behavior solely as a reaction to environment or situation (Burke & Noumaim, 2002, 75). Additionally, they can build employees awareness of their preferred style of behaving and thinking across situations, which can help them understand why some tasks or situations are more stressful for them and which types of job roles are most suited to them (Passmore, 2008, 9). Personality tests can also serve as a starting point for discussion about behavior and performance and help create an environment for the give and take of constructive feedback (Dattner, 2004). Assessment of people in leadership roles is crucial; counterproductive interpersonal behaviors are often the cause of leader derailment. Recognizing and modifying these behaviors in leaders has a large impact on the well-being, satisfaction, and effectiveness of their subordinates, as well as their own future success (Nelson and Hogan, 2009). However, personality testing in the workplace is also controversial, mainly because the idea that people can be categorized and summed up after taking a 50 - 200 question assessment, and perhaps judged by that information, is a bit scary. Personality is complex and cannot fully be understood or predicted through a single personality test (Burke & Noumaim, 2002, 75). Even though there are ways of categorizing people by personality traits and types, theres so much more that contributes to why we behave the way we do, particularly at work. For example, factors such as motives, needs, preferences, values, beliefs, moods, emotions, intelligence, and abilities, as well as environment and situation. This is why using personality assessments in the workplace can be such a complex and controversial issue (Dattner, 2004). Adding to this complexity, social psychologists have shown that people tend to attribute their own behavior more often to external situations and others behavior more often to personality traits , known as fundamental attribution error (Baron, Branscombe, & Byrne, 2008, 91). In the workplace, this can lead to problems. Teaching people about personality traits and types can lead to greater self-awareness and tolerance of others, but it can also potentially cause people to attribute problems/conflicts to personality without equally considering situational factors. Theres a lot of cautionary advice in th e OD field and academic literature about personality testing in the workplace and this is just one potential pitfall to look out for: dont be too quick to attribute an employee performance issue to his or her personality without considering that external factors may be involved (Dattner, 2004). Working with a well-qualified consultant who has a background in administering personality tests and explaining how to interpret and use the results can help prevent employee and manager misuse of assessment results (Erard, 2011). In their monograph, The Big Five Quickstart, Pierce and Jane Howard (1995) so aptly say, Just as no two fingerprints are alike, so are no two introverts (p. 11). Personality tests provide a vocabulary for understanding individual differences in contexts such as team building and training; however, adequate time and attention must be given to making sure that test takers and those privy to test results understand the dangers of labeling and judging people based on their scores. Its important that test takers and administrators understand that test results cannot predict how a person will behave at all times and under all circumstances. Personality test results are not absolutes. Someone w ho scores high on introversion can act extraverted at times, for example. And traumatic events, stress, recent success or failure, and variable moods can change how an individuals personality is manifested at any given time . Workplace personality tests cannot take the place of truly getting to know people at work the old fashioned way, throu gh listening and communicating. In some cases, personality tests may not be appropriate to use at all, particularly in the absences of trust (Erard, 2011). Often, employees are mistrustful of or become anxious around personality tests, fearing that the results may impact their jobs. Sometimes, this can lead an employee to try to choose the answers that seem the most

acceptable or desirable, not those that accurately represent his/her personality, resulting in intentional or unintentional faking. Also, some people may struggle with answering questions because they lack sufficient self-insight or become anxious when taking tests (Furnham, 2008, 69). Also, although personality tests can be useful tools for determining job-fit, without thorough job analysis and a sufficient understanding of how traits relate to certain roles, it would be unwise to jump to conclusions about someones suitability for a particular job (Furnham, 2008, 67). For example, it could be wrong to assume that someone with introverted tendencies would not make a good manager or sales professional. Its also important to consider cultural issues, particularly in todays culturally diverse workforce. Many of the popular tests used today were developed in North America or Europe and may use jargon familiar only in those countries (Furnham, 2008, 70). What s equally worth considering are cultural differences that might make people, for example, from collectivist cultures (Asians), less comfortable with drawing attention to their uniqueness (Baron, Branscombe, & Byrne, 2008, 345). Just about all of the academic literature about personality tests in the workplace advises those who are selecting and administering these tests to consider these questions: Is the test valid, meaning does it measure only whats relevant and applicable to job requirements? Can reliability information be located for the test, to ensure the test is dependable and consistent? Is there a plan for using the test results in a meaningful way that does no harm? Does the consultant or test administrator have a significant background in psychology or organizational behavior/development and is he qualified to administer the test? Generally, a personality test is reliable if it measures characteristics consistently and dependably. One common measure of reliability is whether a person receives the same score each time he takes the test (known as test-retest reliability). Another common measure is internal consistency reliability, meaning the test items (or groups of items), measure the same thing. Validity is considered the most important factor in test selection. Construct validity means that a test measures characteristics that it claims to measure; for example, that a workplace personality test measures characteristics related to teamwork, such as agreeableness and sociability. Criterion validity means that test scores are meaningfully related to behaviors or attitudes; for example, high scores in agreeableness are related to better customer service behaviors. Its crucial that test administrators select tests that are valid for the purpose theyre being used. Test manuals usually provide administrators with reliability and validity information by reporting on the tests reliability or validity coefficient This coefficient is expressed by a number between 0 and 1.00 in an equation such as r = .70 where r means relationship and numbers closest to 1.00 indicate the greatest validity or reliability. Generally, tests scoring between .70 and 1.00 are considered reliable, and tests scoring between .11 and.35 (or above) are considered valid. Test manuals should also describe which audience(s) the test is valid for, but it is up to test administrators to know whether a test is truly appropriate for those taking it (U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, 2006). If a test manual or publisher Website does not provide reliability and validity information, its important to check a resource such as the Buros Institute or the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Testing Center. Anyone considering using personality tests for employee development should be aware of their limitations. Following are some guiding principles and cautionary advice from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (2006): Use tests in a purposeful way. Be clear about the purpose for testing. Know what needs to be measured and why. Use only tests that are suited for development purposes.

Use a whole person approach to testing . A single test cannot reveal everything about a person and no test is 100% reliable or valid. Consider using several tests to measure skills, abilities, attitudes, and other job-relevant characteristics, especially when making development/career decisions about someone. Use only tests that are unbiased and fair to the audience. If the audience includes people raised in cultures outside the United States or Europe, the test manual and/or independent reviews should be checked for evidence of fairness. Use only reliable tests. Test manuals or reviews should provide this information. Its important a test can be trusted to be consistent and dependable. Use only tests that are valid for the purpose . Personality tests are designed for different purposes; for example, some are designed for selecting employees and others are designed for developing employees. The best way for a test administrator to ensure a test is valid is to take the test herself and carefully consider how the questions/results relate to the purpose for giving it. Use tests that are appropriate for the audience. The target audience should be similar to the group the test was developed for. For example, a test developed for a high school audience may not be appropriate for the workplace. Its also important for administrators to consider factors such as reading levels and language barriers. Use only tests that provide well-written manuals. Carefully evaluate the administration and debriefing instructions before a test is purchased. Test manuals should cover topics such as test validity/reliability, test fairness, test purpose/audience, and procedures for administering, scoring and debriefing the test. Ensure that test administrators are qualified and trained. Consult the test publisher for information about how administrators become qualified and trained and then check to make sure the administrator meets the publishers criteria. Many publishers offer training and certification programs. Also, its important to work with someone who has administered the test successfully in the past and can describe the process. Ensure that test conditions are free of distractions and comfortable for all test takers . Noise, temperature, lighting, and faulty test equipment can be outside influences that affect the test results. It s important that the test environment be suitable for test takers. Provide reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. The ADA requires that test sites accommodate people with disabilities. This could mean making sure a test is available in Braille or can be read aloud for someone sight-impaired, or that appropriate desks are available to those in wheelchairs. Maintain test confidentiality or gain individuals permission to share the results with others . In a development setting, for example a teamwork-oriented training program, sharing test results is common. Its best to discuss this with the group before the test is given and get permission from each test taker to share the results. Avoid releasing test results to those outside the group or outside the organization, unless explicit permission is obtained from the test taker to do so. Ensure that test scores are interpreted properly. Test manuals should provide clear instructions for interpreting test results. Its important that administrators understand how to make inferences based on test results that have a solid basis, especially when making development/career decisions about someone.

A qualified and experienced consultant or test administrator will understand and abide by these guiding principles and take steps to reduce risk and unfavorable outcomes for both individuals and the organization. He or she will take the time find out whether a test is reliable, and whether it measures the characteristics that are 1)

important to a given job role and 2) will be the focus of the subsequent training program or intervention. He or she will also provide guidance for, and hopefully help facilitate, the training program or intervention. If the person leading the effort (for example, a manager, trainer, or HR professional) has not been properly trained in coaching or giving feedback, the support of a qualified consultant is particularly important. Working with someone who has both general psychosocial knowledge, such as someone with a graduate degree in organizational psychology, as well as knowledge of the specific personality test being given is the best scenario (Harper, et al., 2008). Many publishers of personality tests certify people to administer them and require an advanced degree (in psychology, organizational development, human resources, etc.) as a prerequisite to admission to the certification course. Because of the time, cost, and possible negative consequences involved in workplace personality testing, its worth the effort for organizations to locate a qualified consultant to work with from the very beginning planning stages of the program or intervention. There are so many workplace personality tests on the market today, that it could take months of analysis to figure out which ones fit a particular organizations needs. Table 2, below, describes some of the most popular tests. Its important to keep in mind that even personality tests with some validity and reliability problems (such as the MBTI) may be useful in helping employees talk and think about themselves (Furnham, 2008, 67). Two credible resources for researching workplace personality tests are the Buros Institute and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Testing Center. All the tests listed in the table been reviewed by psychology professors through the Buros Institute or are endorsed by the SHRM. Table 2: Personality Tests Used for Employee Development
Name/ Publisher(s) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Step I (MBTI) Details Theory: Jungs Type Theory Description: Step I identifies fundamental personality type, which includes the eight preferences and how they combine to form an individual's type. The aim of the MBTI instrument is to identify, from self-report of easily recognized reactions, the basic preferences of people so that the effects of each preference, singly and in combination, can be established by research and put into practical use. Validity/reliability data: Yes (Buros) Administration: Must be certified to administer test. Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: Center for Applications of Psychological Type Type Dynamics Indicator (TDI) Theory: Jungs Type Theory Description: The TDI is designed to assess an individual's preference for one of the four principal type scales. It is comprised of 64 rating scale items and can be completed in 20 minutes or less. It is designed to provide insight into the test takers preferences and provides a way for identifying strengths, discovering areas for personal growth, and exploring potential career directions. Validity/reliability data: Yes (SHRM & Buros) Administration: Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: SHRM Testing Center

Center for Applications of Psychological Type

Profiling for Success

Name/ Publisher(s) Workplace Personality Inventory (WPI)

Details Theory: Five Factor Theory Description: The Workplace Personality Inventory assesses sixteen work styles or work-related personality traits that have been shown to be important to job success in a wide range of occupations. It is comprised of 198 rating scale items and can be completed in 30 minutes. The inventory is suitable for both selection and development. Based upon the O*NET Work Styles taxonomy, it is designed to describe the personality requirements of a wide range of jobs. Validity/reliability data: Yes (SHRM & Buros) Administration: Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: SHRM Testing Center


Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

Theory: Five Factor Theory Description: Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is specifically designed for use in business settings. Comprised of 206 true-false items, the HPI takes less than 20 minutes to complete. The HPI provides a comprehensive, business-based assessment of personality specifically designed to predict occupational success that can be used for both selection and development. Specific applications include employability, individual assessment, selection, and individual development/coaching. Validity/reliability data: Yes (SHRM & Buros) Administration: Must be certified to administer test. Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: SHRM Testing Center

Hogan Assessment Systems

Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32)

Theory: Five Factor Theory Description: The OPQ32 is an occupationally-based personality inventory that describes an individual's preferred or typical behavioral style at work on 32 dimensions. It is suitable for a broad range of applications including selection, training, career counseling, succession planning, and team building. Validity/reliability data: Yes (SHRM & Buros) Administration: Must be certified to administer test. Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: SHRM Testing Center

SHL Ltd.


Name/ Publisher(s) DISC

Details Theory: Five Factor Theory Description: The AMA DISC Survey is an assessment designed to provide feedback about the ways that people approach their work and relate to others within their organizations. It measures the four basic styles of behavior derived from the DISC framework (Directing, Influencing, Supportive, and Contemplative). Taking approximately 20 minutes to complete, participants indicate the extent to which 80 statements are descriptive of how they behave when they are on the job. The AMA DISC Survey is designed to be used for developmental purposes with individuals, groups, and organizations and can assist in fostering personal development, team building, and organizational change. Validity/reliability data: Yes (SHRM & Buros) Administration: Must be certified to administer test. Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: SHRM Testing Center

American Management Association / Human Synergistics

Manchester Personality Questionnaire (MPQ)

Theory: Five Factor Theory Description: The MPQ is a tool specifically designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the key personality traits likely to have a high impact on work success. It is a powerful tool for understanding an individuals strengths, weaknesses, and areas of competence and is designed for selection, training, as well as development. The MPQ generates a norm-based score for each scale as well as a narrative detailing the candidates personality characteristics, personal competencies, team roles, management style, selling style, occupational interests, as well as developmental suggestions. It is comprised of 120 items rated on a five-point scale that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Validity/reliability data: Yes Administration: Must be certified to administer test. Test comes with a manual and debriefing guide. Source: SHRM Testing Center

Hogrefe Ltd

Support for personality testing for employee development is continuing to grow in the human resources and organizational training fields. The American Management Association recently published a revised version of the popular DISC assessment, and now offers MBTI administration certification. Articles and advice about using personality tests for employee development abound in trade publications and on the Web, along with many case studies and research studies published in academic journals. Its now widely accepted that individual personality influences workplace behavior , and many studies have shown that personality and/or behavior can be altered or impacted through workplace training programs or interventions, providing practitioners with evidence-based models to follow (for example: Bauman et al., 1997; Garrety et al., 2003; Goldstein & Lanyon, 1999; Ineson, E., 2011; Ogunyemi, et al. 2011; Roberts, 2006; Sample, 2004). Training and development programs that use personality tests can help empower people, not just in the workplace, but in all aspects of their lives (Harper, et. al., 2008). With this goal in mind, consultants, managers, and HR and training professionals have the responsibility of helping organizations use personality tests responsibly and for the purposes they were designed.



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