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The mechanism behind employee agreeableness and group performance ratings: a Pakistani study

Sara Altaf (Department of Management Science, COMSATS University Islamabad–Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Muhammad Zahid Iqbal (Department of Management Science, COMSATS University Islamabad–Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Jan-Willem van Prooijen (Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Malik Ikramullah (Department of Management Science, COMSATS University Islamabad–Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 29 April 2020

Issue publication date: 29 March 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine the links between employee agreeableness, group performance, and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation, through relationship conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

In a laboratory setting, 42 groups of undergraduate students (N = 182) from a Pakistani university were assigned to group projects to be completed within four months. Data collected from three different questionnaires at four different times and actual scores awarded by the course instructor to each group were used for the analyses. Based on rWG(J) and ICC(1), level 1 (182 students') data were aggregated to level 2 (groups), and then analysed using regression analysis followed by Preacher and Hayes' bootstrapping procedure.

Findings

Results suggest that high agreeableness predicts group performance positively and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation negatively. Moreover, relationship conflict among group members significantly mediates the agreeableness-group performance relationship. The above relationships may be sensitive to national culture.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, groups were formed for a few months, whereas in real organizational life, workgroups are formed for different durations. Therefore, the range of situations to which these findings generalize remains an open question.

Practical implications

Agreeableness of group members can be constructive for performance of the group. Managers may utilize this insight while forming groups, and rating performance.

Originality/value

There is dearth of research illuminating how employee's personality traits affect group performance and appraisal ratings. The study tests the effects of employee agreeableness on: (1) group performance, as rated by supervisors; (2) the threat of retaliation, as perceived by peer raters; and (3) the mediating effect of relationship conflict.

Keywords

Citation

Altaf, S., Iqbal, M.Z., Prooijen, J.-W.v. and Ikramullah, M. (2021), "The mechanism behind employee agreeableness and group performance ratings: a Pakistani study", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 70 No. 4, pp. 743-768. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-03-2019-0120

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

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