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Personality configurations in teams: a comparison of compilation and composition models

Kathryn Ostermeier (Department of Management, Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA)
Mark Davis (Department of Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Robert Pavur (Department of ITDS, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 5 May 2020

Issue publication date: 4 June 2020




The purpose of this study is to examine the facilitating and inhibiting influence of team-level negative affectivity and conscientiousness on a dyad of emergent states, adopting and comparing both the composition and compilation perspectives.


Data were collected over three time points from 410 undergraduate students nested within cross-functional project teams (N = 62). The data, including individual self-reports and judges’ ratings of team performance, were aggregated to the team-level using both composition (mean) and compilation (skewness) approaches.


The findings indicate that mean-levels of negative affectivity were associated with decreased psychological safety. The use of skewed conscientiousness counterintuitively suggests too many highly conscientious members can also be detrimental to psychological safety. Psychological safety influences team potency and ultimately performance.


The results of this study highlight that the aggregation approach used is important. For example, the use of skewed (but not mean-level) conscientiousness brought an undetected and counterintuitive relationship to light. Future research should use compilation approaches in addition to composition approaches.



The authors would like to thank our editor, Petru Curseu, as well as the two anonymous reviewers for their feedback and guidance on this manuscript. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.


Ostermeier, K., Davis, M. and Pavur, R. (2020), "Personality configurations in teams: a comparison of compilation and composition models", Team Performance Management, Vol. 26 No. 3/4, pp. 227-246.



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