Why older employees engage in less counterproductive work behavior and in more organizational citizenship behavior: Examining the role of the HEXACO personality traits

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Abstract

Meta-analytic research has established that age exhibits a small negative correlation with counterproductive work behavior (CWB) and a small positive correlation with organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). However, there is a lack of research examining why these relations exist, although it has been proposed that age-related changes in personality traits might explain these relations. Personality traits are generally assumed to be relatively stable, but small changes do occur across the adult lifespan: Especially those personality domains that are predictive of CWB and OCB change with increasing age. In line with these arguments, the current meta-analytic results (k = 18) demonstrate that HEXACO Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, and Conscientiousness mediate the relation between age and CWB, and that HEXACO Emotionality, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience mediate the relation between age and OCB. These results provide evidence that age-related changes in personality can explain the relation of age with these two dimensions of contextual job performance. Limitations and ideas for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110550
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume173
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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