The links between the ‘Big Five’ personality traits and job crafting

Ray Randall, Jonathan Houdmont, Robert Kerr, Kelly Wilson, Ken Addley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Background: Job crafting refers to the self-initiated changes that employees make to the task or the relational boundaries of their work (Wrzeseniewski & Dutton, 2001). The job demands-resources model has been used to link crafting to employee well-being (Nielsen & Abildgaard, 2012). Both work characteristics and worker personality may stimulate specific types of job crafting behaviour but these mechanisms have not been sufficiently tested. In this study we explored the links between self-reported personality (using a measure of the Big Five) and different forms of job crafting behaviour across a variety of work roles.Method: Participants were from an occupationally-diverse sample of 5,326 UK government workers. Using an online questionnaire they reported whether they had used each of six types of job crafting behaviours during the previous year. These were (each n = participants reporting each form of job crafting): increasing their personal capacity to do the job (n=289); increasing the amount of positive challenge in their work (n=284) obtaining more resources to help them do the job (n=163); increasing the amount of personal control they had at work (n=140); changing the social climate or collaborations with colleagues (n=146); and reducing hindering demands (n=41). Using ANCOVAs we compared the self-reported personality traits of those reporting each type of job crafting to those in a comparison group reporting no crafting.Results: There was strong evidence that those reporting five of the six forms of crafting differed from the comparison group on their personality traits. The links between traits and job crafting differed according to the specific crafting behaviour being reported. Crafting to enhance personal capacity was associated with openness to experience. In contrast, crafting to increase job-related resources was associated with emotional stability. Those reporting crafting to reduce hindering demands and to increase personal control reported significantly lower levels of conscientiousness than the comparison group. Extraversion and openness to experience were associated with crafting to increase the level of challenge at work. None of the Big Five personality factors were associated with crafting the social environment. Overall, there was a low prevalence of crafting behaviour.Conclusions: These findings indicate that trait-specific mechanisms may stimulate specific forms of job crafting. Managers and employees may be able to use information about employee personality to more effectively identify opportunities to enhance person-job fit by adjusting work activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherEuropean Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
Number of pages365
ISBN (Print)978-0-9928786-0-3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2014
EventEuropean Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference - London
Duration: 14 Apr 2014 → …

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference
Period14/04/14 → …

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    Randall, R., Houdmont, J., Kerr, R., Wilson, K., & Addley, K. (2014). The links between the ‘Big Five’ personality traits and job crafting. In Unknown Host Publication European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology.