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Is Positive Self-Concept a Categorical Imperative?: Implications of Core Self-Evaluations for Employers and Employees Timothy A. Judge University of Florida,

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Presentation on theme: "Is Positive Self-Concept a Categorical Imperative?: Implications of Core Self-Evaluations for Employers and Employees Timothy A. Judge University of Florida,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Is Positive Self-Concept a Categorical Imperative?: Implications of Core Self-Evaluations for Employers and Employees Timothy A. Judge University of Florida, USA Workshop on Research Advances in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management University of Toulouse, France 18 May 2009

2 2 2 Positivity in Society Positivity is valued in Western society –Positive psychology movement Centers (e.g., UM), journals (Journal of Positive Psychology; Journal of Happiness Studies), conferences, awards, books, etc. –Happiness is to some a natural right (or goal) Pursuit of happiness a right in Declaration of Independence – Is positivity particularly American?

3 3 3 Positivity in Society Why is positivity so desirable? –Is it true? –If so, where is origin? Evolution? Culture? Regardless of reasons… –Positivity, for most, is socially desirable –So, self-positivity is also desirable

4 4 4 Self-Positivity Self-positivity = categorical imperative? –Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law (Kant) From Elizabeth Anscombe (1958): –virtue ethic refocuses moral philosophy from “what is right?” to “how should I live?” Universal virtue ethic: everyone should live this way Should all have a positive self-concept?

5 5 5 Should All Be Self-Positive? Quality of life –Subjective and physical (health) well-being –Employment –Societal (prosocial [+], deviant [-]) Ecological generalization –Does what applies to the individual necessarily apply to society? Philosophy aside, focus here on central self-positive trait: core self-evaluations

6 6 6 Core Self-Evaluations Core self-evaluations (CSE) are individuals’ fundamental evaluations of their worthiness and competence (to perform, cope, persevere, and succeed) Indicated by at least four traits: self- esteem, locus of control, generalized self- efficacy, and emotional stability CSE is broad factor that causes these measures to be correlated

7 7 7 Measure of CSE One can measure CSE as latent factor indicated by individual core traits, or Use direct measure: Core Self- Evaluations Scale (CSES) I am confident I get the success I deserve in life.Sometimes I feel depressed. (r) When I try, I generally succeed.Sometimes when I fail I feel worthless. (r) Sometimes, I do not feel in control of my work. (r)I complete tasks successfully. I am filled with doubts about my competence. (r)Overall, I am satisfied with myself. I do not feel in control of my success in my career. (r)I determine what will happen in my life. I am capable of coping with most of my problems.There are times when things look pretty bleak and hopeless to me. (r) Source: Judge, Erez, Bono, & Thoresen (PPsych, 2003)

8 8 8 Origins and Outcomes What causes CSE? –Genetics –General mental ability –Attractiveness Like all traits, there are probably state and trait qualities to CSE –Personality change: Both long-term (Roberts) and short-term variation (Fleeson)

9 9 9 Genetic Source of CSE No previous studies of CSE heritability We (Judge & Ilies, under review) studied heritability of CSE using Swedish twins Heritability of CSE =.42 (42% genetic) –Heritability unaffected by controlling for whether twins were raised apart or together –Heritability about the same as that for Big Five traits

10 10 Genetic Source of CSE Monozygotic (identical) twins Dizygotic (fraternal) twins r 12 N (twins) r 12 N (twins) CSE Job satisfaction Work stress Note: r 12 =correlation between Twin 1 and Twin 2. Source: Judge & Ilies (under review) ** *

11 11 Control for Shared Environment Monozygotic (identical) twins Dizygotic (fraternal) twins r 12 N (twins) r 12 N (twins) CSE Job satisfaction Work stress Note: r 12 =correlation between Twin 1 and Twin 2. Source: Judge & Ilies (under review) ** *

12 12 Role of Brains and Beauty CSE has been solely conceptualized as a trait, which presumably is exogenous –But best indicator of CSE is self-esteem, which is often studied as dependent variable Investigated degree to which general mental ability, physical attractiveness, education, and CSE predict success –GMA assessed by battery of tests, attractiveness from ratings of photos Source: Judge, Hurst, & Simon (in press, JAP)

13 13 Role of Brains and Beauty Source: Judge, Hurst, & Simon (in press, JAP) Core Self- Evaluations General Mental Ability Physical Attractiveness Educational Attainment Income (Time 2) Financial Strains (Time 3) Demographics (Age, Race, Sex).51 **.23 **.21 **.19 **.41 **.24 **.13 *.18 **.23 ** -.31 ** -.26 **

14 14 Origins and Outcomes What does CSE cause? –Job satisfaction –Job performance –Stressors (-), stress (-), strain (-), and coping (+) –Career success trajectories –Receipt of OCBs (+) and CWBs (-) from others

15 15 Job Satisfaction Individuals with positive CSE have higher levels of job satisfaction Why? –Subjective perceptions of intrinsic job characteristics (Judge, Locke, Durham, & Kluger, JAP, 1998) –Objective qualities of jobs attained (Judge, Bono, & Locke, JAP, 2000) : High CSE people occupy more complex jobs

16 16 Job Performance Core self-evaluations predicts performance –Individual core traits (Judge & Bono, JAP, 2001) –Overall CSES (Judge et al., PPsych, 2003) Why? –Individuals with positive CSE set higher goals and are more committed to them (Erez & Judge, JAP, 2001)

17 17 Job Performance This shows that very few high- CSES individuals are below-average performers, and very few low- CSES individuals are above- average performers Source: Judge (Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2009)

18 18 Stressors Source: Judge, Woolf, Schilpzand, and Hurst (in preparation) There is insufficient research linking CSES to stressors, stress, and strain. In this study we meta-analyzed link between each core trait and stressors (here, role ambig- uity). How do results inform?

19 19 Stress Source: Judge, Woolf, Schilpzand, and Hurst (in preparation) There is insufficient research linking CSES to stressors, stress, and strain. In this study we meta-analyzed link between each core trait and global stress measures. How do results inform? Black square – mean estimate Grey bars – upper and lower values of 95% confidence interval

20 20 Strain Source: Judge, Woolf, Schilpzand, and Hurst (in preparation) There is insufficient research linking CSES to stressors, stress, and strain. In this study we meta-analyzed link between each core trait and strain (here, burnout) How do results inform? Black square – mean estimate Grey bars – upper and lower values of 95% confidence interval

21 21 Coping Source: Kammeyer-Mueller, Judge, & Scott (JAP, 2009)

22 22 Career Success Trajectories Source: Judge and Hurst (JAP, 2008) Careers (in form of pay [shown here], occup- ational prestige, job satisfaction, and career Satisfaction) ascend more rapidly with the passage of time for those with high CSE (+1 SD) than those with low CSE (-1 SD). Over 25 years, pay gap increases from $7,791 to $20,778.

23 23 Receipt of OCBs and CWBs Core Self-Evaluations of Employee † Employee Popularity ‡ Organizational Citizenship Behaviors Received by Employee † As rated by employee’s significant other. ‡ As rated by employee’s co-workers. Source: Scott & Judge (JAP, 2008) Counterproductive Behaviors Received by Employee Communication Network Centrality of Employee.27 *.38 *.28 * * *

24 24 Origins and Outcomes Does Context Moderate Outcomes of CSE? –Favorability of early life circumstances –Favorability of work environment –Culture –Job characteristics –Others?

25 25 Favorability of Early Life Predicted Income Parents’ Education in 1979 High CSE people profit more from parents being highly educated Source: Judge & Hurst (JAP, 2007)

26 26 Favorability of Early Life Predicted Income Parents’ Occupational Prestige 1979 Roofer Carpenter Musician Therapist Economist Waiter Plumber Nurse(RN) Manager Chemist High CSE people profit more from parents’ occ. prestige Source: Judge & Hurst (JAP, 2007)

27 27 Favorability of Environment CSE more positively related to performance when individuals work under effective leaders Source: Kacmar, Collins, Harris, and Judge (under review)

28 28 Favorability of Environment CSE was more positively related to performance when individuals had high levels of intrinsic job satisfaction Source: Kacmar, Collins, Harris, and Judge (under review)

29 29 Culture Collectivism was associated with higher job satisfaction moreso for high CSE people Sample of 269 employees of large electronics company in PRC Source: Judge & Sun (in preparation)

30 30 Culture Collectivism was associated with higher levels of OCBs only for high CSE people Sample of 269 employees of large electronics company in PRC Source: Judge & Sun (in preparation)

31 31 Emerging Areas State and trait –Focus on intra-individual variation in CSE (why and how our state CSE fluctuates) Costs and limits –Self-verification –Affective forecasting (are high CSE individuals more biased?) –Trait paradoxes

32 32 State and Trait Source: Judge & Klinger (in preparation) People with high trait CSE earned more State CSE positively predicted income the following year… But only for those with low trait CSE

33 33 State and Trait People who had lower trait CSE had higher unemployment rates State CSE led to lower unemployment rates in the following year State CSE was more strongly linked to lower unemployment rates for low trait CSE people Source: Judge & Klinger (in preparation)

34 34 Costs and Limits “All traits have bright and dark sides, and carry with them evolutionary paradoxes that are often not imagined until revealed” –Judge and Piccolo (Leadership Quarterly, under revision) “A fruitful way of looking at variation is in terms of trade-offs of different fitness benefits and costs” –Nettle (American Psychologist, 2006) CSE is certain to have dark side

35 35 Costs and Limits What Do These Species Have in Common?

36 36 Costs and Limits Notes: Estimates are βs. N=164. † p <.10. * p <.05. ** p <.01. Source: Erez and Judge (in preparation) Overall Job Performance Contextual Performance Task Performance Neuroticism.16.31**.20 * Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness.16 † ** Core self-evaluations.32 **.39 **.28 **

37 37 Costs and Limits CSE doesn’t appear to be same as narcissism (r=+.21) and effects appear to be different Source: Judge, Sun, and Rode (in preparation)

38 38 Costs and Limits Source: Judge, Cable, and Klinger (in progress) High CSE people are much more likely to chose an interaction partner who will give them positive feedback

39 39 Conclusion So, is core self-evaluations a categorical imperative or universal virtue ethic? The answer is no; however… –There are many benefits to positive CSE –As for all traits, validities are moderate “There is a complexity to human affairs before which science and analysis simply stands mute” –David Brooks, New York Times ( )

40 Thank you! All published and in press papers, and copies of these slides, available at: Questions?


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