Using personality testing in international personnel selection

Anthony M. Gross (2002)

After an extensive review of the relevant literature, an assessment model of international personnel selection and effectiveness is proposed. A study was conducted to examine the use of personality testing in intercultural effectiveness. The five-factor model of personality is examined in relation to sociocultural adjustment, perceived relational support, and self-reported job performance. The sample used for this study was a self-selected group of American Church of Christ missionaries who are currently on assignment in Asia (N = 32). Ages (24-79 yrs), male (n = 21) female (n = 11), married (n = 24), single (n = 6), remarried (n = 2). The educational level of participants ranged from 15-24 years and the total time overseas ranged from 2-45 years (SD = 12.53). Caucasian (90.6%), African American (3.1%), and Asian (6.3%), all were U.S. citizens. The relationship between personality and intercultural effectiveness was examined in a cross-sectional correlational study. Data was examined with zero-order correlational coefficients. Measures of personality included the NEO-PI-R and four psychodynamically informed scales developed from the NEO-PI-R. Black's 14-item measure of sociocultural adjustment was used (Black & Stephens, 1989). The Personal Resource Questionnaire-85 (PRQ-85) was used as a measure of perceived relational support, and Caligiuri's (1997) Expatriate Performance Survey was adapted as a measure of self-reported job performance. Three hypotheses were tested and were generally supported. First, that poor psychological adjustment is associated with poor sociocultural adjustment (-.28) and poor self reports of job performance (-.52; p < .001). Second, that fit between assignment and assignee will be associated with psychological adjustment (-.50; p < .001), with sociocultural adjustment (.80; p < .001), and with performance (.56; p < .001). The final hypothesis was that positive views of self and others would be associated with improved adjustment (.47; p < .001), relational support (not significant), and performance outcomes (.46; p < .001).