UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The bright and dark sides of personality, job performance, and imbalanced leadership in managers Wiens, Thomas K.


There is considerable interest in finding ways to screen for dark personality traits (maladaptive interpersonal and personality tendencies) in personnel selection assessments given their pernicious effects on job performance and leadership behavior. This has proved challenging because of socially desirable response biases and ethical restrictions regulating the use of psychiatric measures. Recent advances in the understanding of the dimensional nature of personality suggest that measures of bright personality can be used to predict dark personality traits. The current research extends this research to the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) and employs multiple regression analyses to examine the bright–dark trait relationships in two samples of managers who underwent employment testing. Study 1 found that CPI scales significantly predicted each of the self-reported Hogan Development Survey (HDS) dark traits. Study 2 extended this research to supervisor ratings and found that CPI scales significantly predicted 6 out of 11 dark traits as rated by supervisors. Supervisor-rated dark traits were also negatively related to supervisor ratings of task performance and contextual performance, as well as positively related to counterproductive workplace behavior and job stress. Evidence also suggested that job stress and self-awareness may moderate the relationship between dark traits and counterproductive workplace behavior. Most of the dark traits were characterized by leadership behavior imbalances related to overdoing and/or underdoing forceful, enabling, or strategic behaviors. Conceptually, this study furthers our understanding of the relationship between dark personality traits and bright personality traits as measured by the CPI. Practically, it provides support for another method to screen for dark personality traits in workplace contexts. It also addresses the lack of observer assessments of dark personality in workplace contexts as well as the lack of research on counterproductive workplace behavior.

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