Does Purpose Matter? The Stability of Personality Assessments in Organization Development and Talent Management Applications Over Time


Personality assessment has a long history of application in the workplace. While the field of organization development has historically focused on developmental aspects of personality tools, other disciplines such as industrial-organizational psychology have emphasized its psychometric properties.

The importance of data-driven insights for talent management (e.g., the identification of high potentials, succession planning, coaching), however, is placing increasing pressure on all types of applied behavioral scientists to better understand the stability of personality tools for decision-making purposes. The current study presents research conducted with 207 senior leaders in a global consumer products organization on the use of personality assessment data over time and across two different conditions: development only and development to decision making. Results using three different tools (based on the Hogan Assessment Suite) indicate that core personality and personality derailers are generally not affected by the purpose of the assessment, though derailers do tend to moderate over time. The manifestation of values, motives, and preferences were found to change across administrations. Implications for organizational development and talent management applications are discussed.

Church, Allan H.; Fleck, Christina R.; Foster, Garett C.; Levine, Rebecca C.; Lopez, Felix J.; Rotolo, Christopher T.
JOURNAL OF APPLIED BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE Volume: 52 Issue: 4 Pages: 450-481