The Role of Personality in Employee Developmental Networks

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Florea, Liviu
Cheung, Yu Ha
Dougherty, Thomas W.
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
August 2007
Alternative Title
PURPOSE: To integrate scholarship on personality, mentoring, developmental relationships, and social networks in delineating how employees with particular personality characteristics are more or less likely to be involved in four types of developmental networks. DESIGN: We review scholarship on personality characteristics, mentoring, and developmental relationships to identify a set of distinct personality characteristics proposed to be related to employees' tendencies to develop four types of developmental networks. These network types are defined based on high or low relationship strength and high or low relationship diversity in employee ties with others. We develop propositions delineating the nature of expected relationships of these personality characteristics with developmental network types. FINDINGS: We identified six personality characteristics--interdependent/independent self-construal, core self-evaluations, openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion/introversion, and temporal depth--and explained how each should be related to employees' tendencies to develop the four types of developmental networks. These networks have been described as opportunistic, entrepreneurial, receptive, and traditional developmental networks, based upon the strength and diversity of network relationships. VALUE: Our work suggests that personality variables are potentially valuable for understanding how individuals develop particular types of developmental relationships, an area that deserves more research attention. we note that developmental relationships have been shown to be related to both employees' objective career outcomes such as promotions and salary progress, and subjective outcomes such as career and job satisfaction.