An investigation into the first and second -order factor structure of the South African Personality Inventory (SAPI)

Mouton, Sonica (2017-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Due to our free market economy, it has become immensely important for organisations in the 21st century to utilise scarce resources as optimally as possible to ensure a lucrative place in the market as well as to ensure maximum profits. In other words, organisations must focus on competing effectively in terms of innovation, flexibility, cost, service and quality. This can however only happen if the right people with the right skills who can perform their jobs the best are employed. It is for this reason that human resource management becomes crucial as it contributes to an organisation’s success, through the acquisition and maintenance of a high quality and competent work force, as well as to ensure the effective and efficient use of human talent in a manner that will add value to an organisation. Personnel selection is one of the critical interventions used to regulate the movement of human capital into, through and out of the organisation. To enable Human Resource Practitioners/Industrial and Organisational Psychologists to make more informed decisions, assessment measures are used. However, to make accurate predictions, construct valid and reliable information pertaining to the predictor constructs is needed, as this is necessary to make accurate predictions of the criterion construct. Personality represents an influential determinant of job performance. The South African Personality Inventory (SAPI) is a new personality questionnaire developed specifically for use in South Africa for amongst other personnel selection. The primary objective of this research is to evaluate the construct validity of the SAPI by evaluating the fit of both the first-and second-order measurement models of the SAPI through a confirmatory factor analytic investigation on a relatively large sample of the South African working population. The data that was used in this study was obtained from the data archives of the SAPI project, with written permission from the intellectual property holders, to utilise the sample data for the purpose of this research. Questionnaires were completed by a non-probability sample of participants from a variety of industries. The total sample size comprised of 3912 respondents. Item and dimensionality analyses were performed on the 20 subscales of the final version of the SAPI as set out by the scoring key. This was done to assess the extent to which the subscales represented the underlying personality constructs. In the item analysis no items were identified as seriously problematic. Results from the dimensionality analysis showed that 11 of the 20 personality dimension measures were compatible with the position that the items comprising these subscales measure what they are designed to measure. In contrast, nine out of the 20 subscales failed the uni-dimensionality test. A wide array of goodness-of-fit statistics was used to analyse the first order measurement model fit. The measurement model’s overall fit was acceptable. The null hypothesis of exact fit was rejected but the null hypothesis of close fit could not be rejected (p>.05). The fit indices reflected a close fit in the parameter and a very good model fit in the sample. The factor loadings, although statistically significant were generally also of a moderate to high degree. All of the completely standardised factor loadings fell above the critical cut-off value of .50. This would suggest that the item parcels do represent the latent personality dimensions they were designed to reflect acceptably well. Discriminant validity was also investigated. The results showed that SAPI, regardless of some difficulty, permit the successful discrimination between the distinctive aspects of the latent personality dimensions. The SAPI’s second order measurement model did not successfully converge. As a result inferences could not be made about the fit of the second order measurement model or the statistical significance and magnitude of the freed measurement model parameter estimates. Overall, this study contributed to the understanding of the psychometric properties of the SAPI. Its findings should guide and assist in eliciting the necessary further research needed to establish the psychometric credentials of SAPI as a valuable assessment instrument that can be used with confidence in South Africa. Recommendations for future research are made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : As gevolg van ons vrye mark ekonomie het dit baie belangrik geword vir organisasies in die 21ste eeu om hul skaars hulpbronne so effektief en optimaal moontlik te gebruik. Dit alles met die doel om ‘n winsgewinde plek in die mark te bekom en om maksimum wins te verseker. Met ander woorde, organisasies moet fokus om effektief te kompeteer in terme van innovasie, buigsaamheid, koste, dienste en kwaliteit. Dit kan slegs gebeur as die regte mense met die geskikte vaardighede wat hulle werk die effektiefste moontlik kan doen aangestel word. Dit is om hierdie rede dat menslike hulpbronbestuur noodsaaklik is omdat dit bydra tot die organisasie se sukses, deur die verkryging en instandhouding van ‘n doeltreffende werksmag en om te verseker dat werknemers se talente effektief en doeltreffend gebruik word op so ‘n manier dat waarde tot die organisasie gevoeg word. Personeelkeuring is een van die mees belangrike intervensies wat gebruik word om die vloei van die mensekapitaal in, deur en uit die organisasie te reguleer. Psigometriese toetse word gebruik om die menslike hulpbronpraktisyne / Bedryfsielkundiges in staat te stel om meer ingeligte besluite te neem. Akkurate voorspellings kan egter slegs uit sodanige psigometriese/sielkundige toetse afgelei word indien die konstrukte wat hulle probeer meet, in werklikheid determinante van werkprestasie is, indien die toetse betroubare, geldige en onsydige metings van hierdie konstrukte gee en indien die aard van die verwantskap tussen die voorspellerkonstrukte en die kriteriumkonstruk geldig verstaan word. Persoonlikheid is 'n invoedryke determinant van werkprestasie. Die ‘South African Personality Inventory’ (SAPI) is 'n nuut ontwikkelde persoonlikheidsvraelys wat spesifiek ontwikkel is vir gebruik in Suid-Afrika onder andere vir personeelkeuring. Daarin lê die regverdiging vir die primêre doel van hierdie navorsing, naamlik om die konstrukgeldigheid van die instrument te ondersoek deur die eerste- en tweede-orde faktor struktuur van die SAPI deur 'n faktor-analitiese ondersoek op 'n relatief groot steekproef van die Suid-Afrikaanse werkende bevolking te evalueer. Die data wat in hierdie studie gebruik is, is verkry uit die data-argiewe van die SAPI projek, met die skriftelike toestemming van die intellektuele eiendom-eienaar, om die steekproefdata aan te wend vir die doel van hierdie navorsing. Die vraelyste is voltooi deur 'n niewaarskynlikheid steekproef van deelnemers uit verskeie industrieë. Die totale steekproefgrootte het bestaan uit 3912 respondente. Item- en dimensionaliteitsontledings is uitgevoer op die 20 subskale van die SAPI soos deur die finale weergawe van die SAPI nasienmasker uiteengesit. Dit is gedoen om die sukses te bepaal waarmee die subskale die onderliggende persoonlikheidskonstrukte verteenwoordig. Die resultate van die itemontleding het getoon dat nie een van die SAPI subskale, ernstig problematies was nie. Resultate van die dimensionaliteitontleding het getoon dat 11 van die 20 persoonlikheidsdimensiesmetings versoenbaar is met die standpunt dat die items waaruit hierdie subskale bestaan, meet wat hulle ontwerp is om te meet. In teenstelling hiermee het nege uit die 20 subskale nie die uni-dimensionaliteitstoets geslaag nie. ‘n Verskeidenheid pasgehalte-maatstawwe is gebruik om die pasgehalte van die eerste orde metingsmodel te ondersoek. Oor die algemeen was die pasgehalte van die metingsmodel aanvaarbaar. Die nulhipotese van presiese passing is verwerp maar die nulhipotse van benaderde passing is nie verwerp nie (p>.05). Die pasgehalte-maatstawwe het gedui op ‘n benaderde passing in die parameter en baie goeie modelpassing in die steekproef. Die faktorladings, ofskoonstatisties beduidend, was oor die algemeen matig tot groot in omvang. Al die volledig gestandaardiseerde faktorladings was groter as die kritieke afsnywaarde van .50. Die bevindinge is versoenbaar met die posissie dat die items wel die latent persoonlikheidsdimensies wat hul geoormerk is om te reflekteer, bevredigend reflekteer. Diskriminantgeldigheid is ook ondersoek. Die resultate dui daarop dat die SAPI, ofskoon nie sonder probleme nie, wel die suksesvolle onderskeid tussen die unieke aspekte van die persoonlikheidsdimensies moontlik maak. Die tweede-orde metingsmodel van die SAPI het nie suksesvol gekonvergeer nie. As gevolg hiervan kon daar geen afleidings aangaande die pas van die tweede-orde metingsmodel of die statistiese beduidendheid en grootte van die vrygestelde metingsmodelparameter-ramings gemaak word nie. In die algeheel, het hierdie studie bygedra tot ‘n groter begrip van die psigometriese eienskappe van die SAPI. Die bevindinge sal help om die nodige verderde navorsing te ontlok wat nodig is om die SAPI met vertroue as 'n waardevolle meetinstrument in Suid-Afrika te vestig. Aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing word gemaak.

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