An investigation into the first-order factor structure of the personality and preference inventory-normative (PAPI-N) on a relatively large sample of the South African population.

Wilbers, Lizelle (2015-04)

Thesis (MCom) --Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Organisations in a free market economy exist with the purpose to serve and provide the market with products and services that the market values while at the same time satisfying the triple bottom line of profit, people and planet. The extent to which an organisation will succeed in this aim, however, depends to a large extent on the calibre of its workforce. Human resource management represents a range of interventions with the purpose of contributing 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 represents one of these human resource functions and thereby constitutes a critical human resource management intervention in as far as it attempts to regulate human capital movement into, through and out of the organisation with the expectation that this will result in increased employee job performance. Industrialorganisational psychologists and human resources practitioners frequently use psychometric/psychological tests in the selection process, which provide them with objective information on complex constructs such as intellectual ability or personality, that are hypothesised to be determinants of the level of job performance that selected applicants will achieve. Accurate predictions can however, only be derived from measures of such psychometric/psychological tests if the constructs they attempt to measure are in fact determinants of job performance, if the tests provide reliable, valid and unbiased measures of these constructs and the nature of the relationship between the predictor constructs and the criterion construct is validly understood. Personality represents an influential determinant of job performance. The Personality and Preference Inventory-Normative (PAPI-N) is a personality questionnaire that is widely used in industry. This provides the essential justification for the primary objective of this research, which was to evaluate the first-order factor structure of the PAPI-N through a factor analytic investigation on a relatively large sample of the South African working population. The data used in this study was obtained from the data archives of Cubiks (Pty) Ltd, with written permission from the intellectual property holder, to utilise the sample data for the purpose of this research. The South African PAPI-N database comprised all respondents who were assessed by Work Dynamics, the official distributor of Cubiks’s products and services in South Africa, in the period 2007 to 2012. Item and dimensionality analyses were performed on the 20 subscales of the PAPI-N as well as the Social Desirability scale. This was done to assess the success with which the subscales represented the underlying personality constructs. The results in the item analysis revealed that in about 50% of the PAPI-N subscales concern arose about the extent to which the items of the subscales responded in unison to systematic differences in a single underlying latent variable. Results from the dimensionality analysis showed that 12 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, eight out of the 20 subscales failed the uni-dimensionality test. A spectrum of goodness-of-fit statistics was used to evaluate the 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. Although the measurement model fitted the data closely, the factor loadings (although statistically significant) were generally of a moderate degree. Approximately twenty-eight percent (27.78%) of the completely standardised factor loadings fell below the critical cut-off value of .50. This would suggest that the individual items generally (72.22%) do represent the latent personality dimensions they were designed to reflect acceptably well, but that in a little bit more than a quarter of the items, less than 25% of the variance in the item responses was due to variance in the latent variable it was designed to reflect. Discriminant validity was also investigated. The results showed that PAPI-N, although with some difficulty, permit the successful discrimination between the unique aspects of the latent personality dimensions. The results of the confirmatory factor analyses suggests that while the intention of the PAPI-N to have sets of items reflecting specific primary personality factors succeeded, the subscale item measures mostly hold a sizable amount of systematic and random error. Based on the above findings, this personality measure should be used with caution in personnel selection in South Africa. Nevertheless, this study serves to extend the understanding of the psychometric properties of the PAPI-N on samples different from the UK sample on which it was originally developed and standardised. Its findings should assist in eliciting the necessary further research needed to establish the psychometric credentials of the PAPI-N as a valuable assessment instrument in South Africa with confidence. Recommendations for future research are made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Organisasies in ‘n vrye-mark ekonomie het ten doel om die samelewing te dien en om die mark met produkte en dienste te voorsien wat waarde toevoeg, terwyl hulle terselfertyd die driedubbele eis van wins, mense en die planet bevredig. Die mate waarin die organisasie in hierdie doel slaag, hang egter in ‘n groot mate af van die kwaliteit van sy werksmag. Menslike hulpbronbestuur verteenwoordig 'n verskeidenheid ingrypings met die doel om by te dra tot 'n organisasie se sukses, deur die verkryging en instandhouding van 'n hoë gehalte en bekwame arbeidsmag, sowel as om die doeltreffende en doelmatige gebruik van menslike talent te verseker op 'n wyse wat waarde tot die organisasie toevoeg. Die keuring van personeel verteenwoordig een van hierdie menslike hulpbronfunksies. As sodanig vorm dit 'n kritieke menslike hulpbronbestuuringryping insoverre dit poog om die beweging van menslike kapitaal in, deur en uit die organisasie te reguleer met die verwagting dat dit sal lei tot verhoogde werksprestasie deur werknemers. Bedryfsielkundiges en menslike hulpbronpraktisyns gebruik dikwels psigometriese/sielkundige toetse in die keuringsproses, wat hulle met objektiewe inligting oor komplekse konstrukte soos intellektuele vermoë of persoonlikheid voorsien, onder die veronderstelling dat hulle belangrike determinante is van die vlak van werkverrigting wat gekeurde aansoekers sal bereik. 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 Personality and Preference Inventory-Normative (PAPI-N) is 'n persoonlikheidsvraelys wat algemeen in die bedryf gebruik word. Daarin lê die regverdiging vir die primêre doel van hierdie navorsing, naamlik om die eerste-orde faktor struktuur van die PAPI -N deur 'n factor-analitiese ondersoek op 'n relatief groot steekproef van die Suid-Afrikaanse werkende bevolking te evalueer, geleë. Die data wat in hierdie studie gebruik is, is verkry uit die data-argiewe van Cubiks (Pty) Ltd, met die skriftelike toestemming van die intellektuele eiendiom-eienaar, om die steekproefdata aan te wend vir die doel van hierdie navorsing. Die Suid-Afrikaanse PAPI-N databasis bestaan uit al die kandidate wat geassesseer is deur Work Dynamics, die amptelike verspreider van Cubiks se produkte en dienste in Suid-Afrika, in die tydperk 2007-2012. Item en dimensionaliteitsontledings is uitgevoer op die 20 subskale van die PAPI-N, sowel as die sosiale wenslikheidskaal. Dit is gedoen om die sukses te bepaal waarmee die subskale die onderliggende persoonlikheidskonstrukte verteenwoordig. Die resultate van die itemontleding het getoon dat ten opsigte van sowat 50 % van die PAPI-N subskale, kommer bestaan oor die mate waartoe die items van die subskale in harmonie reageer op sistematiese verskille in 'n enkele onderliggende latente veranderlike. Resultate van die dimensionaliteitontleding het getoon dat 12 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 agt uit die 20 subskale nie die uni- dimensionaliteitstoets geslaag nie. A verskeidenheid pasgehalte-maatstawwe is gebruik om die pasgehalte van die metingsmodel te ondersoek. Oorkoepelend 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). The pasgehalte-maatstawwe het gedui op ‘n benaderde passing in die parameter en baie goeie modelpassing in die steekproef. Ofskoon die metingsmodel benaderde passing getoon het was die faktorladings (alhoewel statisties beduidend) oor die algemeen matig in omvang. Ongeveer agt-en-twintig present (27.78%) van die volledig gestandaardiseerde faktorladings was kleiner as die kritieke afsnywaarde van .50. Dit suggereer dat die items oor die algemeen (72.22%) wel die latent persoonlikheidsdimensies wat hul geoormerk is om te reflekteer, bevredigend reflekteer. In ‘n klein bietjie meer as ‘n kwart van die items is minder as 25% van die variansie in die itemresponse te wyte aan variansie in die latent veranderlike wat die item ontwerp was om te reflekteer. Diskriminantgeldigheid was ook ondersoek. Die resultate dui daarop dat die PAPI-N, ofskoon nie sonder problem nie, wel die suksesvolle onderskeid tussen die unieke aspekte van die persoonlikheidsdimensies moontlik maak. Die resultate van die bevestigende faktorontleding dui daarop dat, terwyl die bedoeling van die PAPI-N om stelle items te hê wat spesifieke primêre persoonlikheidsfaktore reflekteer geslaagd was, die subskaal-itemmetings meestal 'n aansienlike hoeveelheid sistematiese en toevallige fout bevat. Gebaseer op die bogenoemde bevindinge, moet hierdie persoonlikheidsmeting met omsigtigheid gebruik word in personeelkeuring in Suid-Afrika. Nietemin, dra hierdie studie by tot ‘n groter begrip van die psigometriese eienskappe van die PAPI-N op steekproewe wat verskil van die Verenigde Koninkryk steekproef waarop dit oorspronklik ontwikkel en gestandaardiseerd is. Die bevindinge sal help om die nodige verderde navorsing te ontlok wat nodig is om die PAPI-N met vertroue as 'n waardevolle meetinstrument in Suid-Afrika te vestig. Aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing word gemaak.

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