The exploration of job performance and the dark triad : practical implications for industrial psychologists

Smit, Yvonne-Louise (2020-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The field of Industrial Psychology has pursued the understanding of various variables that impact job performance. Most research efforts thus far have focused on the individual level. These findings suggest that personality and cognitive abilities are the main antecedents of job performance. Within the realm of personality, much of the focus has remained on positive personality frameworks, such as the Big Five taxonomy and the HEXACO model. The relationship between maladaptive personality and job performance has been investigated to a lesser degree. Nevertheless, research that has been conducted suggests that there is a relationship between maladaptive personality and job performance. The Dark Triad, a narrow framework of maladaptive personality has recently received much attention in the field of Industrial Psychology. The research interest in the Dark Triad varies. Some researchers argue that the three variables in the Dark Triad (i.e. Psychoticism, Machiavellianism, and Narcissism) are too similar, while others have provided support for an overlap between the three variables. Moreover, there is evidence that there is enough difference between the three variables to be considered three distinct concepts. Recently, Industrial Psychologists have been urged to start taking the research on maladaptive personality more seriously by investigating the role that it has in the workplace. The Dark Triad has been found to be present in multiple working environments. Moreover, given the proposed relationship between the Dark Triad and job performance it is in the interest of the field to gather a more in-depth understanding of how to effectively intervene and manage workplace environments where individuals may display traits associated with the Dark Triad. This research study aimed to provide Industrial Psychologists with a practical guide within the scope of Industrial Psychology on the management of the Dark Triad in the workplace with the aim of improving job performance. The practical guide was developed using an interpretive research methodology and a two-phase data gathering process. Firstly, semi-structured interviews were conducted with experts in the field. Secondly, a focus group with Industrial Psychologists was undertaken to establish whether the five themes identified in the first phase are practical and within the scope of practice of Industrial Psychologists. The data gathered was analysed using a thematic analysis. The thematic analysis delivered five themes identifying keys areas in which guidance on how to manage people who display traits of the Dark Triad could be focused. The themes include organisational culture, organisational policies and processes, performance management, training, and coaching. The merits of each theme were evaluated against existing literature to develop relevant guidelines. Each of the themes and associated codes was adapted to reflect practical actions (i.e. guidelines) for the management of the Dark Triad in an organisational context. The study thus culminated in a proposed set of guidelines that can be used by Industrial Psychologists to manage people who display traits of the Dark Triad. The guidelines adhere to the scope of practice of Industrial Psychologists but can also be used by other Human Resource practitioners. To conclude, the limitations of the study are acknowledged, and suggestions for future research are proposed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die Bedryfsielkunde veld het begrip van verskeie veranderlikes wat werkprestasie beïnvloed nagestreef. Tot dusver was die meeste navorsingspogings op die individuele vlak gerig. Die bevindinge dui daarop dat persoonlikheid en kognitiewe vermoëns die hoofvoorlopers van werkprestasie is. Die fokus binne die terrein van persoonlikheid was grotendeels op positiewe persoonlikheidsraamwerke soos die Groot Vyf-taksonomie en die HEXACO-model gemik. Die verband tussen wanaangepaste persoonlikheid en werkprestasie is in 'n mindere mate ondersoek. Navorsing wat gedoen is dui nietemin op 'n verband tussen wanaangepaste persoonlikheid en werksprestasie. Die Donker Triade, 'n eng raamwerk van wanaangepaste persoonlikheid, het onlangs baie aandag in die veld van Bedryfsielkunde ontvang. Die navorsingsbelangstelling in die Donker Triade toon verskille. Sommige navorsers voer aan dat die drie veranderlikes in die Donker Triade (d.w.s. Psigotisisme, Machiavellianisme en Narcisme) te soortgelyk is, terwyl ander ondersteuning vir oorvleueling tussen die drie veranderlikes aangedui het. Boonop is daar bewyse van voldoende verskil tussen die drie veranderlikes om hulle as drie afsonderlike konsepte te beskou. Bedryfsielkundiges is onlangs aangemoedig om navorsing oor wanaangepaste persoonlikheid met meer erns te begin bejeën deur die rol daarvan in die werkplek te ondersoek. Daar is gevind dat die Donker Triade in vele werksomgewings teenwoordig is. Gegewe die voorgestelde verhouding tussen die Donker Triade en werkprestasie is dit boonop in die belang van die veld om 'n meer diepgaande begrip te verkry van hoe om effektief in te gryp en werkplekomgewings waar individue eienskappe vertoon wat met die Donker Triade geassosieer word, te bestuur. Die doel van hierdie navorsingstudie was om Bedryfsielkundiges binne die bestek van Bedryfsielkunde van 'n praktiese gids oor die bestuur van die Donker Triade in die werkplek te voorsien met die doel om werkprestasie te verbeter.. Die praktiese gids is met gebruik van 'n interpretatiewe navorsingsmetodologie en 'n twee-fase data-insamelingsproses ontwikkel. Eerstens is semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met kundiges op die gebied gevoer. Tweedens is 'n fokusgroepgesprek met Bedryfsielkundiges onderneem om vas te stel of die vyf temas wat in die eerste fase geïdentifiseer is prakties en binne die praktykbestek van Bedryfsielkundiges val. Data wat ingesamel is, is met behulp van tematiese analise ontleed. Die tematiese analise het vyf temas gelewer. Hierdie temas identifiseer sleutelareas waarop gefokus kan word, tesame met leiding oor hoe om mense met kenmerke van die Donker Triade te bestuur. Die geïdentifiseerde temas omvat organisasiekultuur, organisasiebeleid en -prosesse, prestasiebestuur, opleiding en afrigting. Die meriete van elke tema is aan die hand van bestaande literatuur geëvalueer om relevante riglyne te ontwikkel. Elkeen van die temas en gepaardgaande kodes is aangepas om praktiese aksies (d.w.s. riglyne) vir die bestuur van die Donker Triade in 'n organisatoriese konteks te weerspieël. Die studie het dus 'n voorgestelde stel riglyne gelewer wat deur Bedryfsielkundiges gebruik kan word om mense wat eienskappe van die Donker Triade vertoon, te bestuur. Terwyl die riglyne aan die omvang van die praktyk van Bedryfsielkundiges voldoen, kan dit ook deur ander Menslike Hulpbron-praktisyns gebruik word. Ten slotte word die beperkings van die studie erken, en moontlikhede vir toekomstige navorsing word voorgestel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108278
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