Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Eric D. Sundstrom

Committee Members

Richard A. Saudargas, John Lounsbury, Robert T. Ladd

Abstract

This field study examined the relationships among the personality traits conscientiousness and openness to experience; organizational commitment; and job search behaviors in a work environment, to test hypotheses about the relationships of three types of commitment – affective, normative and continuance – with the personality traits and search behaviors, using established measures. Participants were 282 employees of cell phone sales organization located in the Southeastern United States, who completed on-line surveys. As hypothesized, individual conscientiousness showed a strong positive relationship with affective, normative and continuance commitment and a strong negative relationship with job search behaviors. Openness to experience showed the expected, positive association with job search behaviors. Affective, normative and continuance commitment all showed negative relationships with job search behaviors. Consistent with predictions, statistical modeling showed that affective and continuance (but not normative) commitment mediated the relationships of conscientiousness (but not openness) with job search behaviors. These findings carry implications for theory, research, and practical application.

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