chapter  12
30 Pages

The Role of Personality in Group Processes

WithLisa M. Moynihan, Randall S. Peterson

This chapter discusses the role of personality in group processes. We specifically focus attention on the importance of member personality as a group composition variable by providing a review of the relevant theory and research. We argue here for three basic theoretical perspectives explaining the nature of personality effects in group process and team performance: (1) universal-certain traits always predict teamwork success, (2) contingent-certain traits predict team performance depending on the task or organizational culture, and (3) configurational-the mix of traits within a group, or the fit of individual members with each other, predicts teamperformance. Each of these three approaches to personality in groups finds significant empirical support in the literature andhas some shortcomings. We conclude that a full understanding of the role of personality in group processes must integrate all three of these approaches.