chapter  15
18 Pages

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going: Some Conclusions Regarding Personality and Organizations

ByD. Brent Smith, Benjamin Schneider

We began working on the idea for this book in the late 1990s, after spending some time reflecting on the previous decade of research on personality in organizations. We noted, as many have, that research on personality proliferated during this decade. If the 1980s had been characterized by the cognitive revolution, the 1990s were characterized by the rebirth of personality research. Many factors played a significant role in this rebirth (particularly the rebirth of organizationally focused personality research). These factors included the tentative resolution of the person-situation debate, the rise of the five-factor model as an organizing and descriptive taxonomy, meta-analyses demonstrating the validity of various personality dimensions for the prediction of important work-related behaviors and outcomes, and a zeitgeist that seemed once again to accept dispositional explanations for individual and organizational phenomena. We thought it was time to take stock of what we know, what we have learned, where progress has been made, and where the future of organizational personality research lies. This was the purpose of this volume, and the authors of the various chapters have provided an excellent overview of the research on personality in many of the primary topical areas in OB/HR and I-O psychology.