Narrow personality traits and organizational attraction: Evidence for the complementary hypothesis

Edgar E. Kausel, Jerel E. Slaughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Although the interactionist perspective has been widely studied in organizational attractiveness, there is no research comparing the explanatory power of the complementary and supplementary hypotheses in predicting attraction. The authors test these perspectives in the context of the instrumental-symbolic framework. The authors also examine whether the use of narrow personality facets, such as Trust (under the Big Five trait Agreeableness), Assertiveness (under Extraversion), and Imagination (under Openness to Experience) enhances the prediction of attraction. Job seekers (N=220) provided self-ratings of personality, ratings of organizational traits, and their level of attraction to a potential future employer. Results supported predictions based on complementarity, suggesting that organizations adopting a recruiting strategy based on similarity in personality may not succeed in attracting their most preferred candidates. The findings also suggested that narrow facets are useful in predicting attraction, providing further evidence for the predictive benefits of narrow personality traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Applicant attraction
  • Assertiveness
  • Big Five
  • Imagination
  • Interactionist perspective
  • Narrow traits
  • Organization personality
  • Person-organization fit
  • Recruitment
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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