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Personality trait change at work: Associations with organizational socialization and identification



This study investigates associations between Big Five personality trait change, organizational socialization, and organizational identification during a 3-year police officer training program (N = 416 police officer cadets).


Participants completed a questionnaire measuring the Big Five personality traits when they entered the training academy, and then, completed the same personality questionnaire, along with measures of organizational socialization and identification, during their 2nd (n = 360) and 3rd (n = 397) year of training.


Results corroborated the hypotheses that (a) the Big Five traits can show systematic changes even across a relatively short time period and (b) this change is functional, given that the latent difference scores of all Big Five traits significantly predicted increases in organizational socialization and identification.


The Big five personality traits showed significant mean level changes across the 3-year training program. Although these changes were not fully consistent with theoretical expectations, they did predict two aspects of organizational adjustment (socialization and identification). The theoretical and practical implications of these findings were discussed.

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