A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship Between General Mental Ability and Nontask Performance
Journal of Applied Psychology 2014, 99 (6), pp. 1222-1243
22 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2014 Last revised: 30 Dec 2016
Date Written: July 23, 2014
Although one of the most well-established research findings in industrial-organizational psychology is that general mental ability (GMA) is a strong and generalizable predictor of job performance, this meta-analytically derived conclusion is based largely on measures of task or overall performance. The primary purpose of this study is to address a void in the research literature by conducting a meta-analysis to determine the direction and magnitude of the correlation of GMA with two dimensions of non-task performance, CWB and OCB. Overall, the results show that the true-score correlation between GMA and CWB is essentially zero (-.02, k = 35), although rating source of CWB moderates this relationship. The true-score correlation between GMA and OCB is positive but modest in magnitude (.23, k = 43). The second purpose of this study is to conduct meta-analytic relative weight analyses to determine the relative importance of GMA and the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality traits in predicting non-task and task performance criteria. Results indicate that, collectively, the FFM traits are substantially more important for CWB than is GMA, that the FFM traits are roughly equal in importance to GMA for OCB, and that GMA is substantially more important for task and overall job performance than are the FFM traits. Implications of these findings for the development of optimal selection systems and the development of comprehensive theories of job performance are discussed along with study limitation and future research directions.
Keywords: general mental ability, organizational citizenship behavior, counterproductive work behavior
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