The role of personality in employee developmental networks

Thomas W. Dougherty*, Jamie Y H CHEUNG, Liviu Florea

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to integrate scholarship on personality, mentoring, developmental relationships, and social networks in delineating how employees with particular personality characteristics are more or less likely to be involved in four types of developmental networks. Design/methodology/approach - The paper reviews scholarship on personality characteristics and developmental relationships to identify a set of distinct personality characteristics proposed to be related to employees' tendencies to develop four types of developmental networks. These network types are defined based on high or low relationship strength and high or low relationship diversity in employee ties with others. We develop propositions delineating the nature of expected relationships of these personality characteristics with developmental network types. Findings - The paper identifies five personality characteristics - interdependent/independent self-construal, core self-evaluations, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and extroversion/ introversions - and explained how each should be related to employees' tendencies to develop the four types of developmental networks. These networks have been described as opportunistic, entrepreneurial, receptive, and traditional developmental networks, based upon the strength and the diversity of network relationships. Originality/value - The paper suggests that personality variables are potentially valuable for understanding how individuals develop particular types of developmental relationships, an area that deserves more research attention. It is noted that developmental relationships have been shown to be related to both employees' objective career outcomes such as promotions and salary progress, and subjective outcomes such as career and job satisfaction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)653-669
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Applied Psychology
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Employee development
    • Mentoring
    • Personality
    • Social networks


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