Personality traits and integrity of applicants for security positions
Counterproductive behaviour could have an enormous impact on the workplace. Little research has been done in South Africa into the construct of integrity. Employee performance and productivity are vital for companies and employers should be made aware of the risks of unethical behaviour within such companies. Attempts should be made to reduce these risks. Research has been focused on two sets of factors that prompt counterproductive behaviour, namely personality dimensions and situational factors. Limited sources that describe the association between integrity and personality are available on the African continent. Research has indicated that individuals who score lower on integrity indicate a greater likelihood of committing theft and vandalism than individuals with higher scores. The objective of this research was to determine the relationship between integrity and personality traits. The study population consisted of 145 individuals who formed part of the same recruitment process for appointment as security guards. The Contextual Performance Scale, a newly developed South African measure of integrity in the work setting, and the Work Style Questionnaire were administered. Canonical correlation and moderated regression analyses were carried out to assess the relationship of personality variables to integrity. The results indicate that a person with high integrity is someone who is relatively persuasive and very self-assured; he will be very much focused on detail - systematic, precise, accurate and able to pick up omissions quickly, he will respect authority, be hardworking, conscientious and trustworthy. This person was further shown to be able to plan and prepare ahead, and to take into consideration the consequences of decisions. A person with integrity can readily adapt to new situations and accept change without adapting his moral values. This employee can be relied upon and is unlikely to engage in counterproductive behaviour.