Leadership & Ethics

'Big Five' Personality Factors as Predictors of Military Performance

By The Cove August 31, 2020


This academic paper by Paul Bartone (with support from other contributors) via Emerald Insight takes a scientific approach to examining leadership behaviour and results. The paper evaluates the influence of psychological hardiness, social judgment, and ‘Big Five’ personality dimensions on leader performance in US Military Academy trainees at West Point.  

The ‘Big Five’ dimensions are: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. These have emerged as a unifying framework for understanding the domain of normal personality and more research is being conducted that explores the influence of these five personality dimensions on job performance and leadership. This paper examines the influence of the ‘Big Five’ personality factors on leader performance. It identifies hardiness as an important predictor of leadership, and demonstrates that organisational context makes a difference to which personality factors influence leader performance.

Extroversion, for example, appears to be more influential in highly social and active work environments, whereas conscientiousness has greater effectiveness in academic and business settings. This paper is quite complex, so before you dive into this one, make sure you’ve covered off on the alternate foundational leadership material contained elsewhere within the #BreakIn.  




The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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