The mechanism behind employee agreeableness and group performance ratings: a Pakistani study

Sara Altaf, Muhammad Zahid Iqbal*, Jan Willem van Prooijen, Malik Ikramullah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study seeks to examine the links between employee agreeableness, group performance, and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation, through relationship conflict. 

Design/methodology/approach: In a laboratory setting, 42 groups of undergraduate students (N = 182) from a Pakistani university were assigned to group projects to be completed within four months. Data collected from three different questionnaires at four different times and actual scores awarded by the course instructor to each group were used for the analyses. Based on rWG(J) and ICC(1), level 1 (182 students') data were aggregated to level 2 (groups), and then analysed using regression analysis followed by Preacher and Hayes' bootstrapping procedure. 

Findings: Results suggest that high agreeableness predicts group performance positively and peers' perceptions of threat of retaliation negatively. Moreover, relationship conflict among group members significantly mediates the agreeableness-group performance relationship. The above relationships may be sensitive to national culture. 

Research limitations/implications: In this study, groups were formed for a few months, whereas in real organizational life, workgroups are formed for different durations. Therefore, the range of situations to which these findings generalize remains an open question. 

Practical implications: Agreeableness of group members can be constructive for performance of the group. Managers may utilize this insight while forming groups, and rating performance. 

Originality/value: There is dearth of research illuminating how employee's personality traits affect group performance and appraisal ratings. The study tests the effects of employee agreeableness on: (1) group performance, as rated by supervisors; (2) the threat of retaliation, as perceived by peer raters; and (3) the mediating effect of relationship conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-768
Number of pages26
JournalInternational journal of productivity and performance management
Issue number4
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Agreeableness
  • Group performance
  • Relationship conflict
  • Threat of retaliation


Dive into the research topics of 'The mechanism behind employee agreeableness and group performance ratings: a Pakistani study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this