Journal article
(Original article)

Who earns more and why? A multiple mediation model from personality to salary.

Publication Details
Author(s): Spurk D, Abele A
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2011
Volume: 26
Journal issue: 1
Pages range: 87-103
ISSN: 0889-3268
Language: English


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate multiple indirect Big Five personality influences on professionals’ annual salary while considering relevant mediators. These are the motivational variables of occupational self-efficacy and career-advancement goals, and the work status variable of contractual work hours. The motivational and work status variables were conceptualized as serial mediators (Big Five → occupational self-efficacy/career-advancement goals → contractual work hours → annual salary). Design/Methodology/Approach: We realized a 4 year longitudinal survey study with 432 participants and three points of measurement. We assessed personality prior to the mediators and the mediators prior to annual salary. Findings: Results showed that except for openness the other Big Five personality traits exerted indirect influences on annual salary. Career-advancement goals mediated influences of conscientiousness (+), extraversion (+), and agreeableness (-). Occupational self-efficacy mediated influences of neuroticism (–) and conscientiousness (+). Because the influence of occupational self-efficacy on annual salary was fully mediated by contractual work hours, indirect personality influences via occupational self-efficacy always included contractual work hours in a serial mediation. Implications: These findings underline the importance of distal personality traits for career success. They give further insights into direct and indirect relationships between personality, goal content, self-efficacy beliefs, and an individual’s career progress. Originality/Value: Previous research predominantly investigated direct Big Five influences on salary, and it analyzed cross-sectional data. This study is one of the first to investigate multiple indirect Big Five influences on salary in a longitudinal design. The findings support process-oriented theories of personality influences on career outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

How to cite
APA: Spurk, D., & Abele, A. (2011). Who earns more and why? A multiple mediation model from personality to salary. Journal of business and psychology, 26(1), 87-103.

MLA: Spurk, Daniel, and A.E. Abele. "Who earns more and why? A multiple mediation model from personality to salary." Journal of business and psychology 26.1 (2011): 87-103.

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