Politician personality, Machiavellianism, and political skill as predictors of performance ratings in political roles

This study by a team including Dr Maddy Wyatt of Kent Business School  conceptualizes politicians as political workers. It describes a multimethod study with two aims: (1) to determine whether politicians share a latent mental model of performance in political roles and (2) to test hypothesized relationships between politician self-rated characteristics (i.e., extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, Machiavellianism, and political skill) and received performance ratings from political colleagues and officers.

Two hundred and thirty-one local politicians provided self-ratings on a political performance questionnaire developed following a role analysis, and standardized measures of personality. One hundred and eighty-five also received performance ratings from colleagues (n = 749) and officers (n = 729). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of self- and received performance ratings revealed five latent factors: Resilience (RS), Politicking, Analytical Skills (AS), Representing People, and Relating to Others. Regression analyses found that neuroticism and conscientiousness contribute to received ratings of RS, and neuroticism contributes to received ratings of AS.

This research was published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

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