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The moderating role of honesty‐humility in the association of agreeableness with interpersonal competency: A study of managers in two countries

2 April 2021

The honesty‐humility factor from the HEXACO model of personality has been found to offer incremental validity in predicting several work‐related criteria over the remaining factors, yet its interplay with other personality factors is rarely examined. In this study, co-authored by CPOW’s Lena Wang, the authors examined how honesty‐humility (the tendency to be sincere, fair, non‐materialistic, and modest) can moderate the relation between agreeableness and interpersonal competency. Specifically, drawing on the theory of self‐concept, we proposed that agreeableness will have a stronger association with interpersonal competency amongst individuals who are higher on honesty‐humility, and relatively less so amongst individuals who are lower on honesty‐humility. Across three samples of people in managerial roles from two different cultures (Australia and Kenya), we found that honesty‐humility indeed moderated the agreeableness – interpersonal competency relation, both when the criterion was measured by self‐report (Sample 1, N = 167; Sample 2, N = 320; Sample 3, N = 296) and other‐report (Sample 3, N = 195). In all three samples, the positive relation of agreeableness with interpersonal competency was strongest among those who were also higher on honesty‐humility. Such an interaction effect was robust after controlling for the remaining HEXACO personality factors.

This article co-authored by Lena Wang, Patrick D. Dunlop, Sharon K. Parker, Mark A. Griffin and Hazel Gachunga was first published on 02 April 2021 in Applied Psychology

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