Personality and cognitive ability as predictors of job search among employed managers Academic Article uri icon


  • Research on employee job search and separation traditionally focuses on situationally specific variables. Such variables may change with particular employment situations (e.g., job tenure, salary, perceived organizational success), they may be differentially relevant to work situations over time (e.g., education), or may reflect individual reactions to particular work situations (e.g., job satisfaction). More enduring individual characteristics, particularly personality and cognitive ability, may affect job search in consistent ways across different situations, but to date we have little empirical research on those effects. The present study extends traditional job search investigations by incorporating these two enduring individual characteristics - personality and cognitive ability. The value of these two enduring individual characteristics, in predicting job search, is then tested on a sample of U.S. executives. Cognitive ability as well as the personality dimensions of Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience related positively to job search. These effects remained even in the presence of an array of situational factors previously shown to affect search. The relationship between Extroversion and job search became significant and positive in the presence of situational factors, particularly job satisfaction. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Boudreau, J. W., Boswell, W. R., Judge, T. A., & Bretz, R. D.

citation count

  • 112

complete list of authors

  • Boudreau, JW||Boswell, WR||Judge, TA||Bretz, RD

publication date

  • January 2001