Personality Traits’ Predictors of Outstanding Performance in the Public Sector

Yovav Eshet, Itzhak Harpaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research provides Human Resources Managements with a tool to identify outstanding performers according to personality traits. The model has been empirically tested in the Israeli Public Administration sector. The innovative paired sample is composed of a variety of elite performers from 14 different government offices. Questionnaires were administered to a total of 742 participants, which comprised 189 pairs of outstanding employees and their supervisors, and 182 pairs of normative employees and their supervisors. Whereas the supervisors rated the job performances of their employees, these self-reported on their personality traits. The results show that two out of five personality traits, extraversion, and emotional stability, are positive predictors of outstanding performance, while openness to experience is a negative one. In addition, agreeableness emerges as a positive predictor of normative employees’ performance. As to its practical outcomes, this research assists public administrations in locating outstanding employees for successful planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1394
Number of pages28
JournalPublic Performance & Management Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Big Five Factor
  • outstanding performance
  • personality trait
  • public sector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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