A person-centred investigation of temporal individual differences at work

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Leonard, Craig

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Temporal individual differences are a growing area of organizational research, but the extant literature focuses on how these constructs function in isolation to affect employee behaviour and outcomes. Because time-based individual differences function as a coordinated system of processes within a person, studying these traits in isolation underemphasizes their interactions. To address this issue, this dissertation takes a person-centred approach to examine temporal individual differences and their role in the workplace. In one study, I used latent profile analysis (LPA) to explore profiles of three temporal individual differences (time urgency, polychronicity, pacing style) that reflect how employees perceive time (i.e., the construal of time’s structure). The results revealed two latent profiles of temporal individual differences that were largely differentiated by pacing style. Moreover, the profiles differed significantly in task performance. To further investigate pacing style and its association with performance, I then conducted two studies using LPA to examine a multidimensional measure of pacing style (Gevers et al., 2015). In the first study, I identified initial profiles of the deadline action, U-shaped, and steady action pacing styles. In the second study, I demonstrated how several antecedents (role overload, work boredom) distinguish between the pacing style profiles, as well as how they predict several important work outcomes (task performance, emotional exhaustion). Overall, this dissertation provides novel insight into how employees present different combinations of temporal individual differences and their impact at work.

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Keywords

subjective time, temporal individual differences, latent profile analysis, pacing style

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