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The research background of Alva's Growth Factors
The research background of Alva's Growth Factors

Learn more about how we constructed the Growth Factors based on scientific findings

Kajsa Asplund avatar
Written by Kajsa Asplund
Updated over a week ago

Alva's Growth Factors were created to provide an additional layer of insights from our personality test. The purpose was to give the test taker more material for self-awareness and self-development. But what research is this section actually based on? How do Drivers and Culture Preferences relate to personality?

The basic premise behind the Growth Factors is that a five-factor personality test result is very rich. As you already know, personality is related to job performance, but it's also related to a number of other phenomena. Personality impacts our motivations and the environments in which we tend to thrive. These are the findings that we have leveraged to create our Growth Factors.

Personality and motivation: The background to Drivers

The section called Drivers comes close to what is usually called motivation. In psychology, motivation is a very broad concept, usually defined as a force that increases our propensity to act in a certain direction (see e.g. HERE). Motivation at work is determined by a host of different factors, many of which are external to ourselves: Rules, policies, incentives, social pressure, leadership, etc. But it's also well-established that our long-term motivation is influenced by personality. This is not so strange when you think of it: For example, a person with high conscientiousness continuously shows a stronger motivation to perform well, and a person with low extraversion is more motivated to seek opportunities for solitary work.

In other words, Alva is not suggesting that motivation is completely determined by one's personality. We do claim, however, that personality is one important piece of the puzzle, and can help you gain better insight into why you prefer the tasks or roles you do.

For the construction of Drivers, we conducted a literature review of studies looking at the relationships between personality traits and work-related motivators. We particularly looked at the strengths of the validity coefficients, to know how strongly certain traits related to certain motivators. We then translated these findings to a mapping between our own personality traits and a number of different motivators, that we chose to call Drivers. Some of the key studies included in our review can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

Personality and Culture Preferences

It's well-known from the research tradition called Person-Environment Fit that different people tend to thrive in different environments. A key part of that environment is organizational culture. Again, there are multiple factors determining whether a certain individual will appreciate and develop well in a certain culture. Again, however, personality has turned out to be one of the important factors.

For the creation of Culture Preferences, we did another literature review. What's challenging about this line of literature is that it uses many different, but related, terms and concepts. Therefore, we started rather broadly, looking for studies that examined e.g. the relationship between personality traits and different work values or dimensions of organizational culture. The studies that were deemed relevant were kept in the review, and we compiled their key findings as well as the validity coefficients. Once the findings were assembled, we did a similar mapping to our personality test as described with Drivers above. You can find some of the key references HERE and HERE.

Personality and Potential Roles

Potential Roles is the section of the Growth Factors that is most closely related to Alva's assessment solution, since it's based on our test profiles. Specifically, the roles in this section all have a corresponding test profile in Alva's default test profile library. The roles that are listed for a specific candidate are simply the ones to which he or she has the highest role fit.

There is however one role category that does not have a corresponding test profile in Alva, and that is the category called process-oriented roles. This role is the only one that corresponds to low results on Conscientiousness. As you probably know, Conscientiousness has turned out to be positively correlated with performance in almost any job. However, there are advantages to all types of personality results. When it comes to low Conscientiousness, there are some studies indicating that this might be related to a better ability to handle ambiguity, processes without a clear target, and changing circumstances (see for instance HERE and HERE). These findings are however not pervasive enough to merit a full test profile. But for the Growth Factors section, whose purpose is to give additional insights for self-development, these findings have their place.

Want to learn more about how to use Growth Factors? Find more information HERE.

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