I P Publishing Ltd
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice
The Five-Factor model is widely accepted as a robust model of personality that influences workplace behaviour and performance. Given evidence of persistent skills gaps in Australia, it is important to explore personality traits in business graduates to understand whether they have the necessary characteristics to enable the country to perform successfully nationally and to compete on a global level, particularly during periods of economic uncertainty. This study examines personality traits in 674 Australian business graduates, using the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), and variations in traits across demographic/background characteristics. The results indicate that graduates are relatively high in extroversion, conscientiousness and emotional stability and low in openness and agreeableness. Some gender differences were apparent. The findings are largely positive for organizational performance, but raise concern for organizational well-being, effective leadership and innovativeness. There is some alignment between the findings and documented deficiencies in graduate performance, highlighting areas for intervention. Strategies for managing typical traits in business graduates and their potential impact on prevalent skills gaps are discussed for both professional and education practitioners.