INTELLIGENCE, PERSONALITY, AND MOTIVATIONAL DETERMINANTS OF KNOWLEDGE A TRAIT-COMPLEX APPROACH TO THE WORLD OF WORK
Ackerman, P.L., Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Organizations in the early 21st century may be divided into high-knowledge and low-knowledge. High-knowledge organizations require the brightest workers and will be subjected to continuous demands for cutting-edge knowledge in an increasingly competitive global market. Low-knowledge organizations require workers who, while not highly educated or trained, must have sufficient motivational strength to show up for work and provide a positive value. This changing world of work requires a new approach to employee selection, training, and classification -- especially one that considers characteristics of the whole person (namely, cognitive, affective, and conative traits). Such an approach is described within the "ppik" framework (ackerman, 1996). The ppik theory integrates process, personality, interests, and knowledge to provide a perspective of the development of knowledge and skills in the context of academic, occupational, and avocational performance. Underlying the ppik theory are several key "trait complexes" -- combinations of traits that are particularly appropriate or inappropriate for skill and knowledge acquisition. We have identified both supporting and impeding trait complexes that are associated with investment of cognitive resources toward knowledge and skill development. Assessment of these trait complexes may be useful for selection and classification applications, and for vocational assessment and counseling. In addition, this approach provides a very different view of middle-aged and older workers than the traditional aptitude (or g-centered) approach. The implications of these findings for high and low-knowledge organizations will be discussed.