Within-Person Variability in Job Performance: A Theoretical Review and Research Agenda

  • Dalal R
  • Bhave D
  • Fiset J
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Although both researchers and practitioners know that an employee’s performance varies over time within a job, this within-person performance variability is not well understood and in fact is often treated as error. In the current paper, we first identify the importance of a within-person approach to job performance and then review several extant theories of within-person perfor- mance variability that, despite vastly different foci, converge on the contention that job perfor- mance is dynamic rather than static. We compare and contrast the theories along several common metrics and thereby facilitate a discussion of commonalities, differences, and theory elaboration. In so doing, we identify important future research questions on within-person per- formance variability and methodological challenges in addressing these research questions. Finally, we highlight how the conventional practical implications articulated on the basis of a static, between-person perspective on job performance may need to be modified to account for the dynamic, within-person nature of performance.

Author-supplied keywords

  • acknowledgments
  • and the anonymous reviewers
  • comments
  • dynamic performance
  • for guidance and constructive
  • mance
  • performance
  • research methods
  • theories of within-person perfor-
  • we thank dan beal
  • within-person variability in job

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  • Reeshad S. Dalal

  • Devasheesh P. Bhave

  • J. Fiset

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