Hire Ambitious People: Bright- and Dark-Side Personality and Work Engagement

Adrian Furnham, Charlotte Robinson, Jon Magnus Frostad Haakonsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Is work engagement, like job satisfaction, primarily a function of personality? In total, 397 working adults completed a short, reliable, three-facet model of work engagement, a short IQ test, various self-ratings, a Big Five (bright-side) personality scale, and a measure of the personality disorders (dark-side). Work engagement was related to age, intelligence, positive self-ratings, and all the personality variables. A regression analysis revealed six variables significantly related to total work engagement: sex, age, IQ, ratings of personal ambitiousness, trait Neuroticism and Cluster A personality disorders. Regressions onto each of the three facets of work engagement showed slightly different findings, yet in each, older people with lower Cluster A scores and who rated themselves as ambitious scored higher on all facets. Over a third of the variance was explained in each regression. In every analysis, the rating of ambitiousness was most strongly related to work engagement. Implications and limitations are acknowledged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Hogrefe Publishing GmbH. All rights reserved.


  • ambitiousness
  • intelligence
  • personality
  • self-ratings
  • work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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