Core self-evaluations: A review and evaluation of the literature

Chu Hsiang Chang, D. Lance Ferris, Russell E. Johnson, Christopher C. Rosen, James A. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations


Core self-evaluation (CSE) represents the fundamental appraisals individuals make about their self-worth and capabilities. CSE is conceptualized as a higher order construct composed of broad and evaluative traits (e.g., self-esteem and generalized self-efficacy). The authors review 15 years of CSE theory and research, focusing in particular on the outcomes, mediators, and moderators of CSE via qualitative and quantitative literature reviews. Meta-analytic results support the relation of CSE with various outcomes, including job and life satisfaction, in-role and extra-role job performance, and perceptions of the work environment (e.g., job characteristics and fairness). The authors conclude with a critical evaluation of CSE theory, measurement, and construct validity, highlighting areas of promise and concern for future CSE research. Key topics requiring further research include integrating CSE within an approach/avoidance framework, ruling out alternative explanations for the emergence of the higher order construct, testing the possibility of intraindividual change in CSE, evaluating the usefulness of CSE for staffing and performance management, and moving beyond CSE to also consider core external evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-128
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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