The Chinese Personality at Work Questionnaire (CPW)

2.7.4 The Chinese Personality at Work Questionnaire

The second of the two Chinese indigenous personality questionnaires that are currently available is the CPW (Hui, Cheng & Gan, 2000). The CPW was developed with both indigenous personality measurement and contextual measurement of personality at work in mind. Very little research on the CPW has been published. This may be a result of an apparent focus of providing the Chinese workplace with a usable locally-developed questionnaire rather than empirically validating the instrument. Of the 14 references listed at the website of the first author of the CPW (Hui, 2005), eleven are unpublished conference papers, two are in-house working papers and only one is a published (in Chinese) academic article (Hui, Gan & Cheng, 2000). The available papers do not report the developmental process of the CPW although it appears that the CPW items were chosen from an item pool developed by the Hong Kong University Assessment and Development Centre (Hui et al., 2000). There appears to have been less international collaboration and less consultation with the Chinese mainland than with the CPAI. The CPW is an ipsative (forced-choice) measure of personality, and is based, to a large extent, on Murray’s Need Theory (1938). It contains 225 items that measure 15 narrow, fine-grained, dispositional characteristics reported to have relevance to workplace performance. These are labelled: Drive for Personal Achievement, Deference to Authority, Planning and Orderliness, Autonomy, Need for Affiliation, Introspectiveness, Dependent Support-Seeking, Dominance, Non-Abrasiveness, Nurturance, Innovativeness and Change-Orientation, Tenacity, Client-Centred Orientation and Overall Management Readiness. These 15 characteristics load onto a three-factor structure: Ambition-Altruism, Order-Independence, and Management-Subordination. The CPW attempts to provide a local measurement of contextual and fine-grained personality in China. Given the shortage of available research evidence, the fact that such evidence has been presented largely in Chinese (the single academic paper and 5 of the conference presentations), the fact that ipsative measures are generally not advisable in selection decisions (Meade, 2004), the non-availability of the CPW in English (thus not permitting the assessment of Chinese indigenous facets in non-Chinese cultures) and that the CPW was not developed with a well-tested framework in mind (e.g., Cattell, 1943: Lexical Approach), further consideration of this questionnaire for the current research program was not deemed appropriate.

It is important to note that ‘language of publication’ is one of the documented problem issues in cross-cultural research (see for example Draguns, 2001). The dominant international language in academic journals is English and researchers who understand English, and those who do not, both face a challenge. The importance and relevance of articles written in non-English needs to be recognised, whilst at the same time, efforts need to be made to publish these works in English to ensure that the knowledge is received worldwide (Draguns, 2001). Failure to resolve this issue might result in “encapsulation and homogenization” (Draguns, 2001, p.1026), rather than dynamism and synergy as the world’s people push ahead with “indigenization and globalization” (p.1026).