A Look Back and a Leap Forward: A Review and Synthesis of the Individual Work Performance Literature

Joseph Carpini, Sharon Parker, Mark Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Individual work performance has been a central topic for scholars over the past century. There is a mass of research on performance but it is embodied in a variety of disconnected literatures each using their own set of constructs and theoretical lenses. In this paper, we synthesize this disparate literature to better understand individual work performance and pave the way future research. First, using a bibliometric technique to analyse 9299 articles, we identify the cumulative intellectual structure of the field and show how the field has evolved over the past 40 years. Second, drawing on the Griffin, Neal, and Parker (2007) model of individual performance, we classify 97 performance constructs according to their form (proficiency, adaptivity, proactivity) and level of contribution (individual, team, organization). Third, we illuminate the nomological network by mapping the antecedents and outcomes of each different form and level of contribution. category of performance.. Finally, we propose recommendations for increasing the theoretical clarity of constructs, better understanding the mechanisms through which performance changes over time and across contexts, and the multiple performance constructs interact with each other to shape effectiveness. © Academy of Management Annals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-885
Number of pages61
JournalThe Academy of Management Annals
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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