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Psychometric Validation of the OnFire Measure of Drive, Extraversion, Influence, Norm Following, Optimism and Resilience

On average, 70-80% of advisors leave financial services within their first three years in the industry (Mc Manus & Kelly, 1999; Mellor, 2012; Seligman, 1998). Addressing the financial and humanitarian costs of this high turnover of staff creates a demand for a tool that can assist in the selection of individuals who are more likely to stay and commit to the field of financial services. Consequently a New Zealand consulting firm developed the OnFire measure to help predict the survival and success of advisors within the field of financial services. The measure incorporates six personality dispositions, each derived from academic literature and anecdotal data from within the field. These dispositions were: Drive, Extraversion, Influence, Norm Following, Optimism and Resilience. This research assessed the validity and reliability of the OnFire measure in order to determine its psychometric properties. Surveys were distributed to various professional associations operating within New Zealand’s financial and insurance industries. The study obtained a total of 204 participants, 78.5% of whom had been in the financial service industry for ten or more years. The factor structure, convergent validity and nomological network integrity were explored for each of the OnFire variables. Finally, the criterion-related validity was determined for each of the OnFire scales using the industry commitment and industry tenure of financial advisors. When determining the factor structure of the OnFire scales, three scales were each found to consist of two factors. Drive was separated into Inner Drive and Workaholism, Extraversion into Group Orientation and Social Skills, and Norm Following into Process Following and Group Following. Seven of the 57 OnFire items were removed due to insignificant factor loadings. The Workaholism factor of the Drive scale and the Process Following factor of the Norm Following scale failed to achieve convergent validity with the previously established International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) scales. Furthermore, the Extraversion scale, Norm Following scale and Workaholism factor obtained alpha reliabilities below Nunnally's (1994) recommended level and did not achieve a meaningful relationship with the criterion-related variable of industry commitment. Interestingly, none of the variables obtained a significant correlation with the other criterion-related variable of industry tenure. This was attributed to the high level of range restriction within the study. Overall, the current study found partial support for the psychometric validity of the OnFire measure. Specifically, the Influence scale, Optimism scale, Resilience scale and Inner Drive factor demonstrated their psychometric utility, whereas the other OnFire scales may require further research and development in order for their use in the selection and development of advisors to be fully endorsed within the field of financial services.
Type of thesis
Bonnett, M. C. (2012). Psychometric Validation of the OnFire Measure of Drive, Extraversion, Influence, Norm Following, Optimism and Resilience (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7027
University of Waikato
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