Original Research

A preliminary factor analytic investigation into the firstorder factor structure of the Fifteen Factor Plus (15FQ+) on a sample of Black South African managers

Seretse Moyo, Callie Theron
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 37, No 1 | a934 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v37i1.934 | © 2011 Seretse Moyo, Callie Theron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 August 2010 | Published: 17 October 2011

About the author(s)

Seretse Moyo, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Callie Theron, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Orientation: The Fifteen Factor Questionnaire Plus (15FQ+) is a prominent personality questionnaire that organisations frequently use in personnel selection in South Africa.

Research purpose: The primary objective of this study was to undertake a factor analytic investigation of the first-order factor structure of the 15FQ+.

Motivation for the study: The construct validity of the 15FQ+, as a measure of personality, is necessary even though it is insufficient to justify its use in personnel selection.

Research design, approach and method: The researchers evaluated the fit of the measurement model, which the structure and scoring key of the 15FQ+ implies, in a quantitative study that used an ex post facto correlation design through structural equation modelling. They conducted a secondary data analysis. They selected a sample of 241 Black South African managers from a large 15FQ+ database.

Main findings: The researchers found good measurement model fit. The measurement model parameter estimates were worrying. The magnitude of the estimated model parameters suggests that the items generally do not reflect the latent personality dimensions the designers intended them to with a great degree of precision. The items are reasonably noisy measures of the latent variables they represent.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisations should use the 15FQ+ carefully on Black South African managers until further local research evidence becomes available.

Contribution/value-add: The study is a catalyst to trigger the necessary additional research we need to establish convincingly the psychometric credentials of the 15FQ+ as a valuable assessment tool in South Africa.


personnel selection; validation research; construct validity; structural equation modelling


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