The aim of this paper is to investigate the interaction effects of accountability focus (outcome vs process accountability) with task characteristics (process norm availability) and personality (openness to experience) in predicting individual exploratory search. Drawing from the social contingency model we hypothesize that process accountability will lead to the use an acceptability heuristic when there is a process norm available to follow. Drawing from trait activation theory, we further predict a positive interaction of process accountability with openness, because process accountability activates the complementary task approach that is favored by individuals high in openness. Results of an experiment (N = 153) show support for the predicted interaction effects.
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