Adaptability in the workplace: An exploratory study on adaptive performance in the workplace using a scenario-based tool

James C Walker, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study is to create and field test a scenario-based instrument that can be used for growing organizations to ascertain who can be identified as an adaptable worker and where the training opportunities exist to become more adaptable. While there are taxonomies that have been studied, the ability to assess actual performance is lacking. At present, most of the studies undertaken have merely surveyed the participants, which can be subject to biases. In general, scales to evaluate others should only be used by those individuals with multiple opportunities to observe the employee’s performance. The results of this exploratory study show that there is potential to measure adaptability in real-time rather than by using self-reported measures. Measuring in real time through a scenario-driven tool gives insight into how people are operationally thinking and taking action in a real-life scenario. These actions and thoughts can then be linked to the dimensions of adaptability and give the employer a way to predict adaptable performance and to train in areas where adaptability is weak. Since task performance and contextual performance do not capture all the different dimensions of adaptive performance, adaptability is important to continue to explore.

Subject Area

Education

Recommended Citation

Walker, James C, "Adaptability in the workplace: An exploratory study on adaptive performance in the workplace using a scenario-based tool" (2015). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3723123.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3723123

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