Adaptability and Workplace Subjective Well-Being: The Effects of Meaning and Purpose on Young Workers in the Workplace
Keywords:adaptability, meaning and purpose, workplace, subjective well-being, work stress
Adaptability is described as the apt mental, behavioural, and/or emotional modifications individuals make to deal with change, challenges, and uncertainty. The present paper builds on the recently developed measurement work of the adaptability construct, investigates the relationship between adaptability and meaning and purpose (a well-being factor) and the role of adaptability in predicting workplace subjective well-being (work engagement, job satisfaction, and handling work stress) relevant to the young workforce. The adaptability study concluded that implicit theories and personality significantly projected adaptability. Further, adaptability is shown as the predictor of well-being (including meaning and purpose) after accounting for the effects of presage factors. These results presume implications for executives and practitioners pursuing to identify and address young workers’ approaches to their challenging and adverse workplace demands, and how meaning and purpose may assist these workers in better adjustment and engagement in their workplace.
Anastasi, A., & Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological testing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Ardelt, M. (2003). Empirical assessment of a three-dimensional wisdom scale. Research on Aging, 25(3), 275–324. https://doi.org/10.1177/0164027503025003004
Barrett, L., Dunbar, R., & Lycett, J. (2002). Human evolutionary psychology. New York: Palgrave.
Baumeister, R. F., Gailliot, M., DeWall, C. N., & Oaten, M. (2006). Self-regulation and personality: How interventions increase regulatory success, and how depletion moderates the effects of traits on behavior. Journal of Personality 74, 6.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (2001). The bioecological theory of human development. In N.J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes (Eds). International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences, Vol 10. New York: Elsevier.
Bronk, K. C. (2013). Purpose in life: A component of optimal youth development. New York: Springer.
Buss, D.M. (2005). Handbook of evolutionary psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Buss, D.W., & Cantor, N. (1989). Personality psychology: Recent trends and emerging directions. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Campbell, J. P., McCloy, R. A., Oppler, S. H. & Sager, C.E. (1993). A Theory of Performance. In: Schmitt, N. and Borman, W.C., Eds., Personnel Selection in Organizations, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, (pp. 35-70).
Cantor, N. (1990). From thought to behavior: ‘Having’ and ‘doing’ in the study of personality and cognition. American Psychologist, 45, 735-750.
Caro, T. M., & Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (1987). The problem of adaptation in the study of human behavior. Ethology and Sociobiology, 8, 61-72
Chan, S. H. J., & Mai, X. (2015). The relation of career adaptability to satisfaction and turnover intentions. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 89, 130-139. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2015.05005
Collie, R. J., & Martin, A. J. (2016). Adaptability: An Important Capacity for Effective Teachers. Educational Sciences: Practice and Theory. 38(1): 27-39. doi: 10.7459/ept/38.1.03.
Craven, R.G., Marsh, H. W., & Debus, R. L. (1991). Effects of internally focused feedback and attributional feedback on the enhancement of academic self-concept. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 17-26.
Cullen, K. L., Edwards, B. D., Casper, W. C. & Gue, K. R. (2014). Employees’ Adaptability and Perceptions of Change-Related Uncertainty: Implications for Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Performance. Journal of Business and Psychology 29, 269–280. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-013-9312-y
de Raad, B., & Schouwenburg, H. C. (1996). Personality in learning and education: A review. European Journal of Personality, 10, 303-336.
Dhalla, M. N. (1997). History of Zoroastrianism, Bombay: K. R. Cama Oriental Institue.
Diener, E., Lucas, R., & Scollon, C. N. (2006). Beyond the hedonic treadmill: Revising the adaptation theory of well-being. American Psychologist, 61, 305-314.
Dweck, C.S. (2000). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
Feinman, S., & Lowry, R. J. (1975). Dominance, Self Esteem, Self-Actualization: Germinal Papers of A. H. Maslow. Contemporary Sociology, 4(5), 556. doi: 10.2307/2063663
Frankl, V. E. 1. (1984). Man's search for meaning. Washing Square Press.
Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59-109.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. American Psychologist, 56, 218-226.
Geary, D.C. (2008). An evolutionarily informed education science. Educational Psychologist, 43, 179-195.
Ginns, P., Liem, G.A.D., & Martin, A.J. (2011). The role of personality in learning processes and learning outcomes in applied settings. In S. Boag & N. Tiliopoulos (Eds). Personality and individual differences: Theory, assessment, and application. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Griffin, M. A., Neal, A., & Parker, S. K. (2007). A New Model of Work Role Performance: Positive Behavior in Uncertain and Interdependent Contexts. Academy of Management Journal, 50(2), 327-327. doi: 10.5465/amj.2007.24634438
Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2, 271-299.
Hall, D. T. (2002). Careers in and out of organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hall, D. T., & Chandler, D. E. (2005). Psychological success: When the career is a calling. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 155-176.
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.
Heckhausen, J. (1999). Developmental regulation in adulthood: Age-normative and socio-structural constraints as adaptive challenges. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Heckhausen, J., & Schulz, R. (1993). Optimization by selection and compensation: Balancing primary and secondary control in life-span development. International Journal of Behavior Development, 16, 287-303.
Hofäcker, D., Buchholz, S., & Blossfeld, H.-P. (2010). Globalization, institutional filters and changing life course patterns in modern societies. A summary of the results from the GLOBALIFE-project. In R. K. Silbereisen & X. Chen (Eds.), Social change and human development: Concept and results (pp. 101-124). London: Sage Publications.
Krok, D. (2014). The mediating role of coping in the relationships between religiousness and mental health. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 16(2), 5–13. doi: 10.12740/APP/26313
Krok, D. (2015). The role of meaning in life within the relations of religious coping and psychological well-being. Journal of Religion and Health, 54(6), 2292–2308. doi: 10.1007/s10943-014-9983-3
Kubzansky, L. D., Kawachi, I. (2000). Going to the heart of the matter: do negative emotions cause coronary heart disease? Journal of Psychosomatic Research 48, 323-337.
Kyl-Heku, L.M., & Buss, D.M. (1996). Tactics as unit of analyses in personality psychology: An illustration using tactics of hierarchy negotiation. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 497-519.
Latham, G.P. (2007). Work motivation: History, theory, research, and practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Luhmann, M., Hofmann, W., Eid, M., & Lucas, R. E. (2012). Subjective well-being and adaptation to life events: A meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(3), 592–615. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025948
Marsh, H.W. (2007). Self-concept theory, measurement and research into practice: The role of self-concept in educational psychology. Leicester, UK: British Psychological Society.
Martin, A.J., Nejad, H., Colmar, S., & Liem, G.A.D. (2012). Adaptability: Conceptual and empirical perspectives on responses to change, novelty and uncertainty. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 22, 58-81.
Martin, A. J., Nejad, H. G., Colmar, S., & Liem, G. A. D. (2013). Adaptability: How students’ responses to uncertainty and novelty predict their academic and non-academic outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 728–746. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032794
Martin, A. J., Nejad, H. G., Colmar, S., & Liem, G. A. D. (2014). From measurement to modeling: A case study of the development and implementation of the adaptability scale. London: Sage.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1985). Updating Norman’s “adequate taxonomy”: Intelligence and personality dimensions in natural language and in questionnaires. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 49, 710-721.
McInerney, V., McInerney, D.M., & Marsh, H.W. (1997). Effects of metacognitive strategy training within a cooperative group learning context on computer achievement and anxiety: An aptitude-treatment interaction study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 686-695.
Mohan, D.L., & Uys, J.S., (2006). 'Towards living with meaning and purpose: Spiritual perspectives of people at work', SA Journal of Industrial Psychology 32(1), 53-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v32i1.228
Morales, E. E. (2000). A contextual understanding of the process of educational resilience: High achieving Dominican American students and the ‘Resilience Cycle’. Innovative Higher Education, 25, 7–22.
Nejad, H. (2014). Adaptability in youth: components, predictors, and consequences. [Doctoral dissertation, the University of Sydney, Australia].
O’Connell, McNeely, & Hall, 2008. Unpacking Personal Adaptability at Work. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 14(3) 248-259/ doi: 10.1177/1071791907311005
O’Mara, A. J., Marsh H. W., Craven, R. G., & Debus, R. (2006). Do self-concept interventions make a difference? A synergistic blend of construct validation and meta-analysis. Educational Psychologist, 41, 181-206.
Pekrun, R. (2012). Emotion regulation. In N. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. New York: Springer.
Pekrun, R., & Stephens, E. J. (2009). Goals, emotions, and emotion regulation: Perspectives of the control-value theory of achievement emotions. Human Development, 52, 357-365.
Pinquart, M., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2004). Human development in times of social change: Theoretical considerations and research needs. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28, 289 – 298.
Pulakos, E. D., Arad, S., Donovan, M. A., & Plamondon, K. E. (2000). Adaptability in the workplace: Development of a taxonomy of adaptive performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(4), 612–624. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.85.4.612
Schulz, R., & Heckhausen, J. (1996). A life span model of successful aging. American Psychologist, 51, 702-714.
Smith, E.A. (2000). Three styles in the evolutionary analysis of human behavior. In L. Cronk & N.A. Chagnon (Eds). Adaptation and human behavior: An anthropological perspective. pp. 27-46. Piscataway, NJ: Aldine Transaction.
Steger, M. F., & Frazier, P. (2005). Meaning in Life: One Link in the Chain from Religiousness to Well-Being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(4), 574–582. doi: 10.1037/0022-018.104.22.1684
Tariq, M. R., Anwar, M. S., Aslam, M. (2011). Impact of Employee Adaptability to Change towards Organizational Competitive Advantage. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 11(7).
Tomasik, M. J., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2009). Demands of social change as a function of the political context, institutional filters, and psychosocial resources. Social Indicators Research, 94, 13–28.
Tomasik, M.J., Silbereisen, R.K., & Heckhausen, J. (2010). Is it adaptive to disengage from demands of social change? Adjustment to developmental barriers in opportunity-deprived regions. Motivation and Emotion, 34, 384-398.
Van Dam, K., Schipper, M., & Runhaar, P. (2010). Developing a competency-based framework for teachers’ entrepreneurial behaviour. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(4), 965–971.
VandenBos, G.R. (2007) (Ed). American Psychological Association Dictionary of Psychology. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Vuolo, M., Staff, J., & Mortimer, J. T. (2012). Weathering the great recession: Psychological and behavioral trajectories in the transition from school to work. Developmental Psychology, 48(6), 1759–1773. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026047
Wrosch, C., & Scheier, M. F. (2003). Personality and quality of life: The importance of optimism and goal adjustment. Quality of Life Research, 12, 59-72.
Wrosch, C., Scheier, M. F., Miller, G. E., Schulz, R., & Carver, C.S. (2003). Adaptive self-regulation of unattainable goals: Goal disengagement, goal reengagement, and subjective well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1494-1508.
Zika, S., & Chamberlain, K. (1992). On the relation between meaning in life and psychological well-being. British Journal of Psychology, 83(1), 133–145. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1992.tb02429.x
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Canadian Journal of Career Development
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.