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Researchers suggest contextual and personal factors may interact to predict career adaptability and that antecedents of career adaptability have received less research attention. Consequently, we examined the relationship between developmental leadership, career optimism, and career adaptability, and the potential moderating role of career optimism. Data were collected from workers pursuing an MBA program in leadership and other business courses in a Ghanaian University. Results showed that developmental leadership and career optimism relates positively to career adaptability. Finally, we observed developmental leadership relates positively to career adaptability for employees low on optimism but was unrelated to career adaptability for employees high on optimism. Together, the results suggest that although both developmental leadership and career optimism are beneficial for career adaptability, developmental leadership is particularly important, for less optimistic employees. We have discussed implications and limitations of our findings.
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Career Adaptability: The Role
of Developmental Leadership
and Career Optimism
Eric Delle
, and Ben Searle
Researchers suggest contextual and personal factors may interact to predict career adaptability and
that antecedents of career adaptability have received less research attention. Consequently, we
examined the relationship between developmental leadership, career optimism, and career adapt-
ability, and the potential moderating role of career optimism. Data were collected from workers
pursuing an MBA program in leadership and other business courses in a Ghanaian University. Results
showed that developmental leadership and career optimism relates positively to career adaptability.
Finally, we observed developmental leadership relates positively to career adaptability for employees
low on optimism but was unrelated to career adaptability for employees high on optimism. Together,
the results suggest that although both developmental leadership and career optimism are beneficial for
career adaptability, developmental leadership is particularly important, for less optimistic employees.
We have discussed implications and limitations of our findings.
career adaptability, developmental leadership, career optimism, Ghana
Computerization of jobs, along with constantly changing job demands and labor markets (Bimrose &
Hearne, 2012; Fleigh-Palmer, Luthans, & Mandernach, 2009; Sylva, Mol, Den Hartog, & Dorenbosch,
2019), has contributed to creating a dynamic and decentralizedwork environment in modernorganizations
(Frese & Fay, 2001; Grant & Parker, 2009). These developments have created work settings requiring
employees to deal with changing responsibilities and novel situations (Den Hartog & Belschak, 2007;
Frese & Fay, 2001; Grant & Parker, 2009). To meet shifting career requirements and seize opportunities
to excel, employees need to be adaptive,capable not only of coping with change but also of taking initiative
in enhancing their fit to the changing work environment (Grant & Parker, 2009; Parker & Collins, 2010).
Proactive person–environment fit is a phenomenon that describes a wide range of work behaviors,
including feedback inquiry (Ashford & Black, 1996; Ashford et al., 2003), feedback monitoring
Fisher, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Corresponding Author:
Eric Delle, Fisher, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
Journal of Career Development
ªCurators of the University
of Missouri 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0894845320930286
(Parker & Collins, 2010), and career initiative (Seibert, Kraimer, & Crant, 2001). Career-focused
proactive person–environment fit can also involve proactively planning one’s career, extending one’s
competences and skills, and consulting with one’s supervisor in order to maximize fit between oneself
and one’s work environment (e.g., Tharenou & Terry, 1998). A psychological construct encompassing
these important capabilities is career adaptability, a psychosocial resource that enables people to align
themselves to their work (Savickas, 2013; Tolentino et al., 2014). Career adaptability has been linked
with career satisfaction and self-rated career performance (Zacher, 2014), entrepreneurial intentions
(Tolentino et al., 2014), and job search self-efficacy (Guan et al., 2013).
The benefits of career adaptability provide opportunity for identifying and examining potential
antecedents. Previous studies show that positive psychological traits including hope, optimism, and
resilience (Buyukgoze-Kavas, 2016); and conscientiousness, cognitive flexibility, and vocational envi-
ronmental exploration (Chong & Leong, 2017) relate positively to career adaptability. Utilizing the
social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent & Brown, 2019) as a framework, we contend that contex-
tual and personal factors may have a direct or interactive effect on career adaptability. Specifically, the
SCCT argues that contextual support, self-efficacy beliefs, and outcome expectations could directly or
interactively predict career behavior. Furthermore, previous studies suggest that contextual and per-
sonal factors may interact to predict career adaptability (Tolentino et al., 2014). Consequently, in line
with the SCCT and suggestions by previous researchers, we examine the direct and interactive role of
developmental leadership (i.e., a contextual factor) and career optimism (i.e., outcome expectations or
personal factor) on career adaptability in the Ghanaian context.
Theory and Hypotheses Development
Career adaptability and developmental leadership. Career adaptability represents a vital psychosocial
capability that enables employees to anticipate, prepare for, and cope with changing work contexts
(Savickas, 1997). Career adaptability facilitates self-preparation and proactive adjustment to changing
work contexts (Chan & Mai, 2015). According to Savickas (1997), career adaptability is “the readiness
to cope with predictable tasks of preparing for and participating in work role and with the unpredict-
able adjustments prompted by changes in work and working conditions” (p. 254). Career adaptability
encapsulates three vital elements: “planful attitudes (i.e., developing values, skills, and abilities that
fits one into relevant careers), self- and environmental exploration (i.e., searching for or aligning to
a career or environment that fits one’s personal characteristics), and informed decision-making” about
careers (Savickas, 1997, p. 254). Therefore, career adaptability comprises behaviors, competencies,
and attitudes that might enable employees to fit well into changing work environments (Savickas,
2013). This conceptualization reveals that career adaptability could also be considered a form of proac-
tive person–environment fit behavior (Parker & Collins, 2010), whereby employees anticipate, plan,
and take actions independently to better adapt themselves to their work environments.
Zacher (2014), in a survey of Australian employees, found that career adaptability relates positively
to career satisfaction and self-rated career performance. Further, Tolentino and colleagues (2014)
found that career adaptability enhances entrepreneurial intentions. This may occur because being able
to adapt to changing demands while planning ways to maximize opportunities inculcates in people the
motivation and skills to succeed in changing environments (Savickas, 2013) and cope with emerging
career concerns (Creed et al., 2009). Given these benefits, it is worthwhile to investigate ways to facil-
itate career adaptability.
Leadership might help employees to function more effectively in changing work environments.
Research shows that empowering and contingent reward leadership behaviors relate more positively
to resilient behaviors at work (Nguyen et al., 2016) and change-related outcomes (Ahearne et al.,
2005; Pearce & Sims, 2002). Leadership behaviors that focus on the personal development and growth
of employees, clarify work goals and expectations to employees, provide support, and encourage
2Journal of Career Development XX(X)
participation at work are more likely to enhance career adaptability and related phenomena (Bardoel
et al., 2014; Harland et al., 2004; King & Rothstein, 2010; Luthans & Avolio, 2003). This study there-
fore focuses on developmental leadership behaviors as a predictor of career adaptability.
Developmental leadership represents a style of leadership, or a set of leader behaviors, that is/are
aimed at developing and enhancing employees’ work-related knowledge, skills, and competences as
well as facilitating their personal and career development (Zhang & Chen, 2013). Developmental lead-
ership behaviors, such as mentoring, coaching, guiding, counseling, and providing performance feed-
back and developmental opportunities (House, 1996), might help employees to function effectively in
the work environment. Apart from focusing on the individual, developmental leaders are development
oriented, as they pay attention to differences among followers and discover what motivates them
through careful observation, career counseling, performance feedback, delegation, and training (Bass,
1985) to enable them to perform in changing work environment.
Previous studies show that leadership behaviors are likely to help followers succeed in changing
work environments. For example, Nguyen and colleagues (2016) showed that empowering and con-
tingent reward leadership behaviors are associated with greater resilient behaviors (i.e., change adapt-
ability, learning, and networking). Furthermore, Wang et al. (2017), in a survey of employees in the
Netherlands, found that transformational leadership relates positively to adaptability. Together, these
empirical evidence suggests that through behaviors such as providing performance feedback and
coaching to increase the adaptive resources of followers, developmental leaders would make their
followers feel self-efficacious (Higgins et al., 2010; Lawler, 1986) and therefore, more capable of
handling tasks in dynamic work environments. Thus, we hypothesize that
Hypothesis 1: Developmental leadership relates positively to career adaptability.
Career adaptability and career optimism. Optimism is an inherent human tendency as people generally
expect to experience positive rather than negative events in future (Sharot, 2011; Varki, 2009).
Accordingly, Scheier and Carver (1985) defined generalized optimism as the inclination to expect pos-
itive outcomes in the future despite perceived obstacles and difficulties. Optimism is helpful in work
contexts as it can stimulate the determination to pursue career goals (Brown & Marshall, 2001) and to
adjust well to changing work environment (Carver et al., 2010). In the context of careers, we define
career optimism as the positive expectations about one’s impending career growth (Rottinghaus
et al., 2005) as well as the confidence about one’s ability to overcome work demands in changing work
environment (Hennessey et al., 2008).
Career optimism and career adaptability are distinct constructs. Vocational psychology researchers
differentiate the two constructs, as adaptivity (i.e., a stable, context-general, and trait-like psychologi-
cal characteristic which involves the readiness and willingness to adapt to career change; Rudolph
et al., 2017) and adaptability resources (i.e., the self-regulated psychosocial advantages for managing
transitions and tasks; Hirschi et al., 2015). Following previous studies, we view career optimism as a
personal indicator of adaptivity (Fang et al., 2018; Rudolph et al., 2017) and career adaptability as
adaptability resources (Hirschi et al., 2015; Savickas & Porfeli, 2012).
Positive expectations facilitate goal accomplishment because they increase the confidence and
effort of the individual (Bowlby, 1988). In the context of careers, the SCCT (Lent et al., 1994), a mod-
ification of Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory, is generally utilized to examine contextual, per-
son, and behavior factors that have the potential to shape career development (Lent & Brown, 2019).
According to the SCCT, person (e.g., self-efficacy and positive expectations) and contextual factors
(e.g., social support) might enable individuals to construct their careers (Lent & Brown, 2019).
Positive expectation (i.e., career optimism) has been associated with job satisfaction, organizational
commitment, and performance (Kluemper et al., 2009; Youssef & Luthans, 2007); and elements of
Delle and Searle 3
adaptability including adjustment to college (Aspinwall & Taylor, 1992) and coping with unemploy-
ment (Wanberg, 1997). This suggests that career optimism is likely to facilitate career adaptability.
Although some studies relate optimism to career adaptability, these come from nonwork contexts. For
example, Aspinwall et al. (2001), in a survey of Australian university students, showed that trait opti-
mism relates to career adaptability. Similarly, Rottinghaus and colleagues (2005) found that optimistic
students were likely to experience greater career adaptability. However, recent evidence shows that opti-
mism has the potential to influence career adaptability in work contexts. For example, Nguyen and col-
leagues (2016) showed that optimism relates more positively to resilient behaviors (i.e., a form of
adaptability in the face of change) at work. Furthermore, optimism is more likely to stimulate employees
to show commitment to change, cope with dynamic work contexts, and display positive behaviors at
work (Kool & Dierendonck, 2012; Youssef & Luthans, 2007). Therefore, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 2: Career optimism relates positively to career adaptability.
Career optimism as a moderator. Although we have argued that developmental leadership is likely to
support career adaptability, it may not do so for everyone. The effect of leadership behavior on fol-
lowers may depend on follower characteristics (Howell et al., 1997; Shamir & Howell, 1999).
Researchers suggest that individual characteristics (Tolentino et al., 2014) including adaptive readi-
ness (Savickas, 2013), proactive personality, and optimism (Nguyen et al., 2016) might interact with
leadership to influence employee outcomes. Consequently, we suggest that the developmental leader-
ship may be beneficial to some than other followers. Therefore, it is worthwhile to investigate follower
characteristics that may predispose followers to benefit or not from developmental leadership.
Developmental supports have been seen to enhance optimism, including career optimism (Garcia et al.,
2015), but few studies have examinedhow the two interact.Nguyen and colleagues (2016) argued that opti-
mism acts as a resource that can helps employees succeed regardless of leader assistance. Optimistic indi-
viduals possess adaptive resources, as they are flexible, view the future positively, and more inclined to see
career difficulties as challenges rather than threats (Chang, 1998; Smith et al., 1993). This level of confi-
dence enables optimists to handle potential work obstacles better than their counterparts who are low on
optimism. Research shows that optimists, ratherthan pessimists, are more likely to continue gambling after
unsuccessful attempts (Gibson & Sanbonmatsu, 2004). Conversely, pessimists are more likely to take per-
formance feedback and developmental opportunities from their supervisors more seriously (Sweeny &
Shepperd, 2010), leading them to experience less disappointments and negative affect in future. This sug-
gests that leaders may be able to make more of a difference when providing developmental support to the
more pessimistic members of their team. Nguyen and colleagues (2016) found that contingent reward lead-
ership was more strongly associated with resilient behavior for pessimistic employees more than for opti-
mistic employees. Consequently, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 3: Developmental leadership relates positively to career adaptability for
employees low rather than high on career optimism.
Participants and Sample
Most African economies are categorized as emerging economies. In emerging economies, technology
and competition have made work contexts dynamic more recently than was the case in western econo-
mies. Thus, research into organizational behavior phenomena such as leadership, optimism, and adapt-
ability are important to discovering best practices for organizations in Africa, particularly adaptability
as employees would have to adapt to changes in the career landscape. The presence of multinational
4Journal of Career Development XX(X)
organizations and other private businesses, the increasing use of technology to facilitate work, and
heightened competition in Ghanaian organizations have contributed to creating a constantly changing
work environment. Therefore, adaptability could help Ghanaian employees perform well in a Gha-
naian work context that is technologically driven.
Our study comprised 210 workers enrolled in an MBA program pursuing courses in leadership and
business who voluntarily completed a paper-based survey on developmental leadership, career adapt-
ability, and career optimism. We did not offer participants compensation and they could withdraw
from the study without a consequence. The sample comprised 64%males and 75%nonmanagers.
Regarding education, 40%had a postgraduate degree, 53%had an undergraduate degree, and 6%had
a diploma. The distribution of participants across the various industries was: public service (53%),
banking (38%), consultancy (3%), health (2%), and 1%or less from nongovernmental organization,
hospitality, construction media, and oil and gas. The mean age of participants was 32.49 years old
(SD ¼7.15), and mean tenure was 4.85 years (SD ¼4.73).
Our measures were in English. Unless otherwise specified, all the scales used response options from 1
(strongly disagree)to5(strongly agree).
Developmental leadership. We assessed developmental leadership with 7-item from the measures of
developmental leadership (House, 1998) and supervisory sponsorship (Wayne et al., 1999). Previous
studies demonstrate validity of the scale, as it related positively to job satisfaction, affective commit-
ment, career certainty, organizational identification, and organizational citizenship behavior; and
negatively to bureaucracy (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006; Zhang & Chen, 2013). A sample item includes
“My supervisor helps with my career development.” Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the scale’s
items revealed a good fit (w
¼31.23, df ¼13, p¼.003, comparative fit index [CFI] ¼.97, Tucker–
Lewis index [TLI] ¼96, goodness-of-fit index [GFI] ¼.98, and root mean square error of approxima-
tion [RMSEA] ¼.08). Previous research reported a reliability coefficient of .88 for the Developmental
Leadership Scale (Zhang & Chen, 2013).
Career adaptability. We assessed the extent to which respondents adapt to their new work settings with
the 11-item Career Adaptability Scale developed and validated by Rottinghaus and colleagues
(2005). Rottinghaus and colleagues demonstrated the construct validity of this scale, showing that
it related positively to conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness, teamwork, leader-
ship, and organizational management, but negatively to neuroticism. We reversed scored 2 nega-
tively worded items on this scale. Sample item includes “I am good at adapting to new work
settings.” CFA result showed a good fit (w
¼61.81, df ¼41, p< .05, CFI ¼.91, GFI ¼.95,
TLI ¼.88, and RMSEA ¼.05). Rottinghaus and colleagues reported a reliability coefficient of
.85 for the career adaptability scale in their study.
Career optimism. We assessed career optimism with the 11-items scaled by Rottinghaus and colleagues
(2005). Five items were negatively worded. We reversed scored these items prior to performing our
analysis. A sample item includes, “I get excited when I think about my career.” CFA revealed a good fit
¼63.19, df ¼38, p<.05,CFI¼.95, GFI ¼.95, TLI ¼.92, and RMSEA ¼.06). Rottinghaus and col-
leagues (2005) reported a reliability coefficient of .87 for the Career Optimism Scale, and their career opti-
mism construct is valid, as it related positively to conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness,
teamwork, leadership, contextual support and barriers, career preparing behavior, vocational identity,
and career satisfaction, but negatively to neuroticism (Eva et al., 2020; Rottinghaus et al., 2005).
Delle and Searle 5
Descriptive Statistics
As shown in Table 1, career adaptability is positively associated with developmental leadership
(r¼.22, p¼.002) and career optimism (r¼.16, p¼.021). Finally, career optimism related
positively to developmental leadership (r¼.14, p¼.046). However, none of the demographic
factors (e.g., sex, age, and tenure) related to the main variables.
Prior to the data analysis, we screened the data set to ascertain the accuracy of the data set. We did
not have any missing cases in our data set. Because we collected data from a single source, common
method bias is a possibility (Podsakoff et al., 2003). We performed the Harman’s one-factor test to
ascertain whether common method bias might be a problem. In this test, we performed exploratory
factor analysis with unrotated principal axis factoring method using all the items measuring the key
variables in the study. The extraction of one factor suggests the presence of common method variance
or an indication that one-factor accounts for much of the covariance in the variables. We observed
eight factors with eigenvalues greater than 1. Together, the eight factors accounted for 60%of the total
variance, with variances ranging from a low of 4%to a high of 18%for each factor.
Testing Hypotheses
Prior to testing the hypotheses, we assessed the measurement model involving three latent constructs:
developmental leadership, career adaptability, and career optimism. All the factors loaded onto their
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics, Zero-Order Correlations, and Reliability Coefficients of Study Variables.
Variables Mean SD 123456
Sex 1.36 0.48
Age 32.49 8.15 .16*
Tenure 4.85 4.73 .08 .63***
Developmental leadership 3.72 0.76 .05 .04 .01 (.87)
Career optimism 3.81 0.50 .02 .00 .05 .14* (.68)
Career adaptability 3.92 0.39 .04 .01 .04 .22** .16* (.57)
Note.N¼210. Reliability coefficients are parenthesized.
*p< .05. **p< .01. ***p< .001.
Table 2. Unstandardized Effects of Developmental Leadership and Career Optimism on Career Adaptability.
Model 1 Model 2
Estimates SE Estimates SE
Intercept 3.38*** .28 3.16*** .27
Sex 0.04 .05 0.04 .05
Age 0.00 .00 0.00 .00
Organizational tenure 0.01 .01 0.00 .00
Developmental leadership 0.10** .03 0.09** .03
Career optimism 0.10* .05 0.11* .05
Developmental Leadership Career Optimism 0.15* .07
*p< .05. **p< .01. ***p< .001.
6Journal of Career Development XX(X)
respective latent construct. For example, all the 7-item measuring developmental leadership loaded
significantly onto the latent developmental leadership factor. CFA showed that the model fits the data
to an acceptable level: w
¼675.19, df ¼368, p< .001, CFI ¼.81, TLI ¼.79, RMSEA ¼.06.
We tested the hypotheses using path analysis in IBM SPSS AMOS Version 24. Prior to testing the
model, the predictor (developmental leadership) and moderator (career optimism) were centered
(Aiken & West, 1991). In the first model, we entered the main effects of developmental leadership and
career optimism, and the covariates (e.g., sex, age, and organizational tenure), with the interactive term
added in Model 2. Results in Model 1 shows that developmental leadership, b¼.20, SE ¼.03, p¼
.003; and career optimism, b¼.13, SE ¼.05, p¼.046 relates positively to career adaptability, respec-
tively. We found similar results in Model 2. Thus, our results support Hypotheses 1 and 2, respectively.
Model 2 also showed that developmental leadership and career optimism interacted to predict career
adaptability, b¼.14, SE ¼.07, p¼.043.
To understand the effect of developmental leadership on career adaptability at the level of the
moderator (i.e., career optimism), we followed the procedure suggested by Aiken and West
(1991) using regression lines and effect variances to plot effects at standard deviation above and
below the mean. As illustrated in Figure 1, developmental leadership related more to career
adaptability particularly for respondents low on career optimism (simple slope, b¼.33, SE ¼
.09, p< .001) but was unrelated to career adaptability for respondents high on career optimism
(simple slope, b¼.04, SE ¼.10, p¼.701).
Employees are more likely to succeed in their work if they can adapt to changes associated with their
careers. Our results are consistent with the SCCT (Lent & Brown, 2019), as we showed that both devel-
opmental leadership and career optimism directly and interactively predicted career adaptability, suggest-
ing that contextual and personal factors are important determinants of career behavior. Our results have
important implications for research in the field of vocational psychology and practice in organizations.
Theoretical Contribution
Our expectation that developmental leadership relates positively to career adaptability was supported.
This result is consistent with previous studies (Higgins et al., 2010; Lawler, 1986), suggesting that
Figure 1. Career optimism moderates developmental leadership–career adaptability relationship, Model 2.
Delle and Searle 7
employees under developmental leaders are able to adapt to their work environment because of the
empowerment they receive through the performance feedback, training and development, career coun-
seling, and advice. Furthermore, the result shows that developmental leadership is an important con-
textual factor that might build adaptability resources in employees (Higgins et al., 2010).
Career optimism related positively to career adaptability, corroborating previous research (Aspin-
wall et al., 2001; Rottinghaus et al., 2005). We reasoned that because optimists are positive about the
future, are resilient, and see work obstacles as challenges (Kool & Dierendonck, 2012; Nguyen et al.,
2016; Youssef & Luthans, 2007), they are able to adapt to their work environment.
Finally, as expected, we note that developmental leadership relates positively to career adaptability
for employees low on optimism and insignificantly to those high on optimism, corroborating previous
studies (Rottinghaus et al., 2005; Tolentino et al., 2014). Specifically, our results show that develop-
mental leadership enables people low on optimism to adapt to their work environment. We reasoned
that because optimists are capable of coping effectively with career demands (Aspinwall et al., 2001),
leveraging on their positive feelings and unshakable sense of confidence, and utilizing their compe-
tences (i.e., social and intellectual) to manage work-related changes (Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek,
& Finkel, 2008). Therefore, contextual support (i.e., developmental leadership) may not be beneficial
to them.
Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research
We acknowledge that there are limitations associated with our study. First, we utilized cross-
sectional data that prevent us from drawing causal conclusions. To ascertain the validity of the path
model, longitudinal studies are preferred. While common method bias may be a problem, the Har-
man’s one-factor test results show that common method bias may play a relatively small role in our
findings. Furthermore, we note that common method error tends to suppress moderation effects in
cross-sectional data (Podsakoff et al., 2003), suggesting our effects may be stronger than reported.
Notwithstanding this, we recommend the use of longitudinal designs and multisource data to rule out
this effect in future research.
Further, this study was limited to workers in Ghana. There is the need for a cross-cultural study or
samples from different sectors of the business environment to establish the differential effect of lead-
ership and other factors on career adaptability because adaptability is bounded by social, institutional,
and cultural context (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). However, we feel this is a strength given the paucity of
research on management phenomena in Africa.
Implications for Practice
Our findings may have relevant implications for organizational leaders and consultants who aim to
maintain and increase employee career adaptability. Given that dynamic and technological nature
of work in modern organizations, employers should see adaptability as an important recruitment and
retention issue for employees. Our results indicate that developmental leadership helps employees to
adapt to their careers and might help people low on optimism to adapt effectively to their work envi-
ronment (Nguyen et al., 2016; Rottinghaus et al., 2005; Tolentino et al., 2014). Conversely, our results
suggest that optimistic employees require less developmental leadership, perhaps because they already
feel confident that they can manage their own career issues (Aspinwall et al., 2001).
Our study also has implications for employees. Optimistic employees are more adaptable than less
optimistic ones, and developmental leadership is beneficial for helping less optimistic employees adapt
to their work environment. Therefore, employers should exercise caution with regard to optimism-
enhancing interventions, as these could result in unrealistic positive expectations and overconfidence
8Journal of Career Development XX(X)
(Icekson et al., 2014), leading optimistic employees to not benefit from the support developmental
leaders provide, and hence affecting their adaptation to the work environment.
Finally, managers should design supportive work environments, that is, environment that
encourages and supports career counseling, coaching, and mentoring, which have the potential to fos-
ter optimism among employees (Garcia et al., 2015; Lent & Brown, 2019; Rottinghaus et al., 2017;
Spurk et al., 2015).
As the first to study the circumstances under which developmental leadership influences career adapt-
ability in the African context, the findings have considerable management implications. Based on the
outcome of our study, we suggest that organizations (especially those based in Africa) may benefit
when leaders strive to empower their teams, especially the less optimistic members, because this has
the potential to enhance adaptive and proactive forms of person–environment fit, such as career adapt-
ability. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings in other settings, ideally utilizing
more robust designs such as a longitudinal or a daily diary approach.
Author’s Note
Eric Delle may relocate to Ghana in July.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or
publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
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Author Biographies
Eric Delle received master of philosophy degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University
of Ghana, Legon, and has met all the requirements to be awarded with Doctor of Philosophy Degree in organiza-
tional psychology at Macquarie University. His current research interest focuses on job crafting, employee intra-
preneurship, proactive career behavior, and work engagement. In his leisure time, he enjoys watching African
movies, cooking, and reading.
Ben Searle is an organizational psychologist and a senior lecturer at Macquarie University. His research
examines how characteristics of work influence employee well-being and behavior, with a particular interest
in the psychological mechanisms driving these effects. He also advises on the design and validation of tools
measuring employee well-being and its correlates. He hosts a podcast about psychology in the workplace
( He enjoys reading and jogging.
Delle and Searle 13
... Career adaptability also serves as an important resource that weakens the negative impacts of radical career changes on adapting effectiveness (Rudolph & Zacher, 2021). Although studies have shown that career adaptability is predicted by personal factors, such as demographic characteristics (e.g., age and education), personality constructs (e.g., proactive personality, extraversion, and openness to experience), future temporal focus, core self-evaluations (Cai et al., 2015;Hirschi, 2009;Zacher, 2014), vocational identity (Negru-Subtirica et al., 2015) and emotional intelligence (Coetzee & Harry, 2014), it can also be shaped by contextual factors, such as parental career-specific behaviours Liang et al., 2020), leadership styles (Delle & Searle, 2020), perceived social support (Guan et al., 2016;Hirschi, 2009;Ocampo et al., 2018;Tian & Fan, 2014) and the quality of the learning environment (Tian & Fan, 2014). ...
... Career adaptability is viewed as a set of accumulated resources gained through social experience and relative intervention (Cheung & Jin, 2016). Recent studies have revealed the effectiveness of contextual factors, such as parental behaviour Liang et al., 2020), leadership styles (Delle & Searle, 2020) and organizational support (Guan et al., 2016;Ocampo et al., 2018), in developing employees' career adaptability. In this study, organizational socialization tactics positively predicted newcomers' career adaptability through job embeddedness, further extending the existing career adaptability literature. ...
In this study, we aim to examine how socialization practices predict newcomers' career adaptability during their organizational transitions. Drawing on career construction theory and conservation of resources theory, we argue that newcomers' job embeddedness, as predicted by their perceived organizational socialization tactics, positively predicts their career adaptability during career transitions. We investigate the role of past transition experiences (i.e., career variety) in moderating the relationship between job embeddedness and career adaptability. Data were collected at three time points from 492 newcomers in an information technology company in China. The newcomers' perceived organizational socialization tactics (i.e., training, future prospects and coworker support) positively predicted their job embeddedness, which was positively associated with their career adaptability. Additionally, career variety weakened the positive effect of job embeddedness on career adaptability. Furthermore, career variety moderated the indirect effects of future prospects and coworker support on career adaptability via job embeddedness, but not that of training. We conclude the article with discussions of our theoretical and practical contributions.
... Menurut penelitian (Hadi, 2021) menunjukkan hasil variabel kepemimpinan mempengaruhi Turnover Intention melalui kepuasan kerja [10]. Menurut penelitian (Delle & Searle, 2022) [11] dan (Lan & Chen, 2020) [12] Kepemimpinan tidak berpengaruh terhadap Turnover Intention melalui kepuasan kerja. Hasil variabel Work Life Balance mempengaruhi Turnover Intention melalui Kepuasan Kerja. ...
... It has been observed that leadership humility influences the subordinates, which results in different positive outcomes, i.e., higher performance (Yang, Shen, & Ma, 2022), innovations (Jiang, Liu, & Jia, 2019;Yang et al., 2019) well-being (Zhang & Song, 2020) and resilience (Zhu et al., 2019) and decrease the turnover intensions (Owens et al., 2013), burnout (Afshan et al., 2021). Moreover, it has been observed that humble leaders become the cause of higher satisfaction of subordinates (Krumrei-Mancuso & Newman, 2021), based on this notion, we argue that leadership influences the career adaptability of the individuals because leadership might encourage the subordinates to perform efficiently, especially during the changing workplace environment (Delle & Searle, 2022). ...
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Purpose-Post-pandemic circumstances and rapid globalization demand organizations to restructure jobs and working environments that increase the unpredictability of career development and increase the responsibility of individuals for career success. Therefore, this study is designed to understand how distinct aspects, i.e., leadership and personal, encourage career success. For that purpose, this study investigates the impact of leadership humility on career success with the intervening mechanism of career adaptability. Moreover, this study also examines the moderating role of a proactive personality. Design/methodology/approach-We evaluated the proposed hypotheses of this study, using a sample of 293 participants from manufacturing and service sector organizations through simple random sampling and with a time-lag approach. Findings-Results of this study show that leadership humility is highly related to career success, and career adaptability mediates the relationship between leadership humility and career success. We also found that highly proactive individuals are more confident in coping with the unpredictability of career success with higher leadership humility. Our moderated mediation results indicate that a proactive personality moderates the indirect effect of leadership humility on career success via career adaptability. Practical Implications-The findings of this study contribute to the career management and social cognitive career theory by explaining leadership humility and proactive personality within a comprehensive resource framework for career success. These results emphasize the meaning of leadership humility to support career adaptability, which leads to higher career success. Originality/value-This study explains the mechanism of leadership humility and career success by examining the mediating role of career adaptability; moreover, this study also explains the role of personal characteristics/traits (proactivity personality) for career adaptability and career success.
... It requires career adaptability in a person because the person will look positively at the future of his career and that is what makes the individual in still a sense of career optimism in him for his future career. Career optimism is positively connecting with career adaptability and that has been demonstrated by previous research (Delle & Searle, 2022). The optimism embedded in an individual will stimulate him to show a good commitment to change, the individual can show positive attitudes and behaviors and be able to face changing conditions including in his work environment. ...
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This study examines the relationship between boundaryless career orientation and career optimism. Researchers tested and explored the possible moderating roles of both variables, namely career decision self-efficacy and career adaptability to the boundaryless career orientation and career optimism relationship. The survey was conducted on 192 accounting students in Indonesia to collect data. This research uses Smart-PLS to process and analyze data. The results showed that boundaryless career orientation is positively associated with career optimism. In this study, it was also shown that career decision self-efficacy and career adaptability successfully moderated the relationship between boundaryless career orientation and career optimism.
... Such education and guidance can enhance adolescents' self-efficacy, adaptability, and career resilience, which are crucial for their readiness to face various career challenges and solve careerrelated problems (Delle & Searle, 2020;Fasbender et al., 2019;Santilli et al., 2017;Taber & Blankemeyer, 2015;Zacher et al., 2015). Strengthening career resilience can be facilitated through parental support and educational programs in schools (Hou & Leung, 2011;Lee et al., 2021b;Martin et al., 2019). ...
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Adolescents must possess essential career planning skills to achieve career resilience and adaptability, especially during times of economic uncertainty. To develop these abilities effectively, appropriate training materials are crucial. This study focuses on the development and validation of a career planning training material through a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, supporting the resilience and career adaptability of adolescents. Employing a Research and Development (R&D) design with the ADDIE model (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation), the study produced MOOC content, including handouts, PowerPoint presentations, infographics, videos, motion graphics, and podcasts. Based on the concepts of resilience and career adaptability in adolescents, the material was divided into two parts: one for teachers and one for students. Expert validation of the MOOC product rated it as good to excellent. The validated product contributes by providing strategies and career planning training material through MOOC, offering novel findings that significantly benefit the development of adolescents' resilience and career adaptability.
... Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of female workers who are married and have children has the additional task of being a companion and even becoming an educator (teacher) for their children who are at school age due to changes in learning patterns implemented by the school. In addition, the burden of domestic duties carried by women workers as the main supplier of healthy food, clean clothing, and healthy boards for family members to fulfill the task of protecting families from widespread Covid-19 (Delle & Searle, 2022). ...
... Developmental leadership is an emerging concept derived from a specific dimension of existing leadership theories, such as transformational leadership and path-goal theory, where leaders engage in behaviours that aim to improve members' work-related knowledge (Delle & Searle, 2022). This is because, in order to maintain organisational competitiveness, leaders are often expected to develop employees' capabilities to innovate, adopt changes and improve performance (Gilley et al., 2011;LeBrasseur et al., 2002). ...
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Events such as pandemics, natural disasters, and other social issues reveal societies’ increasing reliance on voluntary unpaid workers. However, there is a decline in people’s willingness to volunteer with established organisations. While management research has shown that leadership plays a major role in motivating and retaining paid employees, further investigation is needed to understand how leadership motivates volunteers. This paper integrates leadership literature into a widely adopted volunteer motivation model through a narrative review, aiming to distil precise leader behaviours that could be used to fulfil or trigger people’s motivation to perform unpaid work. Our goal is to draw clear conceptual links between the different facets of leader behaviours and volunteer motivation and highlight the role of leadership in triggering and fulfilling volunteer motivation and therefore sustaining vital volunteer workforces. Limitations of our chosen approach, implications, and future research directions are discussed.
... Respecto al liderazgo, se evidenció una relación positiva significativa con el optimismo académico del maestro (Thien y Chan, 2020) y que el liderazgo tiene mayor impacto en los colaboradores que son menos optimistas (Delle y Searle, 2020). Por otra parte, el optimismo favorece la relación entre liderazgo y job crafting para aumentar los recursos estructurales y aumentar las demandas desafiantes (Thun y Bakker, 2018); así mismo, el liderazgo auténtico tiene una relación directa sobre el optimismo académico y el compromiso laboral en docentes de primaria (Kulophas et al., 2018); sin embargo, se ha demostrado que mostrar optimismo por parte del líder autentico no fue suficiente para crear confianza en su equipo de trabajo (Baker, 2018). ...
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El capital psicológico se define como un estado de desarrollo psicológico positivo del ser humano. Este capítulo aborda el debate sobre la capacidad del capital psicológico como estado o como rasgo; las implicaciones de ser conceptualizado como constructo de segundo orden; las principales teorías de sustento del capital psicológico: la Teoría de la conservación de recursos (TCR), la Teoría de ampliación y construcción y la Teoría del contagio emocional. La segunda parte del capítulo trata sobre cada uno de los cuatro componentes del capital psicológico: esperanza, optimismo, resiliencia y autoeficacia. De cada uno se presenta: su definición, las principales teorías explicativas y las relaciones con variables del comportamiento organizacional.
... Respecto al liderazgo, se evidenció una relación positiva significativa con el optimismo académico del maestro (Thien y Chan, 2020) y que el liderazgo tiene mayor impacto en los colaboradores que son menos optimistas (Delle y Searle, 2020). Por otra parte, el optimismo favorece la relación entre liderazgo y job crafting para aumentar los recursos estructurales y aumentar las demandas desafiantes (Thun y Bakker, 2018); así mismo, el liderazgo auténtico tiene una relación directa sobre el optimismo académico y el compromiso laboral en docentes de primaria (Kulophas et al., 2018); sin embargo, se ha demostrado que mostrar optimismo por parte del líder autentico no fue suficiente para crear confianza en su equipo de trabajo (Baker, 2018). ...
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El compromiso organizacional ha sido estudiado en profundidad en las últimas décadas. El teletrabajo, aunque existe como actividad hace varias décadas, como fenómeno en el mundo del trabajo había sido poco estudiado desde la psicología organizacional y del trabajo antes de la pandemia de la COVID-19. La comprensión de ambos fenómenos es importante para desarrollar metodologías, modelos, conceptos, repertorios de comprensión, explicación e intervención pertinentes y actualizados que reconozcan a los trabajadores en las organizaciones (Rentería y Malvezzi, 2018; Rentería, 2019), y también en el mundo de la vida cotidiana. En la Edad Antigua el trabajo estaba ligado a la subsistencia y era realizado frecuentemente por esclavos (Blanch, 2003). Se trataba, como lo afirman Baiocchi y Magalhães (2004), Leite et al. (2010) y Stecca et al. (2016) de un trabajador en 442 Psicología de las organizaciones y del trabajo. Apuestas de investigación III condiciones deshumanizadas. En la Edad Media, aunque se seguían presentando relaciones de trabajo esclavo, surgió también el trabajo de personas libres bajo la figura del locatio conductio operarum, es decir, de las especificaciones para el pago de lo que –anacrónicamente– se podría llamar pago de mano de obra. Es a partir de la edad moderna –como configuración epocal obra del mismo pensamiento humano– que el compromiso organizacional y el teletrabajo pueden ser entendidos como fenómenos en el mundo del trabajo. Con la Revolución Industrial, acontecida a mediados del siglo XVIII en el reino de Gran Bretaña, se dio paso a una lógica distinta a la que se tenía en el mundo social, tecnológico, político y económico. El mundo del trabajo cambió respecto a la cantidad de objetos fabricados (ampliación de bienes), disminución en el tiempo de producción (industrialización) y a la existencia de un trabajador en un lugar específico llamado fábrica (control de producción). En este tiempo, para Leite et al. (2010), en la época de las teorías clásicas de la administración (1900-1930) surgieron nombres que marcaron la historia organizacional. En la línea de producción en serie de Henry Ford, el compromiso del trabajador y su posibilidad de producir fuera de dicha línea, fueron preocupaciones inexistentes, se hablaba entonces de la alienación en virtud de la repetición de movimientos en un contexto de mano de obra física. Desde el modelo de la administración científica, traída por Frederick Taylor (2003), se trajo a la producción fabril la investigación científica. Se consideraba a los trabajadores como piezas de un mecanismo, ellos habían de hacer el trabajo adecuado, de la manera adecuada y en el momento oportuno. Para lograrlo, se incluyeron en la producción dinámicas como formación, enseñanza, perfeccionamiento del trabajador, y lo que Barnard (1938) llamó cooperación, para cumplir con sus deberes y responsabilidades. Más tarde, Henry Fayol (2003) trajo para las teorías de la administración las actividades de planear, organizar, comandar, coordinar y controlar. Basado en la idea de división del trabajo de Adam Smith (1983), reforzó los principios de la autoridad, disciplina, unidad de comando, unidad de dirección, subordinación de los intereses personales a los intereses de la organización, remuneración, centralización, cadenas de autoridad, orden, equidad, estabilidad de personal, iniciativa y espíritu de grupo. Según Leite et al. (2010), de modo implícito, el compromiso organizacional fue desarrollado en la remuneración de personal, la iniciativa, la unión del personal, el orden y la equidad. Al respecto de ello, es necesario complementar expresando que estas dinámicas estaban alrededor de la rentabilidad y permanencia del trabajador en la empresa, y no del bienestar del trabajo necesariamente. Estas condiciones evidencian surgimiento y contribuciones al estudio del compromiso organizacional, germinadas en un contexto de personas en una producción controlada temporal y espacialmente, en una realidad de control del cuerpo del trabajador, de su comportamiento en jornadas laborales. Ese contexto hizo que con las leyes laborales y la creación de organizaciones internacionales –como la Organización Internacional del trabajo (OIT) en la segunda década del siglo XX– se estructuraran y regularan las relaciones de trabajo, el individuo pasó a tener una jornada de trabajo definida, salario, clara distinción entre tiempo de trabajo-tiempo de ocio, seguridad social, entre otros beneficios y condiciones (OIT, 2016). La posindustrialización, o la sociedad posindustrial (Tourine, 1969), muestra unas formas de producción diferentes a las ya mencionadas. Se caracteriza por una producción en la que los servicios ingresan a ser parte de la producción en una lectura que contempla un proceso en el que, mayoritariamente, la información es la que guía la dinámica de producción. Se trata de un momento en el que la automatización y la digitalización caracterizan el trabajo. Baiocchi y Magalhães (2004) señalaron que en los años sesenta los cambios en el escenario económico estuvieron basados en los avances de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación. Nilles (2012) refirió que los avances en cibernética fueron también actuantes principales en la dinámica de este tipo de sociedad. En ese tiempo surge de manera prototípica el teletrabajo, y sus antecesores comenzaron con el telégrafo, telegrama, etc. Se caracteriza un trabajo que ahora puede no realizarse en la fábrica. Esa espacialidad se modificó, y ahora el trabajo puede realizarse en espacios como la casa del trabajador, o cualquier lugar que quede a distancia del centro de trabajo tradicional. La existencia de internet, como soporte de dicha actividad, hace que la información sea la materia prima, y que se transforme en un lugar que ya no es la industria. También permite hacer la pregunta que vertebra esta reflexión ¿cómo se presenta el compromiso organizacional desde el teletrabajo? La pregunta se comprende en el entendido que el teletrabajo es una forma de organizar el trabajo desde la sociedad posindustrial.
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Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between personality traits and career adaptability, verifying the existence of the influence of gender in professionals from technology incubators in southern Brazil. Method: Through a quantitative study, the collection of primary data was carried out with a sample of 310 professionals from technology incubators in southern Brazil, where the relationships of the outlined hypotheses were evaluated through structural equation modeling. Results: Through data analysis, it was verified the existence of relationships between the analyzed constructs, in which the strongest correlations were between the Agreeableness with Emotional Stability and Extraversion, Trust with Cooperation and Control with Concern dimensions. Conclusion: Few studies have addressed the issue of career adaptability and personality traits in the technological environment, even more so when it comes to verifying the issue of gender difference in this space. In this sense, this study contributed to in interrelation of the approaches of career adaptability and personality traits, adding the relative gender to the field of technology since this environment is still strictly masculinized. From a practical point of view, it explains the importance of organizational policies that consolidate the amplitude of female participation and representation, especially in strategic positions in technology, raising reflections for managers about diversity and gender equity in an increasingly digital world.
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This two-wave study among 637 employees explores how individuals’ perceived demands-abilities fit may change over time by virtue of career initiative (i.e. the proactive management of one's career and professional development). Using a parallel growth model, we found that (between-person) career initiative was related to (between-person) perceived demands-abilities fit. In addition, increases in (within-person) career initiative over time were associated with increases in (within-person) perceived demands-abilities fit over time. The findings furthermore indicate that such improvements in perceived demands-abilities fit occur among those who change jobs as well as among those who stay in their current job. Comparing individuals who had switched jobs between wave 1 and wave 2 to those who had not, we found that turnover was i) preceded by lower levels of perceived demands-abilities fit; ii) accompanied by an increase in the level of career initiative; and iii) associated with greater improvement in perceived demands-abilities fit. This study advances our understanding of temporal dynamism in person job fit and the findings support the idea that by employing a proactive approach towards their career, individuals can both attain and enhance the alignment between their abilities and the demands of their job.
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This retrospective chart review study examined the factor structure of the Career Futures Inventory-Revised (CFI-R; Rottinghaus et al. in J Career Assess 20:123?139, 2012) and its utility as a career counseling outcome measure using a sample of 332 clients from a university career center. The CFI-R examines career agency and other career adaptability dimensions germane to clients? career concerns. Confirmatory factor analysis results supported the proposed factor structure. Changes in CFI-R scale scores are reported for 116 clients who received counseling. The use of the CFI-R as an effectiveness outcome measure for individual, group, and classroom career interventions is addressed.
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Career adaptability, a psychosocial resource for managing career-related tasks, transitions, and traumas, is a central construct in career construction theory and the field of vocational psychology. Based on the career construction model of adaptation, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine relationships of career adaptability with measures of adaptivity, adapting responses, adaptation results, and demographic covariates. Results based on a total of 90 studies show that career adaptability is significantly associated with measures of adaptivity (i.e., cognitive ability, big five traits, self-esteem, core self-evaluations, proactive personality, future orientation, hope, and optimism), adapting responses (i.e., career planning, career exploration, occupational self-efficacy, and career decision-making self-efficacy), adaptation results (i.e., career identity, calling, career/job/school satisfaction, affective organizational commitment, job stress, employability, promotability, turnover intentions, income, engagement, self-reported work performance, entrepreneurial outcomes, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect), as well as certain demographic characteristics (i.e., age, education). Multiple regression analyses based on meta-analytic correlations demonstrated the incremental predictive validity of career adaptability, above and beyond other individual difference characteristics, for a variety of career, work, and subjective well-being outcomes. Overall, the findings from this meta-analysis support the career construction model of adaptation.
Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) consists of five interrelated models. Its original models focus on the determinants of educational and occupational interest, choice, and performance (including persistence) (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). A fourth model is aimed at satisfaction and other aspects of well-being in academic and career-related settings (Lent & Brown, 2006a, 2008), and the fifth model highlights processes whereby people manage common developmental tasks and uncommon challenges across the career lifespan (Lent & Brown, 2013). Each of the models seeks to integrate relevant streams of inquiry, with the larger goal of producing a unifying perspective on educational and career behavior. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of SCCT's introduction, we consider the empirical status of the original three models as well as inquiry on the sources of self-efficacy and outcome expectations, which undergird the three models. Drawing primarily on meta-analytic findings, we examine the tenability of each of the models, observe the roles of particular social cognitive variables within and across model tests, note moderators of model relationships and anomalous findings, point to hypotheses that have been understudied, and suggest additional directions for future inquiry.
This article systematically reviews empirical work on the antecedents and outcomes of career optimism. Based on a review of the 31 articles on career optimism spanning the last two decades (1998–2017), a framework which integrates findings from empirical work is developed, and a future research agenda presented. We highlight opportunities for empirical and theoretical advancement of the field, calling on researchers to draw on theories such as the conservation of resources, broaden and build and psychology of working theories to understand how career optimism develops and influences individuals' vocational attitudes and behaviors. Further, we call on researchers to improve how they measure career optimism, improve the research designs they adopt, adopt multi-level approaches to understand how career optimism develops, undertake more work on the behavioral outcomes of career optimism, and examine the negative effects of career optimism.
Background: For solving the problem of the abandonment of the career in nursing undergraduates, it is important to understand their motivation to choose nursing as a career and its associated personal and situational factors. Objectives: To examine the relationships between optimism, educational environment, career adaptability, and career motivation in nursing undergraduates using the career construction model of adaptation. Design: This study adopted a cross-sectional design. Participants and methods: A convenience sample of 1060 nursing undergraduates from three universities completed questionnaires for measuring optimism, educational environment, career adaptability, and career motivation. Confirmatory factor analyses, descriptive analyses, comparison analyses, correlation analyses, and mediation analyses were performed accordingly. Results: Nursing undergraduates' career motivation was positively correlated with their career adaptability (r = 0.41, P < 0.01), the educational environment (r = 0.60, P < 0.01), and optimism (r = 0.26, P < 0.01). In addition, the effects of optimism and educational environment on career motivation were partially mediated by career adaptability in nursing undergraduates. Conclusions: In nursing undergraduates, the educational environment had a relatively strong positive association with career motivation, while optimism had a weak one. Career adaptability played a mediating role in the relationships. Targeted interventions may improve nursing undergraduates' career motivation.
In this study, we aim to explore the link between transformational leadership and job crafting. We predict that transformational leadership will stimulate employee job crafting (seeking resources, seeking challenges, and reducing demands) by increasing their adaptability; but that transformational leadership will be less effective when employees have higher levels of organizational identification. We collected data from 185 dyads of subordinates and supervisors. Supervisors rated their own transformational leadership and subordinates' adaptability, and subordinates rated their own job crafting and organizational identification. Results from structural equation modelling analyses partially supported our hypotheses. In general our findings suggest that transformational leadership is associated with more expansion job crafting (seeking resources and seeking challenges) via adaptability, particularly for employees with lower organizational identification. We conclude that transformational leadership is an important antecedent of employee adaptability and proactivity at work.
Resilience has merited growing interest in psychology and management research, given its potential to drive important organisational outcomes. Yet, there is limited understanding of the individual and contextual factors that promote resilient behaviours in organisations. This study explored relationships between dispositional variables (proactive personality and optimism), leadership styles (empowering and contingent reward leadership) and employee resilience. Data were collected from a sample of 269 while-collar workers in New Zealand through an online survey. Results show that empowering leadership, proactive personality and optimism were significantly related to resilient behaviours. Moreover, optimism interacted with contingent reward leadership to predict employee resilience. The findings underscore the importance of measuring employee resilience as a contextualised, behavioural capability, and the need to investigate its nomological network considering the interplay of organisational enablers and dispositional variables. © This material is