In work and organizational psychology, the notion of agility, that is the capability to adapt, presently is receiving strong interest. Already at the end of the last century Harvey, Koubek and Chin worked towards a model for employee agility. They emphasized the role of internal (personal) factors, such as personality, and external (situational) factors, such as work pressure. Chonko and Jones (2005) distinguished two components within the notion of agility: an adaptive and a proactive component. Adaptive agility relates to adapting to a changing organizational context. Proactive agility relates to actively looking for changes or initiating innovation in one’s organization.

The following four research questions were central to this thesis:
(1) What is the relation between different needs/motives of employees and their adaptive and proactive agility;
(2) How high is the agreement between others (i.e., the consensus), and how high is the agreement between one’s self-image and the image as perceived by others (i.e., the correspondence) in judging the motives of employees;
(3) What is the relation between the degree to which employees trust their organization in a planned change (strategic anticipation) and in an unplanned change (a sudden change, caused by necessity) and their adaptive and proactive agility; and
(4) Can a portfolio process - developing one’s own agility goals and a plan of action, and containing proof of the progression in the steps in the direction of the agility targets and a reflection during feedback moments with others on the steps in the direction of the agility targets - increase the agility of employees and increase the self-other correspondence on their agility?
These research questions were studied and answered in four subsequent empirical studies.

, , ,
M.Ph. Born (Marise) , H.T. van der Molen (Henk)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Doeze Jager-van Vliet, S. (2017, December 14). Proactive and Adaptive Agility among Employees : the relationship with personal and situational factors. Retrieved from