Measuring adaptability demands of jobs and the adaptability of military and civilians
van den Bosch, K.
Jobs within the military and in civil society differ in character and requirements. It is assumed that differences in job types both within civil and military domains require different dimensions of adaptability competency. The present study investigates this assumption. The Dutch Adaptability Dimensions And Performance Test (D-ADAPT) was used to measure both the adaptability demands of jobs, and of self-assessed adaptability competency of employees. In addition, the predictive value of certain personality traits (openness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness) and other relevant personal characteristics (cognitive flexibility, learning goal orientation) on various adaptability dimensions was explored. Military personnel were found to estimate their adaptability competency as higher than civilians did. With respect to the civilian jobs, the adaptability demands varied across job types. This was not found in the set of military jobs, possibly due to a smaller variety of jobs included. This study also shows that a variety of personal characteristics predict different dimensions of adaptability. Cognitive flexibility was found to be the best predictor for adaptability in general. Openness turned out to be a good predictor within the civilian group, whereas neuroticism was a better predictor within the military group. Results of this study contribute to a better understanding of work adaptability and influencing personality characteristics. Practical implications for selection and training of personnel can be derived, based on the acquisition of adaptability competency that matches the type of job.
To reference this document use:
military job types
Military Psychology, 30 (6), 576-589