To read this content please select one of the options below:

Personality traits and intrapreneurship: the mediating effect of career adaptability

Hyung Rok Woo (Division of Interdisciplinary Industrial Studies, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 11 April 2018

Issue publication date: 14 May 2018




The purpose of this paper is to discover the antecedents of intrapreneurship. Based on career construction theory and prior personality studies, this study examined the mediating effects of career adaptability on the relation between personality traits and intrapreneurship.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted using employees from four Korean companies. The hypothesized research model was tested with 473 data using structural equation modeling. The bootstrap procedure and the phantom model approach were also employed to thoroughly examine the indirect effects of personality traits on intrapreneurship via career adaptability.


The results demonstrated that career adaptability mediated the overall relation between personality traits and intrapreneurship. Career adaptability completely mediated the relation between intrapreneurship and both openness and conscientiousness from the Big Five personality dimensions. Regarding extraversion, the mediating effects of career adaptability were not supported by the results, but the direct effects were found to be significant.

Practical implications

These findings offer new insights into the intrapreneurial talents required of employees in organizations. The application of the identified direct or indirect impact of personality traits through career adaptability may help human resource managers to select and foster potential intrapreneurs and facilitate career coaches in understanding employees’ assets and obstacles in developing intrapreneurial competencies.


This is the first empirical study to explore the mechanism between personality traits and intrapreneurship by examining the mediating role of career adaptability in the workplace and thereby this study contributes to bridging the gap of different research domains between intrapreneurship and career adaptability.



Hyung Rok Woo’s current affiliation is College of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, Gyonggi University, Suwon, Republic of Korea.


Woo, H.R. (2018), "Personality traits and intrapreneurship: the mediating effect of career adaptability", Career Development International, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 145-162.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles