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Antecedents and outcomes of Hungarian nurses’ career adaptability

Sofija Pajic (Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Ádám Keszler (British Telecom Regional Operations Centre, Debrecen, Hungary)
Gábor Kismihók (Leibniz Information Center for Science and Technology, Hannover, Germany)
Stefan T. Mol (Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Deanne N. Den Hartog (Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 5 November 2018




With the ageing global population the demand for nursing jobs and the requirements for complex care provision are increasing. In consequence, nursing professionals need to be ready to adapt, obtain variety of skills and engage in career self-management. The purpose of this paper is to investigate individual, micro-level, resources and behaviors that can facilitate matching processes between nursing professionals and their jobs.


A survey-based study was conducted among 314 part-time and full-time nursing professionals in Hungary.


Consistent with the career construction theory, this study offers evidence on career adaptability as a self-regulatory resource that might stimulate nurses’ adaptation outcomes. Specifically, it demonstrates positive relationships between adaptive readiness (proactive personality and conscientiousness), career adaptability, adapting behaviors (career planning and proactive skill development) and adaptation outcomes (employability and in-role performance).

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design limits causal inference. Relatively small sample of full-time professionals for whom supervisory-ratings were obtained yields the need of further replication.

Practical implications

Stimulating development of nurses’ career adaptability, career planning, and proactive skill development can contribute to sustainable career management. It can facilitate the alignment of nurses to performance requirements of their current jobs, preventing individual person-job mismatch.


Zooming into the context of nursing professionals in Hungary, the study elucidates the understudied link between adaptivity and adapting responses and answers the call for more research that employs other-ratings of adaptation outcomes. It demonstrates the value of career adaptability resources for nurses’ employability and in-role performance.



The authors would like to thank to Gergely Wischy and Adrienn Ujváriné Siket for their kind contribution to translation and the organization of the data collection. The authors would also like to thank Scott Harrison for his comments on the earlier version of the manuscript. This work was supported by the European Commission through the Marie-Curie ITN EDUWORKS (Grant No. PITN-GA-2013-608311).


Pajic, S., Keszler, Á., Kismihók, G., Mol, S.T. and Den Hartog, D.N. (2018), "Antecedents and outcomes of Hungarian nurses’ career adaptability", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 No. 8, pp. 1096-1114.



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