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Employee resilience: development and validation of a measure

Katharina Näswall (School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Sanna Malinen (Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Joana Kuntz (School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Morgana Hodliffe (School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 1 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new measure of employee resilience. Employee resilience is a key capability enabling employees to manage and adapt to continually changing circumstances. While there is an increasing body of research on how to best promote resilience among employees in organizations, the measurement of the construct has received less research attention. The measure introduced in this paper focuses on employee resilience as a work-related capability that can be developed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents three survey-based studies describing the development of a new measure, the Employee Resilience Scale and its preliminary validation. Study 1 concerns the scale development and testing, along with a confirmatory analysis of the measurement structure in a different sample. Study 2 investigates the discriminant validity of the scale in relation to a well-known measure of personal resilience, the Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale. Study 3 was concerned with work-related outcomes of employee resilience (e.g. job engagement).

Findings

Support was found for the unidimensionality of the scale in Study 1. Study 2 showed a clear differentiation between the two measures of resilience: employee resilience and personal resilience, supporting the discriminant validity of the measure. Study 3 provided evidence for the criterion-related validity of the scale.

Research limitations/implications

The three studies presented here provide preliminary support that the Employee Resilience Scale can be used to measure resilience among employees.

Originality/value

While the concept of employee resilience has gained attention in the literature, a measure of the construct has lacked. The study presents a valid measure of employee resilience which can be used to diagnose and develop a more adaptive workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Näswall, K., Malinen, S., Kuntz, J. and Hodliffe, M. (2019), "Employee resilience: development and validation of a measure", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 353-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-02-2018-0102

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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