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Conceptualizing employee strengths at work and scale development

Vikas Rai Bhatnagar ( Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 30 April 2020

Issue publication date: 30 September 2020




There is a compelling need for developing constructs in management science for higher relevance rather than adapting constructs developed in other domains and applying them in organizations. An inquiry in the relevance of the construct of strength developed in personality psychology and applied to organizations is compelling, as deploying strengths leads to humanizing organizations. With growing disengagement of employees at work, this study makes a significant contribution by conceptualizing strengths in the context of organizations and carrying out two studies on independent samples for developing a psychometrically validated 14-item scale for measuring it.


The study has two phases. The first phase is conceptual in nature where the authors deploy the social systems theory and use recent empirical research evidence in conceptualizing the construct of employee strengths at work (ESAW). In the second phase, the author carry out two studies on independent samples for ascertaining the factor structure by carrying out EFA and then confirming it by doing a confirmatory factor analysis.


The construct of ESAW, relevant for management science, has five factors: potential deployment, person-jot fit, managerial sensitivity, prompt assimilation and joy. The psychometrically validated scale for measuring ESAW developed in this study has 14 items. Because the construct incorporates key contextual factors, it is more relevant to organizational science and contributes to humanizing organizations.


This study evolves the construct of ESAW from a predominantly trait-based approach to a conceptualization that accounts for the contextual factors, essential for enabling strengths of employees to manifest. The study contributes to advancing literature that holds promise for humanizing organizations – a pressing need because of the growing instances of employee disengagement. The author develop a 14-item psychometrically validated scale for measuring ESAW that the practitioners can use in first assessing current levels of employee strengths’ deployment and thereafter intervening for increasing the deployment of their strengths for enabling higher well-being and superior performance.



Author deeply acknowledge the intuitive guidance constantly extended by Reverend Prof. Prem Saran Satsangi, Chairman of Advisory Committee on Education, Dayalbagh Educational Institute and the Spiritual Leader of the Radhasoami Faith.


Bhatnagar, V.R. (2020), "Conceptualizing employee strengths at work and scale development", Management Research Review, Vol. 43 No. 10, pp. 1273-1288.



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