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Employee engagement, positive organizational culture and individual adaptability

Jane D. Parent (Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, USA)
Kathi J. Lovelace (Menlo College, Atherton, California, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 17 September 2018

Issue publication date: 26 November 2018




The purpose of this paper is to explore the connections between employee engagement, positive organizational psychology and an individual’s ability to adapt to ongoing organizational change.


The literature on individual adaptability, positive organizational psychology and employee engagement is reviewed. A model that suggests that a positive work culture enhances employee engagement and in specific cases leads to increased adaptability is developed.


While organizational engagement will have a positive effect on the individual’s ability to adapt to changes, job engagement will have the opposite effect, uncovering potential obstacles to change management in organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Suggestions for future research are provided with the intent to further academic research in this area. This model can serve as a starting point for future research design and can be tested in organizations undergoing various changes.

Practical implications

A positive culture fosters both job and organizational engagement within an organization. Managers can understand how to cultivate a positive, engaged environment for employees while understanding how certain job changes might have both positive and negative effects on an individual’s ability to adapt.


A model for identifying relationships between positive organizational behaviors, two types of employee engagement (organizational engagement and job engagement) and an individual’s ability to adapt to change is helpful to researchers and practitioners alike.



Parent, J.D. and Lovelace, K.J. (2018), "Employee engagement, positive organizational culture and individual adaptability", On the Horizon, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 206-214.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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