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The Roles of Grit in Human Resources Theory and Research

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-1-78973-852-0, eISBN: 978-1-78973-851-3

Publication date: 15 July 2019


Introduced into the literature a decade ago, grit originally defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals has stimulated considerable research on positive effects primarily in the academic and military contexts, as well as attracted widespread media attention. Despite recent criticism regarding grit’s construct and criterion-related validity, research on grit has begun to spill over into the work context as well. In this chapter, the authors provide an overview of the initial theoretical foundations of grit as a motivational driver, and present newer conceptualizations on the mechanisms of grit’s positive effects rooted in goal-setting theory. Furthermore, the authors also draw attention to existing shortcomings of the current definition and measurement of grit, and their implications for its scientific and practical application. After establishing a theoretical understanding, the authors discuss the potential utility of grit for human resource management, related to staffing and recruitment, development and training, and performance management systems as well as performance evaluations. The authors conclude this chapter with a discussion of necessary and potential future research, and consider the practical implications of grit in its current state.



Jordan, S.L., Wihler, A., Hochwarter, W.A. and Ferris, G.R. (2019), "The Roles of Grit in Human Resources Theory and Research", Buckley, M.R., Wheeler, A.R., Baur, J.E. and Halbesleben, J.R.B. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 37), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 53-88.



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