Adaptability in the workplace: development of a taxonomy of adaptive performance

J Appl Psychol. 2000 Aug;85(4):612-24. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.85.4.612.


The purpose of this research was to develop a taxonomy of adaptive job performance and examine the implications of this taxonomy for understanding, predicting, and training adaptive behavior in work settings. Two studies were conducted to address this issue. In Study 1, over 1,000 critical incidents from 21 different jobs were content analyzed to identify an 8-dimension taxonomy of adaptive performance. Study 2 reports the development and administration of an instrument, the Job Adaptability Inventory, that was used to empirically examine the proposed taxonomy in 24 different jobs. Exploratory factor analyses using data from 1,619 respondents supported the proposed 8-dimension taxonomy from Study 1. Subsequent confirmatory factor analyses on the remainder of the sample (n = 1,715) indicated a good fit for the 8-factor model. Results and implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Problem Solving
  • Workplace*