Independent Variable – Personal Flexibility

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2.1.3 Independent Variable – Personal Flexibility

According to Bucki and Pesqueux (2000) flexibility is defined as ability to adapt in both reversible and irreversible manner. In other words, it reflects the ability of individual to remain functioning in a changing environment in spite of foreseeable or not. Furthermore, flexibility is desirable quality that needs to be fostered among employees as it served as guidelines among employees in self-directed teams, multiskilling and pay (Iles, Forster and Tinline, 1996).

According to past finding from Heijde and Heijden (2006), personal flexibility was found not related to flexibility of an individual at his job's level. Nonetheless, employee’s flexibility are expected to adapt the constant changes passively that would occur in their working environment (Heijde and Heijden, 2006).

In addition, employees with high personal flexibility is found to receive better benefit as well as increased chances of further development in career as they look changes in ease (Heijde and Heijden, 2006). Furthermore, employees who practices flexibility will possess a greater understanding on how to seek opportunities in changing environment.

Personal flexibility has been also labeled as adaptability (Heijde and Heijden, 2006) and has been considered as one of important component of employability by other researchers (see, e.g., Boudreau et al., 2001; Fugate et al., 2004). Individuals with personal adaptability is known to have higher employability as this traits will allows them to identify work’s opportunities in both cognitive and affective manners (Fugate, Kinicki and Ashforth, 2004). Otherwise, personal adaptability dedication to both career success (Pulakos et al., 2000) and organizational performance (Crant, 2000). Personal adaptability enables employees to accept attractive and productive in continually changing work domains to employers (Chan, 2000).

Career resilience and evaluating employee experience are ways to assess one’s personal adaptability especially in the context of job loss (Gowan, 2012). In Fugate and Kinicki (2008) study, career resilience is defined as an individual work which is relevant to self-efficacy and optimism (Fleig-Palmer et al., 2009), and ability to adapt the career situation change (Wolf et al., 1995). According to Luthans (2002); Reivich and Schatte (2002), individual with career resilient tends possess ability to be flexible as they are “willing to makes changes on themselves in order to keep pace with change” (Waterman et al., 1994, p. 88).

As stated by Fugate, Kinicki & Ashforth (2004) there are five components in personal adaptability define by, openness to change, optimism, internal locus of control and propensity to learn.

In addition, Fugate, Kinicki and Ashforth (2004) studies have shown the fundamental element of personal adaptability is openness to change. Openness to change is being keen and willing to accept changes of organizational such as company policies or new system of management. Openness individuals are prone to display flexibility when faced with challenges in uncertain circumstances, such as they are open toward changes events at work (Miller, Johnson, & Grau, 1994). According to Wanberg and Banas (2000) states accepting changes will result positive relationship in job satisfaction. In contrast, accepting changes will provide negative relationship on work irritation and intention to quit. Besides holding up the changes will makes employees to be comfort in uncertain environment as well as increasing their competency in different occupations (Barrick & Mount, 1991; Costa & McCrae, 1992).

Next, optimism is second element in personal adaptability. When individual have strong optimistic will perform self-confidence in ability to manage affective and objective challenges and expectation in positive view about future events (Judge et al., 1999; Peterson, 2000). Optimistic employees are likely to perceive many opportunities in the organization (Carver & Scheir, 1994), to achieve of desired goals and outcome, and to determine changes of career as challenges (Scheier & Carver, 1992).

Third element in personal adaptability is internal locus of control. Internal locus of control is individual is based on own work and control their life. Employee in internal are more adapt to work environment and make smoother on work role transition (Wanberg & Banas, 2000). Employees are more likely to handle in efforts of proactive during change work environment and to state to try hard to improve situation in the life (Gould, 1979). Employees work with internal locus of control are more employable and adaptable, because employees to be proactive and plan in different situation.

Next element in personal adaptability is propensity to learn. For example, employees with proactive efforts will have high employability are always to try to learn more about opportunities and threats of the environment. When high employability, employees will to learn what skill and experience are required and what jobs are available in work environment. Employees able to compare opportunities of market with personal interest and profile. Learning is central both to meeting ever-changing demands and to initiating beneficial change. Dispositions, motivations and attitudes are about learning are significant contribute to an employees employability and personal adaptability (Fugate, Kinicki & Ashforth, 2004).

2.2.2 Independent Variable – Personal Flexibility

Figure 2.2: A competence-based and multidimensional operationalization and measurement of employability

Adapted from: Heijde, C. M. V. D., and Heijden, B. I. J. M. V. D. (2006). A competence-based and multidimensional operationalization and measurement of employability. Human Resource Management, 45(3), 449-476.

The research Heijde and Heijden (2006) aim to examine the relationship among the independent variables occupational expertise with dependent variable which is competence-based of employability. Occupational expertise discuss include (1) anticipation and optimization, (2) personal flexibility, (3) corporate sense and (4) balance.

The framework showed that all the independent variables are significant to influence the competence-based of employability. Employability is a key requirement for applying both career success at the individual level and sustained competitive advantage at the firm level. According to study Van Dam, (2004), highly employable employees are require for organization in order to satisfy fluctuating demand for functional and numerical flexibility. Employability enables fast-changing job requirements in organization cope by employees.

2.4.2 Personal Flexibility

As Fugate et al. (2004) argues, individual that are personal flexibility and willing to changes and adaptable, ultimately more employable. Accordingly, individuals whom are personal flexibility tend to perceived this study individuals are employable as they are willing to accept challenges at work. Therefore in our study, hypotheses were formed between personal flexibility and employability:

H0: There is no significant relationship between personal flexibility and employability.

H1: There is a significant relationship between personal flexibility and employability.

Personal flexibility is adaptability to change in work environment (Heijde and Heijden, 2006). In study Fugate, Kinicki and Ashforth (2004) personal adaptability has one fundamental element which is openness to change as it enables realization of being optimistic to new experiences and career opportunities.

Personal flexibility is positively relationship with employability. Heijde and Heijden, (2006) argue employees with high level of personal flexibility are significant in helping themselves to get further career development. Employees can have greater benefit from distinct experiences since employees are accepting changes of organization (Heijde and Heijden, 2006). Then in another study by McCartt and Rohrbaugh (1995), open individuals are found to take changes as a new challenge rather than a threat, and welcomes new processes and technologies (Fugate et al., 2004).

O'Connell, McNeely & Hall, (2008) when employee has easily to adaptability in work environment is lead to high confidence and optimism may help further career success. Employee with high level of self-confidence can affect effort and objectives, confidence in the transferability and currency of personal’s skill which is increase personal’s ability to suit to changing circumstances. When in marketability, as an employee's confidence of skills increase, so that both confidence and competence to adjust in changing situations should be stronger. Fugate (2006) also argued that positive self-evaluations will lead to positive attitudes and optimism, thus fostering positive expectations about future events. In other words, career resilience will to improve employee confidence of abilities to manage changes and challenges in their workplace.