Growth-focused resilience: Development and validation of a new scale
Emerald Publishing Ltd
School of Business and Law
This study argues that existing constructs of psychological resilience of employees focus too narrowly on recovery from adverse events. Therefore, this paper aims to present an alternative construct in which resilience reflects an intention to grow as a person when facing both opportunities and difficulties. Initial evidence for a measure of growth-based resilience is presented.
In Study 1, a six-step scale development procedure was used. Items were generated deductively, and an exploratory factor analysis on data from a sample of 167 Indonesian managers was used to refine the scale structure. Study 2 validated the Study 1 results using a two-step confirmatory factor analysis, including structural equation modelling, involving a second sample of 241 Indonesian managers.
Study 1 suggested a scale using 16 items reflecting two dimensions, Developmental Persistency, involving perseverance and commitment to growth, and Positive Emotion. Study 2 generally confirmed the structure of this measure and produced expected correlations with other theoretically related constructs. Overall, the findings support the reconceptualisation of resilience as a response to life challenges and opportunities focussed on growing as a person.
Further testing of the validity of this construct is recommended, and its nomological network should be examined to clarify its relationship to related concepts such as hardiness, coping, thriving and similar qualities.
The growth-based perspective allows organisations to better assess and improve employee resilience as it more accurately reflects the nature of resilience as a fundamental “positive” dimension of human personality, where existing approaches focus merely on recovering from workplace adversities. An implication is that employee development efforts focussed more on personal development than specific work skills, or at least contextualising the latter in the person’s life context, will be more successful.
A more holistic view of resilience as the capacity for responding to life’s challenges and opportunities through personal growth resolves a number of issues created by existing recovery-based constructs.