THEORY OF WORK ADJUSTMENT
The Theory of Work Adjustment
(TWA) describes the relationship of the individual to his or her work environment.
TWA was developed as the guiding framework for a program of research in vocational
psychology, and this is the area of its greatest application today. TWA has
led to the development of the instruments and materials as well as a series
of research monographs, The Minnesota Studies in Vocational
The following statements
briefly summarize the main points of the Theory of Work Adjustment as presented
in A Psychological Theory of Work Adjustment: An Individual-Differences Model
and Its Applications, by René V. Dawis and Lloyd H. Lofquist. Earlier statements of the Theory of Work Adjustment were published as Minnesota Studies in Vocational Rehabilitation Monograph XV, A Theory of Work Adjustment and Monograph XXIII, A Theory of Work Adjustment (A Revision).
- Work is conceptualized
as an interaction between an individual and a work environment.
- The work environment
requires that certain tasks be performed, and the individual brings skills
to perform the tasks.
- In exchange, the individual
requires compensation for work performance and certain preferred conditions,
such as a safe and comfortable place to work.
- The environment and
the individual must continue to meet each other's requirements for the interaction
to be maintained. The degree to which the requirements of both are met may
be called correspondence.
- Work adjustment is the
process of achieving and maintaining correspondence. Work adjustment is indicated
by the satisfaction of the individual with the work environment, and by the
satisfaction of the work environment with the individual--by the individual's
- Satisfaction and satisfactoriness
result in tenure, the principal indicator of work adjustment. Tenure can be
predicted from the correspondence
of an individual's work personality with the work environment.
- Work personalities and
work environments can be described in terms of structure and style variables
that are measured on the same dimensions.
The instruments and materials
distributed and supported by Vocational Psychology Research measure the work
personality and work environments, thus allowing prediction of degree of person-job