PurposeThe purpose of this study is to provide an insight into how individual and work factors are related to the attitudes of functional flexibility by using the willingness and ability to be flexible as dimensions of functional flexibility.Design/methodology/approachThis study is conducted through a survey of workers and administrative staff of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan. Correlation and hierarchical regression techniques were used to find out the association of the dimensions of functional flexibility with the individual and work factors. Individual factors include demographic characteristics, work perception and personality traits, whereas work factors include trust in management, task formalization and autonomy.FindingsIndividual factors (i.e. general self-efficacy and initiative) and one of the work factors (i.e. trust in management) showed a positive relation, whereas task formalization was negatively related with the willingness to be flexible. General self-efficacy of workers and administrative staff was positively correlated with the ability to be flexible dimension of functional flexibility. It was concluded from the findings that the two dimensions of functional flexibility, willingness to be flexible and ability to be flexible, of employees depend on fair treatment and freedom provided by their organization.Research limitations/implicationsThe current study was conducted on the employees of SMEs in Pakistan. A similar study on employees of multi-national corporations (MNCs) and service sectors may be useful for comparison.Practical implicationsManagement should improve the attitudes of employees toward functional flexibility in SMEs in Pakistan by creating a climate of trust, using lower degree of laid down and prescribed procedures and giving them opportunities for doing new tasks. Furthermore, providing them feedback on the performance and achievement of these new tasks would also help in this regard.Originality/valueThe SMEs of Pakistan are in the process of transformational change. This study highlights the key factors that would be helpful to enhance the functional flexibility of employees working in the SME sector in Pakistan.
Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 5, 2017
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