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Minnesota Theory of

Work Adjustment

Prepared by,
Chen Ke Xian (GS46575)
Developed by Rene Dawis, Lloyd Lofquist and
their colleagues.
Originally developed to provide rehabilitation
services for vocationally challenged clients
under University of Minnesota.
Evolved from trait-and-factor counselling.
Person-Environment Fit model
Predictive whether the
Model individual fits the
work environment
Theory of
Predicting how
the fit is attained
Model and maintained
Predictive Model


Needs Rewards /
Predictive Model


Job Abilities
Requirements Skills
Predictive Model

Satisfaction Satisfactory

How satisfied is Employers

an individual with satisfaction with
his/her work the individuals

Length of time an individual

and environment interact
Satisfied & Satisfied but Unsatisfied but Unsatisfied &
Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Unsatisfactory

Equilibrium Disequilibrium

Maintenance Adjustment
Behavior Behavior
Adjustment Behavior
Change the
Increase / LEAVE
expand the skills
Change the

Promote/ Transfer/
Fire/ Retain
Personality Style

Celerity Pace Rhythm Endurance

How How What How

fast? intense? pattern? long?
Predicting whether the
Predictive individual satisfied /
Model satisfactory with the
work environment
Theory of
Process Predicting how
Model adjustment occurs and
how it is maintained
Process Model
How much people can tolerate
Flexibility discorrespondence before reaching a
threshold adjustment behavior

Active Acts on the environment to decrease

Adjustment discorrespondence

Reactive Act on himself/ herself to reduce

Adjustment discorrespondence

Length of time the person willing to persist

Perseverance in a discorrespondent environment
(after engaging adjustment behavior)
17 formal propositions and associated
corollaries (refer Table 2.1, page 3)
Predictive Model: Propositions I to X
Process Model: Proposition XI to XVII
Assessment of TWA
Not attached to any specific measures
Assessment of TWA
Needs & Values
Minnesota Importance Questionnaire (MIQ)
- 6 core values:

Achievement Comfort Status

Altruism Safety Autonomy

Assessment of TWA
Needs & Values
Minnesota Importance Questionnaire (MIQ)
Assessment of TWA
Needs & Values
Work Importance Profiler (WIP), O*NET
Assessment of TWA

2 ways of assessment:
Inferred from the match between individual and
Measured directly by asking individuals how much they
like their work.
Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ)
20 facets of job satisfaction

3 summary scores (Intrinsic, Extrinsic & General

Other measures of job satisfaction; e.g. Job Descriptive Index
Assessment of TWA
Minnesota Satisfactoriness Scale (MSS)

Completed by individuals work supervisor

Yield scores on 5 scales:
Performance Conformance
Dependability Personal Adjustment
General Satisfactoriness
Can also be used for self assessment
TWA-specific instruments as well as other
instruments have been used to support the
theory and its applicability
Strong empirical support on the first 8 formal
propositions (prediction of satisfaction,
satisfactoriness, work adjustment, tenure).
Lack of empirical evidence on Propositions X to
XVII (personality style, adjustment style, and
Research shows applicability for the use of TWA
with culturally stigmatized groups.
Understand current work trends, stages of
career development & career adaptability
Environmental change in organizations (e.g.
expansion/ reduction/ shifts in power)
discorrespondence adjustment required
Change in individuals (life changes, e.g.
medical diagnosis, having a child)
discorrespondence adjustment required
Positive psychology movement:
Job satisfaction Overall life satisfaction
Career issue throughout the life span:
Identify occupational possibilities that correspond
with the values and abilities of individuals
Counselling individuals who are currently
dissatisfied with their work environment / judged
unsatisfactory in their current jobs
Promoting adjustment to retirement
Applying TWA Framework
Several guiding questions in career counselling:
1. What is the match between clients abilities and
the ability requirement of their jobs?
2. What are clients subjective evaluations of their
abilities and the discorrespondence they are
experiencing with requirements of the work
Is there a discrepancy between self-estimated
and actual abilities or between the perceived
and actual environmental requirements?
Applying TWA Framework
Several guiding questions in career counselling:
3. What is the match between clients needs
and rewards offered by the environment?
4. Are clients actually both satisfed with and
satisfactory in their work environments but
experiencing difficulties in nonwork