Leadership Development: Exploring, Clarifying, and Expanding Our Understanding of Learning Agility

We find that many organizations express interest in measuring learning agility and employing it as a talent management tool, even though they have limited understanding of what it is. Consequently, we were delighted to see that the journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology devoted a serious effort to defining, understanding, and measuring this important construct. Overall, we found the DeRue, Ashford, and Myers (2012) article to be a positive step in this direction. It supported a recent journal article that we had published entitled, ‘‘Learning Agility: A Construct Whose Time Has Come’’ (De Meuse, Dai, & Hallenbeck, 2010). It is our hope that the scholarly investigation of learning agility will increase our understanding of the construct so it is applied appropriately in the management of talent. There are many areas where we are aligned with the authors’ point of view. However, we would like to highlight several key areas where this article and our research and views differ significantly. Specifically, we address the following three areas: (a) conceptualization and definition of learning agility, (b) the measurement of it, and (c) empirical evidence examining its relationship to leadership success.

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