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Work-readiness integrated competence model: Conceptualisation and scale development

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise graduate work-readiness (GWR) and to develop a scale to measure it. Design/methodology/approach: The methodology entailed the compilation of a literature review and the conduct of qualitative interviews and a focus group to generate items. This study used the “resource-based view” approach to conceptualise a multi-dimensional–“work-readiness integrated competence model (WRICM)”–consisting of four main factors (namely, intellectual, personality, meta-skill and job-specific resources), with a further ten sub-dimensions. Further, a series of tests were performed to assess its reliability and validity. Findings: A final 53-item WRICM scale covering four dimensions and ten sub-dimensions of GWR was developed based on the perceptions of 362 HR professionals and managers from seven Asia-Pacific countries. The ten sub-dimensions covering 53 work-readiness skills reflect the perceptions of stakeholders regarding the work-readiness of graduates. The scale was found to be psychometrically sound for measuring GWR. Research limitations/implications: Though the WRICM model is based on the inputs of different stakeholders of GWR (employers, educators, policy makers and graduates), the development of the WRICM scale is based on the perspectives of industry/employers only. Practical implications: The WRICM model has implications for education, industry, professional associations, policy makers and for graduates. These stakeholders can adapt this scale in assessing the work-readiness of graduates in different streams of education. Originality/value: The authors believe that the WRICM model is the first multi-dimensional construct that is based on a sound theory and from the inputs from graduate work-readiness stakeholders from seven Asia-Pacific countries.