The Flexibility Scale is a self-reported measure of how candidates tackle problems with several potential solution approaches. It measures whether candidates actively consider several approaches to solving a problem or whether they pursue their first idea without thinking about alternatives.
Mental flexibility when solving complex and ambiguous problems as measured by the Flexibility Scale is crucial to finding excellent solutions for a large variety of problems. Many South African corporations report that good problem solving skills are highly relevant to workplace success.
The Flexibility Scale is based on a more general survey instrument, designed to measure several dimensions of problem-solving ability (Hepner and Petersen, 1982).
Candidates were shown 6 statements and asked to rate whether they agreed that the statement applied to them, with answers ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” For example:
When I am faced with a complicated problem, I develop a strategy to collect information so I can define exactly what the problem is.
The answers to all 6 questions are then averaged to form the Flexibility Scale. Candidates with high scores generally explore several avenues to find the best possible solution.