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Extending the nomological network of psychological capital : an investigation of antecedents, moderators, and outcomes

Loghman, S ORCID: 0000-0002-0219-457X 2020 , 'Extending the nomological network of psychological capital : an investigation of antecedents, moderators, and outcomes', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Background: Psychological capital (PsyCap) is a positive and developable psychological state comprising the four resources of hope, efficacy, resilience, and optimism (Luthans, Youssef & Avolio 2007). PsyCap has been positioned as an important source of competitive advantage for the organisations. Since the introduction of the PsyCap concept almost 15 years ago, research from across the world has consistently demonstrated that PsyCap is positively related to a variety of desirable employee attitudes and behaviours (e.g. job performance, job satisfaction, work engagement, and organisational commitment), and negatively related to undesirable employee attitudes and behaviours (e.g. burnout, turnover intentions, job stress, and employee deviance behaviours). However, while extant PsyCap research has provided a solid understanding of the relationships between PsyCap and employee outcomes, substantially less is known about the antecedents of PsyCap and the factors that moderate its relationship with its important outcomes and antecedents.
Aims: This thesis was designed to contribute to developing a more fine-grained understanding of the nomological network of PsyCap, by investigating potential antecedent and moderator variables that influence PsyCap and its relationship with employee outcome variables. Specifically, the aim was to identify significant antecedents of PsyCap and moderators of PsyCap’s relationships, including leadership, culture, and industry-related variables from across extant research via a meta-analysis. Moreover, an additional study allowed an investigation of the influence of other antecedent and moderator variables, including ethical leadership and length of the leader-follower relationship, on PsyCap and its association with a range of employee attitude variables.
Method: The first study was a meta-analysis of the extant PsyCap research drawing on 143 studies (150 independent samples, N=56608) to investigate significant antecedents, moderators, and outcomes pertinent to PsyCap (Chapter 4). The second study leveraged the findings from the meta-analysis to investigate the role of ethical leadership and PsyCap in predicting a range of desirable and undesirable employee attitudes (Chapter 5). Specifically, this study of 269 fulltime employees used a regression-based analysis technique to examine a moderated-mediation model of PsyCap.
Results: The meta-analysis confirmed previous findings by demonstrating that PsyCap is an important resource that is positively associated with desirable employee outcomes (e.g. work engagement), and negatively related to undesirable employee outcomes (e.g. burnout) (Chapter 4). Furthermore, the results of the meta-analysis identified culture and industry as significant moderators in relationships between PsyCap and some outcome variables (i.e. self-reported performance and employee burnout), while authentic leadership was found to be a significant antecedent of PsyCap (Chapter 4). Moreover, the results of the second study (study 5) showed that ethical leadership positively influences desirable employee attitudes and act as a buffer against undesirable employee attitudes via its influence on PsyCap (Chapter 5). Importantly, it was also found that the length of the leader-follower relationship significantly moderates the relationship between ethical leadership and desirable employee attitudes.
Conclusion: PsyCap has been positioned as a developable resource that is positively associated with desirable employee attitudes and behaviours, and negatively associated with undesirable employee attitudes and behaviours. Despite this, little is known about the antecedents of PsyCap and moderators of the relationships between PsyCap and both antecedent and outcome variables. Consequently, this thesis aimed to further develop understanding of the nomological network of PsyCap by investigating the antecedents of PsyCap and moderators of the relationships between PsyCap and other variables via two novel studies. The findings from this research highlighted that leadership styles, specifically ethical and authentic leadership styles, are important antecedents of employee PsyCap, which in turn, influence a range of important employee variables. As such, these findings emphasise the importance of recruiting and developing leaders who are ethical and authentic in order to maximise the benefits of PsyCap in terms of enhanced employee performance and functioning. Furthermore, beyond the role of PsyCap in predicting desirable and undesirable employee outcomes, the results of the meta-analysis provided further support regarding the potential moderating role of sample origin and industry type in the relationship between PsyCap and both desirable and undesirable employee outcomes. This is important especially for designing future PsyCap intervention programs. Similarly, the results of the empirical study showed that PsyCap can transmit and enhance the effect of ethical leadership on employee attitudes. Furthermore, the length of the leaderfollower relationship was found to strengthen the relationship between ethical leadership, PsyCap, and desirable employee attitudes. This provided further support regarding the necessity to adopt ethical approaches in managing today’s organisations.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Loghman, S
Keywords: Psychological capital, PsyCap, leadership, meta-analysis, regression, employee outcomes, employee attitudes
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Copyright 2020 the author

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