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Effects of Psychological Capital on Employees' Job Performance, Organizational Commitment, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Zhong Lifeng(School of Business, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)  
In the light of the emerging literature on positive psychology and positive organizational behavior (POB), psychological capital can be defined as an individual's positive psychological state of development, which consists of four dimensions: self-efficacy/confidence, hope, optimism, and resiliency. Psychological capital may have positive effects on both performance and work attitudes. To date, a few empirical studies have found positive relationships between psychological capital and performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment, but these studies were conducted mainly in the USA, except the study of Luthans et al (2005), and no research so far has ever dealt with the relationship between psychological capital and OCB. To fill in the gap in the literature, this study explored the impact of psychological capital on Chinese workers' performance, organizational commitment, and OCB. The main research hypothesis of this study was hope, optimism, and resiliency, respectively, and when combined them into a core construct of psychological capital, would positively related to Chinese workers' job performance, organizational commitment, and OCB. The sampling procedures of the study involved three steps. First, we chose 67 supervisors from the supervisor name lists provided by the human resource managers of the four coal companies we visited. For each supervisor, we randomly sampled two to three subordinates. After that, the HR manager, along with one of the researchers of the current study, gathered the supervisors in several groups, to explain the purpose and requirements of the study. Each supervisor was given two questionnaires, one for himself/herself to complete (for each subordinate) and the other one for each of the selected subordinates to complete (for themselves). All the questionnaires used in the current study have been tested to be reliable and valid in the Chinese context. We put a matched code numbers on both the subordinate and the supervisor questionnaires. Lastly, the supervisors distributed the subordinate questionnaires to the corresponding subordinates. The researcher returned to the company after two days to collect the survey. In total, 198 sets of supervisor-subordinate dyads constituted the sample for the current study. The results of the study showed that after controlling for the demographic variables (gender and age), employees' hope, optimism, and resiliency separately had positive impacts on their job performance, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. Employees' psychological capital (a combined construct of hope, optimism, and resiliency) had positive impacts on their job performance, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. To sum up, this study empirically tested the positive relationship between psychological capital and employees' outcomes. The research results indicated that psychological capital had positive impacts on employee's performance, organizational commitment, and OCB. In order to enhance the competitive advantages of both employees and organization, one of the available and sustainable ways can be to invest, manage, and develop the employees' psychological capital.
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