Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Exploring Psychological Capital among Bank Employees: Exploring Human Potential

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Exploring Psychological Capital among Bank Employees: Exploring Human Potential

Article excerpt

With the rising recognition of human resources as competitive advantage in today's global economy, human capital and, more recently, social capital are being touted in both theory, research, and practice. By eschewing a preoccupation with personal shortcomings and dysfunctions and focusing instead on personal strengths and good qualities, today's leaders and their associates can develop confidence, hope, optimism, andresilience, thereby improving both individual and organizational performance. Traditionally, economic capital (both financial and tangible assets such as plant and equipment) has received all the attention. But enlightened managers today recognize the importance not only of tangible assets, data, andphysical resources, but also of this intangible human capital (sometimes called intellectual capital) "human" referring to the people working at all levels of the organization, and the economic term "capital" referring to the resources that are invested for future anticipatedretums.

Psychological capital

Psychological capital, or simply PsyCap, has been conceptually identified by Luthans and colleagues (Luthans, 2002a, 2002b; Luthans & Youssef, 2004; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007) as consisting of the four positive psychological resources of hope, optimism, efficacy, and resilience, which, when combined, have been empirically determined to be a second-order core construct (Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman, 2007). A second-order construct is the shared variance between the four first-order constructs (hope, optimism, efficacy, andresilience).

In defining what constitutes a psychological capital resource, Luthans (2002a, 2002b) suggested that it be based in theory and research, amenable to valid measurement, state-like and thus open to development and change, andhave performance impact. Given these criteria, the resources drawn from positive psychology that were determined to meet these inclusion criteria best were efficacy, hope, optimism, andresilience (Luthans, 2002a, 2002b; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007). Stajkovic (2006) also has advanced the same four constructs in his proposed motivational model called "core confidence", confirming the inclusion of these four components by Luthans andhis colleagues.

Psychological capital (PsyCap) is a positive state-like capacity that has undergone extensive theory-building and research. Psychological capital is defined as "an individual's positive psychological state ofdevelopmentandis characterized by:

* Having confidence (self-efficacy) to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks;

* Making a positive attribution and expectation (optimism) about succeeding now andin the future;

* Persevering toward goals and, when necessary, redirecting paths to goals (hope) in order to succeed; and

* When beset by problems and adversity, sustaining and bouncing back and even beyond (resilience) to attain success". Luthans, Youssef & Avolio, Psychological Capital (Oxford University' Press, 2007, p. 3)

Thus, PsyCap consists of self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resilience and when combined has been shown to represent a second-order, core factor that predicts performance and satisfaction better than each of the four factors that make it up (Luthans, Youssef & Avolio, 2007).

Self- efficacy

Stajkovic andLuthans (1998) define confidence (or self-efficacy) as the "individual's conviction... about his or her abilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources, and courses of action needed to successfully execute a specific task within a given context". Bandura (1997) describes confidence as a positive psychological capital capacity has been demonstrated to have a strong positive Relationship to work-related performance. He has clearly shown through research and subsequent application in the workplace how confidence can be developed.


Because of the theory and research of Seligman, optimism is perhaps more closely associated with overall positive psychology than the other constructs. …

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