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UNDERSTANDING PSYCHOLOGICAL CAPITAL

Psychological Capital (PsyCap) is a concept which developed out of positive psychology and correspondents to Positive Organisational Behaviour (POB) in management. It consists of four factors namely, Hope, Self-Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism – commonly referred to as the HERO concept.


Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is the scientific study of flourishing and well-being. It focuses on optimal human functioning and human well-being.


Positive Organisational Behaviour

POB is premised within positive psychology. It is a management science that seeks to focus on individual strengths as opposed to weaknesses. This is in contrast with traditional management theories which are defect based.


Psychological Capital

PsyCap isan individual's positive psychological state of development” (Luthans, Avolio & Youssef, 2007). It is an innate attribute possessed by everyone. It is part of POB and thus premised within positive psychology. The fact that we all possess it implies no one is lacking psychological capital. However, it is state-like which means it can be developed- it is open to change and management. The developmental aspect of PsyCap supports it being a higher order construct. PsyCap goes beyond human and societal capital to gain a competitive advantage through personal/individual investment and development.

HERO

The four factors which constitute PsyCap are Hope, Self-Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism.


Hope Hope is a sense of agency and expectation people afford to achieve their desired goals.

Self-Efficacy Self-Efficacy is the tendency of individuals to overcome challenges and the

persistence to reach their goals and achieve success.

Resilience Resilience is an individual’s capacity to rebound or bounce back from

adversity, setback and failure to attain success.

Optimism Optimism refers to the extent to which an individual makes positive

attributions about succeeding or an individual’s expectation that positive

things will occur in the future.


Psychological Capital is a core construct in POB. Individuals with a higher sense of PsyCap have been associated with increased job satisfaction, increased employee engagement, increased employee motivation and increased job performance. Developing your PsyCap will have a positive influence both at an individual and group level.


If you are interested in developing your sense of PsyCap please get in touch.


You are your greatest asset!


References

Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2007). Psychological capital: Developing the human

competitive edge (Vol. 198). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Luthans, F., & Youssef, C. M. (2007). Emerging positive organizational behavior. Journal of

Management, 33(3), 321-349.

Luthans, F., & Avolio, B. J. (2009). Inquiry unplugged: building on Hackman's potential

perils of POB. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial,Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 30(2), 323-328.

Luthans, F., Avey, J. B., Avolio, B. J., & Peterson, S. J. (2010). The development and

resulting performance impact of positive psychological capital. Human resource

development quarterly, 21(1), 41-67.

Maher, A., & El Hefny, S. (2017). The Impact of Psychological Capital on Public Employees

in Egypt, 9th European Conference on Intellectual Capital. Lisbon, Portugal, 6-7 April. Portugal, I. T. Lopez & R. Serrasqueiro.

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