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Researchers have suggested that general self-efficacy (GSE) can substantially contribute to organizational theory, research, and practice. Unfortunately, the limited construct validity work conducted on commonly used GSE measures has highlighted such potential problems as low content validity and multidimensionality. The authors developed a new GSE (NGSE) scale and compared its psychometric properties and validity to that of the Sherer et al. General Self-Efficacy Scale (SGSE). Studies in two countries found that the NGSE scale has higher construct validity than the SGSE scale. Although shorter than the SGSE scale, the NGSE scale demonstrated high reliability, predicted specific self-efficacy (SSE) for a variety of tasks in various contexts, and moderated the influence of previous performance on subsequent SSE formation. Implications, limitations, and directions for future organizational research are discussed.
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Organizational Research Methods
DOI: 10.1177/109442810141004
2001; 4; 62 Organizational Research Methods
Gilad Chen, Stanley M. Gully and Dov Eden Validation of a New General Self-Efficacy Scale
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ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODSChen et al. / NEW GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY SCALE
Validation of a New General Self-Efficacy Scale
GILAD CHEN
George Mason University
STANLEY M. GULLY
Rutgers University
DOV EDEN
Tel Aviv University
Researchers have suggested that general self-efficacy (GSE) can substantially
contribute to organizational theory, research, and practice. Unfortunately, the
limited construct validity work conducted on commonly used GSE measures has
highlighted such potential problems as low content validity and multidimension-
ality. The authors developed a new GSE (NGSE) scale and compared its psycho-
metric properties and validity to that of the Sherer et al. General Self-Efficacy
Scale (SGSE). Studies in two countries found that the NGSE scale has higher con-
struct validity than the SGSE scale. Although shorter than the SGSE scale, the
NGSE scale demonstrated high reliability, predicted specific self-efficacy (SSE)
for a variety of tasks in various contexts, and moderated the influence of previous
performance on subsequent SSE formation. Implications, limitations, and direc-
tions for future organizational research are discussed.
Self-efficacy, defined as “beliefs in one’s capabilities to mobilize the motivation, cog-
nitive resources, and courses of action needed to meet given situational demands”
(Wood & Bandura, 1989, p. 408), has been studied extensively in organizational
research (Bandura, 1997; Gist & Mitchell, 1992; Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998).
Research has found that self-efficacy predicts several important work-related out-
comes, including job attitudes (Saks, 1995), training proficiency (Martocchio &
Judge, 1997), and job performance (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998).
According to social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986, 1997), self-efficacy beliefs
vary on three dimensions: (a) level or magnitude (particular level of task difficulty), (b)
strength (certainty of successfully performing a particular level of task difficulty), and
Authors’ Note: We thank Jon-Andrew Whiteman for assistance in data collection and James Maddux,
Jean Phillips, Larry Williams, and the reviewers for providing many useful comments on this article. Corre-
spondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gilad Chen, Department of Psychology,MSN 3F5,
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444; e-mail: gchen2@gmu.edu.
Organizational Research Methods, Vol. 4 No. 1, January 2001 62-83
© 2001 Sage Publications, Inc.
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(c) generality (the extent to which magnitude and strength beliefs generalize across
tasks and situations). Bandura’s restrictive words “given situational demands” have
given self-efficacy a narrow focus, and most researchers have limited their research to
the magnitude and strength dimensions, conceptualizing and studying self-efficacy as
a task-specific or state-like construct (SSE) (e.g., Gist & Mitchell, 1992; Lee & Bobko,
1994).
More recently, researchers have become interested in the more trait-like generality
dimension of self-efficacy, which has been termed general self-efficacy (GSE) (e.g.,
Eden, 1988, 1996, in press; Gardner & Pierce, 1998; Judge, Erez, & Bono, 1998;
Judge, Locke, & Durham, 1997). GSE is defined as “one’s belief in one’s overall com-
petence to effect requisite performances across a wide variety of achievement situa-
tions” (Eden, in press) or as “individuals’ perception of their ability to perform across a
variety of different situations” (Judge, Erez, et al., 1998, p. 170). Thus, GSE captures
differences among individuals in their tendency to view themselves as capable of
meeting task demands in a broad array of contexts.
Several researchers (e.g., Eden, 1988, in press; Gardner & Pierce, 1998; Judge
et al., 1997) have suggested that SSE is a motivational state and GSE is a motivational
trait. According to Eden, both GSE and SSE denote beliefs about one’s ability to
achieve desired outcomes, but the constructs differ in the scope (i.e., generality or
specificity) of the performance domain contemplated. As such, GSE and SSE share
similar antecedents (e.g., actual experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion,
psychological states) (Bandura, 1997). However, GSE is much more resistant to
ephemeral influences than is SSE (Eden, 1988). The most powerful antecedent of GSE
is the aggregation of previous experiences (Shelton, 1990; Sherer et al., 1982). Shelton
(1990) proposed that GSE emerges over one’s life span as one accumulates successes
and failures across different task domains. Discussing the generality of self-efficacy
beliefs, Bandura (1997) stated:
Powerful mastery experiences that provide striking testimony to one’s capacity to
effect personal changes can also produce a transformational restructuring of efficacy
beliefs that is manifested across diverse realms of functioning. Such personal tri-
umphs serve as transforming experiences. What generalizes is the belief that one can
mobilize whatever effort it takes to succeed in different undertakings. (p. 53)
Thus, accumulation of successes in life, as well as persistent positive vicarious experi-
ences, verbal persuasion, and psychological states, augment GSE.
According to Judge et al. (1997), GSE strongly relates to other self-evaluation con-
structs, including self-esteem, locus of control, and neuroticism. Judge and colleagues
(Judge, Bono, & Locke, 2000; Judge, Locke, Durham, & Kluger, 1998; Judge,
Thoresen, Pucik, & Welbourne, 1999) have found particularly high correlations
between GSE and self-esteem. Chen, Gully, Whiteman, and Kilcullen (2000) have fur-
ther shown that GSE is positively related to learning goal orientation. In addition,
Chen, Gully, and Eden (2000) found that GSE is positively related to other motiva-
tional traits, including need for achievement and conscientiousness.
One important outcome of GSE is SSE. Eden (1988, in press) has argued that GSE
positively influences SSE across tasks and situations. Specifically, the tendency to feel
efficacious across tasks and situations (i.e., GSE) “spills over” into specific situations,
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as reflected by positive relationships between GSE and SSE for a variety of tasks
(Shelton, 1990; Sherer et al., 1982). Thus, individuals with high GSE expect to suc-
ceed across a variety of task domains.
Beyond GSE’s main effect on a variety of variables, consistent with Brockner’s
(1988) plasticity concept, GSE is hypothesized to moderate the impact of external
influences (e.g., performance feedback, training, and experimental treatments) on a
variety of dependent variables, including SSE. For example, according to the plasticity
hypothesis, we would predict that the SSE of high-GSE individuals is less susceptible
to external influences than is the SSE of low-GSE individuals (Eden, 1988, in press).
In other words, high GSE can act as an effective shield against adverse—and poten-
tially ego-bruising—events and circumstances.
Beyond Brockner’s (1988) largely corroborative research, the plasticity hypothesis
has been confirmed in three field experiments, in which significant interactions dem-
onstrated that the impact of experimental treatments on motivation and performance
was greater among participants with low GSE than among those whose GSE was high
(Eden & Aviram, 1993; Eden & Kinnar, 1991; Eden & Zuk, 1995). Thus, as predicted
based on sound theory, internally and externally valid experimentation has shown that
GSE acts as both a main effect predictor variable and as a moderator of motivational
processes of major interest to organizational scholars.
Nevertheless, the majority of self-efficacy researchers have continued to focus on
SSE exclusively while ignoring the generality dimension of self-efficacy. Further dis-
regard of GSE may exact a price in terms of theoretical comprehensiveness and pro-
portion of variance explained in motivation research. Moreover, given that jobs and
roles in organizations are becoming increasingly broad, complex, and demanding
(e.g., Ilgen, 1994; Ilgen & Pulakos, 1999), high GSE is a valuable resource for organi-
zations because it can maintain employees’ work motivation throughout rapidly
changing and stressful job demands and circumstances and buffer them from the
potentially demotivating impact of failure.
Criticisms of GSE
Despite theoretical advances and the accumulation of empirical research on GSE,
social cognitive theorists (e.g., Bandura, 1986, 1997; Mischel & Shoda, 1995;
Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998) have continued to argue that the utility of GSE for both
theory and practice is low. For instance, researchers have questioned whether GSE is a
construct distinct from self-esteem (e.g., Stanley & Murphy, 1997), despite conceptual
distinctions between the two constructs (Brockner, 1988; Eden, 1988, in press;
Gardner & Pierce, 1998). Furthermore, Bandura (1997) claimed that GSE measures
“bear little or no relation either to efficacy beliefs related to particular activity domains
[i.e., SSE] or to behavior” (p. 42).
The frequent failure of GSE to predict behavior in previous research inspired by
Bandura’s social cognitive theory can be explained in terms of the concept of “speci-
ficity matching” (Eden, 1996, in press), that is, matching the specificity or generality
of the efficacy or motivational construct measured to the specificity or generality of the
performance predicted. According to Eden, the better the match, the greater the pre-
dictability. Most previous research has found that SSE predicts outcomes best (see
Bandura, 1986, 1997), probably because the outcomes most often measured have been
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highly specific, such as learning to operate specific computer software (e.g.,
Martocchio & Judge, 1997). However, Eden and Aviram (1993) found that GSE pre-
dicted general performance best whereas Eden and Granat-Flomin (2000) found that
SSE predicted specific domain performance and GSE did not. Specificity matching is
likely to increase predictability. In this sense, GSE is not proposed as a substitute or
replacement for SSE; rather, it is a supplement that is predicted to be useful when the
performance under scrutiny is generalized.
Locke and Latham (1990) also eschewed GSE scales as being “not nearly as accu-
rate or as precise” (p. 348) as measures of SSE. Moreover, although social cognitive
theorists (e.g., Bandura, 1997; Cervone, 1997) have advocated an inductive approach
to measuring GSE (i.e., aggregating SSE measures across domains into a composite),
GSE is most frequently measured directly, using items tapping general efficacy beliefs
(e.g., “I do not seem capable of dealing with most problems that come up in life”)
(Sherer et al., 1982). In question is whether global, trait-like measures of GSE can pre-
dict SSE across tasks and situations. We believe the evidence for GSE’s important role
is clear. However, as summarized in the following section, the GSE measure used for
gathering most of the confirmatory data falls short on some of the psychometric quali-
ties such a measure should have, and the lack of systematic construct validity research
on current GSE measures may have contributed to the ambiguities surrounding the
GSE construct.
GSE Measurement and Research
Sherer et al. (1982; see also Sherer & Adams, 1983) developed a 17-item general
Self-Efficacy Scale (SGSE) to measure “a general set of expectations that the individ-
ual carries into new situations” (p. 664). The SGSE scale has been the most widely
used GSE measure. We found more than 200 published studies that have used or cited
the SGSE scale.1Although the SGSE scale was developed for clinical and personality
research, it has also been used in organizational settings. The evidence with regard to
the reliability and validity of the SGSE scale in organizational studies is summarized
below.
Reliability of the SGSE Scale
Internal consistency reliability for the SGSE scale in organizational research has
been moderate to high (α= .76 to .89) (e.g., Cable & Judge, 1994; Earley & Lituchy,
1991; Gardner & Pierce, 1998; Riggs & Knight, 1994; Schaubroeck & Merritt, 1997;
Smith & Foti, 1998). Using the Hebrew version of the SGSE scale, Eden and col-
leagues (Dvir, Eden, & Banjo, 1995; Eden & Aviram, 1993; Eden & Kinnar, 1991;
Eden & Zuk, 1995) have obtained similar coefficients alpha in Israeli samples. How-
ever, the only study that reported the SGSE scale’s test-retest reliability (Chen &
Gully, 1997) yielded a low estimate (r= .23) across only 3 weeks. Thus, although the
SGSE scale has been found to be internally consistent in numerous organizational
studies, the little known about its test-retest reliability is not encouraging. However,
only one study has examined this issue. Establishing the stability of any GSE measure
is crucial, given that GSE has been conceptualized as a stable, trait-like construct.
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Validity of the SGSE Scale
Most of organizational research using the SGSE scale has focused on its predictive
validity. Research has found that the SGSE scale correlates significantly with several
achievement-related demographic variables (e.g., military rank, educational level)
(Sherer et al., 1982) and with such outcomes as job search decisions (Cable & Judge,
1994), the number of training and development courses attended (Tharenou, Latimer, &
Conroy, 1994), and leader emergence (Smith & Foti, 1998). However, there are other
findings that cast doubt on the SGSE scale’s validity.
Although the SGSE scale has been found to be positively and significantly related
to SSE in some studies (e.g., Betz & Klein, 1996; Woodruff & Cashman, 1993), it has
failed to predict SSE in other studies (e.g., Earley & Lituchy, 1991; Eden & Zuk,
1995). It even correlated negatively with SSE in one study (Stanley & Murphy, 1997).
These inconsistencies may be explained in part by findings indicating that, consistent
with Brockner’s (1988) plasticity hypothesis, the SGSE scale interacts with experi-
mental interventions to predict subsequent SSE (Eden & Aviram, 1993; Eden &
Kinnar, 1991; Eden & Zuk, 1995). However, Chen and Gully (1997), using the SGSE
scale, could not replicate such results when examining the interactive influence of per-
formance feedback and GSE on subsequent SSE.
There is a serious discrepancy between the conceptualization of GSE as an undif-
ferentiated belief in one’s generalized ability as a unitary construct on one hand and the
multifactorial structure of the SGSE scale on the other. Although GSE has been con-
ceived as unidimensional (e.g., Eden, 1988, in press; Gardner & Pierce, 1998; Judge et
al., 1997), Woodruff and Cashman (1993) found that the SGSE items measure three
distinct empirical factors reflecting self-perceptions of behavior initiation, effort, and
persistence. Perusal of SGSE items (e.g., “If something looks too complicated, I will
not even bother to try it,” “I give up easily,” “If I can’t do a job the first time, I keep try-
ing until I can,” respectively) intuitively supports Woodruff and Cashman’s post hoc
interpretation of the SGSE scale’s empirical factors. Bosscher and Smit (1998) and
Chen and Gully (1997) have replicated Woodruff and Cashman’s results, finding the
same three-factor structure.
The multidimensionality of the SGSE scale is problematic for several reasons.
Conceptually, behavior initiation, effort, and persistence are not self-efficacy; rather,
they are its consequences (Bandura, 1997). Speaking to this point, Bandura (1991)
stated that “people’s beliefs in their efficacy influence the choices they make, their
aspirations, how much effort they mobilize in a given endeavor, [and] how long they
persevere in the face of difficulties and setbacks” (p. 257). In fact, Sherer et al. (1982)
stated that the “[SGSE] items were constructed to cover the range of behavioral impli-
cations of self-efficacy” (p. 669, emphasis added). Thus, such SGSE items as “I give
up on things before completing them” and “When unexpected problems occur, I don’t
handle them well” tap outcomes of efficacy perceptions. This suggests that a closer
examination of the content validity of the SGSE scale was needed. This also suggests
that internal consistency reliability estimates of the NGSE scale may be contaminated
by the relationships between GSE and its consequences.
Research has also suggested that the SGSE scale may not operationalize a variable
distinct from global self-esteem (self-esteem hereafter), although self-efficacy and
self-esteem are conceptually distinct. Self-esteem has been defined as “the overall
affective evaluation of one’s own worth, value, or importance” (Blascovich &
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Tomaka, 1991, p. 115). Although both GSE and self-esteem are general self-evalua-
tion constructs (Judge et al., 1997) and, hence, should be substantially correlated, GSE
is a more motivational construct whereas global self-esteem is a more affective con-
struct (Brockner, 1988; Eden, 1988, in press; Gardner & Pierce, 1998). Several
researchers (e.g., Chen & Gully, 1997; Eden & Aviram, 1993) have found that the
SGSE scale is correlated highly with the Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale (r= .75
to .91). However, Mathieu and Farr (1991) demonstrated that measures can be highly
correlated yet capture distinct constructs that demonstrate different patterns of rela-
tionships with other variables. Although the SGSE scale has failed to predict SSE over
and above self-esteem in one study (Stanley & Murphy, 1997), it correlated with SSE
for a variety of tasks consistently higher than self-esteem in another study (Betz &
Klein, 1996). Additionally, in two studies Chen and Gully (1997) found through
exploratory factor analyses that the SGSE items and the Rosenberg self-esteem items
loaded on the same latent factors. This pattern of findings is potentially problematic
because it suggests there is limited discriminant validity for distinguishing the SGSE
scale from measures of self-esteem. However, the discriminant validity of GSE and
self-esteem measures has yet to be tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Confir-
matory factor analysis is called for given the well-articulated theoretical distinction
between GSE and self-esteem.
To summarize, although the SGSE scale has fairly high internal consistency reli-
ability and predictive validity, its multidimensionality and seemingly low content and
discriminant validity make findings difficult to interpret. The finding that the SGSE
scale does not capture a construct distinct from self-esteem, coupled with factorial
structure and content (in)validity findings, makes it impossible to be sure which con-
struct or constructs the SGSE measures. Of particular concern is whether the SGSE
scale captures self-perceptions of behavior initiation, effort and persistence, self-
esteem, GSE, or some combination of these constructs. It is not known whether predic-
tions made with the SGSE scale are attributable to GSE or to other related constructs
(e.g., self-esteem, persistence). For these reasons, we concluded that the SGSE scale
has not demonstrated sufficient validity to warrant its continued use without further
evaluation. Thus, because so much GSE research has relied on the SGSE scale, the
unique contribution of GSE, as distinct from its correlates, to organizational theory,
research, and practice remains unclear.
The Present Research
As argued by Eden (1988, in press), both GSE and SSE contribute to the under-
standing of motivation and behavior. SSE is a proximal state that positively relates to
individuals’ decisions to engage and persist in task-related behavior. The importance
of the GSE construct to organizational research lies in its ability to (a) predict SSE
across situations and tasks, (b) predict general and comprehensive performance crite-
ria, and (c) buffer against the debilitating effects of adverse experiences on subsequent
SSE. Unfortunately, lack of systematic construct validity research on GSE measures
has prevented substantive researchers from maximally utilizing the GSE construct in
organizational research. Future GSE research would be better served by an improved
measure that does not share the SGSE scale’s apparent limitations. Accordingly, the
purpose of the present study was to test a new GSE measure that will reduce the uncer-
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tainties beclouding the validity of the SGSE scale by building on the developmental
work initiated by Chen and Gully (1997).
Based on Eden’s (1988, in press) conceptualization of GSE, Chen and Gully (1997)
developed an 11-item instrument and, in their exploratory work, found that 7 of the
new GSE items diverged from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the SGSE scale.
They also found that the new GSE scale (NGSE) predicted SSE and moderated the
influence of previous performance on subsequent SSE, whereas self-esteem and the
SGSE scale did not. Although their study provided initial evidence for the validity of
the NGSE scale, it was exploratory. Furthermore, given that they dropped 4 items from
their NGSE scale, it was possible that the remaining 7 NGSE items did not fully cap-
ture the construct domain of GSE. Hence, we decided to further develop the Chen and
Gully measure. Following guidelines suggested by Hinkin (1998), Nunnally (1978),
and Nunnally and Bernstein (1994), we set out to compare the construct validity of the
NGSE scale with that of the SGSE scale. For this purpose, we conducted three studies.
In Study 1, we revised the NGSE scale and compared its content validity to that of the
SGSE scale. Studies 2 and 3 further compared the reliability and validity of the NGSE
scale and the SGSE scale in various samples.
Study 1
Scale Development
We retained the seven NGSE items Chen and Gully (1997) had found to be distinct
from the SGSE scale and self-esteem. Because we wanted to ensure that the content
domain of GSE would be well captured by the NGSE scale, we created seven addi-
tional NGSE items, intending to eliminate redundancies later. Consistent with proce-
dures employed by Chen and Gully, when wording the new items we carefully referred
to Eden’s GSE conceptualization, which is consistent with definitions provided by
other researchers (Gardner & Pierce, 1998; Judge et al., 1997; Judge, Erez, et al.,
1998). Each of the first two authors independently generated between three and five
new items. We combined the items and rewrote or eliminated any that were poorly
worded, were clear duplicates, or seemed inconsistent with our GSE definition. The
third author then reviewed the items for clarity, consistency with theory, and redun-
dancy. This effort yielded a total of 14 NGSE items, 7 of which were new and 7 carried
over from Chen and Gully’s study. The NGSE scale was scored on a 5-point
Likert-type scale from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5).
Sample and Procedure
Participants were 316 undergraduates (mean age = 24; 78% female) enrolled in a
variety of upper-level psychology courses at a large mid-Atlantic university, who
received extra course credit for their participation; 179 participated during a summer
semester and 187 during the following fall semester. These samples did not differ sig-
nificantly on demographic characteristics, mean NGSE, or NGSE test-retest coeffi-
cients; therefore, they were combined in the analyses. Participants completed ques-
tionnaires thrice during a semester: on the first day of class, prior to a midsemester
exam, and on the last day of class. To control order effects, we randomized the order in
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which the GSE items appeared on each of the survey forms. Average intervals between
the three surveys were 22 days (range = 9 to 44) between the first and second survey, 46
days (range = 13 to 77) between the second and third surveys, and 67 days (range = 28
to 100) between the first and third surveys. The number of students who completed the
first, second, and third surveys was 275, 247, and 222, respectively; of these, 163 com-
pleted all three surveys, 206 completed the first and second surveys, 189 completed the
first and third surveys, and 195 completed the second and third surveys. Multivariate
analysis of variance (MANOVA) detected no significant differences between partici-
pants who provided full data and those who did not.
Item Reduction and Reliability
We calculated average interitem correlations and factor loadings for the 14 NGSE
items across all three administrations. We identified 6 items that were nearly linearly
redundant with other items, indicating that there would be little or no loss in sampling
of content domain if they were eliminated. Moreover, including highly intercorrelated
items that evidently oversample the same content domain would artificially inflate the
internal consistency reliability estimate (e.g., Boyle, 1991). Based on item face valid-
ity, interitem correlations, and factor loadings, we retained the 8 items that best cap-
tured GSE (see the appendix). Principal components analyses yielded a single-factor
solution for these 8 NGSE items on all three occasions (α= .87, .88, and .85, respec-
tively). The test-retest reliability coefficients for the 8-item NGSE scale were high,
rt1–t2= .65, rt2– t3= .66, rt1–t3= .62. Thus, the final 8 NGSE items yielded a scale that is
theory based, unidimensional, internally consistent, and stable over time.
Content Validity
Two independent panels (8 graduate students in industrial and organizational psy-
chology and 14 psychology undergraduates) examined the content validity of the
NGSE scale and the SGSE scale. We gave these students the definitions2of GSE and
self-esteem and asked them to indicate whether the 8 NGSE items, the 17 SGSE items,
and the 10 Rosenberg self-esteem items capture GSE, self-esteem, or some other con-
struct similar to GSE and self-esteem. To control for order effects, the 35 items were
randomly ordered on a single form. The respondents were instructed to base their des-
ignations on the definitions provided (for a description of a similar content validation
procedure, see Anderson & Gerbing, 1991).
Results from the graduate students were as follows: (a) 98% of the NGSE items
were sorted as “GSE” and 2% as “Self-esteem”; (b) 54% of the SGSE items were
sorted as “GSE,” 10% as “self-esteem,” and 36% as “other”; and (c) 7.5% of the
self-esteem items were sorted as “GSE” and 92.5% as “self-esteem.” Results from the
undergraduates indicated that (a) 87% of the NGSE items were sorted as “GSE,” 11%
as “self-esteem,” and 3% as “other”; (b) 64% of the SGSE items were sorted as “GSE,”
14% as “self-esteem,” and 22% as “other”; and (c) 11% of the self-esteem items were
sorted as “GSE,” 83% as “self-esteem,” and 6% as “other.” These results provide evi-
dence for discriminant and content validity of the GSE and self-esteem measures, and
suggest that the content of the NGSE items is substantially more consistent with the
GSE construct than is the content of the SGSE items.
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Study 2
In Study 2, we first examined the reliability and dimensionality of the NGSE scale
and the SGSE scale. Then, we tested whether the NGSE scale and the SGSE scale are
distinct from self-esteem. Consistent with the GSE conceptualization, we expected
that GSE measures would be distinct from the Rosenberg self-esteem measure.
Although GSE may also be highly related to other constructs, such as locus of control,
researchers have consistently shown that measures of GSE are more highly related to
self-esteem than to other related constructs (Eden & Aviram, 1993; Judge et al., 2000;
Judge, Erez, et al., 1998; Judge, Locke, et al., 1998; Stanley & Murphy, 1997). Thus, it
was particularly important to focus our discriminant validity analyses on self-esteem.
Next, we compared the predictive validity of the NGSE scale and the SGSE scale by
testing whether GSE positively relates to SSE for 10 occupational tasks. We predicted
that GSE would correlate positively with SSE for performing different tasks.
Finally, we examined whether GSE moderates the influence of previous perfor-
mance on subsequent SSE. Consistent with previous findings showing that GSE acts
as a moderator (Chen & Gully, 1997; Eden & Aviram, 1993; Eden & Kinnar, 1991;
Eden & Zuk, 1995; Schaubroeck & Merritt, 1997; Speier & Frese, 1997), as well as
Brockner’s (1988) plasticity hypothesis, we predicted that GSE would moderate the
influence of previous exam performance on subsequent exam SSE, such that previous
exam performance would have a more positive relationship with subsequent exam
SSE among low-GSE individuals compared with high-GSE individuals.
Method
SAMPLE AND PROCEDURE
We collected data from 323 undergraduates in several upper-level psychology
courses at a large mid-Atlantic university. Average age was 23 (range = 18 to 47). Of
the undergraduates, 77% were women, 27% were not employed, 43% were employed
part-time (i.e., fewer than 20 hours per week), and 30% were employed full-time (i.e.,
more than 20 hours per week). Participants received extra credit and a chance to win
one of two $50 cash prizes. The receipt of extra credit points and the chance of winning
the $50 prize were contingent solely on providing complete data.
Fourteen days prior to their first semester exam, participants received a packet that
contained the first survey and were asked to complete it on their own time and return it
during the next class. It included measures of GSE, self-esteem, and occupational
SSE. GSE and self-esteem items were dispersed randomly in a single block to control
order effects. We handed out 404 surveys, of which 323 (80%) were returned. Partici-
pants completed a second survey during a class session that, on average, took place 2
days after receiving their exam grade and 20 days after completion of the first survey.
The second survey included measures of GSE and exam SSE. GSE items were ran-
domly dispersed in a single block in the questionnaire; 323 participants provided com-
plete data from the first survey and 261 provided complete data from both surveys.
MANOVA detected no significant differences between participants who provided full
data and those who did not.
70 ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS
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MEASURES
GSE was measured using the 17-item SGSE scale and the 8-item NGSE scale
developed in Study 1. Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg 10-item Self-
Esteem Scale (α= .91) (Rosenberg, 1965). The 30-item Kuder Task Self-Efficacy
Scale (Lucas, Wanberg, & Zytowski, 1997) assessed SSE for 10 occupational tasks
(α= .70 to .91). A 9-item measure assessed exam SSE (α= .83) (Phillips & Gully,
1997). Scores on a midsemester exam measured performance. Graders did not have
access to self-efficacy and self-esteem scores and were blind to the hypotheses. The
exams tested the participants on similar amounts of material and were similar in format
across the courses.
Results and Discussion
RELIABILITY AND FACTORIAL DIMENSIONALITY
Table 1 presents descriptive statistics and intercorrelations. Internal consistency
reliability was high for both the NGSE scale (α= .86 and .90) and the SGSE scale (α=
.88 and .91) at Times 1 and 2, respectively. Test-retest coefficients show that both the
NGSE scale and the SGSE scale were stable (r= .67 and .74, respectively). Principle
components analysis conducted on both occasions revealed that the NGSE scale is
unidimensional (eigenvalues = 4.17 and 4.76, accounting for 52% and 59% of the total
item variance, respectively). In contrast, analyses of the SGSE scale yielded three
dimensions with eigenvalues greater than 1, accounting for 45% and 58% of the total
SGSE item variance at Times 1 and 2, respectively. These three factors were similar
across analyses and replicated previous findings (Bosscher & Smit, 1998; Chen &
Gully, 1997; Woodruff & Cashman, 1993), suggesting that although the SGSE scale
has high reliability, it is multidimensional. As Cortina (1993) has shown, high internal
consistency reliability does not necessarily imply factorial unidimensionality. In con-
trast, and consistent with the GSE conceptualization, the NGSE scale again was found
to be both highly reliable and unidimensional.
DISCRIMINANT VALIDITY
The correlations of the GSE and self-esteem scales were quite high (see Table 1).
We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis to test whether the GSE and self-esteem
measures are sufficiently distinct. Following Williams and Anderson (1994), we
created four indicators (which included a random subset of items) for each of the GSE
and self-esteem scales. Next, we tested for factorial equivalence using LISREL 8
(Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1993). Specifically, we compared the fit of five different models:
(a) a three-factor model (i.e., the two GSE factors and the self-esteem factor are inde-
pendent of one another), (b) three two-factor models (one in which the correlation
between the NGSE factor and the SGSE factor was set at 1, one in which the correla-
tion between the NGSE factor and the self-esteem factor was set at 1, and one in which
the correlation between the SGSE factor and the self-esteem factor was set at 1), and
(c) a one-factor model (in which all three factors were set to correlate at 1).
Chen et al. / NEW GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY SCALE 71
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Table 1
Descriptive Statistics, Reliability Coefficients, and Intercorrelations in Study 2
Variable Mean
SD
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9101112131415 1617
1. NGSE (T1) 3.87 0.54 (.86)
2. SGSE (T1) 3.74 0.54 .78** (.88)
3. Rosenberg 3.90 0.72 .75** .71** (.91)
4. Exam
performance 74.09 14.72 .07 .10 .07
5. NGSE (T2) 3.91 0.54 .67** .60** .53** .20** (.90)
6. SGSE (T2) 3.76 0.56 .62** .73** .58** .16** .74** (.91)
7. Exam SSE 3.41 0.59 .35** .25** .34** .47** .43** .28** (.83)
8. Arta3.18 1.10 .33** .31** .28** .13* .20** .22** .16* (.82)
9. Clericala3.79 0.90 .28** .30** .19** .15** .30** .36** .19** .25** (.70)
10.Computationala2.67 1.17 .34** .35** .29** .12* .29** .24** .17** .38** .38** (.89)
11. Literaturea3.44 0.96 .28** .23** .27** .02 .28** .27** .20** .35** .37** .32** (.76)
12. Mechanicala2.87 1.15 .32** .33** .21** .12* .26** .25** .22** .41** .39** .73** .33** (.88)
13. Musicala3.26 1.12 .23** .22** .17** –.03 .20** .18** .03 .40** .36** .25** .36** .26** (.82)
14. Outdoorsa3.54 0.97 .27** .29** .19** .13* .26** .26** .17** .36** .54** .43** .34** .57** .38** (.80)
15. Persuasivea3.42 0.99 .26** .20** .27** –.04 .15* .20** .08 .13* .37** .11* .30** .13* .29** .36** (.74)
16. Sciencea3.42 1.10 .33** .36** .24** .13* .29** .29** .27** .40** .41** .56** .27** .66** .28** .52** .15** (.91)
17. Social worka4.13 0.82 .30** .32** .20** .02 .25** .30** .09 .13* .58** .16** .28** .22** .28** .52** .42** .36** (.75)
Note
.
N
= 261 to 323 for the correlations. Reliability coefficients (alpha) are on the diagonal. NGSE = New General Self-Efficacy Scale, SGSE = Sherer et al. (1982)
General Self-Efficacy Scale, Rosenberg = Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale, T1 = Time 1, T2 = Time 2.
a. Occupational self-efficacy subscales.
*
p
< 05. **
p
< .01.
72
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Chi-square difference tests indicated a significantly better fit for the three-factor
model compared with the four alternative models (p< .05) (see Table 2). The correla-
tions between the three latent factors were φNGSE-SGSE = .90, φNGSE-Self-Esteem = .87, and
φSGSE-Self-Esteem = .79. Consistent with our content-related validity findings, these results
indicate that both the NGSE scale and the SGSE scale are distinct from, albeit highly
related to, self-esteem. Unlike results from our content validation, which showed that
compared with the SGSE scale, the NGSE scale is more consistent with the GSE con-
struct than with the self-esteem construct, the latent correlation of the NGSE scale with
self-esteem was slightly (although not significantly) higher than the latent correlation
of the SGSE scale with self-esteem. The findings also suggest that the NGSE scale and
the SGSE scale measure distinct constructs.
For exploratory purposes, we examined further the latent correlations of the three
SGSE factors with the NGSE and self-esteem factors. We specified a measurement
model that included five factors: (a) GSE (captured by the NGSE scale), (b) self-
esteem, (c) SGSE Factor 1 (capturing behavior initiation/avoidance; e.g., “I avoid fac-
ing difficulties”), (d) SGSE Factor 2 (capturing persistence/effort; e.g., “When I have
something unpleasant to do, I stick to it until I finish it”), and (e) SGSE Factor 3 (cap-
turing general self-evaluation; e.g., “I am a self-reliant person”). The latent correla-
tions between the three SGSE factors and the NGSE and self-esteem factors were as
follows: φNGSE-SGSE1 = .84, φNGSE-SGSE2 = .76, φNGSE-SGSE3 = .89, φSelf-Esteem-SGSE1 = .72,
φSelf-Esteem-SGSE2 = .63, and φSelf-Esteem-SGSE3 = .93. These results indicate that the more moti-
vational components of the SGSE scale (Factors 1 and 2) related more highly with the
NGSE scale than with self-esteem, but that the third SGSE factor, which captures
self-evaluations, relates more highly to both the NGSE scale and self-esteem than do
the other SGSE factors. Thus, consistent with theory, GSE (measured by the NGSE
scale) was more highly related to motivational constructs than was self-esteem. To be
consistent with previous substantive research, we aggregated the three SGSE factors
into a single measure and used this global measure in subsequent validity analyses.
Chen et al. / NEW GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY SCALE 73
Table 2
Goodness-of-Fit Summary Table for General
Self-Efficacy (GSE) and Self-Esteem Scales
Root Mean Adjusted
Square Error of Goodness- Comparative Goodness-
Model
df χ2
Approximation of-Fit Index Fit Index of-Fit Index
1. Three-factor modela51 144.31 .075 .93 .97 .90
2. Two-factor model 1b52 181.74 .088 .91 .96 .86
3. Two-factor model 2c52 227.43 .100 .89 .94 .83
4. Two-factor model 3d52 355.23 .130 .81 .90 .71
5. One-factor modele54 409.87 .140 .77 .88 .67
Note
.
N
= 323.
a. All three factors are free to correlate.
b.The New General Self-Efficacy (NGSE) scale and the Sherer et al. (1982) General Self-Efficacy
Scale (SGSE) correlate at 1.0.
c. The NGSE scale and self-esteem correlate at 1.0.
d. The SGSE scale and self-esteem correlate at 1.0.
e. The NGSE scale, the SGSE scale, and self-esteem all correlate at 1.0.
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PREDICTIVE VALIDITY
GSE and occupational SSE.We used LISREL 8 to estimate the correlations of the
NGSE scale and the SGSE scale with the 10 occupational SSE scales. Four parcels
were set as indicators for the NGSE scale and the SGSE scale, and, for each of the 10
occupational SSE scales, all three items were used as indicators. The fit of the model
that freely estimated the correlations between the NGSE scale, the SGSE scale, and the
10 occupational SSE factors was acceptable, χ2(599) = 1291.45 (root mean square
error of approximation = .06, goodness of fit index = .83, adjusted goodness of fit index =
.79, comparative fit index = .90). As expected, the correlations of both the NGSE scale
and the SGSE scale with all 10 occupational SSE measures were positive and signifi-
cant (φ= .15 to .43, p< .001). In addition, the model in which the correlations of the
NGSE scale with occupational SSE factors were set to equal the correlations of the
SGSE scale with occupational SSE factors did not fit the data significantly worse,
∆χ2(10, N= 323) = 5.51, ns, suggesting that the two GSE measures correlated similarly
with the 10 occupational SSE measures.
GSE, previous performance, and subsequent exam SSE.Fisher’s r-to-ztransfor-
mations indicated that the correlation of the NGSE scale with subsequent exam SSE
was stronger than correlation of the SGSE scale with subsequent exam SSE at Time 1
(r=.35>r= .25, z= 2.88, p< .01) and Time 2 (r=.43>r= .29, z= 3.45, p< .001).
When simultaneously entered into a regression equation, both previous exam perfor-
mance (β= .46, p< .01) and Time 1 NGSE (β= .44, p< .01) significantly predicted
subsequent exam SSE, whereas Time 1 SGSE did not (β= –.14, ns).
We conducted moderated hierarchical regression analyses (Cohen & Cohen, 1983)
to test whether GSE moderated the influence of previous exam performance on subse-
quent exam SSE. As shown in Table 3, when measured by the NGSE scale, the moder-
ating effect of GSE on the relationships between previous performance and subse-
quent SSE approached significance (p= .06). As predicted, the positive influence of
previous performance on subsequent SSE was stronger among low-GSE individuals
than among high-GSE individuals (see Figure 1). In contrast, when measured by the
74 ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS
Table 3
Moderated Hierarchical Regression Analyses of Subsequent Specific
Self-Efficacy on Exam Performance and General Self-Efficacy (GSE)
Enter/Step
β
Total
R2R2F
Change
Analyses using the New General
Self-Efficacy (NGSE) Scale
Exam performance (EP) .45**
GSE (Time 1 NGSE) .33** .33 .33 62.89**
EP ×GSE –.10† .34 .01 3.55†
Analyses using the Sherer et al. (1982)
General Self-Efficacy Scale (SGSE)
EP .44**
GSE (Time 1 SGSE) .20** .26 .26 45.05**
EP ×GSE –.05 .26 .00 0.82
Note
.
N
= 261 for all analyses.
p
= .06. *
p
< .05. **
p
< .01.
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SGSE scale, GSE did not moderate this relationship. To summarize, replicating Chen
and Gully (1997), the predictive validity of the NGSE scale was higher than that of the
SGSE scale.
Study 3
The purpose of Study 3 was to replicate some of the findings from Studies 1 and 2 in
a different national culture and language. We compared the content-related validity,
reliability, dimensionality, and predictive validity of the Hebrew versions of the NGSE
scale and the SGSE scale among Israeli managers.
Method
Participants were 54 managers (83% male; mean age = 38) attending an executive
MBA program at an Israeli university. On average, participants had 8 direct subordi-
nates and 39 indirect subordinates, were one to two levels from the CEO in their com-
panies, and had 9 years of managerial experience. They volunteered to complete two
surveys, both of which included the NGSE scale, the SGSE scale, and leadership SSE,
which were administered 2 weeks apart during class time; 48 provided complete data
at Time 1, 48 at Time 2, and 42 at Times 1 and 2. No significant differences were
detected between those who provided complete data and those who did not.
The Hebrew version of the SGSE scale had been used in previous research (e.g.,
Eden & Aviram, 1993; Eden et al., 2000; Eden & Kinnar, 1991; Eden & Zuk, 1995).
The NGSE was translated into Hebrew by the third author and translated back into
English by the first author. No discrepancies were obtained in the translation. The
Hebrew versions of the NGSE scale and the SGSE scale are scored on a 5-point scale
similar to that used for the English versions. A 28-item leadership SSE measure devel-
oped by Eden et al. (2000) was used to capture one’s belief with regard to one’s ability
to perform specific leadership behaviors successfully. The behaviors included in this
Chen et al. / NEW GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY SCALE 75
Figure 1: Effect of Exam Performance on Exam Specific Self-Efficacy (SSE) as Moderated
by General Self-Efficacy (GSE)
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scale were based on previous research on managerial leadership and were scored on a
5-point Likert-type scale from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5) (α= .92 and
.94 at Time 1 and Time 2, respectively). Sample leadership SSE items include “I can
create trust among subordinates,” “I can facilitate effective communication among
subordinates,” and “I can motivate my subordinates to exert maximal effort.” The GSE
items were randomly dispersed in the questionnaire. The leadership SSE measure was
administered as a separate block following the GSE measures and demographic items.
Results and Discussion
CONTENT VALIDITY
A panel of 34 Israeli organizational behavior graduate students rated the content
validity of the Hebrew versions of the NGSE scale, the SGSE scale, and the Rosenberg
Self-Esteem Scale. Results indicated that (a) 88% of the NGSE items were sorted as
“GSE,” 11% as “self-esteem,” and 1% as “other”; (b) 73% of the SGSE items were
sorted as “GSE,” 18% as “self-esteem,” and 9% as “other”; and (c) 7% of the
self-esteem items were sorted as “GSE,” 91% as “self-esteem,” and 2% as “other.”
These results demonstrate that the content validity of the Hebrew NGSE scale is higher
than the content validity of the Hebrew SGSE scale, although the differences were less
pronounced compared with those in the English versions.
RELIABILITY AND FACTORIAL DIMENSIONALITY
Descriptive statistics and intercorrelations are provided in Table 4. The Hebrew
NGSE and SGSE scales both yielded high internal consistency at Time 1 (α= .85 and
.88) and Time 2 (α= .86 and .91), and test-retest analyses yielded high stability coeffi-
cients for both scales (r= .86 and .90, respectively). Replicating results from Studies 1
and 2, principal components analysis conducted on the NGSE scale at Times 1 and 2
indicated that the scale is unidimensional. In contrast, and consistent with previous
findings, the SGSE scale yielded three factors at Times 1 and 2. Despite the low sub-
ject-to-item ratio (6:1 for the NGSE analysis and 3:1 for the SGSE analysis), these
results again replicate the finding that the NGSE scale is unidimensional whereas the
SGSE scale is multidimensional.
76 ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS
Table 4
Descriptive Statistics, Reliability Coefficients, and Intercorrelations in Study 3
Variable Mean
SD
123456
1. NGSE (T1) 4.14 0.48 (.85)
2. SGSE (T1) 4.06 0.46 .78 (.88)
3. Leadership SSE (T1) 4.15 0.34 .68 .68 (.92)
4. NGSE (T2) 4.16 0.41 .86 .77 .70 (.86)
5. SGSE (T2) 4.08 0.48 .73 .90 .68 .75 (.91)
6. Leadership SSE (T2) 4.14 0.34 .73 .69 .90 .75 .70 (.94)
Note
.
N
= 42 to 48 for the correlations.Reliability coefficients (alpha) are on the diagonal. NGSE =
New General Self-Efficacy Scale, SGSE = Sherer et al.(1982) General Self-Efficacy Scale, SSE =
specific self-efficacy, T1 = Time 1, T2 = Time 2. All correlations are significant (
p
< .01).
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PREDICTIVE VALIDITY
Hierarchical multiple regression demonstrated that Time 1 NGSE predicted an
additional 9.6% of the variance in Time 2 leadership SSE (β= .50, F= 8.76, p< .01)
over and above the 47.7% accounted for by Time 1 SGSE. In contrast, Time 1 SGSE
accounted for only 3.4% of the variance in Time 2 leadership SSE (β= .30, F= 3.14,
p= .08) beyond the 53.8% accounted for by Time 1 NGSE. These results partially rep-
licate findings from Study 2, indicating that the predictive validity of the Hebrew
NGSE scale is somewhat higher than that of the Hebrew SGSE scale.
General Discussion
We found that although both GSE measures are internally consistent and stable, the
NGSE scale is unidimensional whereas the SGSE scale is multidimensional. More-
over, results from Study 2 indicated that although the two GSE measures are distinct
from self-esteem, the NGSE scale and the SGSE scale capture somewhat different
constructs. Furthermore, the NGSE scale consistently yielded appreciably higher con-
tent validity and somewhat higher predictive validity compared with the SGSE scale.
Thus, the results suggest the NGSE scale is a more valid measure of GSE than is the
SGSE scale. In addition, the NGSE scale is shorter (8 items) than the SGSE scale (17
items) which, together with the validity evidence, makes it a more appealing measure
for use in organizational research.
Implications
As jobs become broader and more complex, measuring dispositional constructs
that can predict motivational reactions and behaviors across a variety of work domains
becomes increasingly important (e.g., Judge, Erez, et al., 1998; Judge et al., 1997;
Judge, Locke, et al., 1998; Judge et al., 1999; Parker, 1998). We found that our NGSE
measure related to SSE for a variety of tasks and in different settings, and did so in two
national cultures. Given that SSE has been shown to be an important predictor of per-
formance across different studies and settings (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998), our find-
ings suggest that the NGSE scale may help to explain motivation and performance in a
variety of work contexts. In particular, GSE enables individuals to adapt effectively to
novel and adverse environments (e.g., during training, socialization, and organiza-
tional change) (Judge et al., 1999; Pulakos, Arad, Donovan, & Plamondon, 2000).
Thus, our new measure may contribute to the development of more effective selection
and training systems, since it predicts SSE across different task domains.
Limitations and Directions for Future Research
We have provided evidence that indicates the NGSE scale has high content validity
(i.e., NGSE items are conceptually more consistent with GSE than with self-esteem).
However, there still remains the issue of content deficiency, or the degree to which the
domain is sufficiently sampled. This can only be determined by comparing the content
of the items to the definition of the construct and judging whether the items sufficiently
sample the domain as defined. We have defined GSE explicitly to be consistent with
current theoretical models, and have attempted to sample the construct domain of GSE
Chen et al. / NEW GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY SCALE 77
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broadly by expanding the scope of our measure at several points in the validation pro-
cess. Repeatedly, we found that additional items added little or nothing new to our cur-
rent measure in terms of reliability and content or predictive validity. The only “contri-
bution” of adding items beyond the 8 included in the NGSE scale was artificially to
inflate coefficient alpha by adding items that were redundant with items already
included and therefore highly intercorrelated with them (e.g., Boyle, 1991). However,
despite these empirical findings, content validity is primarily a theoretical issue. As
our theories and understanding evolve, it is incumbent upon current and future
researchers to continue to assess the validity of the measures in use. As Nunnally and
Bernstein (1994) stated:
In spite of efforts to settle every psychological measurement issue by a flight into sta-
tistics, content validity is mainly settled in other ways. Although helpful hints are
obtained from analyses of statistical findings, content validity primarily rests upon an
appeal to the propriety of content and the way that it is presented. (p. 103)
Future research should examine whether our findings generalize to other samples
and settings. In addition, it is important to test the validity and usefulness of GSE
within a more elaborate nomological network. Although we found that GSE was
highly related to, and yet distinct from, self-esteem, it is important that future research
examine the relationship between GSE and other constructs, such as locus of control
and neuroticism (e.g., Judge et al., 1997). Also, researchers should examine whether
the functional relationships of GSE and other related constructs are different. For in-
stance, to the extent that self-esteem is more affective and GSE is more motivational, it
is possible that self-esteem will be more strongly related to affective variables (e.g.,
state anxiety and job satisfaction) whereas GSE will be more strongly related to moti-
vational variables (e.g., SSE, goals, effort, and performance). Furthermore, future re-
search should directly test whether SSE mediates the relationship between GSE and
behavior. It is possible that, consistent with Eden’s (1996, in press) specificity-match-
ing principle, SSE mediates the impact of GSE on task-specific behavior, but that GSE
directly influences motivated effort on more global task domains (see also Rosenberg,
Schooler, Schoenbach, & Rosenberg, 1995).
In addition, future studies should continue to evaluate the relative contributions of
GSE and SSE to our understanding of organizational behavior and performance. Some
social cognitive researchers might take exception to the notion that trait-like character-
istics are important determinants of proximal cognition, motivation, behavior, and per-
formance. However, as Bandura has noted (1997), generic self-efficacy and domain
self-efficacy are not entirely independent. Individuals’ appraisal of their efficacy in a
given domain is based in part on a judgment of their general self-regulatory capabili-
ties. Thus, understanding the relationship between GSE, SSE, self-esteem, and perfor-
mance may teach us not only how to intervene, but also when it is appropriate to do so.
Addressing the differences in theoretical perspectives will require high-quality items
that have been rigorously validated.
Examining such possibilities was beyond the scope of the present effort. However,
work in progress has yielded promising results. For instance, researchers have found
the NGSE scale to be related significantly and positively to job-related SSE among
health care employees (Chen, Goddard, & Casper, 1999), social security workers
(Eden & Granat-Flomin, 2000), and project outreach tutors (Natanovich & Eden,
78 ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS
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1999). In addition, Chen, Gully, et al. (2000) have demonstrated that the NGSE scale
consistently relates to learning SSE over and above cognitive ability, goal orientation,
state anxiety, and previous performance. Furthermore, Chen, Gully and Eden (2000)
demonstrated that GSE (measured by the NGSE scale) correlates more highly with
several motivational variables than does self-esteem, whereas self-esteem correlates
more highly with various affective variables than does GSE.
Conclusion
Organizational scholars can now treat GSE and SSE more even handedly, lending
each its due in their research and practice. The NGSE scale gives them a short but valid
tool for harvesting the potential benefits of GSE to organizational research. Con-
sidering the evidence for the impact of GSE as a predictor and a moderator variable, its
more widespread inclusion in work motivation research is likely to increase the pro-
portion of variance explained in motivation and performance and to improve the preci-
sion of our theoretical models of organizational behavior. The many organizational
behavior researchers who study macroperformance that transcends specific situations
stand to gain the most from using the NGSE scale.
APPENDIX
New General Self-Efficacy Scale
1. I will be able to achieve most of the goals that I have set for myself.
2. When facing difficult tasks, I am certain that I will accomplish them.
3. In general, I think that I can obtain outcomes that are important to me.
4. I believe I can succeed at most any endeavor to which I set my mind.
5. I will be able to successfully overcome many challenges.
6. I am confident that I can perform effectively on many different tasks.
7. Compared to other people, I can do most tasks very well.
8. Even when things are tough, I can perform quite well.
Notes
1. More specific information with regard to the search we have conducted is available upon
request from the first author.
2. Participants were told that (a) general self-efficacyrelates to “one’s estimate of one’s over-
all ability to perform successfully in a wide variety of achievement situations, or to how confi-
dent one is that she or he can perform effectively across different tasks and situations,” and (b)
self-esteem relates to “the overall affective evaluation of one’s own worth, value, or importance,
or to how one feels about oneself as a person.”
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Gilad Chen is a doctoral candidate in industrial-organizational psychology at George Mason University.
He received an M.A. in industrial-organizational psychology from George Mason University. His current
research interests include motivation, leadership and teams, and quantitative methods and techniques. His
work has appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology and Organizational Research Methods.
Stanley M. Gully is an assistant professorof human resource management in the School of Management and
Labor Relations at Rutgers University. He received a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from
Michigan State University. His research interests include identification of key factors that influence leader-
ship and team performance, organizational learning and training effectiveness, and novel applications of
research methodologies to the investigation of multilevel phenomena. His work has appeared in the Journal
of Applied Psychology,Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, and Advancesin Inter-
disciplinary Studies of Work Teams.
Dov Eden is the Lily and Alejandro Saltiel professor of international management in the Faculty of Manage-
ment at Tel Aviv University. He earned a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michi-
gan. His current research interests include leadership, motivation, self-fulfilling prophecy at work, practical
application of organizational behavior theory through management training, and job stress and vacation
relief. His work has appearedin numerous journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology,Academy
of Management Review, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
Chen et al. / NEW GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY SCALE 83
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... The Study 1 dataset also contained a number of variables that could serve as relevant controls in our multivariate models. For our primary analyses, we selected a participant's age (in years), amount of entrepreneurship education (the total number of entrepreneurship courses taken at the high school, college, and/or university levels), entrepreneurship experience (current and/or prior involvement in founding/managing a new venture), and general self-efficacy (the mean of Chen, Gully, & Eden's [2001] eight-item scale; α = 0.87). General self-efficacy denotes people's beliefs in their abilities to perform across situations. ...
... General self-efficacy denotes people's beliefs in their abilities to perform across situations. An example item from the Chen et al. (2001) scale is, "I am confident that I can perform effectively on many different tasks." All but the age variable had been measured after completing the opportunity evaluation task. ...
... Education level was measured by six ordinal categories ranging from "high school diploma" to "doctoral or professional degree." General self-efficacy was once again measured by the mean of Chen et al.'s (2001) eight-item scale (α = 0.91). Entrepreneurship experience was coded 1 for those who indicated that they were currently involved or had previously been involved in founding or operating their own business (0 otherwise). ...
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Skeptical of prevailing depictions and recommendations regarding the gender gap in entrepre-neurial self-efficacy (ESE), our aim is to raise and examine alternative interpretations and inferences. We question the common belief that women are under-confident with respect to entrepreneurship and whether this is a "problem" that needs fixing. The findings from two distinct datasets indicate, instead, that women are as likely as men to possess accurate entrepreneurial confidence, which is less likely than over-confidence to be associated with proclivities potentially detrimental to business venturing. Our analysis therefore calls for revised portrayals of-and suggestions for-the ESE of both women and men.
... New General Self-Efficacy Scale (NGSE). The New General Self-Efficacy (NGSE) scale was created by Chen et al. (2001) as a revision to the original General Self-Efficacy scale (SGSE; Sherer et al., 1982). The NGSE is a unidimensional 8-item scale that assesses participants' general self-efficacy. ...
... In the current study, participants' responses to the NGSE were high in internal consistency (α > 0.80) at time 1 and time 2 for all three tiers of the Leadership Academy (see Table 4). Additionally, although the NGSE is shorter than the SGSE, past literature has indicated that it has higher content and predictive validity than the SGSE (Chen et al., 2001). Participants provided responses to items on the NGSE (e.g., "When facing difficult tasks, I am certain that I will accomplish them") on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). ...
... Questions pertaining to self-efficacy in teaching, which included eight statements; the questions were based on the questionnaire of Chen, Gully and Eden (2001). It was found have high reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.945). ...
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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel at the middle of March 2020 has disrupted all aspects of life. Schools, colleges and other higher education institutions were closed most of the time. Teaching and learning continued online in an ERT (emergency remote teaching) format. The situation confronted teachers and students with entirely new challenges of uncertainty. The present study focuses on the perspectives of pre-service teachers in Israel regarding their practical experience training during the times of the covid 19 pandemic. The research hypothesis assumed that the complications caused by the pandemic will have a negative impact on how the pre-service teachers assess the quality of their practical training, which would be reflected in difficulties in their integration at work, their sense of efficacy in teaching, their teaching methods and their reluctance to continue teaching. The study examines the correlations between the assessment of their practical training experience and their self-reported self-efficacy, use of various teaching methods, integration at work, and the willingness to remain in the teaching profession. All at the time of the pandemic. Our main findings indicate that they assess their practical training as good (3.69); have a high sense of professional self-efficacy (4.06); use a variety of teaching methods; and express their desire to continue teaching (3.97). Overall, the findings indicate correlations between the interns' positive assessment of their practical training and their high self-efficacy, their use of a variety of teaching methods, and their desire to continue teaching.
... For measuring the self-efficacy, we used six items, e.g., "I can always manage to solve difficult problems if I try hard enough," modified from the New General Self-Efficacy Scale (Chen et al., 2001). The NGSE items refer more to complex or challenging situations than to specific knowledge or defined skill, and such a frame of reference is more readily relatable to the military exercise environment, which requires comprehensive adaptation rather than use of one defined skillset. ...
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