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Work Related Flow, Psychological Capital, and Creativity Among Employees of Software Houses

Authors:
  • Rawalpindi Women University

Abstract

The present study examined the direct as well as indirect effects of work related flow and psychological capital on employee creativity among employees of software houses. The participants (N=532) were drawn form the software houses of Rawalpindi and Islamabad including both men and women with age range of 25–52 years (M = 32.53). They completed the measures of psychological capital, flow at work, and employee creativity. Results indicated that psychological capital, work related flow and employee creativity were significantly positively associated with each other. Stepwise Regression analysis revealed work related flow as a strong predictor of employee creativity. Findings also revealed that men exhibited greater psychological capital, work related flow and creativity as compared to women. It was also noted that extended job tenure reflected more psychological capital, work related flow and creativity at workplace as compared to those with lesser job tenure. The implications of the study are discussed.
REVIEW ARTICLE
Work Related Flow, Psychological Capital, and Creativity
Among Employees of Software Houses
Aisha Zubair
1
&Anila Kamal
1
Received: 9 October 2014 /Accepted: 20 July 2015 /Published online: 9 August 2015
#National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2015
Abstract The present study examined the direct as well as
indirect effects of work related flow and psychological capital
on employee creativity among employees of software houses.
The participants (N=532) were drawn form the software hous-
es of Rawalpindi and Islamabad including both men and
women with age range of 2552 years (M=32.53). They com-
pleted the measures of psychological capital, flow at work,
and employee creativity. Results indicated that psychological
capital, work related flow and employee creativity were sig-
nificantly positively associated with each other. Stepwise
Regression analysis revealed work related flow as a strong
predictor of employee creativity. Findings also revealed that
men exhibited greater psychological capital, work related flow
and creativity as compared to women. It was also noted that
extended job tenure reflected more psychological capital,
work related flow and creativity at workplace as compared
to those with lesser job tenure. The implications of the study
are discussed.
Keywords Psychological capital .Work related flow .
Creativity .Software houses
In the present era, organizations are looking for top performers
who can thrive on chaos, proactively learn and grow through
hardships, and excel no matter how many or how intense the
inevitable setbacks that they may encounter in day to day
routine (Hamel and Välikangas 2003). Average performance
can no longer meet todays rapidly growing expectations of
organizational objectives (Sutcliffe and Vogus 2003). Todays
organizational participants need to, not only survive, cope,
and recover but also to thrive and flourish through the inevi-
table difficulties and uncertainties that they face and to do so
faster than their competitors (Ryff and Singer 2003). Positive
organizational behavior (Cameron 2003) have highlighted the
positive strengths (such as psychological capital, work related
flow) of the employees, managers, and leaders for enhancing
the optimum outcomes of work behaviors (e.g., enhanced job
performance, creativity, and innovation). Therefore, the pres-
ent study was designed to explore the existing relational pat-
terns between positive psychological states and the corre-
sponding work behaviors. Moreover, few occupations (e.g.,
architectural design, civil engineering, software development,
etc.) by the very nature of their productive format may require
more innovative and creative job behaviors in order to excel in
the competitive organizational output. Hence, the present
study attempted to focus on the employees of software houses
specifically to determine that how the experience of positive
psychological states may foster the perceived creativity
among them.
Earlier studies indicated that lack of creativity on all levels
can seriously undermine an organizations competitiveness
(House 2004). Studies have clearly demonstrated the impor-
tance of creativity for competitive advantage (Amablie 1996;
Argyris and Schön 1978; Nonaka 1991;Oldham2002). An
enhanced understanding of the personal and psychological
antecedents of creativity can inform efforts to create and nur-
ture creativity in organizations. The present study attempted to
focus on the need to integrate PsyCap and work related flow
literatures (Gardner et al. 2005; Yammarino et al. 2008)and
helps to understand the process through which these contrib-
utes to employeescreative work outcomes. Specifically, there
is empirical evidence of a positive association between
*Aisha Zubair
aishazubair@nip.edu.pk
Anila Kamal
dranilakamal@nip.edu.pk
1
National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331
DOI 10.1007/s12646-015-0330-x
emerging positive psychological resources and overall work-
place attitudes and performance (e.g., Luthans et al. 2007b),
their relationship with creative performance has not been di-
rectly tested. Therefore, the present study also addresses to
provide empirical evidence to fill the existing gap in the the-
oretical literature.
The present study opted the theoretical model that is linked
with two distinct yet connected approaches. Firstly psycho-
logical resource theory (Hobfoll 2002) emphasizing the neces-
sity of treating individual resources as manifestations of an
underlying core construct or an integrated resource set (in this
case PsyCap) rather than in isolation. For example, key re-
source theories (Thoits 1994) have identified individual-
level resources such as self-efficacy, optimism, resiliency,
and hope as essential foundational resources for managing
and adapting other resources to achieve favorable outcomes.
Such key resources have been empirically supported as inter-
active and synergistic (Cozzarelli 1993;Rinietal.1999).
Secondly, the present study also converge broaden and build
model of Fredrickson (2003) emphasizing that experience of
positive emotions can broaden the employeesscope of atten-
tion (increasing the number of cognitive elements available
for association) and the scope of cognition (increasing the
breadth of those elements that are treated as relevant to the
problem), thus increasing the probability of creative activities
(Frederickson 2001). Hence, it is observed that PsyCap and
work related flow would inspire the employees to work with
more enthusiasm and excitement and to experience other pos-
itive emotions; thereby leading to more creative work output
(Ilies et al. 2005; Prati et al. 2003; Zhou and George 2003).
Psychological Capital (PsyCap) offers a more comprehen-
sive, higher order conceptual framework for understanding
and capitalizing on human assets in todays organizations
(Avolio and Luthans 2006; Luthans et al. 2004; Luthans and
Yous s ef 2004). It is also believed that synergistically integrat-
ing human, social, and psychological capital is central to ac-
tualizing human potential (i.e., attaining the possible self) in
todays workplace. The PsyCap construct comprises four di-
mensions: self-efficacy, hope, resilience, and optimism.
PsyCap efficacy is defined as Bones 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^(Stajkovic and Luthans 1998,p.
66). PsyCap Hope is considered as Bapositivemotivational
state that is based on an interactively derived sense of success-
ful (1) agency (goal-directed energy) and (2) pathways (plan-
ning to meet goals)^(Snyder et al. 1991, p. 287). In PsyCap
approach, the definition of resiliency include not only the
ability to bounce back from adversity but also very positive,
challenging events and the will to go beyond the normal, the
equilibrium point (Avolio and Luthans 2006; Luthans 2002;
Youssef and Luthans 2005). PsyCap optimism is defined in
the context of attributional style, that is an explanatory style
that attributes positive events to personal, permanent, and per-
vasive causes and interprets negative events in terms of exter-
nal, temporary, and situation-specific factors (Seligman 1998).
It is to be noted that Peterson and Seligmans(2004)character
strengths and virtues are trait-like (relatively stable and diffi-
cult to change); whereas, the PsyCap is state-like, and thus
relatively malleable and open to development. Both theory-
building and prior research on hope, resilience, optimism, and
efficacy indicate that such personal strengths are amenable to
development (Luthans et al. 2007a,b). Such a state-like nature
also differentiates PsyCap from positively-oriented organiza-
tional behavior trait-like constructs, such as Big Five person-
ality dimensions or core self-evaluations (Judge et al. 2003).
Coming from one of the recognized founders of the posi-
tive psychology movement is Csikszentmihalyis(2003)con-
cept of flow. Like subjective well-being, flow is closely relat-
ed to happiness and optimal experience. A state of flow is
attained when one has both high skills and is undergoing a
significant challenge (Csikszentmihalyi 1996). When in flow,
accomplishing a task becomes rewarding as an end in itself
rather than a means toward other goals (e.g., pay, promotion,
impression management), causing the individual to become
completely absorbed in the activity (Nakamura and
Csikszentmihalyi 2002). Asakawa (2004) defined flow as Bthe
optimal state of mind in which an individual feels cognitively
efficient, deeply involved, and highly motivated and also ex-
periences a high level of enjoyment^(p. 124).
Although creativity is frequently associated with strikingly
original and revolutionary ideas, it also incorporates the ca-
pacity to find novel approaches for day-to-day problem-solv-
ing, as well as to constructively adapt new ideas and mecha-
nisms so that they positively contribute to oneself and others
(Simonton 2007). Traditionally, creativity has been viewed as
a dispositional trait that can only be developed at early age, or
it has even been seen as a genetically determined individual
difference (Cassandro and Simonton 2002;Feist1998).
Creativity has become one of the most important sources of
sustained competitive advantage for organizations. In order to
survive, adapt, and gain competitive advantage, organizations
need to unleash their employeesinnate creative potential,
because employeescreative ideas can be used as building
blocks for organizational innovation, change, and competi-
tiveness (Amabile et al. 1996; Woodman et al. 1993; Zhou
and George 2003). Creativity can be generated by employees
not only in jobs that are traditionally viewed as requiring cre-
ativity, but also in any job and at any level of the organization
(Madjar et al. 2002).
Researchers have found that achieving a flow state is pos-
itively correlated with optimal performance in the fields of
artistic and scientific creativity (Perry-Smith and Shalley
2003). Flow also has a strong correlation with the further
development of skills and personal growth (Nakamura and
Csikszentmihalyi 2002). It has been found that positive
322 Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331
strengths like self efficacy and hope may further foster flow
experience with a bit of personal growth and great feelings of
competence and efficacy (Ishimura and Kodama 2006).
Moreover, low self-awareness and enjoyment typically occurs
during activities that are challenging but matched in difficulty
to the persons skill level (Csikszentmihalyi 2003). Further
evidence suggested that intrinsic driven motivation enhance
the efficacious and optimistic attributional style with elevated
subjective sense of high control and concentration, or even
absorption in the task (Asakawa 2010).
Given that the social context of organizations is largely a
creation of the individuals who make up that context and their
interactions positive worker motivation in the form of dispo-
sitional flow and PsyCap may represent a significant resource
in promoting positive outcomes in creativity. Research indi-
cates that the overall core construct of PsyCap better relates to
the outcomes of employee performance, job satisfaction, and
absenteeism (Luthans et al. 2004;2007a,b). The dispositional
experience of flow and PsyCap factors of hope, optimism,
resilience, and self efficacy may, therefore, represent potential
pathways to influence creativity in work settings (Asakawa
2010). Avey et al. (2010) found that employeespsychological
capital mediated the relationship between organizational cli-
mate and performance indicators. Furthermore, psychological
capital emerged as a strong predictor of work attitudes and
behaviors (Avey et al. 2010). Amabile et al. (2005), and others
(e.g., Moneta 2004; Tierney and Farmer 2004; Zhou 2003)
identified agentic psychological resources (e.g., intrinsic mo-
tivation) as instrumental in achieving creative outcomes.
These studies are particularly relevant here as PsyCap and
work related flow that have been investigated in the present
study would be referred to as intrinsic motivational propensi-
ties (Luthans et al. 2007a,b). Specifically, while there is em-
pirical evidence of a positive association between emerging
positive psychological resources and overall workplace atti-
tudes and performance (Luthans et al. 2007a,b), their relation-
ship with creative performance has not been directly tested.
Empirical findings show self-efficacious people believe in
their abilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources,
and courses of action necessary to successfully perform a spe-
cific task within a given context (Stajkovic and Luthans
1998). Those individuals are likely to choose challenging
tasks and endeavors, apply their efforts and motivational re-
sources to accomplish their goals, and persevere in the face of
obstacles and difficulties (Luthans 2002). This combination of
challenging goals, intrinsic energy, and perseverance moti-
vates individuals to propose new and useful ideas for reaching
goals. PsyCap is a generative capability, with Jensen and
Luthans (2006) suggesting that this psychological strength is
essential for creative productivity. Several studies reveal pos-
itive relationships between PsyCap and creativity (Darini et al.
2011; Prabhu et al. 2008; Tierney and Farmer 2004).
Moreover, work related flow is crucial for creativity because
an intrinsically motivated person tends to be curious and
learning oriented, cognitively flexible, willing to take risks,
and persistent when facing obstacles, challenges, and oppor-
tunities (Zhou 2003). The aforementioned findings assisted in
formulating the following assumptions:
H1. Psychological capital would be positively related to
work related flow.
H2. Psychological capital and work related flow would
positively predict employee creativity.
Dimensions of PsyCap and Employee Creativity
Ample empirical evidence has shown strong association be-
tween core components of PsyCap and creative output at
workplace (Cohler 1987;Helson1999; Luthans 2002;
Luthans and Youssef 2004; Shalley and Gilson 2004;
Snyder 2002).
Self-Efficacy Self-efficacious people believe in their abilities
to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources, and courses of
action necessary to successfully perform a specific task within
a given context (Stajkovic and Luthans 1998). Those individ-
uals are likely to choose challenging tasks and endeavors,
apply their efforts and motivational resources to accomplish
their goals, and persevere in the face of obstacles and difficul-
ties (Bandura 1997; Luthans 2002; Luthans and Youssef
2004). This combination of challenging goals, motivational
energy, and perseverance motivates individuals to propose
new and useful ideas for reaching goals. Self-efficacy is a
generative capability, with Bandura (1997) suggesting that
this psychological strength is essential for creative productiv-
ity. Several studies reveal positive relationships between self-
efficacy and creativity (e.g., Choi 2004; Prabhu et al. 2008;
Tierney and Farmer 2004).
Hope Being resolute in pursuing goals, hopeful employees
tend to be risk-takers and look for alternative pathways when
the old ones are blocked (Snyder 2002). Most hopeful indi-
viduals enjoy goal pursuit, being more intrinsically motivated
and looking for creative ways when implementing their
Bagency energy^(Amablie 1996; Oldham and Cummings
1997; Shalley and Gilson 2004; Snyder 2002). When hopeful
individuals do not attain goals, they use the feedback to im-
prove goal pursuit thoughts and strategies, thus being more
energetic and prone to look for alternative and creative ways
to overcome obstacles (Rego et al. 2010), in short, hope feeds
creativity (Rego et al. 2010).
Resilience Resilient people are able Bto overcome, steer
through, bounce back and reach out to pursue new knowledge
Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331 323
and experiences, deeper relationships with others and [find]
meaning in life^(Luthans et al. 2007a,b, p. 123). Research
suggests that resilience relates to creativity (Cohler 1987;
Helson 1999) as resilient employees have zestful and energet-
ic approaches to life, are curious and open to new experiences
(Tugade et al. 2004), and improvise in situations predominant-
ly characterized by change and uncertainty (Youssef and
Luthans 2005). As such, resilient employees are likely to de-
velop new ways of doing things when facing difficulties, fail-
ures, and opportunities. They are more able to recover from
negative emotional experiences and more prone to experience
positive emotions in the midst of stressful events. Moreover,
experiential state of positive emotions is significantly directly
related with creativity (Fredrickson 2003; Philippe et al. 2009;
Tugade et al. 2004).
Optimism Optimists take credit for favorable events in their
lives, strengthening their self-esteem and morale, which in
turn may lead to greater creativity (Goldsmith and Matherly
1988; Lyubomirsky et al. 2006). Optimists distance them-
selves from unfavorable life events, thus diminishing the like-
lihood of experiencing depression, guilt, self blame, and de-
spair. Thus, optimists are less likely to give up and more likely
to have a more positive outlook on stressful situations, to
experience positive emotions, to persevere when facing diffi-
culties, and to look for creative ways to solve problems and
take advantage of opportunities (Fredrickson 2003; Youssef
and Luthans 2005).
In line with our previous reasoning, it could be proposed
that individual dimensions of PsyCap: self-efficacy, hope, op-
timism, and resilience might serve as potential moderators in
the relationship between work related flow and creativity by
fostering positive emotional states that would facilitate both
compliance and partidaption behavior in support of productive
outcomes (Gardner et al. 2005). Hence it is assumed that:
H3. PsyCap dimensions (self efficacy, hope, resilience,
and optimism) moderates the relationship between work
related flow and creativity.
Prior studies have provided evidences across gender in re-
lation to study variables. For instance, previous studies
(Connelly 2001; Ishimura and Kodama 2006)haverevealed
that men expressed high levels of work related self efficacy,
intrinsic motivation and innovative work behavior than
women. Similarly, Kawabata et al. (2007)alsoobservedthat
female software technicians reported more technical obstacles
and lower innovative work behavior as compared to their male
counterparts. Jackson and Eklund (2002) asserted that flow
and its dimensions essentially focus on the present state and
conditions of indulgence and participation are more prevalent
among male athletes than female players. Moreover, Ishimura
and Kodama (2006) asserted that female college students
reported lower levels of flow state as compared to their coun-
terparts. Additional evidence showed that male employees
expressed elevated levels of creativity (e.g., Chu 2002;
Atkins and Stough 2005). Petrides and Furnham (2000)found
that men in overall and self-motivation factors are significant-
ly higher than women. Similarly, gender differences in favor
of men are found in a myriad of studies in self-efficacy (e.g.,
Scholz et al. 2002), managerial skills (Karatepe et al. 2006)
and optimistic attributions (Kawabata et al. 2007). Therefore,
on the basis of present literature, it is proposed that:
H4. Male employees would reflect more psychological
capital, work related flow, and creativity as compared
to female employees.
Research has shown that employees with greater work ex-
perience exhibit higher levels of self efficacy, better decision
making skills, and innovative work behavior (Chu 2002).
Moreover, flow is positively correlated with a higher subse-
quent motivation to perform well and it also corresponds to
the challenging tasks assigned to the employees (Seligman
and Csikszentmihalyi 2000). Similarly, it has been found that
employees with extensive work experience in their present
organization are more capable of reflecting elevated levels of
creative efficacy, organizational commitment, and conflict res-
olution strategies (Lyubomirsky et al. 2006). Moreover, longer
tenure in the organization is associated with positive experi-
ences of leader-member relations, elevated levels of motiva-
tion for cognitive acts, and creativity in job related tasks
(Kreitler and Kreitler 1987). Positive psychological resource
capacities, such as psychological capital, have been shown to
have an impact on desired work-related outcomes, for in-
stance, improved attitudes to work engagement and behav-
iours of organizational commitment in various work contexts
such as authentic leadership, organizational culture, and job
experience (Youssef and Luthans 2008). Hence, on the basis
of given empirical evidence, it is assumed that:
H5. Employees with extended job tenure in the same or-
ganization would reflect high levels of psychological cap-
ital, work related flow, and creativity as compared to
those with lesser job duration.
With reference to local perspective, constant novelty and
innovation are essential features for the existence of high-tech
organizations such as software houses. Hence, the greater re-
quirement of software houses would be employees with crea-
tive solutions as cognitively competent and resourceful per-
sonnel to transform the creative solutions into revenue-
generating and problem-solving technologies. Moreover, cre-
ativity and innovation have long been the brand features of
software houses. Nevertheless, employees of software houses
are experiencing extensive change both in terms of producing
324 Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331
software products as well as designing those products.
Software development emphasizes creativity, innovation,
and imaginative ways of finding the software to meet diverse
needs of the users. Therefore, there is a dire need to explore
factors and personal strengths that are required in software
production that would empower and liberate the creative and
innovative mind of employees. Earlier literature does not
highlight the relationship between PsyCap and flow outcomes
in creativity among employees of high-tech organizations.
Therefore, the present research under taken had examined if
positive cognitive states of employees (work related flow and
PsyCap) may represent a new avenue of influence on their
creativity. Furthermore, the present study merges the literature
on work related flow, PsyCap, and creativity, and shows how
PsyCap and work related flow predicts employeescreativity.
The present study also attempted to answer the gap in the
existing literature pointed by Shalley and Gilson (2004)for
more research focusing on the interaction between personal
strengths (PsyCap and work related flow) and work behaviors
(creativity at workplace).
Therefore, the major objective of the study was to explore
the relationship among psychological capital, work related
flow and employee creativity among employees of software
houses. It was also intended to investigate the group differ-
ences across gender and job tenure in relation to constructs of
the study.
Method
Sample
The sample included 532 employees from software houses
located at Rawalpindi and Islamabad in Pakistan.
Respondents included both men (n=327) and women (n=
205), with age range 2552 years (M=32.53; SD=4.73).
Educational level of the respondents included Bachelors (n=
233), Masters (n= 175), M.Phil/MS (n=82) as well as PhD
(n=42) while monthly income of the participants varied from
Rs. 22,000/- to 1, 10,000/- per month (M= 66,000/-, SD=
5.67). Overall job experience of the respondents fluctuated
from minimum 218 years (M=8.67; SD=4.55) whereas job
tenure in the present organization ranged from 1 to 16 years
(M=6.45; SD= 3.28). Job designations of the respondents in-
cluded computer programmers (n= 126), system analysts /
system integrators (n=82), software engineers (n=104), soft-
ware developers (n=78), web designers (n=80), and senior
software engineers (n=62).
Measures
The following measures were used to assess the constructs of
the study.
Psychological Capital For the appraisal of psychological cap-
ital, the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ; Luthans
et al. 2007a,b) was used. It constituted 24 items to be rated
on 6-point scale with response options ranging from strongly
disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). PCQ offers measurement
along four dimensions of the PsyCap by assessing Self-efficacy,
Hope, Resilience, and Optimism (six items in each subscale).
To control the response bias, three items were negatively
phrased. Internal consistency coefficient alpha was found to
be 0.89 for total PCQ, 0.81 for Self-Efficacy, 0.76 for Hope,
0.79 for Resilience, and 0.74 for Optimism on the current
sample.
Work Related Flow The Work-Related Flow Scale (WOLF;
Bakker 2008) consisted of 13 items with three subscales:
Absorption (4 items), Work Enjoyment (4 items), and
Intrinsic Work Motivation (5 items). Response options were
based on 7-point rating scale ranging from 1 = never to 7 =
always. For the present sample, acquired alpha coefficients for
total WOLF (0.87) and its subscales of Absorption (0.77),
Work Enjoyment (0.72), and Intrinsic Work Motivation
(0.79) were satisfactory and acceptable.
Creativity Creativity Scale (CS; George and Zhou 2001)was
used for the self report appraisal of employee creativity. CS
consisted of 13 items to be rated on a 5-point scale with re-
sponse options ranging from not at all (1) to a great extent (5).
CS (Zhou and George 2003) was found consistent with pre-
vious studies in that the measure regards creativityas a unitary
construct (Shalley et al. 2004). Thus it would not distinguish
between different creative ideas, ranging from minor improve-
ment to major breakthroughs (Coelho et al. 2011). In the pres-
ent study, CS has achieved an alpha coefficient of 0.83.
Procedure
Official permissions were acquired from the chief executives
of the software houses. Informed consent was acquired from
each respondent and were briefed about the purpose of the
study. Participants were also ensured of the confidentiality of
information and were ascertained that shared information will
be used for academic purposes only. There was no restriction
of time for the completion of questionnaires in order to max-
imize the completion of questionnaires. Written instructions as
well as verbal narrations were given so as to maximally facil-
itate the respondentsunderstanding and reduce associated
ambiguities. Respondents were graciously thanked for their
extensive cooperation and provision of valuable data.
Assessment of Common Method Variance
In order to avoid problems associated with common method
variance often found in cross-sectional studies, several steps
Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331 325
were taken in the present study as proposed by Podsakoff and
colleagues (e.g., Podsakoff et al. 2003,2012). First, all partic-
ipants were informed that their participation was completely
voluntary and confidential. Second, interconstruct randomiza-
tion was done; that is, questionnaires were presented in ran-
dom order to the respondents so as to control the order effect
of the self report measures. Third, confirmatory factor models
were tested and followed Anderson and Gerbings(1988)pro-
cedures to evaluate convergent and discriminant validity of
the self report measures used in the present study (Podsakoff
et al. 2003,2012).
Results
Tab le 1shows that the inter-correlations among the variables
of the study. Results indicated that components of psycholog-
ical capital that is self efficacy, hope, resilience and optimism
have shown significant positive association with each other as
well as with the overall construct of psychological capital.
This also provides evidence of construct validity of psycho-
logical capital. Moreover these dimensions were also signifi-
cantly positively allied with work related flow and creativity.
It has been further found that psychological capital and
work related flow were significantly positively associated
with each other. Similarly, psychological capital and work
related flow were significantly allied with employee creativity.
In other words, it has been found that employees reflecting
higher levels of PsyCap also experience elevated level of work
related flow and exhibit greater intensity of creativity.
Tab le 2displays stepwise regression analyses for predicting
creativity through work related flow and psychological capi-
tal. Results showed that both work related flow and psycho-
logical capital explained significant variance in creativity of
employees. However, work related flow emerged as a strong
predictor of employee creativity as compared to psychological
capital.
Tab le 3revealed that direct relationship between work re-
lated flow and creativity is buffered by psychological capital
dimensions (self efficacy, hope, resilience, and optimism)
among employees of software houses. The above
Table depicted significant findings for moderating role of self
efficacy, hope, resilience and optimism in relation to work
related flow in generating creative work behavior. The inter-
action effect is determined by holding age, education, and
social desirability constant.
Tab le 4showed significant gender differences along vari-
ables of the study. Findings indicated that male employees
reflected better perceptions of psychological capital and work
relatedflowaswellaselevatedlevelsofcreativityascom-
pared to female employees.
Findings presented in Table 5indicated significant group
differences along variations in job tenure in the same organi-
zation among employees of software houses. It has been
found that employees with maximum job duration in the cur-
rent workplace reflected more psychological capital, work re-
lated flow, and corresponding levels of creativity. Conversely,
employees having minimum years of job tenure expressed
lowered levels of psychological capital, work related flow,
and creativity at workplace.
Discussion
The present study was designed to assess the predictive role of
psychological capital and work related flow among em-
ployees of software houses. It was also intended to determine
the group differences across gender and job designations in
context of major constructs of the study.
Findings indicated that work related flow, psychological
capital and creativity were positively associated with each
other. Earlier empirical evidences (Asakawa 2004,2010;
Kawabata et al. 2007) have also indicated that cognitive and
affective involvement in terms of flow is a significant predic-
tor of original and productive output in the organizational
settings. Similarly it has been found that transient flow states
also positively predicted desired organizational activities, for
instance, devising strategic planning, resolution of problems,
Tabl e 1 Correlation matrix across study variables among employees of software houses (N=532)
Variables Self efficacy Hope Resilience Optimism Psychological
capital
Work related
flow
Creativity
Self efficacy .27** .31*** .22** .46*** .24** .58***
Hope .33*** .28*** .41*** .19* .23**
Resilience .21** .44*** .22** .27**
Optimism .33*** .17* .20**
Psychological capital .49*** .47***
Work related flow .52***
Creativity
*p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.00
326 Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331
and appraisal (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi 2002)and
flow state is positively correlated with finest output in the
context of inventive, systematic, and technical resourcefulness
(Perry-Smith and Shalley 2003). Luthans et al. (2007a,b); p.
551) pointed out that Bemployees who embody high levels of
overall PsyCap may be stronger performers because of the
number and level of positive psychological constructs mani-
fested through their cognitions, motivation, and ultimately
their behavior in a given situation^. Jackson and Eklund
(2002) asserted that flow and its dimensions essentially in-
duces positive emotions and enhances self efficacy, resilience
and optimism. Similarly proneness to flow demands experi-
ential state of involvement and interest thereby enhancing
psychological capital (Asakawa 2010; Bakker 2008); while
hope and optimism pertain with the upcoming prospects of
the individual work behaviors (Luthans et al. 2007a,b);
consequently, these dimensions have shown compatibility
with each other.
Results of the present study also showed that work related
flow and psychological capital were major predictors of em-
ployee creativity. This trend has a vast and extensive support
from the earlier literature (Bakker 2008; Gardner et al. 2005;
Lyubomirsky et al. 2006;Regoetal.2012;Tierneyand
Farmer 2004;Walumbwaetal.2010; Yammarino et al.
2008) demonstrating the imperative role of positive psycho-
logical states and internal drive to initiate and sustain creative
and resourceful work behavior. Prior verifications (Asakawa
2004,2010; Kawabata et al. 2007) have shown that cognitive
and affective involvement in terms of flow is a significant
predictor of original and productive output in the organiza-
tional settings. Similarly it has been found that transient flow
states also positively predicted desired organizational activi-
ties, for instance, devising strategic planning, resolution of
problems, and appraisal (Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi
2002) and flow state is positively correlated with finest output
in the context of inventive, systematic, and technical resource-
fulness (Perry-Smith and Shalley 2003). The predictive role of
psychological capital is supported by the prior evidence as
Luthans et al. (2007a,b; pp. 551) pointed out that Bemployees
who embody high levels of overall PsyCap may be stronger
performers because of the number and level of positive psy-
chological constructs manifested through their cognitions,
motivation, and ultimately their behavior in a given situation^.
Findings indicated that dimensions of PsyCap (self effica-
cy, hope, resilience, and optimism) moderated the relationship
between work related flow and creativity at workplace. The
findings got support from the earlier studies that highlighted
the buffering role of self efficacy and supervisory support in
enhancing creative performance (Tierney and Farmer 2002).
Moreover, efficacy has often been supported as a significant
contributor to effective functioning under stress, fear, and
challenge, primarily due to ones perceptions of personal con-
trol (Bandura and Locke 2003). In relation to hope, recent
research support a positive relationship between hope and
workplace performance, for example, employee hope and or-
ganizational profitability (Adams et al. 2002) and between
entrepreneurshope levels and expressed satisfaction with
business ownership (Jensen and Luthans 2002). Youssef and
Luthans (2008) also found that the hope level of employees is
positively related to their performance, job satisfaction, work
happiness, and organizational commitment. With reference to
resilience, prior studies on PsyCap has also found a positive
relationship between resiliency and workplace performance
outcomes (Avolio and Luthans 2006; Luthans et al. 2007a,
b; Youssef and Luthans 2008) as resilient employees are more
able to recover from negative emotional experiences and more
prone to experience positive emotions in the midst of stressful
events. Moreover, experiential state of positive emotions is
significantly directly related with creativity (Frederickson
Tabl e 2 Stepwise regression analysis for predictors of creativity among
employees of software houses (N=532)
Va r i ab l e s BS.EβR
2
ΔR
2
Step 1
Constant 12.80 1.15
Work related flow .53 .02 .83*** .69 .68
Step 2
Constant .39 1.96
Work related flow .28 .03 .44***
Psychological capital .12 .03 .21*** .75 .72
***p<.00
Tabl e 3 Moderating effect of dimensions of psychological capital on
work related flow and employee creativity (N=532)
Predictors ΔR
2
βR
2
F(df)
Step 1 (constant) .243 5.05**
(530)
Age .005
Education .08
Social desirability .06
Step 2 (direct effects)
Self efficacy .14
Hope .11
Resilience .15
Optimism .12
Wor k re la te d flow . 18
Step 3 (interaction effects) .251
Work related flow × Self efficacy .21
Work related flow × Hope .19
Work related flow × Resilience .17
Work related flow × Optimism .16
***p<.00
Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331 327
2001; Philippe et al. 2009; Tugade et al. 2004). Similarly, it
has been observed that optimists distance themselves from
unfavorable life events, thus diminishing the likelihood of
experiencing negative emotional states. Thus, optimists are
likely to strive through stressful situations, to experience pos-
itive emotions, to persevere when facing difficulties, and to
look for creative ways to solve problems and take advantage
of opportunities (Fredrickson 2003; Youssef and Luthans
2005).
Significant gender differences were observed in the present
sample where male employees reflected more psychological
capital, work related flow and higher levels of creativity as
compared to female employees. Findings reported in the pre-
vious studies (Connelly 2001; Ishimura and Kodama 2006)
has revealed that men expressed high levels of work related
self efficacy, intrinsic motivation and innovative work
behavior than women. Similarly, Kawabata et al. (2007)also
observed that female software technicians reported more tech-
nical obstacles and lower innovative work behavior as
compared to their male counterparts. Jackson and Eklund
(2002) asserted that flow and its dimensions essentially
focus on the present state and conditions of indulgence and
participation are more prevalent among male athletes than
female players. Moreover, Ishimura and Kodama (2006)
asserted that female college students reported lower levels of
flow state as compared to their counterparts.
It has been observed that employees with extended job
tenure in the present organization exhibited greater levels of
psychological capital, work related flow, and self report
perceptions of creativity as compared to those with shorter
work history in the same organization. The earlier literature
offered mixed findings in this context. For instance, Darini
et al. (2011) found that personnel develop better social and
psychological competencies the more they adhere to their
current workplaces. Similarly, Moneta (2004) also reported
that employees with extensive work experience in the same
organization expressed heightened levels of self efficacy, job
satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, and innovative work behav-
ior. However, other studies (Karatepe et al. 2006) found that
job dissatisfaction, stagnancy of ideas and decreased levels of
problem solving are directly associated with extended job ten-
ure in the current workplaces.
Conclusion
The findings of the present study indicated that psychological
capital and work related flow are significant predictors of em-
ployeescreativity. Additional highlight of the present study
are the group differences regarding gender, job tenure and job
designations. It was found that male employees reflected bet-
ter perceptions of psychological capital, work related flow and
creativity as compared to female employees. Similarly, em-
ployees with extended job tenure exhibited higher levels of
positive psychological states, work related flow, and creativi-
ty. It may, however, be noted that these trends are based on
data from sample drawn from a setting in developing country
and therefore generalization is limited.
Tabl e 4 Gender differences on
psychological capital, work
related flow, and creativity
(N=532)
Va r i ab l e s M e n
(n=327)
Wom en
(n=205)
95% CI Cohensd
M SD M SD t LL UL
Psychological capital 106.00 18.55 90.46 20.10 6.21* 10.64 20.50 .71
Work related flow 53.87 15.99 39.71 13.91 6.97* 10.15 18.14 .66
Creativity 42.45 9.78 32.12 9.32 8.13* 7.83 12.83 .85
*p<.00
Tabl e 5 Group differences on
job tenure in relation to study
variables (N=532)
Group 1
(n=266)
Group 2
(n=182)
Group 3
(n=84)
Va r i ab l e s MSDMSDMSDF Post Hoc
PsyCap 24.80 6.01 30.77 5.47 37.94 5.28 6.35* 3>1,2; 2 >1
Work related flow 43.94 8.20 48.83 8.09 55.05 10.57 7.26* 3>1,2; 2 >1
Creativity 29.18 9.37 33.33 9.29 38.42 9.26 5.11* 3>1,2; 2>1
Group 1 =15years;Group2=5.110 years; Group 3 = 10.116 years; PsyCap = Psychological Capital
*p<.001
328 Psychol Stud (JulySeptember 2015) 60(3):321331
Implications
The experience of work related flow is beneficial and valuable
for the attainment of both individual and organizational goals.
Two major implications of the present study need to be men-
tioned. Firstly, in the context of job design, the HR practi-
tioners may identify and designthe jobs in a manner that foster
intrinsic flow and optimum motivation among the employees
so as to accelerate their creative output. Secondly, industrial/
organizational psychologists could design and develop train-
ing modules which may foster the PsyCap and work related
flow by enhancing self stimulation and intrinsic motivation of
the employees.
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... Last, flow is autotelic, meaning the work itself turns out to be an absorbing goal (Csikszentmihalyi, 1993). Evidence exists that suggests a relationship between flow at work, employee performance (Demerouti, 2006) and employee creativity (Zubair and Kamal, 2015). ...
... Second, employees with flow at work regard their work as their manifestation, and they, through their positive thoughts and intrinsic motivation, energetically advocate their creative ideas. Currently, one study has established a relationship between flow at work and creativity (Zubair and Kamal, 2015). On the basis of the above-mentioned reasoning, the following hypothesis is formulated. ...
... "Flow" is "the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it" (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 4). Past studies reveal that "flow" enhances creativity (Botticchio & Vialle, 2009;Schutte & Malouff, 2020;Zubair & Kamal, 2015), and it is particularly evident in work habits of those who make significant creative contributions (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Intrinsic motivation plays an important part in stimulating a continuous state of "flow" (Delgado, 2017;Massarella & Winterstein, 2009;Moneta, 2012). ...
Article
Creativity has been recognised as one of the most important skills in the 21st century. Although creativity has been advocated in the context of education, there still seems to be a lack of understanding of the concept of creativity, leading to teaching and learning practices that still encourage uniformity and conformity. The current literature on creativity is insufficient for understanding creativity from a more comprehensive manner, as frameworks and taxonomies for creativity largely focus on either listing a set of components relevant to creativity without explaining strategies that invoke creativity or categorising creative strategies without explaining the factors that support the use of these strategies, and the result of applying these strategies. More importantly, these frameworks are largely theoretical without empirical evidence. While there have been studies that investigate approaches for developing creativity, the effectiveness of these approaches is measured based on the improvement demonstrated through the creative outputs produced by the participants, by mainly looking at the number of solutions being produced and the originality of the solutions. They do not examine the use of strategies in the creative processes. As such, the understanding of how creativity can be supported by the use of set of strategies remains insufficient. In view of these situations, this study aimed to develop a taxonomic framework that could facilitate the understanding and development of creativity, which could serve as a foundation for teaching, learning and assessment. This study viewed creativity from the problem-solving perspective, where problems act as a catalyst for creative thinking. The sample for this study was lecturers and students across various disciplines from an international university in Malaysia. This study aimed at (i) developing a prototype taxonomic framework for creativity through a synthesis of literature on theories, frameworks and research on creativity, (ii) exploring and understanding the meaning of creativity from the higher education lecturers and students’ perspectives, (iii) examining the creativity features and usability of the taxonomic framework based on the perceptions of creativity and the relevance of the framework among a group of higher education lecturers and students, and (iv) examining the use of the creative strategies in the prototype taxonomic framework for creativity through a problem-solving task. The methodology for this study involved a mixed-methods, multiphase design. This study comprised four phases i.e., (i) a systematic synthesis of the literature on creativity through a thematic analysis to develop a prototype taxonomic framework for creativity, (ii) data collection from general higher education lecturers and students through a survey, (iii) data collection from the participant-nominated creative students and lecturers through a series of interviews, and (iv) data collection from higher education students through a problem-solving task. Findings revealed that the prototype taxonomic framework for creativity consisted of 24 features of creativity. Findings gained from the survey and interviews showed that creativity was generally perceived as an ability related to the mental processes and the ability to produce something that has a value – usually innovativeness and originality. Additionally, the taxonomic framework was generally perceived to be relevant for teaching, learning and assessment. Findings from the problem-solving task revealed that the taxonomic framework was able to facilitate creativity, by allowing students to use a wider range of strategies, produce more solutions, provide greater detail to their solutions and generate solutions that are novel, useful and ethical. In general, the overall findings from the study have demonstrated that creativity is a skill that can be taught and learned. The implications of the study offered several contributions of the framework for educational purposes.
... For example, a study by Pompuang et al. (2019) concluded that flow at work of teachers was directly impacted by PsyCap, job resources, and work engagement. Zubair and Kamal (2015) found that PsyCap and work-related flow were significantly and positively associated and both PsyCap and flow predicted employee creativity. Kawalya et al. (2019) investigated flow as a mediator between PsyCap and workplace happiness. ...
Article
The present research aims to (i) assess the suitability of psychological capital (PsyCap) in a non-Western world, i.e. Indian context, and (ii) to expand the PsyCap domain by testing suitability of flow as the next construct of PsyCap. Two independent quantitative studies were conducted to meet the above-stated aims. There were 906 and 302 participants in Studies 1 and 2, respectively. Standardized scales were used in both studies. Confirmatory factor analysis, confirmatory bifactor analysis, correlation, and hierarchical regression analysis were used. Study 1 results showed that PCQ-24 is valid in the Indian context only after the deletion of three negative items. PsyCap has been established as a second-order construct. PsyCap and flow were found to be closely associated with each other in Study 2. They were related to CWB as well. Flow predicted CWB over and above PsyCap. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to empirically establish that PsyCap is valid in India on a relatively larger sample, and it is indeed a second-order construct. Theoretical and empirical evidence was provided to support flow as the new PsyCap construct.
... Psychological capital progressively develops through continuous life histories and psychological transformation . Positive psychological capital usually manifests in the characteristic performance of: (A) having high confidence (self-efficacy) in taking on and undertaking the necessary effort in challenging tasks; (B) possessing a positive attribution (optimism) in striving for better results and leaving out difficulties; (C) persevering toward goals and, when necessary, redirecting one's path to long-term goals (hope); and (D) sustaining and bouncing back and going beyond resilience to attain success when encountering overwhelming problems and adversity (Cavus and Gokcen, 2015;Zubair and Kamal, 2015). ...
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Previous studies have demonstrated to some extent that the psychological capital of employees affects how they respond differently to leadership and organizational climate, but research has yet to investigate this in leaders, whether existing or potential. Studies in this area have also not made comparisons across occupational contexts. Hence, this research was initiated. The participants of our study consisted of 42 pre-tertiary teachers and 112 sportsmen nominated as potential future leaders, with the small group size of teachers being due to the more reserved tendency of their current leaders to elect fewer potential future leaders. The results of the study's survey confirmed the moderating influence of perceived psychological capital on the relationship between leadership style preference and organizational climate preference. However, under the moderating influence of perceived psychological capital, leadership style preference tended to influence organizational climate preference for the teachers while the opposite was the case for the sportsmen, indicating the possible influence of occupational culture.
... Subsequently, games in DGBL that encourage flow are assumed to promote students' GE in terms of enjoyment, absence of negative affect and absorption (Admiraal et al., 2011). Further, researchers have indicated that flow enhances creative thinking (Admiraal et al., 2011;Kalinauskas, 2014;Zubair & Kamal, 2015), resulting in higher GE in terms of creative thinking among students. As flow describes an individual who has become "one with the activity," high levels of arousal are expected (Brockmyer et al., 2009;Shernoff et al., 2014). ...
Article
In the current digitalization era, digital game-based learning (DGBL) is used in education to engage and motivate students. Gameful experience (GE) is a crucial precondition to determine the effectiveness of these games. However, previous research focused solely on the effects of games on inter alia student engagement, and empirical research regarding GE is lacking. Therefore, this study provides deeper insights into GE by empirically investigating the factors that encourage students’ GE. Grounded in the theory of experience, a double-mediation model is developed that considers the direct relationship between perceived instructional support and students’ GE and examines the mediating roles of group engagement and flow in this direct relationship. Data from 336 students participating in a team-based business simulation game at two universities in Germany were analyzed using regression-based mediation analysis via SPSS Process. The results revealed that perceived instructional support promoted students’ GE. Moreover, group engagement and flow sequentially double-mediated the positive relationship between perceived instructional support and GE. Thus, to encourage students’ GE, educators and education institutions should provide appropriate instructional support that promotes group engagement as well as flow among students.
... Par ses aspects engageants et motivants, la créativité fait partie des activités pouvant entraîner un état de flow. Plusieurs liens ont été présentés entre la créativité et le flow (Byrne et al., 2003;MacDonald et al., 2006;Zubair et Kamal, 2015). Lors de la préparation des activités de créativité ou lors de la sélection des outils, il est donc important de veiller à favoriser la motivation intrinsèque et l'état de flow pour optimiser les performances. ...
Thesis
Les travaux de recherche effectués durant cette thèse ont pour sujet l’étude de l’utilisation des outils numériques pour accompagner l’innovation et plus précisément les périodes d’idéation et de créativité. Ils s’inscrivent dans un programme de recherche initié par la chaire Time To Concept qui a pour sujet d’étudier et d’identifier les opportunités offertes par les technologies émergentes lors d’activités d’innovation. Pour cela, trois axes ont été définis : un axe humain, un axe organisationnel et un axe technologique. Cette thèse se positionne sur l’axe humain, avec un fort lien avec l’axe technologique.Dans l’objectif de proposer l’outil idéal pour les différentes activités constituant la créativité, nousavons étudié quelles sont les interfaces et expériences à favoriser.Ces travaux de recherche se sont intéressés à deux problématiques : (i) quelles sont les effets de notre environnement et de nos outils sur la créativité et (ii) comment nos outils influencent la compréhension de nos idées lorsque ces dernières sont conceptualisées. Nous avons répondu à ces deux problématiques à l’aide de deux études expérimentales. La première expérience a permis d’étudier l’impact de l’environnement et de la charge cognitive sur la créativité des utilisateurs. Nous avons complété notre réponse à la première problématique à l’aide d’une seconde expérimentation où nous avons confronté quatre outils, représentant un panel de solutions pouvant être utilisées dans des activités d’innovation, aux performances de créativité. L’évaluation de l’expérience utilisateur nous a permis de constater des relations entre les qualités hédoniques et ergonomiques de ces différents outils et la créativité. En particulier, nous avons constaté que les qualités hédoniques des outils favorisent la divergence créative et que les qualités ergonomiques avantagent la production d’idées. Cette expérience a aussi pour objectif de répondre à notre deuxième problématique portant sur la capacité des outils à favoriser la communicabilité des idées. Nos résultats laissent apparaître que les éléments contextuels ajoutés dans l’environnement de l’idée favorisent la communicabilité. Les résultats obtenus dans nos expérimentations nous permettent de proposer un modèle permettant d’accompagner le choix de l’outil en fonction de la tâche de créativité réalisée.
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The current study was conducted to examine the relationship between Psychological capital (PsyCap), Social capital, Workplace wellbeing, and Employee engagement in Saudi Arabia. Only limited evidence exists about the relationship between the constructs in Saudi Arabia. Data was collected from 395 gainfully employed Saudi samples, using five standardized and validated questionnaires. The data was analyzed using Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). SEM was conducted using the R Program. The results indicate a significant positive relationship between PsyCap, workplace wellbeing, and employee engagement with task performance. No significant relationship was found between social capital and workplace wellbeing. By addressing a previously unexplored area, the present study has provided substantial contribution to the literature
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Flow is a gratifying state of deep involvement and absorption that individuals report when facing a challenging activity and they perceive adequate abilities to cope with it ( EFRN, 2014 ). The flow concept was introduced by Csikszentmihalyi in 1975, and interest in flow research is growing. However, to our best knowledge, no scoping review exists that takes a systematic look at studies on flow which were published between the years 2000 and 2016. Overall, 252 studies have been included in this review. Our review (1) provides a framework to cluster flow research, (2) gives a systematic overview about existing studies and their findings, and (3) provides an overview about implications for future research. The provided framework consists of three levels of flow research. In the first “Individual” level are the categories for personality, motivation, physiology, emotion, cognition, and behavior. The second “Contextual” level contains the categories for contextual and interindividual factors and the third “Cultural” level contains cultural factors that relate to flow. Using our framework, we systematically present the findings for each category. While flow research has made progress in understanding flow, in the future, more experimental and longitudinal studies are needed to gain deeper insights into the causal structure of flow and its antecedents and consequences.
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The current constantly volatile and dynamic work environment on the global scene requires education institutions as knowledge dissemination platforms to enhance staff creativity to thrive. But empirical studies about creativity in the service sector and, more particularly, in education settings are limited. And studies that seek to establish the link between hope and creativity have not considered how hope enhances the different behaviors that make up creative behavior, although scholars have revealed that creativity involves different activities. We used a sample drawn from the academic staff of three public Universities in Uganda located in Kampala city to establish how hope influences creative behavior. The research employed a cross-sectional study design to assess the hypothesized linkage between hope and creative behavior. The results establish that hope has a significant effect on the three dimensions of creativity. Regarding control variables, apart from Education which significantly influenced idea exploration, idea generation, and idea championing, age, gender and tenure did not significantly influence the three facets of creative behavior. The results build on the theory of hope by demonstrating the impact of hope on various aspects of creative behavior. The findings support the dual pathway to creativity model's arguments that individuals with high hope levels are cognitively flexible to work towards the achievement of creative targets and, when befallen by failure, can devise other solutions to tackle work-related challenges.
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Skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, problem solving, collaboration, operational skills, and information management, have become increasingly important for 21st-century employees. These skills are often referred to as 21st-century skills and influence how employees handle novel situations. They are indispensable in an economy where the knowledge and skills of employees are seen as a measure for economic potential. This systematic literature review summarizes the current academic knowledge about organizational factors that influence 21st-century skills on an individual level. A search was performed in three databases. The factors found can be sub-divided into three main categories, namely leader characteristics, job characteristics, and organizational characteristics. Transformational leadership was the factor most mentioned in the literature found. Most research found during the search was done on the level of organizational output, exposing a clear gap concerning organizational factors that influence the skill-level of individual employees. These findings can have substantive implications when looking to improve employee skills by altering organizational determinants, by enabling targeted actions to improve these skills for the individual employee.
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This study adopted an interactional approach to understanding how 2 of the Five-Factor traits, openness to experience and conscientiousness, are related to creative behavior in the workplace. Openness to experience is theorized to result in high levels of creative behavior and conscientiousness is theorized to result in low levels of creative behavior when the situation allows for the manifestation of the trait influences. More specifically, the authors hypothesized that openness to experience would result in high levels of creative behavior if feedback valence were positive and job holders were presented with a heuristic task that allowed them to be creative. The authors also hypothesized that conscientiousness would result in low levels of creative behavior if supervisors engaged in close monitoring and coworkers were unsupportive. The authors tested their hypotheses in a sample of office workers, and 5 out of the 6 hypotheses were supported.
Chapter
Psychological Capital is introduced as an important asset that can be leveraged to enhance the virtuousness of organizations. Psychological capital is defined as a state of development characterized by self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resilience, though there are many other similar resources. The authors examine empirical studies showing promise that psychological capital can be translated from moral goals to bottom line results. It is proposed that the relative stability and certainty of ordinary times offer the optimal conditions for developing psychological capital that can enhance the virtuousness of the organization when circumstances are less predictable. © 2008 by Charles C. Manz, Kim S. Cameron, Karen P. Manz and Robert D. Marx. All rights reserved.
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Psychology has increasingly turned to the study of psychosocial resources in the examination of well-being. How resources are being studied and resource models that have been proffered are considered, and an attempt is made to examine elements that bridge across models. As resource models span health, community, cognitive, and clinical psychology, the question is raised of whether there is overuse of the resource metaphor or whether there exists some underlying principles that can be gleaned and incorporated to advance research. The contribution of resources for understanding multicultural and pan-historical adaptation in the face of challenge is considered.
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The quality of health is heavily influenced by lifestyle habits. By exercising control over health habits people can live longer, healthier and slow the process of aging. Among the mechanisms of self-management, none is more central or pervasive than people's beliefs in their efficacy. Unless people believe they can produce desired outcomes by their behavior, they have no incentive to act or to persevere in the face of difficulties. Belief in one's capabilities to affect one's health exerts its influence in two major ways. At the more basic level, perceived efficacy to cope with stressors affects biological systems that mediate health and illness. At the second level, beliefs of personal efficacy foster direct control over modifiable behavioral and environmental determinants of health. A resilient sense of efficacy affects each of the basic processes of personal change—whether people even consider changing their health habits, whether they mobilize the motivation and perseverance needed to succeed should they choose to do so, their ability to recover from setbacks and relapses, and how well they maintain the habit changes they have achieved. Perceived collective efficacy contributes to health promotion and disease prevention by supporting health policy initiatives and public health approaches that have large-scale impact.
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In this article, we provide guidance for substantive researchers on the use of structural equation modeling in practice for theory testing and development. We present a comprehensive, two-step modeling approach that employs a series of nested models and sequential chi-square difference tests. We discuss the comparative advantages of this approach over a one-step approach. Considerations in specification, assessment of fit, and respecification of measurement models using confirmatory factor analysis are reviewed. As background to the two-step approach, the distinction between exploratory and confirmatory analysis, the distinction between complementary approaches for theory testing versus predictive application, and some developments in estimation methods also are discussed.
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This article proposes a positive approach to organizational behavior (OB). Although the importance of positive feelings has been recognized through the years in the academic OB and popular literature, both management scholars and practitioners have arguably too often taken a negative perspective-trying to fix what is wrong with managers and employees and concentrating on weaknesses. Positive organizational behavior (POB) follows the lead of recently emerging positive psychology, which is driven by theory and research focusing on people's strengths and psychological capabilities. Instead of just retreading and putting a positive spin on traditional OB concepts, this unveiling of POB sets forth specific criteria for inclusion. Not only does positivity have to be associated with the concept, but it must also be relatively unique to the OB field, have valid measures, be adaptable to leader/management and human resource training and development, and, most important, capable of contributing to performance improvement in today's workplace. The criteria-meeting concepts of confidence/self-efficacy, hope, optimism, subjective well-being/happiness, and emotional intelligence (or the acronym CHOSE) are identified and analyzed as most representative of the proposed POB approach. The implications of these POB concepts for the workplace are given particular attention.
Thesis
The need for understanding the development of resilient organizations, leaders and employees—those able to adapt, bounce back, and flourish despite adversity—has never been greater. Although receiving attention in clinical psychology, to date little is known about resiliency in organizational settings. Drawing from the positive psychology, positive organizational scholarship (POS), and positive organizational behavior (POB) movements, this dissertation explores the role of resiliency, in conjunction with self-efficacy, hope and optimism, in enhancing performance, job satisfaction, work happiness, and organizational commitment. ^ For the first time, a multi-level resiliency development model is introduced and conceptually supported. The model offers various antecedents (assets, risk factors and values), mediators (buffering processes at the organizational level, and hope, optimism and self-efficacy at the individual leader level), and outcomes (employee performance, job satisfaction, work happiness, and organizational commitment) for the resiliency development process. The model is then empirically tested using path-analysis, and informed by the results, an alternative model is conceptualized and supported using a second data set. ^ Results of testing the individual (manager and employee) level of the initial model using 137 managers and 411 employees (effective N = 341 dyads) from 90 different organizations support the overall fit of the resiliency development model. The causal linkages within the model were mostly supported, indicating there are causal relationships between managers' hope, self-efficacy, and resiliency, as well as between employees' resiliency and their performance, job satisfaction, work happiness and organizational commitment. ^ Results of post-hoc analyses of the above data set (N = 522 managers and employees), as well as testing the positive psychological capital model (Luthans, et al., 2004; Luthans & Youssef, 2004) as an alternative model using another data set of 484 managers and employees from 45 different organizations, provide strong support for the model, explaining over 30 percent of the variance in outcomes. Moreover, resiliency is supported as providing a foundational, additive, synergistic, and complementary role to that of self-efficacy, hope and optimism, in enhancing performance and attitudinal outcomes.
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The Flow State Scale-2 (FSS-2) and Dispositional Flow Scale-2 (DFS-2) are presented as two self-report instruments designed to assess flow experiences in physical activity. Item modifications were made to the original versions of these scales in order to improve the measurement of some of the flow dimensions. Confirmatory factor analyses of an item identification and a cross-validation sample demonstrated a good fit of the new scales. There was support for both a 9-first-order factor model and a higher order model with a global flow factor. The item identification sample yielded mean item loadings on the first-order factor of .78 for the FSS-2 and .77 for the DFS-2. Reliability estimates ranged from .80 to .90 for the FSS-2, and .81 to .90 for the DFS-2. In the cross-validation sample, mean item loadings on the first-order factor were .80 for the FSS-2, and .73 for the DFS-2. Reliability estimates ranged between .80 to .92 for the FSS-2 and .78 to .86 for the DFS-2. The scales are presented as ways of assessing flow experienced within a particular event (FSS-2) or the frequency of flow experiences in chosen physical activity in general (DFS-2).