Positive psychological capacities, empowerment and job performance
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In the landscape of the 21st century, where competition in the financial sector is growing even more intense, the future will belong to those organisations that harness the power and potential of their human capital. It is the one huge reservoir left largely untapped, and those organisations which do this the best will be the business winners of this century. It makes sense then that different ways on how best to utilise and develop human capital for use as leverage in the competitive arena of the workplace should be investigated. Consequently, as an alternative to getting hindered by the swirling negativity and challenges, it was proposed that a positive approach is needed. It is believed that building positive psychological capacities within organisational contexts will be a powerful means of assisting South African organisations and employees to meet their new paradigm challenges. This will aid he successful transformation and augmentation and contribute to a truly ideal "Rainbow Nation" for South Africa. The researcher believes that this can be done by drawing from the positive psychology movement, where specifically selecting and developing certain positive psychological capacities may lead to desirable performance outcomes. The objective of the research was to determine if there was a relationship between positive psychological capacities (hope, optimism, resilience, self-efficacy), psychological empowerment and job performance of employees in a financial organisation. A correlational survey design was used. The study population (n = 155) consisted of call centre employees in a financial environment in Gauteng. The State Hope Scale, Life Orientation Inventory -Revised, Resilience Scale, Self-Efficacy Scale, Measuring Empowerment Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire were used as measuring instruments. Cronbach alpha coefficients, factor analysis, Pearson product moment correlation coefficients and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to evaluate the data. It was found that the research group was experiencing above average levels of hope and average/moderate levels of optimism. The study also revealed that high levels of resilience and self-efficacy, as well as above average levels of psychological empowerment were being experienced by the respondents. Correlation analyses reveal a statistical and practically significant positive relationship between hope and job performance. A statistically significant relationship was found between optimism and job performance and self-efficacy and job performance. However, no statistical or practically significant relationship was found to exist between resilience and job performance and between psychological empowerment and job performance. With regards to the relationships between the constructs, correlation analyses yielded a statistical and practically significant relationship between hope and optimism, hope and resilience, hope and self-efficacy, and hope and psychological empowerment. There is also a practical and statistically significant relationship between optimism and resilience; self-efficacy and resilience and between optimism and self-efficacy. However, no practically significant relationship was found between resilience and psychological empowerment and between self-efficacy and psychological empowerment. This study also investigated if the positive psychological capacities of hope, optimism, resilience and self-efficacy and psychological empowerment, could be used to predict job performance. It was found that hope, optimism and self-efficacy can be used to predict job performance. Resilience however was found not to be a predictor of job performance. Finally this study investigated if psychological empowerment could be used to predict job performance and it was found that psychological empowerment was unfortunately found not to be predictor of job performance. Finally, recommendations were made for the organisation under study, as well as for future research purposes.