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Happy employees in a resourceful workplace: just a direct relationship? A study on the mediational role of psychological capital

Greta Mazzetti (Department of Education Studies, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Dina Guglielmi (Department of Education Studies, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Rita Chiesa (Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Cesena, Italy)
Marco Giovanni Mariani (Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 14 November 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the positive association between job resources, i.e. autonomy and co-workers support, and psychological capital (PsyCap). In addition, it is aimed to assess the mediational role of PsyCap in the relationship between job resources, on the one hand, and work engagement and psychological distress on the other hand.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 235 employees working in a large-scale retail company completed a structured questionnaire. To test the hypotheses, the collected data were analyzed with structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results fully supported the hypotheses and showed that autonomy and co-workers’ support were positively associated with PsyCap. In addition, PsyCap fully mediated the effect of job resources on work engagement and psychological distress.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that a greater degree of autonomy allowed to employees in performing their work, and social support from co-workers may significantly contribute to building employees’ personal resources such as PsyCap. This positive association between job resources and PsyCap, in turn, leads employees to feel more engaged in their work and prevents them from harmful outcomes such as symptoms of psychological distress.

Originality/value

This study extends prior research on the motivational process of the job demands-resources model. Furthermore, it develops the notion of resources caravans postulated by the conservation of resources theory in its attempt to examine PsyCap as a mediator in the association between job resources and different individual outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Mazzetti, G., Guglielmi, D., Chiesa, R. and Mariani, M.G. (2016), "Happy employees in a resourceful workplace: just a direct relationship? A study on the mediational role of psychological capital", Career Development International, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 682-696. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-03-2016-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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