Positivity at the workplace: Conceptualising the relationships between authentic leadership, psychological capital, organisational virtuousness, thriving and job performance

Sehrish Shahid (School of Management, RMIT University College of Business, Melbourne, Australia)
Michael K. Muchiri (School of Management, RMIT University College of Business, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Recognising the value of positive organisational behaviour at the workplace, this paper aims to provide a major review of the current state of research on positivity, and subsequently proposes new pathways for more theory building relating to important constructs conceptually related to positivity. Following the integration of emerging but disparate research on workplace positivity and related concepts, the paper develops a conceptual framework depicting the relationships amongst authentic leader behaviours, organisational virtuousness, psychological capital, thriving and job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers a systematic critical review of published studies representing the literature addressing authentic leadership, organisational virtuousness, thriving, psychological capital and job performance. The paper relied on computerised keyword searches in the main business source databases of Emerald, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost and SpringerLink.

Findings

This paper leads to a conceptual framework proposing direct relationships between authentic leadership, psychological capital, organisational virtuousness and job performance. Further, authentic leadership is proposed to potentially nurture organisational virtuousness, psychological capital, employee thriving and job performance, given the theoretical linkages between these conceptually relevant variables related to positivity. Additionally, organisational virtuousness and psychological capital are projected to mediate the relationship between authentic leadership and employee thriving. Finally, organisational virtuousness, psychological capital and employee thriving are designated as mediators of the relationship between authentic leadership and job performance.

Research limitations/implications

This paper proposes a conceptual framework focusing on one form of positive leader behaviour and also assumes specific causal pathways using a positivistic research approach to understanding the leadership–performance relationship. The paper did not examine all possible antecedents of positivity at the workplace.

Practical implications

The proposed conceptual framework should form the basis of many organisational interventions, especially in relation to boosting authentic leadership, organisational virtuousness, psychological capital, employee thriving and job performance. By suggesting the association between authentic leadership, psychological capital and organisational virtuousness, this paper highlights potential benefits from effective leaders’ commitment to enhancing psychological capital and organisational virtuousness and engendering thriving behaviour and job performance.

Originality/value

This novel paper has the potential to stimulate the empirical studies on workplace positivity through the association of authentic leadership, psychological capital, organisational virtuousness and thriving.

Keywords

Citation

Shahid, S. and Muchiri, M.K. (2019), "Positivity at the workplace: Conceptualising the relationships between authentic leadership, psychological capital, organisational virtuousness, thriving and job performance", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 494-523. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-05-2017-1167

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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