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Does cultural capital matter for individual job performance? A large-scale survey of the impact of cultural, social and psychological capital on individual performance in Brazil

Adailson Soares Santos (Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Mário Teixeira Reis Neto (PMDA, Universidade FUMEC, Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Ernst Verwaal (Faculty of Economics and Business, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Antwerpen, Belgium)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 12 November 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of cultural, social and psychological capital on the individual job performance. The authors propose and empirically test a combination of models, which originate from sociology and positive psychology, and demonstrate that cultural capital – in addition to social and psychological capital – is an important driver of individual job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for a large-scale survey research design. The sample consists of employees in several occupations who had formal contracts with companies from the public and private sector in Brazil. The measurement instrument is developed and tested by using data collected among 369 valid respondents in 2016. The methods applied include exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis through partial least squares estimation.

Findings

The results obtained indicate that there is a significant simultaneous positive effect of cultural, social and psychological capital on individual job performance. The results indicate that cultural, psychological and social capitals together were able to explain 57 percent of the respondents’ individual job performance, with psychological capital being the dominant driver. The authors also find that cultural capital is at least as important as driver of individual job performance as social capital.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may have limited generalizability and may suffer from potential bias in terms of social desirability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the propositions in different country contexts using different research methods.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to quantify the relevance of Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory to the study of individual job performance, and offers tools with validated psychometric properties for its empirical assessment.

Keywords

Citation

Santos, A.S., Reis Neto, M.T. and Verwaal, E. (2018), "Does cultural capital matter for individual job performance? A large-scale survey of the impact of cultural, social and psychological capital on individual performance in Brazil", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 67 No. 8, pp. 1352-1370. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-05-2017-0110

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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