Psychological capital, Big Five traits, and employee outcomes

Yongduk Choi (Korea University Business School, Seoul, South Korea)
Dongseop Lee (Korea University Business School, Seoul, South Korea)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 4 February 2014



The aim of this paper was to examine the incremental validity of positive psychological capital (PsyCap) in predicting several important employee outcomes while controlling for a full range of personality traits.


Using a cross-sectional field study design, the authors collected data from 373 employees in South Korea.


Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that employees' PsyCap is related to their perceived performance, turnover intention, work happiness, and subjective well-being, even after controlling for the Big Five personality traits.

Research limitations/implications

By controlling for the Big Five traits, this study was able to evaluate the role of PsyCap more precisely. However, as the data were collected from the same source at one point in time, common method variance is a potential issue.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that managers need to focus on developing employees' PsyCap, given its unique effect on the outcome variables.

Social implications

By developing employees' PsyCap, organizations could turn work into a significant source of happiness and life satisfaction for their employees.


This study identified the broad and unique effect of PsyCap on work and life outcomes beyond personality traits.



Yongduk Choi and Dongseop Lee (2014) "Psychological capital, Big Five traits, and employee outcomes", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 122-140

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