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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Kyle W. Luthans, Brett C. Luthans and Noel F. Palmer

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the positive psychological strengths of undergraduate business students, collectively known as positive…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the positive psychological strengths of undergraduate business students, collectively known as positive psychological capital (PsyCap), and their levels of engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has a cross-sectional design in which students from two Midwestern universities were surveyed regarding their levels of PsyCap and levels of engagement in educationally sound activities. Item response theory (IRT) and hierarchical regression were used to test study hypotheses. The authors assessed measurement validity using confirmatory factor analyses in MPLUS 7.0 using four-category 2PL graded response models with a weighted least squares means and variance adjusted estimator. Hierarchical regression was used to control for alternative explanations of variance in assessing the effects of PsyCap on student engagement.

Findings

Using measures of student engagement drawn from the National Survey of Student Engagement, the analysis indicated significant positive relationships between the academic PsyCap of 323 undergraduate business students and their levels of student-faculty engagement (SFE; r=0.30, p<0.01), community-based activities (CBA; r=0.28, p<0.01), and transformational learning opportunities (TLO; r=0.19, p<0.01). A series of hierarchical regressions also indicated that PsyCap is a significant predictor of student engagement as assessed against SFE, CBA, and TLO.

Research limitations/implications

The findings from this study suggest that further research examining the relationship between PsyCap development and student engagement could have significant implications for management educators. The positive associations found between these key variables could be utilized by management educators to implement novel and effective teaching interventions for developing the PsyCap of their students and, ultimately, increase their students’ levels of engagement.

Originality/value

Although extant research has demonstrated connections between positive psychological constructs (i.e. hope, self-efficacy, resilience, optimism) and student engagement, this is the first study to take a holistic view of developable, positive psychological capacities, collectively assessed as PsyCap, and examine the potential impact on three recognized dimensions of student engagement.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2008

James B. Avey, Larry W. Hughes, Steven M. Norman and Kyle W. Luthans

The purpose of this study is to hypothesize and test a conceptual model linking concepts of leadership and positive organizational behavior to a reduction in employee…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to hypothesize and test a conceptual model linking concepts of leadership and positive organizational behavior to a reduction in employee negativity, with empowerment as an important mediator in the causal relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A heterogeneous sample of 341 working adults completed survey measures as two separate points in time. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to validate psychometric properties of instruments, and path analysis using structural equation modeling software was used to test hypotheses.

Findings

As hypothesized, both transformational leadership (β=0.27) and positive psychological capital (hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism) (β=0.61) were significantly related to feelings of empowerment. Empowerment was significantly related to intentions to quit (β=−0.38) but not employee cynicism. Empowerment also fully mediated the relationship between the independent variables and intentions to quit.

Research limitations/implications

A convenience sampling method limited the generalizability of results. Causal and longitudinal research designs would extend findings discussed here. Implications for management are significant in terms of countering employee negativity using leadership processes, employee selection and development.

Originality/value

This study offers the first conceptual model integrating emerging concepts from positive organizational behavior, in the form of positive psychological capacities, with validated leadership models (transformational leadership). Both were suggested to influence negative outcomes, with empowerment as an effective mediator of these relationships. Findings generally support the hypotheses advanced herein.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 2 July 2018

Noel F. Palmer, Kyle W. Luthans and Jeffrey S. Olson

Desai, a College Student, faced a job search dilemma. Desai applied for two internships – one with a company known for a good culture, Strategic Carrier Logistics (SCL)…

Abstract

Synopsis

Desai, a College Student, faced a job search dilemma. Desai applied for two internships – one with a company known for a good culture, Strategic Carrier Logistics (SCL), the other with Thijs Marketing, a company in an industry more familiar and desirable to Desai. After a number of recruitment interactions with both companies, Desai received an offer from SCL and was given two days to decide. Unsure whether Thijs Marketing would make an offer, Desai considered accepting the offer from SCL, but reneging if Thijs eventually offered a job.

Research methodology

The case was developed from primary sources, where “Desai’s” first-hand experience in searching for a job provides the true account of the events noted in the case. The names and demographic information for individuals were changed.

Relevant courses and levels

This case study is appropriate for graduate and undergraduate courses in organizational behavior (i.e. decision-making), human resources management (i.e. employee recruitment), and business ethics (i.e. ethical decision-making).

Article
Publication date: 30 November 2018

Ada Leung, Huimin Xu, Gavin Jiayun Wu and Kyle W. Luthans

This paper aims to examine a type of interorganizational learning called Industry Peer Networks (IPNs), in which a network of non-competing small businesses cooperates to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine a type of interorganizational learning called Industry Peer Networks (IPNs), in which a network of non-competing small businesses cooperates to improve their skills and to stay abreast of the industry trends, so that the firms remain competitive in the local and regional markets. The key characteristic of an IPN is the regular gathering of peers in small groups (typically 20 or fewer carefully selected members) in an atmosphere of significant trust, guided by a facilitator, to participate in a series of formal and informal activities through established guidelines, to share knowledge about management and marketing, exchange information about industry trends beyond their core markets, discuss issues related to company performance and provide constructive criticism about peer companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative research on the context included visits to 13 peer meetings, three workshops for peer members, seven semi-structured interviews with members and many communications with the founder, chairman, committee chairpersons and several facilitators of peer meetings that spanned across five years. Data collection and analysis followed grounded theory building techniques.

Findings

The authors identified both cooperative and competitive learning practices that a small business could carry out to grow from a novice to an expert IPN peer member. The cooperative elements such as peer discussions, disclosure of financial data and exposure to various business models allow member firms to learn vicariously through the successes and/or failure of their peers. At the same time, the competitive elements such as service delivery critiques, business performance benchmarking and firm ranking also prompt the members to focus on execution, to emphasize accountability and to strive for status in the network. The IPN in this research has also built network legitimacy over time, and it has sustained a viable administrative entity that has a recognizable form and structure, whose functions are to strategically manage network activities and network growth to attract like-minded new members.

Research limitations/implications

First, because this research focused on fleshing out the transformative practices engaged by IPN peers, it necessarily neglected other types of network relationships that affect the small businesses, including local competitors, vendors and customers. Second, the small employment size of these firms and the personal nature of network ties in the IPN may provide an especially fertile ground for network learning that might not exist for larger firms. Third, the technology-intensive and quality-sensitive nature of IT firms may make technological trend sensitization and operating efficiency more competitive advantages in this industry than in others. Finally, although participation in IPN is associated with higher level of perceived learning, the relationship between learning and business performance is not yet articulated empirically.

Practical implications

The study contributes to the understanding of cooperative/competitive transformative practices in the IPN by highlighting the defining features at each transformation stage, from firms being isolated entities which react to market forces to connected peers which proactively drive the markets. IPNs are most effective for business owners who are at their early growth stage, in which they are positioned to grow further. Nevertheless, the authors also present the paradoxical capacity of IPNs to propel firms along trajectories of empowerment or disengagement.

Social implications

As 78.5 per cent of the US firms are small businesses having fewer than 10 employees, the knowledge of firm and IPN transformation is important for both researchers and advocates of small businesses to understand the roots of success or failure of firms and the IPNs in which they are embedded.

Originality/value

Earlier research has not explored the network-level effects as part of a full array of outcomes. Instead, research involving IPNs has focused primarily on the motivation and immediate firm-level outcomes of IPNs. Research to this point has also failed to examine IPNs from a developmental perspective, how the firms and the IPN as a network transform over time.

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2008

Kyle W. Luthans, Sandra A. Lebsack and Richard R. Lebsack

The purpose of this paper is to explore the linkage between nurses' levels of optimism and performance outcomes.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the linkage between nurses' levels of optimism and performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sample consisted of 78 nurses in all areas of a large healthcare facility (hospital) in the Midwestern United States. The participants completed surveys to determine their current state of optimism. Supervisory performance appraisal data were gathered in order to measure performance outcomes. Spearman correlations and a one‐way ANOVA were used to analyze the data.

Findings

The results indicated a highly significant positive relationship between the nurses' measured state of optimism and their supervisors' ratings of their commitment to the mission of the hospital, a measure of contribution to increasing customer satisfaction, and an overall measure of work performance.

Research limitations/implications

This was an exploratory study. Larger sample sizes and longitudinal data would be beneficial because it is probable that state optimism levels will vary and that it might be more accurate to measure state optimism at several points over time in order to better predict performance outcomes. Finally, the study design does not imply causation.

Practical implications

Suggestions for effectively developing and managing nurses' optimism to positively impact their performance are provided.

Originality/value

To date, there has been very little empirical evidence assessing the impact that positive psychological capacities such as optimism of key healthcare professionals may have on performance. This paper was designed to help begin to fill this void by examining the relationship between nurses' self‐reported optimism and their supervisors' evaluations of their performance.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Steven A. Schulz, Kyle W. Luthans and Jake G. Messersmith

A number of studies have identified a relationship between the positive psychological capital (PsyCap) of employees and desirable outcomes. Given current and projected…

2666

Abstract

Purpose

A number of studies have identified a relationship between the positive psychological capital (PsyCap) of employees and desirable outcomes. Given current and projected shortages of truck drivers that could become the “Achilles heel” of the global supply chain, the purpose of this paper is to test whether and how drivers’ attitudes and PsyCap relates to their intentions to quit.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data from truckload drivers (n=251) from two major transportation firms, correlation, regression, and path analysis were conducted to assess the relationship between job satisfaction, organizational commitment, PsyCap, and intentions to quit.

Findings

Results of this study indicate strong positive relationships between PsyCap and job satisfaction and organizational commitment and a strong negative correlation with intentions to quit. Structural equation modeling suggests that job satisfaction and organizational commitment mediate the relationship between PsyCap and turnover intentions.

Practical implications

Managerial implications for recognizing, understanding, and developing PsyCap in the transportation industry are derived from this study. Specific training guidelines are provided.

Originality/value

The major contribution of this paper is that it provides, for the first time, empirical evidence that PsyCap can be utilized to improve retention rates for truckload drivers.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 44 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Kyle W. Luthans and Steve Farner

This article first reviews the status of expatriate training and the need to evaluate the transfer of this training to expatriate managers on‐the‐job in a foreign culture…

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Abstract

This article first reviews the status of expatriate training and the need to evaluate the transfer of this training to expatriate managers on‐the‐job in a foreign culture. A multisource or 360‐degree feedback system is proposed as both a way to evaluate expatriate cultural training at the behavioral and performance levels, as well as a way to develop expatriates to make them more effective once in the local culture. A proposed expatriate management effectiveness questionnaire (EMEQ) is described in terms of its theoretical foundation and specific scales, and how it could be used in a multisource feedback program for the effective development of expatriate managers.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 21 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Yong Han, Ian Brooks, Nada K. Kakabadse, Zhenglong Peng and Yi Zhu

This paper explores the “Western” concept of psychological capital in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and highlights critical areas of divergence and notable…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the “Western” concept of psychological capital in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and highlights critical areas of divergence and notable dimensions of similarity.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an empirical study conducted in a wide range of Chinese organisational forms, employing an inductive approach based on critical incident technique.

Findings

This research showed that the concept of psychological capital appears to have a degree of applicability and salience in China. A series of dimensions common in Western organisations were found in our research, including Optimism, Creativity, Resiliency, Self‐confidence, Forgiveness and Gratitude, Courage and Ambition (Hope). These were found to be common types of psychological capital both in China and in the West. However, the dimensions of Courtesy and Humility (Qian‐gong‐you‐li in Chinese), Self‐possession and Sincerity fell into the “different” category.

Originality/value

This paper is a first attempt to examine psychological capital in a range of organisational forms and industrial sectors in China using a grounded theory approach. It not only reports various dimensions of Chinese psychological capital, some unique to this research, but also compares and contrasts these dimensions between China and the West, highlighting further research opportunities.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2016

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-138-8

Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-479-4

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