Positivity in the workplace is considered to be an important aspect of organizational behavior since the very beginning. A major emphasis on human capital and social capital are considered to be viable sources to achieve a reasonable advantage in order to attain organizational success. Psychological Capital forms a significant factor in both the development of leadership and its influence. It constitutes an important part of leadership and holds a major value when it comes to workplace performance. The following essay will reflect upon the concepts of authentic leadership, leader-member exchange, and psychological capital. Following this, it will also analyze the association which is shared among authentic leadership, effective leader-member exchange, management support and an analysis of the psychological capital of the workforces belonging to diverse groups. Furthermore, it will also discuss the different ways of developing psychological capital among different employee groups and will also analyze the influence of emotions on the performance of the employees. The discussion will enable us to explore how different concepts are interlinked and how each one of them can make a major contribution in influencing workplace performance of the employees.
In the words of Luthans and Youssef-Morgan (2017, p.340), Authentic Leadership draws from positive psychological capabilities and a well-established organizational setting. It mainly involves self-awareness, interpersonal transparency, and stable processing. The theory of authentic leadership focuses on the positive and developmental relationship between the leaders and the followers. According to Wang et al. (2014, p.6), the authentic leaders are those who influence the behavior and attitudes of their followers by producing a sense of social and personal identification by establishing high moral values and standards. These aspects combine together and create a sense of greater awareness of self and self-regulated optimistic behavior on the share of the leader. In the words of Leroy et al. (2015, p.1690), the employee’s view of authentic leadership is the most appropriate indicator of employee contentment, organizational assurance and the happiness derived from work. Adding to this, authentic leadership also demonstrates an optimistic relationship with the organizational citizenship and behavior and the work commitment of the followers (Wang et al. 2014). Additionally, the development of psychological capital is considered to be one of the significant aspect of authentic leadership.
The Leader-Member theory had first appeared in the 1970s and mainly concentrated on the relationship that grows between the managers and the members of a team(Conway 2015, p.1). As per the theory, the relationship shared by the two entities has to pass through three stages. The first stage is known as role taking. Role taking occurs at that point when members first join the group. The specified time is utilized by the managers in order to understand the skills and abilities of the new members. The second stage is known as role making. At this phase the managers assume the new team members to work hard with complete dedication and to maintain loyalty in the process. In the opinion of Herman and Dasborough (2016), the theory states that at this stage the managers divide the new members into different groups. The last stage is known as routinization. At this stage, the routine between the managers and his team members is established. The theory is mainly used in order to consider the ways by which the manager perceives the members of his team. However, the major limitation posed by this theory is that it is not very helpful in describing the specific behavior of the leaders and it does not promote high-quality relationships.
Human Resources play an imperative role in the success of all business operations which necessitates a careful and effective analysis. The concept of positive psychology emerges in postmodern positive psychology and constitutes the strengths and the positive aspects of human behavior (Jung ; Yoon 2015, p.1135). The psychological capital emphasizes the personal psychological sources and consists of four rudimentary mechanisms which are namely self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resiliency. Psychological Capital offers numerous benefits at different levels comprising the employees, the leaders, and the organizations in general. It poses a challenge to the individual as to explore the question of ‘who you are’ and this results in better awareness of self which is a fundamental factor in the development of leadership (Karatepe;Karadas 2015, p.465). It has been argued that the development of a psychological capital within employees is beneficial not only for the organization but it is also tough for the other industries to replicate it. Psychological Capital management possesses the ability to efficiently channeling and growing the employees’ strengths, talents thereby enabling the organizations to achieve a competitive edge.
As forward by Rego et al. (2014, p.200), the three concepts of authentic leadership, psychological capital, and leader-member exchange are interconnected. As per the authors, there exists a direct, as well as, positive relationship amongst the two as authentic leadership tends to increase the PsyCap. According to Gu, Tang and Jiang(2015, p.513), Authentic leadership constitutes the core of positive organizational behavior which is necessary for the growing psychological capital and also important for enhancing the psychological climate. Authentic leadership is a design of leader behavior which draws upon and endorses both psychological capitals as well as leader-member exchange. Leadership qualities are required to succeed in every aspect of life, and it occupies a crucial place in the management of human resources. It plays a significant role in managing the employees and also in work engagement.
Psychological capital is heavily reliant on the theory of authentic leadership as several leadership qualities are required to be imbibed by the leader to ensure a proper psychological capital. Authentic leadership has been instituted to enhance the performance of the employees, psychological capital and the trust levels which in turn impact their behaviors at the work front (Schuckert et al. 2018, p.776). Psychological capital is an individual’s positive psychological state of growth which is categorized by possessing self-assurance in order to put in the maximum power to prosper in the perplexing tasks and also includes the development of the skill of sustaining and bouncing back. It plays a central role in the improvement of the relationship between the employees and the managers which are in a way linked to the leader-member exchange. Leader-member exchange is necessary for the smooth functioning of the business operations, and it cannot thrive without the leader possessing the qualities of authentic leadership (Flynn, Smither; Walker. 2016, p.260). Hence, it can be said that these three theories share an interrelated but at the same time a complex relationship.
The concept of Psychological Capital is based on four basic elements comprising of Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism with the harmony of gratefulness and positive appraisal of events. It refers to the individual’s optimistic psychological state of development categorized by the confidence of succeeding at the challenging tasks, making positive attribution at present and in future, preserving and redirecting the goals in order to succeed and moving beyond the previously achieved level to attain success (Neubert et al. 2017, p.621). As stated by Luthans, Luthans and Avey(2014, p.191), development of Psychological Capital is the key to enhancing changes in the employees as well the leaders among their followers and this whole change can result in changes in the organization’s work climate. Thus, organizations have to provide training interventions and authentic leadership development programs to develop and manage employee Psychological Capital.
As suggested by Robertson et al. (2015, p.533), as administrative staff used to handle different management and business-related tasks, the employees Psy Cap, in this case, can be developed through training interventions. The training sessions of the employees involve three stages, that is, individual, small working groups and group discussions. Through the training by small working groups, employees are instructed to set goals and accomplish them, which in turn, can result in increased self-efficacy and hope. To the contrary, professionals who are involved in more intellectual related tasks need more support from their management in order to get motivated and develop new ideas. Moreover, the employees participating in the group activities can accumulate positive thoughts and quotes and perform better in future through gaining confidence with the approval (Neubert et al. 2017, p.621). In this way, there can be continuous maintenance of optimism and motivation at a high level on a daily basis.
Burnout and low satisfaction levels are the main factors observed in the case of emotional labor jobs. As per Choi and Lee (2014, p.122), Psy Cap amongst the emotional labor jobs’ employees can be developed in a more enhanced way through the inclusion of proper remuneration and rewards systems. Moreover, the direct communication used to stimulate the employees to think positively and receive the support of the higher managers and develop resilient behavior to overcome adversity. Thereby, indicating the establishment of direct and two-way communication between the management and the subordinates for increasing the Psy Cap of the employees. Apart from this, job flexibility, autonomy, as well as, recognition are other factors in which the Psy Cap can be increased in these kinds of employees (Roche, Haar & Luthans 2014). The inclusion of this kind of factors can result in increased satisfaction and motivation levels and decreased mental exhaustion, thereby, positively influencing the employees.
The demands of the individuals tend to vary from person to person as can be evidenced by blue-collar as well as white-collar job employees where acknowledgment and recognition of the efforts and work done by the employees are observed to be key motivations forces in case of white collar jobs’ employees (Hu, Kaplan ; Dalal 2010). On the contrary, good organizational culture, security of the jobs, and salaries/bonuses are found to be key forces of motivation in case of blue collar jobs’ employees (Ashkanasy, Zerbe & Hartel 2016). Hence, Psy Cap in case of white-collar employees can be established through an effective and positive relationship with the management and leaders who used to appreciate their efforts and recognize their achievements.
On the other hand, good payout structure, additional benefits or rewards, positive work environment are the ways in which the Psy Cap of the blue-collar job’s employees can be enhanced.
Vivares-Vergara, Sarache-Castro and Naranjo-Valencia (2016, p.114) opined that the ability to recognize and manage one’s feelings and those of others is the major contributing factor to employees performance and organizational commitment. The intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence is an amalgamation of emotional, personal and social abilities that influence the person’s ability to cope up effectively with the surrounding demands and pressures. At the workplace, often many employees’ fails to address the fundamental questions of the others thinking and feelings and this result in decreasing productivity. The discourse surrounding health and performance getting up tangled with technology overlook the real existence of people and the core of their happiness and health. The emotional intelligence is the abilities that enable the workplace employees to control impulsive and delaying gratification, regulate the mood and help them to keep away from distress (Kunze & Menges 2017, p.461). It increases their thinking abilities and encourages building up hope towards betterment.
Ashkanasy, Zerbe and Hartel(2016) indicate that emotions impact the task performances of the employees, the efforts put by them as well as influence other surrounding employees. The research indicates that employees with positive psychology have better cognitive abilities and perform the job with accuracy. The emotional quotient effect the decision-making process and the ultimate outcomes are positive in case of positive mood with better and efficient decisions or disruptive in case of negative emotions. Moreover, negative emotions lead to more concentrated, detailed and analytic understanding of the facts. The level of absenteeism and intention of job quit is often high with negative mod while positive approach reduces the absenteeism rate and intentional turnover. The employees’ creativity is depended hugely upon the emotional level with positive emotions influencing creativity and acceptance of new ideas and leads to complex and flexible thinking (Cooper, Liu ;Tarba, 2014). Hence, emotions directly influence the behavior and indirectly promote the organizational goals.
It can be concluded that Psychological Capital has become an important factor in the field of organizational behavior. The above discussion reveals that authentic leadership, Psy Cap and leader-member exchange are the antecedents of work engagement. The relationship between the three constructs laid the path of thinking about the upcoming goals and take action by the employees towards affirmative changes. The study highlights the significance of the development of Psy Cap in the employees through training interventions and authentic leadership that provides practical implications for human resources development and performance management. The discussions also indicate the role of emotions of the employees that crucially affect their behavior in the workplace and impacts their job performance. In the end, it can be said that Psychological Capital as an outgrowth of positive organizational behavior helps in measuring and improving employees organizational behaviors and transform their practices and performances.
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