Psychological capital as a positive resource to assist with the organisational outcomes of work family conflict : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology, Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Psychological Capital (PsyCap) is a powerful positive personal resource with the ability to enhance an individual’s success within a working environment. In this study the effect PsyCap has on the organisational outcomes of Work Family Conflict (WFC) was investigated, using a sample of working parents within New Zealand. The Job Demands-Resources model was used to focus on job stress, burnout and engagement stemming from WFC, and the effect of PsyCap has on these, within individuals returning to work. It was hypothesised that PsyCap would have a positive relationship with engagement, and a negative relationship with job stress and burnout. Additionally it was hypothesised that PsyCap would act as a mediator and moderator variable in relationships between WFC and engagement, job stress and burnout. As PsyCap is malleable, and therefore open to development within individuals, it provides an opportunity for organisations to enhance the success of employees, in particular people reintegrating into the workforce after a period of time away. A self report questionnaire was used to measure PsyCap, WFC, Engagement, Job Stress and Burnout within 108 parents or caregivers within professional occupations who had returned to work over the past 12 months. Analyses looking for correlation, mediation and moderation showed that PsyCap had a positive relationship with engagement, and a negative relationship with burnout and job stress. PsyCap was demonstrated to partially mediate the relationship between WFC and burnout, and additionally with job stress. PsyCap was not shown to mediate the relationship between WFC and engagement. PsyCap was found to moderate the WFC and engagement relationship, showing individuals with higher levels of PsyCap possess higher levels of engagement, even with increased levels of WFC; however PsyCap was not a moderating variable in the WFC and job stress or burnout relationships. This indicates that PsyCap has an effect upon some of the organisational outcomes of WFC, and is worthy of further
investigation to enhance the success, wellbeing and performance of employees returning to work after parental leave. This study emphasises the positive value of growing PsyCap in individuals returning to the workforce, and also those already within organisations.