The Left Side of Psychological Capital: New Evidence on the Antecedents of PsyCap

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date



A recent meta-analysis suggests since 2005 there have been dozens of studies with positive psychological capital (PsyCap) predicting optimal individual performance, behaviors (e.g., citizenship, deviance), and attitudes (e.g., satisfaction, commitment, well-being, turnover intentions). However, in reviewing this literature there is an obvious silence as to the antecedents of PsyCap. Outside the examination of developmental interventions, very little is known about how and why an individual reaches and stabilizes at a given level of PsyCap. To address this gap, this study seeks to better understand the antecedents of individual-level PsyCap. In a field study of 1,264 engineers and technicians, a categorical perspective on PsyCap antecedents is tested. In a second study of 529 Chinese technology employees, the results from Study 1 are replicated with less overall variance explained raising measurement and cultural boundary conditions of current tools employed for empirical research on PsyCap. Implications for managerial practices conclude the article.


This article was originally published in Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download through ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies


© The Authors 2013