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The performance impact of leader positive psychological capital and situational complexity

James B Avey, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


A field sample of electrical, mechanical and aeronautical engineers randomly assigned to four different experimental conditions was used to test the theoretical model presented. Complexity in the context, defined by situational ambiguity, risk and uncertainty, was hypothesized to negatively influence follower positive psychological capital (PsyCap). Leader PsyCap was hypothesized to negatively moderate this relationship and weaken the negative relationship between situational complexity and follower PsyCap. Positive engagement was then hypothesized to partially mediate the relationship between follower PsyCap and performance outcomes. Results yield support for the main effects of situational complexity and leader PsyCap on follower PsyCap. However, no moderating effect was found. In addition, follower PsyCap was positively related to follower quality and quantity of performance. This relationship was generally partially mediated through two different operationalizations of follower engagement. Overall, results provide strong implications for the importance of leader PsyCap, situational complexity and the malleability of the PsyCap construct.^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

Avey, James B, "The performance impact of leader positive psychological capital and situational complexity" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3252825.