PSYCHOLOGICAL CAPITAL AND CAREER COMMITMENT: A SURVEY OF SELECTED OIL SERVICING FIRMS IN THE NIGER DELTA REGION.




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PSYCHOLOGICAL CAPITAL AND CAREER COMMITMENT: A SURVEY OF SELECTED OIL SERVICING FIRMS IN THE NIGER DELTA REGION.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      CONTEXT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent years, organizational behaviour research has taken a slight shift from seeing individuals as coping with negative weaknesses to those enhancing their positive strengths and well-being at the workplace. Sligman and Csikszentihalyi (2000) posit that “no longer do the dominant theories view the individual as a passive vessel ‘responding’ to ‘stimuli; rather, individual are now seen as decision makers, with choices, preferences, and the possibility of becoming masterful, efficacious, or, in malignant circumstances, helpless and hopeless”.
Meanwhile, a growing body of positive oriented research has advanced the exploration of the wellness and wellbeing of humans in general and in particular to its relevance to workplace. This body of knowledge includes Positive Organizational Behaviour (POB) Luthans, 2002a, 2002b; Luthans & Yourssef, 2007; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007; Nelson & Cooper, 2007) positive Wellbeing (PWB; Wright, 2005; Wright & Boneth, 2007), and Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS; Cameron & Caza, 2004; Cameron, et al, 2003).
Derived from this line of thinking, psychological capital has emerged as a positive oriented higher order construct (Luthans, 2002; Luthans, & Youssef, 2007). The higher order psychological capital is defined as “An individual positive psychological state of development and is characterized by:
1.     Having self-efficacy (confidence) to take on and put the necessary effort to succeed at challenge tasks;
2.     Making a positive attribution (optimism) about succeeding now and in the future;
3.     Persevering toward goals and when necessary, redirecting paths to goals (hope) in order to succeed; and
4.     When beset by problems and adversity, sustaining and bouncing back and even beyond (resilience) to attain success” (Luthans et al, 2007).
Positive psychological capital (PsyCap) has been found to be related to various job outcomes such as job performance (Luthans, et al, 2007), job satisfaction (Luthans, Avolio, et al., 2007), job stress (Avery, et al, 2009), turnover intentions (Avey, Luthans, & Youssef, 2010), Cynicism (Avey, & Luthans, 2008), absenteeism (Avey, Patera, & West, 2006) and career commitment (Larson & Luthans, 2006).
Considerable amount of research has focused on dispositional factors that may stimulate behavious at the workplace. There are certain personality factors that have been found to be related to creative behaviours at the workplace. These personal factors include innovativeness (Flynn &Goldsmith, 1993), creative self-efficacy (Tierney, & Farmer, 2002), extraversion (Furnham, & Bachtiar, 2008) openness to experience (Feist, 1998, 1999; Furtham, & Bachtiar, 2008; George, & Zhou, 2001), emotional creativity (Averill, 1999) and positive affect (Isen, Duabman & Nowicki, 1987).

Although few attempts have been recently made to investigate the relationship between positive psychological resources and creativity, however, these resources have been separately linked with creativity or innovation related outcomes. For example, Rego, Machado, Leal, & Cunha, (2009) investigated the relationship between hope and creativity. Rego, Sousa, Marques, & Cunha (2011) investigate the relationship between optimism and creativity. Similarly, Tierney, & Farmer, (2002) investigated the relationship between efficacy and performance. Despite this amplified attention, there has been only limited progress in understanding the role of psychological capital in predicting overall career commitment.
 Extant theory suggest that positive psychological resources of confidence, hope, resilience, and optimism do not act in isolation, instead they provide support to each other through an underlying shared values (Fredrickson, 2001; Hobfoll, 2002; Magaletta, & Oliver, 1999; Youssef & Luthans, 2007), hence they should be studied collectively (Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman, 2007). Against the backdrop of the above this study is aimed at examining the relationship between psychological capital and career commitment and further examines the moderating role of organizational culture.
1.2   STATEMENT OF THE STUDY
Although organizations vary in the specific manner by which they allocate the costs associated with performance, one overarching fact that applies is the exorbitant direct and indirect costs of performance in organizations (Martinez, 1995; Shelly, 1993). Performance levels in the U.S. reached a five year high in 2004, with related costs estimated to range from $60,000 to more than $1million annually for small and large companies, respectively (Newman & Roth, 2006). For human resource departments and managers batting to build credibility and extend their influence by contributing to their company’s financial success (Barney, 1991; Hueslid, 1995), targeting career commitment may present significant means for providing cost savings and added productivity.
In order to accomplish this goal, researchers and practitioners must first seek to understand potential predictors of career commitment behaviour that may be incorporated into selection systems and lead to development programs aimed to reducing the extent of low behavior within organizations.
 Multiple Meta analyses (Bycio, Hackett, & Allen, 1995; Harrison & Martocchio, 1998; Harrison, Newman & Roth, 2006) have revealed that there are both personal (example anxiety, satisfaction, commitment, personality) and climatic (example shift work, flextime) factors that may predict individual level performance. However, the number of identified predictors remains somewhat restricted, and the limited predictive validity of those antecedents with regard to individual performance behaviour suggests that our understanding of performance behaviour remains fairly limited (Harrison & Martocchio, 1998). A 20 years review of performance by Harrison and Martocchio (1998) found that the focus had been too heavily dependent upon attitudinal determinants such as job satisfaction, career commitment and involvement.
Most notably the studies that were highlighted point out that the commonly studied attitudinal variables tend not to account for the hypothesized high levels of variance in performance behaviour, which proposes that the career commitment literature had grown too narrow. Harrison and colleagues (2006) recently reported a low relationship between job satisfaction and career commitment and performance when performance was considered as a single outcome variable. The purpose of this study is to move beyond existing demographic and attitudinal frameworks for understanding career commitment behavior, and to draw from positive organizational behaviour (POB) Luthans, 2002a, 2002b, and psychological capital (Luthans, Youssef & Avolio, 2007), to understand potentially unexplored positive antecedents of performance such as positive psychological capacities.
The majority of studies in this field have focused on a single outcome construct, incorporating all performance behaviours under umbrella or investigating only voluntary performance (Scott & Markham, 1982). While these approaches certainly appeal to brevity and coincide with how most human departments treat performance behaviour, they limit the ability to gain a more complete understanding of the nature of performance and its antecedents.

1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between psychological capital and career commitment in the hospitality sector. Specifically, the objectives aimed are;
1.     To determine the relationship between hope and career commitment in oil servicing firms.
2.     To ascertain the nature of relationship between optimism and career commitment in oil servicing firms.
3.     To determine the relationship between confidence and career commitment in oil servicing firms.
4.     To find out the relationships between which resilience and career commitment in oil servicing firms.
5.     To determine the relationship between corporate culture and psychological capital and its influence on career commitment.
1.4   RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions are raised to guide the study;
1.     What is the relationship between hope and career commitment in oil servicing firms?
2.     What is the relationship between optimism and career commitment in oil servicing firms?
3.     What is the relationship between confidence and career commitment in oil servicing firms?
4.     What is the relationship between resilience and career commitment in oil servicing firms?
5.     What is the relationship between corporate culture and psychological capital and its influence on career commitment?






Figure 1.1: conceptual framework on the relationship between psychological capital and career commitment.
 












                   Source: Conceptualized by the Researcher, 2014.
The figure above is a conceptual framework for the relationship between psychological and career commitment.
1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Based on the research questions drawn we have also raised the following hypotheses as a guide.
H01: There is no significant relationship between hope and affective attitude.
H02: There is no significant relationship between hope and continuance attitude.
H03: There is no significant relationship between optimism and affective attitude.
H04: There is no significant relationship between optimism and continuance attitude.
H05: There is no significant relationship between confidence and continuance attitude.
H06: There is no significant relationship between confidence and continuance attitude.
H07: There is no significant relationship between resilience and continuance attitude.
H08: There is no significant relationship between resilience and continuance attitude.
H09: Organizational culture does not influence the relationship between psychological capital and career commitment.
1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There are multi organizational actions aimed at improving and sustaining career commitment in work organizations. While some of them have leveraged manages’ effort at achieving these goals, there is the imposing need to further examine other variables that are characteristically intangible. As part of this effort, the findings of this study will be significant in terms of providing manages with the basic understanding of some innate dynamics that drives employee psychology towards improved performance. The findings of the study further enhance the relational climate in work organization with a view to tapping into its potential of the ability to strengthen the intra organizational relationship for a conducive workplace thereby improving performance. The study no doubt will provide the platform for further research works by scholars with interest in organizational development.

1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is put into three sub themes which includes content scope, geography scope and level of analysis.
Content: The reviewed of related literature for this study will be restricted to the literature on psychological and its dimensions, career commitment and its measures, as well as the moderating role of corporate culture on the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
Geographical: The geographical scope of this study is oil servicing firms in the Niger Delta region of the country. This is made up of four (4) states which includes Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa-Ibom.
Level/Unit of Analysis: The level of analysis of this study essentially micro which means it is at the individual level.
1.8   DEFINITION OF TERMS
Psychological Capital:-individual’s positive innate disposition that is characterized by being hopeful, optimism, confidence and resilient towards desired goal(s).
Hope- The innate characteristic of expectation or looking forward to better outcome.
Confidence- The innate characteristic of not being in doubt and strong belief on one’s abilities to reach goals.
Commitment: An attachment to a course of action with a view to achieving some desired goals.
Optimism- The characteristic feeling of things will be well challenges of the social context notwithstanding.
1.9   ORGANIZATIONAL OF THE STUDY
The study is in five distinct chapters. In the first chapter of the study, it was introduced with the appropriate background, statement of the problems and the objectives of the study were clearly outlined. This was followed with the research questions, hypotheses, significance of the study highlighted and the scope of the study was also discussed with operational terms defined. The second was used to review literature on the studied constructs extensively. In the third chapter, the methodology applicable in carrying out the study was also discussed along research design, population and sampling procedure, data collection methods, operational measures of variables, validity, reliability and data analysis techniques. The fourth chapter of the study will present and analyze the data and thereafter vivid discussion of the findings thereof. The final chapter will conclude on the study and make recommendation therein.




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