ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2009, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (09): 875-888.

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Psychological Capital: Chinese Indigenous Scale’s Development and Its Validity Comparison with the Western Scale

KE Jiang-Lin;SUN Jian-Min;LI Yong-Rui   

  1. (1School of Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
    (2School of Labor Relations and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)
  • Received:2008-09-23 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2009-09-30 Online:2009-09-30
  • Contact: KE Jiang-Lin

Abstract: Originated from positive psychology, psychological capital is regarded by some researchers and practitio-ners in the field of human resource management as one of the individual competitive advantage sources beyond human capital and social capital. As defined by Fred Luthans, a pioneer scholar in this research area, psycho-logical capital is the positively-oriented human resource strengths and psychological capacities that can be measured, developed, and effectively managed for performance improvement in the workplace. Generally, this construct consists of four dimensions, self-efficacy/confidence, hope, optimism, and resiliency. Some empirical research indicated that employee’s psychological capital has positive impacts on good work attitudes, behaviors and performance. It would be worthwhile to examine the external validity of psychological capital in a transition society such as China considering the cultural differences, which is the core root of psychological capital. Al-though there are already a few empirical studies about psychological capital in China, those are mostly replica-tions of western studies. We need more indigenous studies to demonstrate the potential differences in psycho-logical capital between different cultures.
The main purpose of this study is to develop a scale of indigenous psychological capital construct in the context of Chinese culture. Several methods were taken to collect the measurement items of indigenous psy-chological capital scale, including depth interview, literature review, successful person’s biography material, and unstructured questionnaire survey. After that, we used item analysis, reliability analysis, factor analysis, correla-tion analysis and regression analysis to test the liability and validity of the developed scale.
The results indicated that indigenous psychological capital construct has two high-order factors, task-oriented psychological capital and guanxi-oriented psychological capital. Each dimension has four sub-dimensions respectively. Task-oriented psychological capital includes self-confidence and courage, opti-mism and hope, spirit of enterprise and diligence, resiliency and perseverance. Guanxi-oriented psychological capital consists of toleration and forgiveness, respecting and courtesy, modesty and prudence, thanksgiving and dedication. To a great extent, task-oriented psychological capital is similar to the structure of western psycho-logical capital, but guanxi-oriented psychological capital is very special for its characteristics with Chinese cul-ture. Indigenous scale of psychological capital has good criterion-related validity. Both task-oriented psycho-logical capital and guanxi-oriented psychological capital are significantly related with task performance, con-textual performance, job satisfaction, job involvement and organization commitment, meanwhile guanxi- ori-ented psychological capital is related with traditional values and dependent self. Regression analysis indicated that indigenous psychological capital can explain more variances of employee’s task performance and contextual performance than western psychological capital.
The authors suggest that the cultural differences between the Chinese and western should be considered when building the indigenous psychological capital theory and Chinese organizations should pay attention to developing and managing employee’s psychological capital.

Key words: psychological capital, indigenous scale’s development, job performance, cultural difference