1.1 Background to the Study
In today’s hypercompetitive business environment, job performance of the employees is one of the central constructs which plays a crucial role in achieving organizational performance. It is the most significant dependent variable in the organizational context and the most important concept in industrial and organizational psychology. Job performance is the observable behaviors that employees do in their jobs that are relevant to the goals of the organization (Campbell, McHenry & Wise, 1990). Since the job performance of the employees is a crucial construct in an organization, understanding of the factors influencing on job performance is essential for the managers. This understanding may help the managers to understand, explain, predict, measure and change the employees’ job performance (Campbell et al., 1993). In reviewing the theoretical and empirical evidence, researchers have identified different factors that can be affected for job performance. Among them, newly developed concept of psychological capital has given much attention in the recent past in USA and China as a new approach to enhance the job performance of the employees.
However, this newly emerged positive psychological capital has been virtually ignored by both researchers and practitioners. Therefore, Luthans and other researchers pointed out the need of further investigation of psychological capital to generalize its effects on different work related variables in different context. Most of the research in psyhological capital has been conducted by Luthans and his colleagues in the United State and China. There have been relatively few empirical studies on positive psyhological capital in Africa. The empirical evidence on psyhological capital of employees in USA and China show that there is a positive relationship between psyhological capital and job performance but in the review of existing research literature in Nigeria, up to date, any research has not been conducted in any context on the consequences of psychological capital even though the concept is developed over two decades ago.
On the other hand, it is not enough to just examine positive psyhological capital in determining job performance. It can be predicted that the strength of the relationship between psyhological capital and job performance can be changed owing to different organizational and cultural factors. The researcher believes that work values and attitudes are important concepts that may affect on the relationship between positive psyhological capital and job performance of the employees because the work values and attitudes of the employees are different from country to country. Although the employees are more self-confidence, hopeful, optimistic and resilience, their job performance may not be increased if their expected work values and attitudes cannot be fulfilled from the organization. Therefore, it is important to find out the effect of work values and attitudes on the relationship between positive psyhological capital and job performance. Luthans (2002) therefore argued that future research needs to be devoted to the identification of mediating and moderating variables in the positive psyhological capital outcome relationships. However, thus far, there is no research has been reported in the research literature in any country to find out the impact of work values and attitudes on positive psyhological capital and job performance relationship.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Related literatures on psychological capital have revealed that lots of factors have influenced on job performance. However, the research has given little attention on positive strengths or positive psychological factors of employees to improve the job performance of the employees. Fred Luthans and some other researchers have introduced psychological capital as a new capital that can be used to enhance job performance so as to gain distinctive competitive advantages. There are no researches can be found on psychological capital and its consequences in Nigeria. Therefore, there is a research gap in Nigeria with regards to the consequences of psychological capital on job performance. Therefore, the problem of this research is to what extent the psychological capital affects to employees’ job performance in the banking sector in Nigeria?
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine the effect of positive psychological capital on employee job performance by using Smile Communications as a case study. The specific objectives are:
i) To examine the importance of positive psychological capital on employee job performance in Nigeria.
ii) To investigate the prevalence of positive psychological capital on employee job performance among the employees of Smile Communications.
iii) To determine the psychological capitals that affect job performance at Smile Communications.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What is the importance of positive psychological capital on employee job performance in Nigeria?
ii) What is the prevalence of positive psychological capital on employee job performance among the employees of Smile Communications?
iii) What are the psychological capitals that affect job performance at Smile Communications?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following will be the research hypotheses to be tested for this study:
i) There is a significant relationship between positive psychological capital and employee job performance
ii) There is no significant correlation between positive psychological capital and employee job satisfaction
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study investigates the effect of positive psychological capital on employee job performance by using Smile Communications as a case study and therefore, it will be beneficial to employers, human resource manager and various stakeholders on how to effectively manage their organisations for to achieve growth and development among their employees. The study will also be beneficial to researchers in the area of employee productivity and satisfaction as well as contributing to the area of industrial and organisational psychology. The study can also serve as a foundation upon which other researchers can base their study.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study investigates the effect of positive psychological capital on employee job performance by using Smile Communications as a case study. Therefore, the research will be carried out among the employees and the staff of Smile Communications in Lagos, Nigeria.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Employee: An individual who works part-time or full-time under a contract of employment, whether oral or written, express or implied, and has recognized rights and duties. Also called worker.
Job Performance: Job performance assesses whether a person performs a job well. Job performance, studied academically as part of industrial and organizational psychology, also forms a part of human resources management. Performance is an important criterion for organizational outcomes and success.
Positive Psychological Capital: is defined as the positive and developmental state of an individual as characterized by high self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resiliency.