'Possunt, quia posse videntur'*: They can because they think they can. Development and Validation of the Work Self-Efficacy Scale: Evidence from two Studies

Claudio Barbaranelli, Roberta Fida, Marinella Paciello, Carlo Tramontano

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Abstract

Self-efficacy (SE) has been recognised as a pervasive mechanism of human agency influencing motivation, performance and well-being. In the organisational literature, it has been mainly assessed in relation to job tasks, leaving the emotional and interpersonal domains quite unexplored, despite their relevance. We aim to fill this gap by presenting a multidimensional work self-efficacy (W-SE) scale that assesses employees' perceived capability to manage tasks (task SE), negative emotions in stressful situations (negative emotional SE), and their conduct in social interactions, in terms of both defending their own point of view (assertive SE) and understanding others' states and needs (empathic SE). Results from two independent studies (Study 1, N = 2192 employees; Study 2, N = 700 employees) adopting both variable- and person-centred approaches support the validity of the scale. Findings of factor analyses suggest a bi-factor model positing a global W-SE factor and four specific W-SEs, which are invariant across gender and career stages. Multiple regressions show that global W-SE is associated with all considered criteria, task SE is associated positively with in-role behaviours and negatively with counterproductive behaviours; negative emotional SE is negatively associated with negative emotions and health-related symptoms; empathic SE is positively associated with extra-role behaviour; and, unexpectedly, assertive SE is positively associated with counterproductive work behaviour. However, results from a Latent Profile Analysis showed that the relationship between the SEs and criteria is complex, and that W-SE dimensions combine into different patterns, identifying four SE configurations associated with different levels of adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-269
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume106
Early online date2 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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