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Self-efficacy at work: Social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (Hälsa och välfärd i det mångkulturella arbetslivet (HVMA))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2576-1944
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that self-efficacy is one of the most important personal resources in the work context. However, research on working life has mainly focused on a cognitive and task-oriented dimension of self-efficacy representing employees’ perceptions of their capacity to successfully complete work tasks. Thus, little is known about the influence that believing in one’s social and emotional competence could have. This thesis aims to expand previous theory regarding self-efficacy in the workplace by investigating social, emotional, and cognitive self-efficacy dimensions in relation to leadership, health, and well-being.  

The thesis rests on four empirical studies, all related to health and well-being, and including at least one self-efficacy dimension. Study I employed questionnaire data from 169 Swedish high school students. The other three studies were based on questionnaire data obtained during a three-year international health-promoting leadership research project. These participants were employees and leaders from 229 different teams in 12 organizations in Sweden and Germany representing a wide range of occupations.

Study I supported the idea that emotional self-efficacy is an important antecedent to prosocial behaviour and also highlighted the value of differentiating between different dimensions of self-efficacy. Study II validated the new work-related Occupational Social and Emotional Self-efficacy Scales; and indicated that these dimensions are positively related to well-being. However, Study III showed that emotional exhaustion in followers crossed over to leaders when the leaders’ emotional self-efficacy was high. Study IV revealed that transformational leadership and social self-efficacy can be positive for team climate.

The main theoretical contribution of this thesis is to expand previous theory regarding self-efficacy in the workplace by incorporating social, emotional, and cognitive dimensions. The main practical implication is that the new Occupational Social and Emotional Self-efficacy Scales can be used to promote health and well-being in the workplace through activities such as recruitment, staff development, and team-building. This thesis suggests that (a) training managers to exert transformational leadership behaviours may simultaneously promote team climate, and this process may be mediated by social self-efficacy, (b) it may be counterproductive to enhance leaders’ emotional abilities in a team of exhausted followers, since the result can be an exhausted leader rather than an exhilarated team, (c) interventions aimed at improving health and well-being should be specific to each work setting, and (d) a more holistic approach where the mutual influence between leaders and followers is considered may be beneficial for healthier work environments. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalens högskola , 2016.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 208
Keyword [en]
Social self-efficacy, emotional self-efficacy, occupational self-efficacy, team climate, emotional exhaustion, emotional irritation, transformational lead-ership.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33083ISBN: 978-91-7485-281-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-33083DiVA: diva2:963036
Public defence
2016-10-21, Raspen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-07 Created: 2016-09-07 Last updated: 2016-09-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Who cares about others?: Empathic self-efficacy as an antecedent to prosocial behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who cares about others?: Empathic self-efficacy as an antecedent to prosocial behavior
2012 (English)In: Current Research in Social Psychology, ISSN 1088-7423, Vol. 20, no 3, 31-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two studies tested associations among self-efficacy and prosocial behavior. In Study 1 wemeasured academic self-efficacy, emotional self-efficacy and self-reported prosocial behavior.The study showed that academic but not emotional self-efficacy was positively correlated withprosocial behavior. Study 1 included only self-oriented emotions, and the absence of empathicemotions may explain the lack of association between emotional self-efficacy and prosocialbehavior. In Study 2 we included empathic as well as self-oriented emotions, because previousresearch (C. D. Batson, 1991) has shown that empathic emotions generate altruistic helping. Asexpected, empathic self-efficacy had a positive association with prosocial behavior. Empathicself-efficacy appears to be an important, largely overlooked antecedent to prosocial behavior.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-16168 (URN)2-s2.0-84882240140 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-11-19 Created: 2012-11-19 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically approved
2. What about the leader?: Crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement from followers to leaders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What about the leader?: Crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement from followers to leaders
2017 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, ISSN 1076-8998, E-ISSN 1939-1307, Vol. 22, no 1, 86-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Although a growing body of research links leadership behavior to follower health, comparatively little is known about the health effects of being in the lead. This longitudinal study of 315 team members and 67 leaders examined the crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement from followers to leaders. Leader emotional self-efficacy was tested as a moderator in the crossover process. Multiple regression analyses revealed that followers’ work engagement was positively related to leaders’ work engagement eight months later, controlling for followers’ tenure with the leader, leader gender, autonomy, workload, and work engagement at time one. Leaders’ emotional self-efficacy did not moderate the crossover of work engagement. Followers’ emotional exhaustion was not directly related to leaders’ emotional exhaustion over time. We did find a significant interaction effect for follower emotional exhaustion and leader emotional self-efficacy. This paper is the first to show that crossover of emotional exhaustion and work engagement can unfold over time from team members to leaders. Main theoretical implications lie in the finding that—in line with job demands–resources theory—followers’ psychological states can pose a demand or resource for leaders, and influence their well-being. For practitioners, our results offer valuable insights regarding the design of organizational health interventions as well as leadership development measures. 

Keyword
Author Keywords:leadership; followership; crossover; emotional exhaustion; work engagement KeyWords Plus:DEMANDS-RESOURCES MODEL; SELF-EFFICACY; MEMBER EXCHANGE; JOB-DEMANDS; BURNOUT; VALIDITY; PERFORMANCE; CONTAGION; STRESS; DEPRESSION
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-32380 (URN)10.1037/ocp0000024 (DOI)000392214700007 ()2-s2.0-84962316125 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Re-Su-Lead
Available from: 2016-07-14 Created: 2016-07-14 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved
3. Social and emotional self-efficacy at work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social and emotional self-efficacy at work
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 57, no 2, 152-161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that self-efficacy is often one of the most important personal resources in the work context. However, because this research has focused on cognitive and task-oriented self-efficacy, little is known about social and emotional dimensions of self-efficacy at work. The main aim of the present study was to investigate social and emotional self-efficacy dimensions at work and to compare them to a cognitive and task-oriented dimension. Scales to measure social and emotional self-efficacy at work were developed and validated and found to be well differentiated from the cognitive task-oriented occupational self-efficacy scale. Confirmatory factor analyses of data from 226 Swedish and 591 German employees resulted in four separate but correlated self-efficacy dimensions: (1) occupational; (2) social; (3) self-oriented emotional; and (4) other-oriented emotional. Social self-efficacy explained additional variance in team climate and emotional self-efficacy in emotional irritation and emotional exhaustion, over and above effects of occupational self-efficacy. Men reported higher occupational self-efficacy, whereas social and emotional self-efficacy revealed no clear gender differences. The scales have strong psychometric properties in both Swedish and German language versions. The positive association between social self-efficacy and team climate, and the negative relationships between self-oriented emotional self-efficacy and emotional irritation and emotional exhaustion may provide promising tools for practical applications in work settings such as team-building, staff development, recruitment or other training programs aiming for work place health promotion. The next step will be to study how social and emotional self-efficacy relate to leadership, well-being and health over time.

Keyword
Emotional self-efficacy, Occupational self-efficacy, Organizational psychology, Social self-efficacy
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31305 (URN)10.1111/sjop.12274 (DOI)000372356600008 ()2-s2.0-84959575844 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2016-09-07Bibliographically approved

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