Psychological capital in Namibian state-owned enterprises
Amunkete, Simeon Lasarus Nangolo
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The performance of state-owned enterprises in Namibia has been in the spotlight for many years, resulting in the Government of the Republic of Namibia to introduce interventions and strategies to address and improve this performance. The poor performance of state-owned enterprises has been studied in terms of financial aspects with less attention, however, on human resources as a key success factor in contributing to performance. Studying performance in terms of the human resources is an important area for research and intervention. The Government introduced several measures to ensure the efficient governance and monitoring of state-owned enterprises and to ensure that they are performing to the satisfaction and expectations of the stakeholder. These measures included the introduction of the State-Owned Enterprises Act (Act 2 of 2006) of Namibia, as well as governance structures to ensure that the performance of state-owned enterprises is properly maximised. Despite these efforts by the Government to regulate state-owned enterprises with the intention to improve performance, to date the poor performance of state-owned enterprises is still a topical issue in Namibia. Almost a decade after the promulgation of the State-Owned Enterprises Act, in 2006, the government is still financially bailing out a number of the state-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises need to take a positive approach that recognise and leverage human resources for contribution to sustainable growth, competitive advantage and performance. Positively oriented high-performance work practices are conceptualised within the context of positive organisational behaviour. Positive organisational behaviour as characterised in the form of psychological capital, with antecedents such as authentic leadership and supportive organisational climate and employee outcomes such as job satisfaction, intention to leave, engagement in the Namibian state-owned enterprises context are the main focus of this study. The study aimed to assess the relationship between psychological capital, authentic leadership, supportive organisational climate, job satisfaction, intention to leave, employee engagement and performance for employees in state-owned enterprises in Namibia. A cross-sectional survey design was used to gather data regarding all these constructs as experienced by employees. A convenience sample (N = 452) of employees from 20 state-owned enterprises participated in the study. The measuring instruments used were the Psychological Capital Questionnaire, Performance-related Attitudinal Questionnaire, Job Satisfaction Scale, Turnover Intention Scale, Engagement Scale, Authentic Leadership Questionnaire, Supportive Organisational Climate Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire. The results of study 1 showed that authentic leadership was positively associated with psychological capital (i.e. experiences of hope, optimism, self-efficacy and resilience) and job satisfaction. Authentic leadership affected job satisfaction indirectly via psychological capital. Psychological capital had a medium to large indirect effect on employees’ intentions to leave. The findings suggest that authentic leadership and psychological capital explain job satisfaction and retention of employees in state-owned enterprises. Study 2 showed that authentic leadership and psychological capital predicted employee engagement. A supportive organisational climate was related to employee engagement on individual level, but only if authentic leadership and psychological capital were not included in the model. Psychological capital mediated the relation between authentic leadership and employee engagement on an individual level in state owned enterprises. The results of study 3 showed that authentic leadership and a supportive organisational climate had a positive impact on psychological capital. Psychological capital predicted job performance on an individual level. Psychological capital was not associated with organisational performance. Recommendations for interventions to promote psychological capital, its antecedents and outcomes were made.