'Possunt, quia posse videntur'*: They can because they think they can. Development and validation of the work self-efficacy scale: Evidence from two Studies

Barbaranelli, Claudio, Fida, Roberta ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6733-461X, Paciello, Marinella and Tramontano, Carlo (2018) 'Possunt, quia posse videntur'*: They can because they think they can. Development and validation of the work self-efficacy scale: Evidence from two Studies. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 106. pp. 249-269. ISSN 0001-8791

[thumbnail of possuntquiapossevidentur]
PDF (possuntquiapossevidentur) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview


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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Authorship is alphabetical, and all authors contributed equally to this work. *Title quote: (Virgil, 70-19 BC, line 231) Virgilio Marone, Publio Aeneid: Book V.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2023 15:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/66120
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2018.01.006

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item