Original Research

Psychological Capital: Convergent and discriminant validity of a reconfigured measure

Anton Grobler, Yvonne T. Joubert
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 21, No 1 | a1715 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v21i1.1715 | © 2018 Anton Grobler, Yvonne T. Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2016 | Published: 23 April 2018

About the author(s)

Anton Grobler, Graduate School for Business Leadership, University of South Africa, South Africa
Yvonne T. Joubert, Department of Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, South Africa


Background: Although attention has been given to the importance of positivity in the workplace, it has only recently been proposed as a new way in which to focus on organisational behaviour. The psychological resources which meet the criteria for positive organisational behaviour best are hope, self-efficacy, optimism and resilience.


Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the construct validity of the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ), with specific reference to its psychometric properties.


Setting: The sample included a total of 1749 respondents, 60 each from 30 organisations in South Africa.


Methods: A multi-factorial model was statistically explored and confirmed (with exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, respectively).


Results: The results support the original conceptualisation and empirically-confirmed factorial composition of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) by four elements, namely Hope, Optimism, Resilience and Self-efficacy. However, the study yielded a three-factor solution, with Hope and Optimism as a combined factor and Resilience and Self-efficacy made up of a reconfigured set of substantively justifiable items (three of the original 24 items were found not to be suitable). The three reconfigured factors showed good psychometric properties, good fit (in support of construct validity) and acceptable levels of convergent and discriminant validity. Recommendations were made for further studies.


Conclusion: Based on the results obtained, it seems that the PCQ is a suitable (valid and reliable) instrument for measuring PsyCap. This study could thus serve as a reference for the accurate measurement of PsyCap.


positive organisational behaviour; psychological capital; hope; optimism; resilience; self-efficacy; construct validity


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