IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Positive organizational behavior: Longitudinal effects on subjective well-being


  • Kathrin Heinitz
  • Timo Lorenz
  • Daniel Schulze
  • Julia Schorlemmer


Increasing individual subjective well-being has various positive outcomes, knowledge about its antecedents and the mediators of this relationship can therefore help to increase subjective well-being and the accompanying positive effects. The more future oriented facets of psychological capital, i.e. optimism, hope and self-efficacy have been shown in several studies to be positively related to subjective well-being and negatively to ill-being. Furthermore, recent studies suggest coping strategies as mediators for these relationships. In our study, we examined the longitudinal relation of optimism, hope and self-efficacy with subjective well-being and ill-being in a German panel dataset and tested the mediating effect of flexible goal adjustment in a path model. Our results show a statistically significant positive effect of self-efficacy and optimism on subjective well-being as well as a statistically significant negative effect of optimism on depression over three years. All three predictors show a statistically significant relation with flexible goal adjustment, but flexible goal adjustment did not mediate the effect on subjective well-being or depression.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathrin Heinitz & Timo Lorenz & Daniel Schulze & Julia Schorlemmer, 2018. "Positive organizational behavior: Longitudinal effects on subjective well-being," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(6), pages 1-15, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0198588
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198588

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Hanssen & L. Vancleef & J. Vlaeyen & A. Hayes & E. Schouten & M. Peters, 2015. "Optimism, Motivational Coping and Well-being: Evidence Supporting the Importance of Flexible Goal Adjustment," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(6), pages 1525-1537, December.
    2. Luthans, Fred & Luthans, Kyle W. & Luthans, Brett C., 2004. "Positive psychological capital: beyond human and social capital," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 45-50.
    3. Fred Luthans & Bruce J. Avolio & Fred O. Walumbwa & Weixing Li, 2005. "The Psychological Capital of Chinese Workers: Exploring the Relationship with Performance," Management and Organization Review, International Association of Chinese Management Research, vol. 1(2), pages 249-271, July.
    4. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 92.01.001/1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
    5. Luthans, Fred & Avolio, Bruce J. & Walumbwa, Fred O. & Li, Weixing, 2005. "The Psychological Capital of Chinese Workers: Exploring the Relationship with Performance," Management and Organization Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 249-271, July.
    6. Knesebeck, Olaf von dem & Lüschen, Günther & Cockerham, William C. & Siegrist, Johannes, 2003. "Socioeconomic status and health among the aged in the United States and Germany: A comparative cross-sectional study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1643-1652, November.
    7. Rosseel, Yves, 2012. "lavaan: An R Package for Structural Equation Modeling," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 48(i02).
    8. John Zelenski & Steven Murphy & David Jenkins, 2008. "The Happy-Productive Worker Thesis Revisited," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 521-537, December.
    9. Bisschop, M. Isabella & Kriegsman, Didi M. W. & Beekman, Aartjan T. F. & Deeg, D.J.H.Dorly J. H., 2004. "Chronic diseases and depression: the modifying role of psychosocial resources," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 721-733, August.
    10. Lantz, Paula M. & Lynch, John W. & House, James S. & Lepkowski, James M. & Mero, Richard P. & Musick, Marc A. & Williams, David R., 2001. "Socioeconomic disparities in health change in a longitudinal study of US adults: the role of health-risk behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 29-40, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Nasser Saad Al Kahtani & Sulphey M. M., 2022. "A Study on How Psychological Capital, Social Capital, Workplace Wellbeing, and Employee Engagement Relate to Task Performance," SAGE Open, , vol. 12(2), pages 21582440221, May.
    2. Veljko Jovanović & Dylan Molenaar & Vesna Gavrilov-Jerković & Milica Lazić, 2021. "Positive Expectancies and Subjective Well-Being: A Prospective Study Among Undergraduates in Serbia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 1239-1258, March.
    3. Giuseppe Santisi & Ernesto Lodi & Paola Magnano & Rita Zarbo & Andrea Zammitti, 2020. "Relationship between Psychological Capital and Quality of Life: The Role of Courage," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(13), pages 1-14, June.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sylvia Kwok & Leveda Cheng & Daniel Wong, 2015. "Family Emotional Support, Positive Psychological Capital and Job Satisfaction Among Chinese White-Collar Workers," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 561-582, June.
    2. Timo Lorenz & Clemens Beer & Jan Pütz & Kathrin Heinitz, 2016. "Measuring Psychological Capital: Construction and Validation of the Compound PsyCap Scale (CPC-12)," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(4), pages 1-17, April.
    3. Ayatakshee Sarkar & Naval Garg & DK Srivastava & BK Punia, 2024. "Can Gratitude Counter Workplace Toxicity? Exploring the Mediating Role of Psychological Capital (PsyCap)," Business Perspectives and Research, , vol. 12(2), pages 261-276, April.
    4. Mohd Hizam Hanafiah, & Sheikh Usman Yousaf, & Bushra Usman,, 2017. "The influence of psychological capital on the growth intentions of entrepreneurs: A study on Malaysian SME entrepreneurs," Business and Economic Horizons (BEH), Prague Development Center, vol. 13(5), pages 556-569, December.
    5. Nasser Saad Al Kahtani & Sulphey M. M., 2022. "A Study on How Psychological Capital, Social Capital, Workplace Wellbeing, and Employee Engagement Relate to Task Performance," SAGE Open, , vol. 12(2), pages 21582440221, May.
    6. Yogesh Upadhyay & Dharmendra Kumar, 2020. "Leader–Member Exchange, Psychological Capital and Employees’ Creativity," Vision, , vol. 24(4), pages 406-418, December.
    7. Cixian Lv & Peijin Yang & Jingjing Xu & Jia Sun & Yuelong Ming & Xiaotong Zhi & Xinghua Wang, 2023. "Association between Urban Educational Policies and Migrant Children’s Social Integration in China: Mediated by Psychological Capital," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(4), pages 1-18, February.
    8. Urmila Rani Srivastava & Vandana Maurya, 2017. "Organizational and Individual Level Antecedents of Psychological Capital and its Associated Outcomes: Development of a Conceptual Framework," Management and Labour Studies, XLRI Jamshedpur, School of Business Management & Human Resources, vol. 42(3), pages 205-236, August.
    9. Welter, Chris & Scrimpshire, Alex, 2021. "The missing capital: The case for psychological capital in entrepreneurship research," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).
    10. Uju Violet Alola & Andrew Adewale Alola, 2018. "Can Resilience Help? Coping with Job Stressor," Academic Journal of Economic Studies, Faculty of Finance, Banking and Accountancy Bucharest,"Dimitrie Cantemir" Christian University Bucharest, vol. 4(1), pages 141-152, March.
    11. Şeşen, Harun & Sürücü, Lütfi & Maşlakcı, Ahmet, 2019. "On the Relation between Leadership and Positive Psychological Capital in the Hospitality Industry," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 182-197.
    12. Ki-Seoung Lee & Yoon-Seo Kim & Hyoung-Chul Shin, 2022. "The Effect of Personal Environment Suitability and Work Environment of Luxury Hotels on Psychological Capital and Innovation Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-16, June.
    13. Jingyu Tak & Jeongeun Seo & Taewoo Roh, 2019. "The Influence of Authentic Leadership on Authentic Followership, Positive Psychological Capital, and Project Performance: Testing for the Mediation Effects," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(21), pages 1-18, October.
    14. Yu-Shan Chen & Chun-Ming Lien & Wei-Yuan Lo & Fuh-Shyong Tsay, 2021. "Sustainability of Positive Psychological Status in the Workplace: The Influence of Organizational Psychological Ownership and Psychological Capital on Police Officers’ Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(5), pages 1-16, March.
    15. Badri Munir Sukoco & Les Tien-Shang Lee, 2017. "The Effects Of Psychological Capital And Team Strain On The Effectiveness Of Npd Teams: The Moderating Role Of Perceived Diversity Climate," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 21(04), pages 1-30, May.
    16. Jiaxi Peng & Xihua Jiang & Jiaxi Zhang & Runxuan Xiao & Yunyun Song & Xi Feng & Yan Zhang & Danmin Miao, 2013. "The Impact of Psychological Capital on Job Burnout of Chinese Nurses: The Mediator Role of Organizational Commitment," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(12), pages 1-1, December.
    17. Hongyu Ma & Federico Topolansky Barbe & Yongmei Carol Zhang, 2018. "Can Social Capital and Psychological Capital Improve the Entrepreneurial Performance of the New Generation of Migrant Workers in China?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-16, October.
    18. Yajun Wu & Xia Kang, 2023. "Construct Validation and Prediction of the School Psychological Capital in Two Chinese Cultural Contexts," SAGE Open, , vol. 13(3), pages 21582440231, July.
    19. Rego, Arménio & Sousa, Filipa & Marques, Carla & Cunha, Miguel Pina e, 2012. "Authentic leadership promoting employees' psychological capital and creativity," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 429-437.
    20. Nur Aimi Nasuha Burhanuddin & Nor Aniza Ahmad & Rozita Radhiah Said & Soaib Asimiran, 2022. "The Alchemy of Coaching: Psychological Capital as HERO within Coaches’ Selves," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(19), pages 1-20, September.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0198588. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: plosone (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.