I. IntroductionOne way to address the issue of turnover is to understand the commitment that employees have to theirorganization, and to determine what affects the different levels of commitment. To do this, we must have a cleardefinition of organizational commitment and identify variables that might influence it (Vondrasek, 2000). Also,it has been argued that positive organizational behavior research became the catalyst for developing theconstruct of authentic leadership (Luthans & Avolio, 2009; Vondrasek, 2000).
It is argued as a positive form ofleadership that goes beyond traditional leadership styles in order to influence followers through genuine, ethicalbehavior (Tuttle, 2009; Luthans & Avolio, 2009). Prior research argued the influence of leadershipon organizational commitment, which emphasizes one of the strategies followed by some organizations,including testing and implementing new types of leadership. This is the case of authentic leadership thatpositively influences individuals’ commitment (Gatling, 2016). Other authors have studied the relationshipbetween authentic leadership and positive psychological capital, and suggest in their studies that, among otherthings, authentic leadership promotes positive psychological capital and positive emotions (Rego, Sousa,Marques & Cunha, 2012a). Our attempt is to determine the mediating role of positive psychological capital inthe relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. This study makes a vitalcontribution to the human behaviors and management science by adopting the case of a university as ourresearch context. Universities, like other institutions, are concerned with the commitment of their employees, asweak commitment leads to low performance and loss of confidence and loyalty of employees.
The researchquestion derives from the proposed relationship as to what point is positive psychological capital a mediator ofthe relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. Descriptive analytical researchwill be conducted on the case of Al-Azhar University, which has more than 600 employees, includingacademics and administrative staff. In order to answer the research question, we follow the research logic, firstreviewing the literature on authentic leadership, organizational commitment, and positive psychological capital.1.1 Authentic LeadershipAuthentic leadership is a new factor that is gaining both popularity and notoriety in the leadershipliterature.
Recently in the field of management studies there has been arenewed interest in this construct due tothe major shift to positive psychology. Authentic leadership is a root construct to any positive leadership(Avolio & Gardner, 2005). Authentic leadership is a leadership style that is grounded in positive psychology(Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Gardner, Cogliser, Davis, & Dickens, 2011). Authors conceptualized authenticleadership into four main dimensions of authentic leadership, including relational transparency, selfconsciousness,internal moral perspective, and balanced processing of information (e.
g. Avolio & Gardner, Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive PsychologicalDOI: 10.9790/487X-1910024855 www.iosrjournals.org 49 | Page2005). One of the fundamental components of the authentic leadership construct is self-awareness. Researchersagree that self-awareness is the starting point of authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005).
1.2 Organizational CommitmentThis term was introduced by Becker (1960), who conducted early studies of organizationalcommitment. In organizational science, organizational commitment is recognized to be a bond of the individualto the organization (Samad, 2005). It is an emotional response that can be measured through people’s behaviors,beliefs and attitudes, and can range anywhere from very low to very high.
The focus of many of these studieswas to find ways to improve how workers feel about their jobs, so that these workers would become morecommitted to their organizations (Meyer and Allen, 1997). Organizational commitment predicts work variablessuch as turnover and organizational citizenship behavior (Gatling et al., 2016). This considers the employees’state of commitment to assist in the achievement of the organization’s goals, and involves the employees’ levelsof identification, involvement, and loyalty (Caught & Shadur, 2000). Meyer and Allen (1997) conceptualizedthree components of organizational commitment: affective, continuance and normative commitment.
1.3 Psychological CapitalFor decades psychology has been viewedprimarily as a method of dealing with the treatment of mentalillness, although other areas of research and application have existed since its origins. At the end of the 1990’s,the term “positive psychology” was introduced in the management field by M.
Seligman and others inconducting research about organizational behaviors (Çavu? and Gökçen, 2015). Psychological Capital orpositive psychology can be defined as “examining the processes by which positive attitudes, feedback, criticismcontribute to the functioning and development of an individual, group or corporation”(Çavu? and Gökçen, 2015,PP. 245). Drawing from positive psychology constructs and empirical research, four psychological resourceswere determined to best meet the scientific criteria, including Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism. Theseterms were defined by Luthans and colleagues as psychological Capital or PsyCap (Luthans et al., 2004).
Thefour components are defined as follows: (1) Hope, which was developed by Snyder (2000) and defined as apositive motivational state where two basic elements – successful feeling of agency and pathways interact. (2)Self efficacy was first introduced by Bandura et al. (1997), who define it as people’s confidence in their abilityto achieve a specific goal in a specific situation. (3) Optimism was viewed and defined by Adams and others in2003as one that makes “Internal” or “dispositional”, fixed and global attributions for positive events and”External” or “situational”, not fixed and specific attributions to negative events (Fritz Heider, 1958), cited byLuthans et al. (2004).
Finally (4) Resilience, found by Masten, et al. (2002) and defined it in PositivePsychology as a positive way of coping with adversity or distress.II. Theoretical Framework2.1 Authentic leadership on organization’s commitmentPrior research on this important term comes in different forms. For example, Tuttle (2009) provides anempirical investigation of authentic leadership relating to the employee’s behaviors. It was found that authentictransformationalleadership was directly related to a number of employee attitudes, and these, in turn, wererelated to positive employee behaviors.
Choi et al. (2016) studied authentic leadership based on its impact on theorganization’s commitment, focusing on the mediating effects of Empowerment.The study found that authenticleadership had significant influences on nurses’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction viaempowerment.They emphasized the importance of developing such strategies to enhance nurse managers’authentic leadership and to develop empowering education programs for nurses. Chen et al. (2011) considers themediating effects of employees’ experience of inclusion and the moderating effect of individual work values thatinfluence the relationship between authentic leadership and organization’s commitment.The results indicatedthat employees’ experience of inclusion mediated the relationship between authentic leadership and bothaffective and normative commitment.
Beal (2016) emphasized authentic leadership as a way to retain hospitalitystaff in which positive leadership attitudes can encourage commitment. Most recently an inquiry by Rego et al.(2016) considers the mediating role of psychological capital.
They show that positive psychological capitalmediates the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. We then assert thefollowing hypothesis: H1 Authentic leadership has a significant impact on organization’s commitment.2.2 Authentic leadership on psychological capital.Research argues the importanceof authentic leadership on psychological capital. Jensen and Luthans(2009)indicate initial empirical support of the impact of authentic leadership on psychological capital.
Woolleyet al. (2011) revealed a positive relationship between authentic leadership and followers’ psychological capital,partially mediated by positive work climate. Rego et al.
(2012) show that authentic leadership predictsemployees’ creativity, both directly and through the mediating role of employees’ psychological capital. While Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive PsychologicalDOI: 10.9790/487X-1910024855 www.iosrjournals.org 50 | PageWang et al.
(2014) consider the impact on employee’s performance from different viewpoint. They show thatauthentic leadership is positively related to leader-member exchange and consequently followers’ performance,and to a larger degree, among followers who have low rather than high levels of psychological capital. AlsoZubair et al.
(2015) studied the effects that moderate the impact of authentic leadership – that psychologicalcapital and work-related flow mediates in relationship between authentic leadership and employee creativity.Gaddy (2016) studied resilience of a leader as an important dimension of psychological capital in which wasfound a positive impact of authentic leadership on the resilience of the U.S. Army. We then assert the followinghypothesis: H2 Authentic leadership has a significant impact on psychological capital.
2.3 Psychological capital and organization’s commitment.Larson et al. (2006)consider the impact of psychological capital that predict work attitudes and thatexplores organization’s commitment in which they found a significant relationship. Etebarian et al. (2012)studied several aspects of organizational commitment.
They showed that there is a significant relationshipbetween psychological capital and emotional commitment, while continuous commitment and normativecommitment do not.Simons (2013) reveals a significant relationship between psychological capital, workengagement and organizational commitment. The results indicate work engagement as being the only significantpredictor of organizational commitment. In another study by Jiaxi et al. (2013) they were interested in studyingjob burnout throughout the structural equation model. The final model revealed a significant path frompsychological capital to job burnout through organizational commitment. Recently Bharat Chandra et al. (2015)and Mehdi et al.
(2016)found that psychological capital is the greatest predictor for organizationalcommitment.For example, Mehdi et al. (2016) indicated that psychological capital is highly correlated withorganizational commitment and job satisfaction of employees.
We then assert the following hypothesis: H3Psychological capital has a significant impact on organization’s commitment.2.4 Psychological, authentic leadership and organizational commitment.As already mentioned that links the authentic leadership influences organizational commitment andpositive psychological capital. This is due to the leader’s behavioral pattern. It can be assumed that authenticleadership directly and/or indirectly influences organizational commitment with positive psychological capital.Based on the theories and results of the various authors, we can consider the following hypothesis on mediation:H4 Psychological mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment.III.
Research Design3.1 SamplesIn the context of Al-Azhar University – Gaza, this study employs survey method for data collection.Extensive literature reviews the basis for developing an initial list of items to measure the components of theconcepts. In order to revise the measurement items. For the pre-test, the study chooses 8 faculty members, whohave expertise in general management from the same university, to examine whether these revised measurementitems are both necessary and sufficient. In addition, the next step is conducting a pilot study involving 15respondents to determine the efficiency of the questionnaire.
Finally, this study checks item-to-total correlationsto refine the measurements.This study designs measurements with a 7-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree.Our target respondents were academic or administrative employees who have been working in Al-AzharUniversity for over one year at least which we consider familiar ones. We sentout 100 questionnaires andreceived back 85, among which 82 are valid, that considering 82% valid rate.Table 1: Presents the demographic characteristics of the respondents.Factors N %GenderMale 59 72.0Female 07 08.
5Nonresponse 16 19.5WorkAcademic 12 14.6Administrative 70 85.4QualificationPhD 08 09.8Master 23 28.0BA 39 47.6Diploma 09 11.0Other 03 03.
7ExperienceLess than 5 years 08 09.8Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive PsychologicalDOI: 10.9790/487X-1910024855 www.iosrjournals.org 51 | PageFrom 5 to 10 years 06 07.3From 10 to 15 years 17 20.7From 15 to 20 years 30 36.6From 20 to 25 years 21 25.
6Total 82 100.03.2 Measures3.2.1. Organizational CommitmentThis dependent variable was measured by twelve Likert type items divided into three sub dimensions(Emotionalcommitment EC, Ongoing commitment OC and Normative commitment NC) whereas each Dimension has foritems (As Appendix A shows).
3.2.2 Authentic LeadershipThis independent variable as one construct consist of fifteen Likert type items (As Appendix A shows).3.2.3 Psychological CapitalPsychological capital as a mediator that was molded in one dimension and consists of twelve Likert type items(As Appendix A shows).Table 2Presents the means, standard deviations, and correlations of these measures.
M SD LSH PSC EC OC NCLSH 5.03 1.31 1PSC 5.37 1.28 0.89* 1EC 5.43 1.77 0.
88* 0.84* 1OC 5.48 1.77 0.76* 0.74* 0.85* 1NC 5.40 1.
66 0.75* 0.70* 0.84* 0.84* 13.3 Reliability and ValidityThis study uses Cronbach’s ? and Composite Reliability (CR) to explore the variables reliability.
Asshown in Table 3, the minimum Cronbach’s ? of the scales is 0.922, which is found to be above the critical levelof 0.7. indicating high internal consistency. The minimum (CR) is 0.
944, above the critical level of 0.7 as well,indicating high reliability. The Average Variance Extracted (AVE) is 0.618 for (LSH), 0.711 for (PSC), 0.
873for (EC), 0.848 for (OC) and 0.810 for (NC) above the critical level of 0.5, indicating high Convergent validity.Also, we found important indicator of internal consistency that, the minimum standard loading factor is 0.60,indicating datum collected in this study are of great validity(As Appendix A shows).Table 3: Reliability and Validity Measurements.Alpha CR AVELSH 0.
955 0.960 0.618PSC 0.
962 0.967 0.711EC 0.952 0.965 0.
873OC 0.940 0.957 0.848NC 0.
922 0.944 0.810IV.
ResultsThe role of psychological capital as a mediator variable in relationship between leadership andorganizational commitment.Table 4 shows the results we obtained from our structure equation model that developed from thestudied constructs. Recalling that, organizational commitment as dependent variable, authentic leadership asindependent variable and psychological capital as mediate variable. The table includes the direct and indirecteffect of authentic leadership on organizational commitment, direct effect of psychological capital on organizationalcommitment variables and R-Square for each dependent variable that forming the organizational commitments.Table 4: Direct and indirect relationship through psychological capital between authentic leadership andorganizational commitment.Dep.
Authentic Leadership PSC Direct Indirect R-squareB P B P B PEC 0.71 0.00 0.18 0.15 0.20 0.
13 0.795OC 0.54 0.02 0.23 0.28 0.25 0.
26 0.598NC 0.66 0.00 0.11 0.60 0.13 0.
60 0.598OrgC. 0.67 0.00 0.18 0.
28 0.20 0.27 0.
739Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive PsychologicalDOI: 10.9790/487X-1910024855 www.iosrjournals.org 52 | PageFigure 1: Structural equation model authentic leadership, psychological capital and sub dimension oforganizational commitment (Emotional commitment, ongoing commitment and normative commitment).Figure 2: Structural equation model authentic leadership, psychological capital and main dimension oforganizational commitment.V.
DiscussionWe recall that, our study analyzes the mediating role of positive psychological capital in therelationship between authentic leadership and organizational commitment. Testing our hypotheses accordingly,this has been done with a reliable and validated statistical analysis of data obtained from the case of Al-AzharUniversity Gaza, using the techniques mentioned above. Our structure equation model supports H1, indicatingthat authentic leadership has influence on organizational commitment, which is consistent with Tuttle (2009)who provides an empirical investigation of authentic leadership relating to the employee’s behaviors. Choi et al.(2016) studied authentic leadership based on its impact on the organization’s commitment, focusing on themediating effects of Empowerment.
However, considering different degrees of organizational commitment thatinfluenced by this dimensions. We found the authentic leadership has greater direct impact on emotionalcommitment (B= 00.71), ongoing commitment (B= 00.54), and normative commitment (B= 00.66). Also, theimpact of authentic leadership on psychological capital found to be positive in which consisted with prior Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment: The Mediating Role of Positive PsychologicalDOI: 10.9790/487X-1910024855 www.
iosrjournals.org 53 | Pageresearch (e.g. Rego et al. 2012; Zubair et al. 2015). Regarding the role of psychological capital in which weconsider H3 as a single term, while in H3 as a mediator term, we reject this two hypothesis as it has aninsignificant impact on organizational commitment. We reveal that different degrees of organizationalcommitment are influenced by this dimension.
We found the psychological capital positive but insignificantimpact on organizational commitments, emotional commitment (B= 00.20), ongoing commitment (B= 00.25),and normative commitment (B= 00.15). These findings are consistent with previous studies, where they foundsignificant and positive relationship e.g. Etebarian et al. (2012) revealed significant positive impact on severalareas of organizational commitment.
Also, Bharat Chandra et al. (2015) and Mehdi et al. (2016) found thatpsychological capital is the greatest predictor for organizational commitment.
We refer this finding to thespecial context in which we consider the context on the country level where we have special social, economic,political environments; as well as the context on the firm’s level, where we consider higher educationinstitutions and academics, which forms our research sample. These variables lead to a special context in whichwe revealdifferent results from the prior studies.VI. Future StudiesFindings of our research present a number of opportunities for future research. This study is suggestinga new context, considering different industries in similar cultural and socio-economic contexts, and comparingthe results with those obtained in this study. Considering different variables as sub diminutions of authenticleadership and psychological capital, as both diminution is vital in organizational research, as suggested byWalumbwa et al. (2008) in their studies, i.
e. that both variables are important in an organizational context. Andso we suggest for future studies the context target of non-profit organizations, such as governmental sectors andNGOs, as well as the manufacturing sectors too. We expect different organizational commitments from theiremployees as the purpose of the exiting of their organizations is different.AcknowledgementOur acknowledgement goes first and foremost to our great university – Al-Azhar University ofGaza.
Also, great thanksgo to Mr. Hatem Alharazin, who has closely followed the progress with his greatexperience in statistics.And thanks to everyone who either directly or indirectly contributed to this piece ofwork.