Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Will-do vs. Can-do (self-efficacy)

Self-efficacy is defined as “the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals” (Bandura, 1982, p. 122). Self-efficacy has been linked to the length of time an individual will work on a task, how they will cope with issues and how much effort they will put toward the task (Bandura, 1986). Furthermore, self-efficacy has been related to work-performance measures such as adaptability (Hill, Smith & Mann, 1987), coping with career related events (Stumpf, Brief & Hartman, 1987), managerial idea generating (Gist, 1989), managerial performance (Wood, Bandurea & Bailey, 1990), and skill acquisition (Mitchell, Hopper, Daniels, George-Falvy, 1990). All of these relationships illustrate the importance of self-efficacy as a determinate of managerial performance and success. Stajkovic and Luthan’s (1998) meta-analysis empirically illustrates the strength of these relationships as r = .38 between self-efficacy and task related performance.

Managers with high self-efficacy can influence the work attitudes (i.e., commitment, job satisfaction) of their subordinates (Walumbwa et al., 2005). Recent empirical research has illustrated that efficacy beliefs are positively related to followers’ work-related attitudes (Walumbwa et al., 2005). Self-efficacy influences the strength and direction of the relationship between neuroticism, extroversion and conscientiousness with manager effectiveness (Ng, Ang, & Chan, 2008). More specifically, self-efficacy influences the neuroticism/conscientiousness relationship with effectiveness when managers had low job demands; and extraversion, regardless of a manager’s job demands (Ng, Ang, & Chan, 2008).

Finally, self-efficacy is one of the factors that can indicate if a skilled worker is prepared for occupational change. Workers with a high self-efficacy are more prepared for occupational change in different stages of transitions (i.e., prior to, during, and after; Schyns, 2004).

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