The Effect of Self-Efficacy and Optimism on Job Performance: The Mediating Role of Work Engagement

Document Type : Research Article (with quantitative approaches)


1 Ph.D. in Management, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


Purpose: Undoubtedly, to achieve goals in a specific field, an organization requires its employees to perform specific activities proficiently. This can be achieved if employees believe in their abilities, set challenging goals, and double their efforts to attain success, highlighting the importance of self-efficacy. Additionally, for full employee engagement, organizations must cultivate a positive and satisfactory mindset, facilitating effective communication with work, thereby emphasizing the necessity of work engagement. Moreover, organizations should instill optimism in employees, fostering the belief that their efforts will yield positive outcomes, underscoring the importance of optimism among employees. Given that low job performance is a primary concern for organizations and encompasses various performance domains, this research aims to explore factors influencing high job performance and provide managerial solutions to enhance employee job performance. Thus, this study investigates the impact of self-efficacy and optimism on job performance with work engagement as a mediating factor.
Design/ methodology/ approach: This study adopts a practical approach with survey methodology. The statistical population comprises all experts employed in the Deputy of Management Development and Resources of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, totaling 200 individuals. Simple random sampling was utilized, and Cochran's formula determined a sample size of 80 individuals. Data were collected through questionnaires assessing self-efficacy (Scheier et al., 1982), optimism (Carver et al., 2010), work engagement (Rich et al., 2010), and job performance (Patterson, 1990). Data analysis employed Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with the partial least squares method using Smart-PLS 3 software.
Research Findings: Results confirm the validity of the research model, indicating that self-efficacy and optimism positively influence work engagement, which, in turn, impacts job performance. Work engagement also serves as a mediating factor in the relationships between self-efficacy and job performance, as well as between optimism and job performance.
Limitations & Consequences:  One limitation of this research is its focus on a specific organization, limiting generalizability to other contexts. Therefore, conducting similar studies in diverse organizational settings is recommended. Additionally, reliance on questionnaires to measure attitudes poses another limitation.
Practical Consequences: The findings of this pioneering research can guide managerial actions towards employees, enhancing human resource effectiveness and aiding managers in addressing HR challenges within organizations. Thus, understanding employee morale and organizational conditions is crucial for improving job performance.
Innovation or value of the Article: Unlike previous studies that explored only a subset of the variables examined in this research, this study simultaneously investigates four variables, addressing theoretical and practical gaps in previous literature.
Paper Type: Research Paper


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