Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector
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Handbook of Research on Stress and Well-Being in the Public Sector

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Silvia Pignata

This timely Handbook addresses the concepts of stress and well-being among workers in various public sector roles and occupations across the globe. Emphasizing the importance of well-being and stress prevention initiatives in ever-changing workplace environments, this Handbook highlights successful organizational initiatives and provides insight into best practice for promoting healthy employees and workplaces. Containing contributions from leading international experts in their respective fields, the contributors hope that this multi-disciplinary Handbook will help to enhance the health and well-being of public sector employees.
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Chapter 13: Applications of psychological capital in the public sector

Carolyn M. Youssef-Morgan, Barbara L. Ahrens, Kristi Bockorny, Lanell Craig and Matthew Peters

Abstract

Psychological capital (PsyCap) is a multidimensional psychological resource that has emerged in the organizational literature and received notable attention due to its solid theoretical foundation, valid and reliable measures, impact on work-related outcomes, and evidence of malleability and developmental potential. However, to date, positivity in general, and more specifically PsyCap applications, in the public sector remain scarce in the literature. This chapter explores some of these unique applications. After a general overview of PsyCap, including its definition, constituent resources, underlying mechanisms, and development processes, PsyCap is applied to four specific public sector contexts in the United States: fire departments, the Air Force, K-12 education, and higher education. The four case studies showcase specific practices and dynamics that can foster positivity and PsyCap, as well as challenges that can hinder PsyCap development.

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