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Heliotropic leadership: an examination of the role that psychological capital plays in enhancing teachers’ morale

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journal contribution
posted on 24.09.2021, 15:29 by Sarah E O'Brien, Jolanta BurkeJolanta Burke
Staff morale is a concern for many educational institutions, especially given the detrimental impact of Covid-19 on the school community. Despite the knowledge and interest in staff morale systematically growing, little is known about the relationship between teachers’ morale and Psychological Capital (PsyCap). PsyCap is a construct comprising of four elements: (1) efficacy, (2) hope, (3) optimism, and (3) resilience. The current study aimed to address this gap by examining how well the components of PsyCap predicted employee morale, in a sample of 320 teachers most of whom were based in Ireland (76%), female (95%), aged 18-35 (63%) and working in primary school (87%). The Psychological Capital Questionnaire and the Teacher Morale component of the School Organisational Health Questionnaire were used. Standard multiple regression showed that the model explained 20% of the variance in teachers’ morale with optimism demonstrating the strongest unique contribution, followed by hope and resilience. While staff morale was associated with higher levels of optimism and hope, it predicted lower levels of resilience. This finding may be due to the intricate nature of the PsyCap assessment rather than its individual components. Discussed are the implications of the current study that can inform the policy and practice of school leaders in Ireland and worldwide.

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The original article is available at https://www.journalofschoolpsychology.com

Published Citation

O'Brien SE, Burke J.. Heliotropic leadership: an examination of the role that psychological capital plays in enhancing teachers’ morale. Journal of School and Educational Psychology. 2021;1(1):17–25.

Publication Date

6 September 2021

Publisher

JOSEP

Version

  • Published Version (Version of Record)