Original Research

The influence of psychological capital and self-leadership strategies on job embeddedness in the banking industry

Martha Harunavamwe, Daphne Pillay, Petrus Nel
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1294 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1294 | © 2020 Martha Harunavamwe, Daphne Pillay, Petrus Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 October 2019 | Published: 14 July 2020

About the author(s)

Martha Harunavamwe, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Daphne Pillay, Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Petrus Nel, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: The success of organisations depends on their ability to appoint, develop, sustain and retain skilled employees. Retaining a strongly committed workforce has become a top priority for most organisations in the financial service sector. Nurturing positive organisational behaviours and emotions helps retain employees, and this is key to lowering the risk of losing precious talent.

Research purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine if self-leadership and psychological capital positively influence job embeddedness.

Motivation for the study: The study was motivated by the sentiments from a study conducted by Nafei (2015) that indicated that traditional methods of reducing turnover have become ineffective. The focus on positive retention was however described as promising.

Research approach/design and method: A cross-sectional quantitative survey was employed using self-administered questionnaires. The sample comprised 303 banking sector employees. Data were analysed using SmartPLS.

Main findings: Self-leadership strategies (constructive thought patterns, behavioural strategies and natural rewards) through psychological resources (hope, optimism and self-efficacy) positively influenced job embeddedness.

Practical/managerial implications: The banking industry that seeks to retain employees may invest in increasing levels of job embeddedness, which can be achieved through enhancing psychological resources and utilising self-leadership strategies.

Contribution/value add: The findings provide preliminary insights that contribute to the body of knowledge concerned with positive organisational behaviour and retention in the fields of industrial and organisational psychology in the South African context.


psychological capital; job embeddedness; self-leadership; banking sector; organisational links; organisational fit; orgnaisational sacrifice; psychological resources; cognitive strategies; behaviroural strategies


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