Jakari Griffith His Work and Interests

As far as the research field of diversity, positive psychology and leadership are concerned, the name of Griffith is the most noted one. It is true that most organizations have brought about significant changes in their job descriptions. While previously having academic qualifications was enough to secure a job, nowadays the scenario has become a little tougher. Now, having a specific set of skills along with the required academic qualifications is necessary. In fact, the aforementioned three qualities are considered to be imperative for achieving satisfactory results and eventual success in the professional field. Jakari Griffith has conducted extensive on the said subject and performance improvement. His research is well regarded and appreciated by scholars and students alike.

Jakari Griffith has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles on the said subject. These articles focus on the major psychological states of employees that enable them to improve their performances considerably. To say for instance, Griffith’s work on “Learning motivation and the transfer of human capital development” and “Ethnic identity and job attribute preferences” explain the importance of positive psychological states which have been made necessary by contemporary perspectives of employee development. Eminent journals like Human Resource Development Review and Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies have published Dr. Griffith’s articles.

Griffith has earned his Ph.D. in Management from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. Before that he completed his BA from Florida A&M University (Business Administration) and his MA (Public Administration). He presently serves as the Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University. His area of interest in the field of research deals with human capital development through the development of positive psychological capacities. This is commonly known as Psychological Capital.

Jakari Griffith is also an environment enthusiast. He regularly practices bicycling and also advocates in order to reduce carbon emissions. Besides his work, family and friends, he likes to spend time travelling and takes much interest in photography.

Dr. Jakari Griffith and His Many Accomplishments

One fact that employers and employees across the world unanimously agree on is that employee engagement has come a very long way from where it stood even a decade back. Previously it used to be just a management buzzword, the concept of which was hardly understood by the employees themselves. Today, not only has it become a factor that is very seriously considered by almost all companies, it is also become a vital element of the HRM.


 In this aspect, much light has been shed on positive psychology too. Positive psychology in an organizational set up is of immense importance. The presence or lack of it can determine just how productive an organization’s workforce is. The implementation of positive psychology in the workplace basically ensures the creation of an environment which is not just more productive but also a lot more enjoyable. It is this very notion that Dr. Jakari Griffith has addressed in his works. He is a much beloved teacher. However, he is also a much acclaimed researcher who has conducted many studies in the fields of diversity, positive psychology and leadership.

Jakari Griffith’s work on important and increasingly relevant subjects like “Learning motivation and the transfer of human capital development” and “Ethnic identity and job attribute preferences” clearly explains just how important positive psychological states are in deciding contemporary perspectives about employee development. It is really no surprise that his works have been featured in globally renowned journals like Human Resource Development Review and Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. Having presented at many an academic conference that include prestigious names like Academy of Management, International Association of Conflict Management, and the Academy of International Business, Dr. Griffith is undoubtedly a favourite of his students.

Jakari Griffith

As if all his academic works were not enough, Jakari Griffith has also earned much fame and honour for his environmentalist endeavours. He is very particular about reducing his carbon emissions and thus rides his bicycle to commute regularly. Having participated in the New York City TD Five Boro Bicycle Tour for years 2011 and 2012 and having completed a 1300 mile-long bicycle journey from New York City, NY to Ocala, FL in eighteen days, Dr. Griffith is also known for his bicycle advocacy. Besides spending time with his friends and family, he is also much interested in jazz music, travel, nature, photography and the sound of bullfrogs.

Jakari Griffith Management Department Faculty Publications

Jakari Griffith has conducted extensive studies on the importance of positive states of human mind in employee development. He is currently serving as the Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University and the Adjunct Professor at Salem State College and is much admired by his students for his real world approach to classroom instruction.

As organizations seek to improve competitive advantage and promote high performance work practices, the human capital component of the productivity equation is receiving increasing recognition (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004; Cavanaugh& Noe, 1999; Delaney & Huselid, 1996; Ling & Jaw, 2006; Ulrich, 1997). Both ac- ademics and practitioners now emphasize the “human equation” for compet- itive advantage (Pfeffer, 1998). Shrinking workforces due to downsizing, out- sourcing, and other cost cutting measures have had profound consequences for organizational human capital capacity. Wright, Dunford, and Snell (2001) sug- gest that organizational proitability and competitive advantage can be sustained only through enhancing product quality and increasing employee productivity. To maximize employee performance, training and development programs are the primary methods that organizations use to build organizational human capital capabilities (Holton, Coco, Lowe, & Dutsch, 2006). Training magazine (2006) re- cently estimated that US organizations budgeted US $56 billion on employee ed- ucation and learning programs.

Organizations use employee education programs to improve general and spe- ciic human capital compatibilities, to direct employee performance, and to in- luence employee engagement (Holton et al., 2006; Narayan, Steele-Johnson, Del- gado & Cole, 2007). Successful education programs have goals that align with organizational strategy; this alignment is intended to create mutuality between employee work related behaviors and employer short and long term goals (Le Deist & Winterton, 2005). However, there are mixed opinions regarding the ef- fectiveness of these programs (Kontoghiorghes, 2001). In spite of the large expen- diture of inancial and other resources, employee educational interventions often fall short of providing the fall beneits for which they were intended (Cromwell & Kolb, 2004). Consequently, organizations are continually looking for innovative methods not only for delivering education and learning programs but also for ensuring the effectiveness of these programs in creating and enhancing human capital capabilities, and positively impacting job performance (Fumya, Stevens, Oddou, Bird, & Mendenhall, 2007).

Basically,   employee   development   initiatives   focus   on   the   acquisition   of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) necessary to produce peak performance outcomes. Traditionally, targeted KSAs relect explicit skill sets that are visibly 74       Co M B s , Lu T h a N s , & GR I F F I T h   I N   The   Peak   Perf Orming   Organiza Ti On   ( 2009 ) connected to task performance. However, research continues to stress that the ef- fectiveness of employee learning and development programs can be greatly im- pacted by parameters other than the development programs themselves (Combs& Luthans, 2007).

Important to the effective development of employees are two primary com- ponents —learning motivation and the transfer of learning to the work setting (Hawley & Barnard, 2005; Holton, Chen & Naquin, 2003; Noe, 1986). Colquitt, LePine and Noe (2000) deine learning motivation as “the direction, intensity, and persistence of learning-directed behavior in training [learning] contexts” (p. 678). Through meta-analysis of research on learning motivation they recognized the importance of examining learning motivation and learning transfer by focusing on particular individual characteristics as powerful inluencers on learning/edu- cation program success. Learning transfer may be deined as the effective appli- cation of knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, and behaviors that are acquired in learning/educational programs back to the work setting (Cromwell & Kolb, 2004; Holton & Baldwin, 2003). Jakari Griffith

In this chapter, we propose that the recently emerging core construct of psy-

chological capital (Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman, 2007; Luthans, Youssef,

& Avolio, 2007) may positively inluence individual learning motivation (e.g., human capital development) and transfer of learning to the job (e.g., employee performance). Speciically, Fold, Quinones, Sego, and Sorra (1992) suggest that trainee characteristics inluence the motivation to perform and the effort that may be expended to perform well. Considerable research has centered on the cogni- tive processes that impact motivation for learning and the ability to use the learn- ing acquired (Baldwin & Ford, 1988; Cromwell & Kolb, 2004; Holton et al., 2003; Machin & Fogarty, 2003). Goldstein and Ford (2002) suggest that more attention be given to individual psychological processes that can have positive inluence on prelearning outcomes (learning motivation) and post-learning performance (learning transfer). Here we use PsyCap to represent the psychological processes. PsyCap, made up of hope, eficacy, optimism, and resiliency, can be used to rep- resent internal factors of individuals that forge positive perceptions of their hu- man capital strengths (e.g., see Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003; Luthans, 2002a, 2002b, 2003; Nelson & Cooper, 2007). These positive psychological strengths al- low employees to reduce concentration on what is wrong and what cannot be done and to maximize effectiveness to maintain pursuit of productive perfor- mance outcomes.

We will irst provide the theoretical background for PsyCap, briely summa- rize how PsyCap is being measured and developed, then discuss the theory and research indings regarding learning motivation and transfer of training, and i- nally we will propose the application of PsyCap to enhance learning motivation and learning transfer.

Theoretical basis for PsyCap and associated constructs

Psychological capital (PsyCap) is an outgrowth of the positive approach to or- ganizational behavior (Cameron et al., 2003; Luthans, 2002a, 2002b; Luthans & erts, 2006; Turner, Barling & Zacharatos, 2002; Wright, 2003), which in turn is rooted in the positive psychology movement that focuses on human psycholog- ical strengths and the positive aspects of human functioning (Petersen & Selig- man, 2004; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Snyder & Lopez, 2002). Specii- cally, positive organizational behavior (POB) involves, “the study and application of positive oriented human resource strengths and psychological capacities that can be measured, developed, and effectively managed for performance improve- ment in today’s workplace” (Luthans, 2002b, p. 59). Following this deinition, to be included in POB, a positive psychological resource must be theory and re- search based, have valid measurement, be “state-like,” rather than “trait-like,” be open to development through intervention, and inally have performance impact (Luthans, 2002a, 2002b; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007).

The psychological resources that were determined to best meet the POB crite- ria so far include eficacy, optimism, hope, and resiliency, and when combined, have been termed psychological capital or simple PsyCap (Luthans & Youssef, 2004; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007). PsyCap is deined as

an individual’s positive psychological state of development that is char- acterized by: (1) having conidence (self-eficacy) to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks; (2) making a pos- itive attribution (optimism) about succeeding now and in the future;

(3) persevering toward goals and when necessary, redirecting paths to goals (hope) in order to succeed; and (4) when beset by problems and adversity, sustaining and bouncing back and even beyond (resiliency) to attain success.

(Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007, p. 3).

The underlying common agentic capacity running through the four compo- nents of PsyCap is the “positive appraisal of circumstances and probability for success based on motivated effort and perseverance” (Luthans, Avolio, et al., 2007, p. 550). There is both conceptual (Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007) and empirical (Luthans, Avolio, et al., 2007) support for PsyCap as a second order, core construct. We will next provide a brief overview of each of the four compo- nents of PsyCap, the PsyCap measurement instrument, and the PsyCap develop- mental intervention model.

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The Importance of Organizational Human Capital Development

Jakari Griffith has conducted extensive research on learning motivation and how it affects human capital movement. He has time and again emphasized the psychological capital development. For meeting organizational goals, the importance of human capital development and related programs cannot be undermined. Without the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities, improvement in employee performance cannot be expected.

Jakari Griffith Human Capital Development

Jakari Griffith Human Capital Development

Organizations, all across the globe have now started giving considerable attention to the field of positive psychological development of their employees, in order to promote better work ethics and increase productivity. As a result the sector of human capital development has started receiving increasing recognition. Academics and practitioners both sectors now emphasize ‘human equation’ which influences competitive advantage to an extensive degree.

It must be mentioned here that recently all over workforces have been seen decreasing due to methods like outsourcing, downsizing and a number of other cost cutting measures. As a result, the human capital capacity of organizations has also been affected tremendously. Many noted researchers believe that organizational human capital capacity can be increased only by improving the quality of the products and significantly improving the employee productivity. Now, the natural question here is how the productivity of the human capital can be increased. For the initial stage constant development can be boosted by training, workshops, meetings and other methods. The works of Jakari Griffith can shed much light on this matter.

It is a proven that organizations employ certain educational programs for employees that improve general and very specific compatibilities as far as human capital are concerned. It has to be understood that these very same programs are used to direct employee performance as well as to boost employee engagement. Jakari Griffith, in his works, emphasizes that effective human capital development programs must have goals that are in line with the organizational goals. The idea is to strike a balance between employee work related goals and employer’s long and short term goals. Though, admittedly, the success rates of such programs are debatable.

Jakari Griffith’s work focuses on the fact that human capital development in the organizational context needs to be focused on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities and it is only then that satisfactory performance outcomes can be expected.