Chun Lok LUI

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Sociology and Social Policy

First Advisor

Prof. Oi Ling SIU

Second Advisor

Dr Francis Y.L. CHEUNG


With reference to Fredrickson‘s (2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, the current study investigated the mechanism of how positive emotions contribute to desirable outcomes to the organization through psychological capital (PsyCap), which is a positive, state-like, and performance-related resource comprising self-efficacy, hope, optimism and resilience. To date, only few studies have been done particularly on the relationships between PsyCap and positive emotions among Chinese employees. Studies on PsyCap of police force are even rarer. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanism relating positive emotions and work outcomes, specifically to examine the separate roles of positive emotions and PsyCap on work well-being (job satisfaction and stress symptoms) and turnover intentions in a homogenous sample of Hong Kong police officers. Further, in view of the emerging importance of turnover issue in the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), another objective was to fill the knowledge gap in the research literature by bridging positive emotions and turnover intentions among police. 311 police officers from the HKPF were successfully surveyed. The results obtained from structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses showed that the PsyCap scale developed in Western society was valid and PsyCap was a higher construct comprising the aforementioned components. Further, PsyCap was found to mediate the relationships between positive emotions and the two components of work well-being (job satisfaction and stress symptoms). Moreover, positive emotions and PsyCap associated indirectly with turnover intentions through the mediation of work well-being. This study has four major contributions: (a) to fill the knowledge gap between positive emotions and work outcomes with the extension of Fredrickson‘s (2001) broaden-and-build theory by including PsyCap as a mediator; (b) to contribute to the turnover literature by explaining how positive emotions affect turnover intentions through the mediating process of psychological capital and work well-being; (c) to provide evidence of testing the generalizability of the Western PsyCap measure to a Chinese occupational group; (d) to study the psychological status of officers in the HKPF which has been a less explored group in Hong Kong and is thus a valuable sample. Practical implications of findings and implications for future research on this issue are discussed in the thesis.

Recommended Citation

Lui, C. L. (2011). A study of positive emotions and turnover intentions among Hong Kong police officers: The mediating role of psychological capital and work well-being (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from