Alfred Bandura (1986) describes self-efficacy as one’s “capabilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources, and causes of action needed to meet given situational demands” (p. 234). Therefore, self-efficacy is formed from one’s referential judgements of past experiences in meeting certain performance goals (Mauer, Neergaard & Linstad, 2017). Alessandri et al. (2015) studied self-efficacy in the workplace and found that a medium to high sense of self-efficacy is a prerequisite for performance-based personality traits such as a positive outlook and enduring effort within a task. Whereas, a lack of self-efficacy, even with the presence of other positive attributes, has been found to be a major reason for mistakes in the workplace (Alessandri, 2015). Returning to Alfred Bandura and his Social Cognitive Theory (1977; 1986), he puts forth the idea that through vicarious experience people can learn behaviours through the observation of someone modelling the behaviour, where learning is indirect rather than through one’s own experience. As such, to increase self-efficacy in the workplace, a mentor or role model may be incorporated who exemplifies self-efficacious behaviours (Alessandri et al., 2015).
Alessandri, G., Borgogni, L., Schaufeli, W. B., Caprara, G. V., & Consiglio, C. (2015). From positive orientation to job performance: The role of work engagement and self-efficacy beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16(3), 767-788. doi: 10.1007/s10902-014-9543-2.
Bandura A (1977) Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Review 84: 191–215
Bandura A (1986) Social Foundations of Thought and Action. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Mauer, R., Neergaard, H., & Linstad, A. K. (2017). Self-efficacy: Conditioning the entrepreneurial mindset. In Revisiting the Entrepreneurial Mind (pp. 293-317). Springer, Cham.