Organization, Information and Learning Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-11-2022


We have all experienced grief. The death of a person or pet, the death of a relationship or end of a job, and even disappointments carry with them experiences of grief. Whenever someone or something dies, we try to make meaning of the situation to find some closure and move toward a new normal. Meaning making occurs as we tell our stories, share our experiences, and sort through memories. Qualitative research is much the same. In qualitative research one might hear, see, or experience a story, then sort through the details, looking for ways to explain and bring meaning and understanding to it. This autoethnographic dissertation is part of that meaning making journey for me. My husband, Robert, died in December of 2017 after many years of being an alcoholic. Using my Facebook posts, journals, photos, and field notes, I looked at my grief story and my psychological capital (PsyCap.) I also used the Psychological Capital Questionnaire as a data source. In this qualitative longitudinal study, I explored what our grief stories tell us about our PsyCap, what we can learn about PsyCap and our experience of the stages of grief, and how the malleability of PsyCap is an interplay of its four component resource parts (hope, efficacy, resiliency, and optimism.) PsyCap, as a composite construct of four component resources, and grief, have not to my knowledge, been studied in this way. This dissertation opens doors to new and compelling ways of looking at both PsyCap and grief.

Degree Name

Organization, Information and Learning Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Organization, Information & Learning Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Frances Wilkinson

Second Committee Member

Victor Law

Third Committee Member

Eliseo Torres

Fourth Committee Member

Samuel Marc Davidson




grief, psychological capital, story, autoethnography, stages of grief, malleability of PsyCap

Document Type