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Positive Psychology in the Workplace

Abstract

An economy in a downward spiral, rising unemployment, anxieties about future job loss, lack of access to affordable health care, a crisis in the financial industry, and declining consumer confidence are among some of the challenges creating significant stress in the lives of workers and their families. What impact are these stressors having on the day-to-day lives of people in the workplace? What role do concepts of positive psychology have in helping people to not only cope more effectively, but open their hearts and minds to move forward with newfound confidence, resilience, determination, hope, and vision for a better future? How can workers and their organizations create a more positive and proactive workplace that bridges economic and human goals? The purpose of this article is to examine these questions through an integrative analysis of conceptual and empirical approaches to positive organizational behavior and outcomes. Theory and research covering such areas as self-determining behavior patterns, emotional intelligence, psychologic capital, innovation, and workplace change are described, analyzed, and applied to individuals, groups, and the overall organizational system. These themes come together through the concept of a virtuous organization. These organizations have cultures infused with a strong ethical–moral foundation and leaders who bring out the best of their employees. Organizations of virtue strive to do well by doing good and strive to do good by doing well. These organizations succeed by having multiple bottom lines, not just economic ones. As such, they bridge the goals of economic development with human development.

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Correspondence to Larry Froman.

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Froman, L. Positive Psychology in the Workplace. J Adult Dev 17, 59–69 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-009-9080-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-009-9080-0

Keywords

  • US economy
  • Workers
  • Organizational culture
  • Ethics
  • Self-motivation