Positive Organizational Scholarship

Topics: Positive psychology, Psychology, Organization Pages: 6 (2155 words) Published: May 13, 2013


Positive organizational scholarship is an emerging discipline in organizational behavior and is about positivity in organization. The need for it emerged to bridge the gap between moral and rational objectives. It is not a new science, it is the new way of looking at things, it’s like you have just changed your glasses. In today’s world, society is facing extremely tough challenges in the form of global warming, natural disasters, economic recession, unprecedented homelessness, terrorism and the draining continuation of war. So at this moment of extreme negative happenings and uncertainty, what is needed to be emphasized and brought up is positive. With all this sadness and horror, where in the world does a science based on testing happiness, wellbeing, personal growth and ‘the good life’ fit into the modern-day agenda? So, Positive psychology; is the study of topics such as happiness, optimism, personal growth and subjective well being. It promotes the factors that allow the groups and communities to thrive or flourish. At the current stage in this world of negativity, positive psychology focuses on positive experiences at three time points a) past centering contentment; b) present focusing current happiness c) future including optimism and hope. We should know that what a good life is ? Aristotle and Plato used to believe that when people carried out a virtuous life they would become authentically happy. The happiness are of two types in positive psychology according to Seligman, one is hedonic happiness which is high level of positive affect and low levels of negative effect, in addition to high subjective life satisfaction. Other is eudemonic wellbeing which focuses more on creation of meaning and purpose in life.(Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011) A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless. The model of Seligman of Positive psychology is divided into three parts: The pleasurable life, the good life, and the meaningful life. The "pleasurable life" is about things like shopping, eating, drugging, meaningless sex, etc. The research is finding that having more pleasures does not increase life satisfaction. The "good life" as defined by Seligman is about understanding and using one's core strengths/virtues in work and love and play. He, in conjunction with Chris Peterson, developed a VIA Signature Strengths Survey found that Having a life of high absorption does correlate to life satisfaction measures according to Seligman. Lastly, the "meaningful life" is when a person uses his/her strengths for the purpose of something larger than him/herself. Choosing to live a life of faith, purpose, meaning, correlates to life satisfaction measures. Marty also sees this aspect of his model directly related to Positive Institutions—those organizations that promote positive character development and/or meaning. He's mostly focused on non-profits and religious organizations but others are applying it to for-profit organizations.(Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) An approach that is positive to selection, development, and management of human resources in organizations has been emphasized by both scholars and professionals over the years. A wide variety of positively oriented high-performance work practices in placement, compensation, and motivation and their underlying strategies, structures, and cultures have also been extensively studied and supported for their contributions to organizational performance and competitiveness. Research and consulting by the Gallup Organization also supports the importance of positive, strength-based organizational cultures and...

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