Workplace Interaction

Topics: Organizational studies, Employment, Meagre set Pages: 45 (9246 words) Published: November 24, 2013
Int J Qualitative Stud Health Well-being


Well-being in the workplace through interaction between individual characteristics and organizational context
GIANLUCA BIGGIO, Professor1 & CLAUDIO G. CORTESE, PhD Professor2 1

Department of Communication Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy and 2Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Well-being in the workplace is considered by many authors to be the outcome of the interaction between individual characteristics and those of the working and organizational environment. This study aims to understand the significance attributed to the concept of well-being in the workplace by employees, its influencing factors, and, among those, the role of individual psychological characteristics. The research was conducted on a sample of 72 employees using a qualitative approach based on focus groups and individual interviews. Data analysis was performed by a paper and pencil technique. The focus groups and interviews collected 628 statements, which were divided into three main areas: meaning of well-being in the workplace (248), any kind factors that affect well-being in the workplace (158), and individual characteristics that affect well-being in the workplace (222). The individual characteristics identified by the participants as capable of influencing well-being in the workplace include being positive, communication, management of difficulties and conflicts, socio-emotional skills, and values. The research was limited by the participants involved and by the sole use of the paper and pencil technique of data analysis. Results highlight that well-being in the workplace does not depend exclusively on external conditions in terms of the working and organizational environment within which the individual operates: so, it could be promoted not only from above, through actions by management, but also from below, influencing individual traits and behaviours. Results would be useful for developing training, workplace counselling, and organizational development activities aimed to support small groups, leaders, and other strategic players in the construction of the subsystems of wellbeing in the workplace.

Key words: Communication, emotion in organizations, employee attitudes, organizational behaviour, organizational psychology, organizational well-being, personality, work environment (Accepted: 22 December 2012; Published: 18 February 2013)

The theme of well-being in the working environment
can be observed from a particular point of view,
stemming from which well-being itself is recognizable as the result of interaction between the characteristics of the individual and those of the working context. In other words, contrary to the assumption

according to which well-being in the workplace
depends exclusively on external conditions in terms
of the working and organizational environment
within which the individual operates (Burke, 1993;
Guest, 2002; Lawson, Noblet, & Rodwell, 2009),
the point of view referred to suggests that individual
characteristics can play an active part in the development of well-being. Exploring the views of the authors who have dealt
with well-being as a result of the interaction between

subjective factors and characteristics of the workplace, it is possible to recognize a common root in interactional theories, which considers a personÁ
organization fit as being crucial in generating wellbeing (Alvesson & Willmott, 2002; Cable & Judge, 1996; Mininni, Manuti, Scardigno, & Rubino,
2010), and three main aspects of study in which
this general approach has declined: the study of
job satisfaction, positive emotions, and relational
Job satisfaction
An initial approach, which has permitted the analysis
of the relationship between well-being in the
workplace and subjectivity, was the study of job

Correspondence: Claudio G. Cortese, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Universita degli Studi...

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