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Validation and test of central concepts in positive work and organizational psychology

The second report from the Nordic project Positive factors at work

image of Validation and test of central concepts in positive work and organizational psychology

Positive psychology is about studying and understanding positive psychological phenomena - the things that work for people, organizations and societies. The insights of positive psychology have also manifested themselves within work and organizational psychology. These trends have entailed a focus on more positive work-related phenomena, as for instance flow, work engagement, meaningfulness, and well-being at work. The aim of this report is to conduct a closer inspection of central concepts in positive work and organizational psychology. Firstly, the report assesses the validity of a series of measures of positive concepts and secondly, the report analyzes relationships between positive concepts and a series of positive individual and organizational outcomes. The analyses yield interesting findings that may contribute to a new working life research front with a strong potential generating knowledge that may prove useful in enhancing a healthy work environment.

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Introduction

Positive psychology is about studying and understanding positive psychological phenomena — the things that work for people, organizations and societies. What makes people resilient? What makes organizations prosper? What causes individual well-being? What makes societies function as harmonious entities? Such questions, framed from the vantage point of positive psychology, are difficult to answer using the conceptual framework of mainstream psychology and its preoccupation with phenomena related to risk factors, mental illness and suboptimal organizational outcomes. Accordingly, the basic premise of positive psychology is that positive phenomena must be investigated and understood in their own right, as it is impossible to understand the factors that leads to health, balance and meaningfulness by investigating illness, distress and alienation (Snyder & Lopez, 2007).

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