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Positive Organizational Behavior: Developing and Managing Psychological Strengths [and Executive Commentary]

Fred Luthans and Allan H. Church
The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005)
Vol. 16, No. 1, Theme: Focusing on the Positive and Avoiding the Negative (Feb., 2002), pp. 57-75
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165814
Page Count: 19
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Positive Organizational Behavior: Developing and Managing Psychological Strengths [and Executive Commentary]
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Abstract

This article proposes a positive approach to organizational behavior (OB). Although the importance of positive feelings has been recognized through the years in the academic OB and popular literature, both management scholars and practitioners have arguably too often taken a negative perspective--trying to fix what is wrong with managers and employees and concentrating on weaknesses. Positive organizational behavior (POB) follows the lead of recently emerging positive psychology, which is driven by theory and research focusing on people's strengths and psychological capabilities. Instead of just retreading and putting a positive spin on traditional OB concepts, this unveiling of POB sets forth specific criteria for inclusion. Not only does positivity have to be associated with the concept, but it must also be relatively unique to the OB field, have valid measures, be adaptable to leader/management and human resource training and development, and, most important, capable of contributing to performance improvement in today's workplace. The criteria-meeting concepts of confidence/self-efficacy, hope, optimism, subjective well-being/happiness, and emotional intelligence (or the acronym CHOSE) are identified and analyzed as most representative of the proposed POB approach. The implications of these POB concepts for the workplace are given particular attention.

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