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2010 Award for Best Paper in POS – The Call of the Wild

February 16, 2011


By Janet Max The work leading to the publication of The Call of the Wild: Zookeepers, Callings, and the Double-Edged Sword of Deeply Meaningful Work “started on a whim,” noted co-author Jeffery Thompson in the keynote address he gave with co-author Stuart Bunderson.  “It’s the most playful thing I think either of us ever did […]

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Positive Deviance for a Sustainable World

February 16, 2011


By Nardia Haigh, University of Massachusetts-Boston

The pursuit of sustainability has become a crucial concern for organizations. Companies have invested much to reduce their environmental impact and become good corporate citizens. This focus has produced significant outcomes, such as reduced pollution and an emphasis on corporate social responsibility. However, large-scale social and environmental issues still abound, as social inequities persist and environmental systems continue to be eroded.

What would happen if, rather than focusing on reducing negative impacts (that is, addressing negative deviance), organizations turned their energies towards creating social and environmental abundance (or, creating positive deviance)? The switch is one of turning attention away from becoming “less unsustainable” towards becoming “more sustainable.” It is at once a simple shift in thinking and a magnificent leap forward in practice.

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The curious case of new employees: Are new employees curious? Should they be?

September 30, 2010


By Spencer Harrison, Boston College

Bringing new employees up to speed is a critical concern for organizations. One of the dominant views is that employees are shocked, surprised, and up-ended by various unexpected experiences they encounter on their new jobs. In turn, these negative emotional events force them to learn the nuances of their new job and their new organizational environment. However, recent literature has turned this reactive portrait of new employees on its head, focusing more on new employees as proactive agents: individuals seeking out opportunities to learn and develop themselves. Curiosity, the drive for new information that motivates exploration, provides a new way for assessing why and how individuals explore their new organizations.

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The Power and Possibilities in Positive Work-Related Identities: How Do Self-Definitions Make Us Stronger?

September 30, 2010


By Jane E. Dutton

Sociologists and psychologists have long been interested in self-identity or the ways that people define who they are. How we define ourselves shapes what we do, how we feel, and how we think about the future. A positive organizational scholarship take on self-identity asks an intriguing question: What are the different ways that individuals at work can define themselves positively, and what differences do these different forms of self-identity make? When we talk about positive work-related identities we are including how people define themselves as professionals, as organizational members, or as members of an occupation. Any one of these work-related identities can imbue an individual with meaning that is beneficial or valuable in some way.

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Your Reflected Best Self

September 30, 2010


By Laura Morgan Roberts

The Reflected Best Self Exercise (RBSE) is an innovative leadership and career development tool, used by thousands of emerging and established leaders in premier executive education programs, corporate talent management initiatives, required and elective Masters-level and undergraduate degree programs, professional development seminars, adolescent internship programs, and family and friendship circles. The RBSE is a multi-step process that helps people to discover and activate their best selves.

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Academy of Management OMT Division honors Center for POS with 2010 Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award

September 30, 2010


By Jane E. Dutton

Founders of the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) Wayne Baker, Kim Cameron, Jane Dutton, Robert Quinn, Gretchen Spreitzer, Lynn Wooten were proud to be named as Trailblazers by the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of the Academy of Management. The Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award is given every two years to “scholars who have taken a leadership role in the field of OMT by opening up new lines of thinking or inquiry.

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Team Resilience: Bouncing Back: Learning about Team Resilience

September 30, 2010


By Abraham Carmeli, Bar-Ilan University

While resilience has long been a major topic in psychology, organizational researchers are revealing ways to cultivate resilience at the team and organization levels. Resilience research contributes to positive organizational scholarship (POS) by studying positivity in difficult times. At the same time, a POS perspective has served as a significant platform for building theory and pursuing research aimed at answering these questions: What is resilience? What contributes to enhancing or diminishing resilience in teams and organizations? What are the performance implications of resilience?

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How business can save the world

February 17, 2008


boston.com | February 17, 2008

“A provocative study suggests that enlightened management philosophies can spread from the office — and change societies.”

Gretchen Spreitzer is quoted in a feature by Matthew Battles on her research suggesting that business can have a positive cultural impact. Battles notes that, “Companies that empower their employees to cut costs in the workplace not only improve their bottom lines, but also may foster civic engagement and contribute to peace in the societies where they operate . . . ”

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Positive Organizational Scholarship

February 1, 2007


This department highlights nursing leaders who have demonstrated the ability to inspire and lead change. This competency is seen in the ability to create, structure, and implement organizational change through strategic vision, risk taking, and effective communication. Each article showcases a project of a nurse leader that demonstrates change in a variety of environments ranging from acute care hospitals to home care and alternative practice settings. Included are several “lessons learned” applicable to multiple settings that provide insight for other nurses in executive practice.

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Aligning Culture With Goals

August 11, 2006


Few would argue that matching a worker’s skills and attitude to the tasks required is a step toward success. But what of the company itself?

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