The conceptual and empirical value of a positive lens: An invitation to organizational scholars to develop novel research questions

By: Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Christopher Myers, Dave M. Mayer,


This article articulates how a positive lens contributes to organizational studies by stimulating novel research questions to foster flourishing in individuals, teams, and organizations. We highlight how researchers have used a positive lens to transform the kinds of questions that are asked in three domains of organizational research—resources, learning, and ethics. We then draw out and illuminate three pathways indicative of applying a positive lens—resource unlocking, capacity creating, and strength building. In closing, we invite scholars to consider applying a positive lens to their own area of inquiry to bolster understanding of flourishing within and across organizations by offering a set of questions to help them determine if their own domains of inquiry might be ripe for a positive lens.