2022 POS Research Conference

Inspiring Research and Inspiring Scholars

The POS Research Conference is an opportunity to share and advance empirical and theoretical research in the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship. This biennial gathering of scholars promotes research that inspires and enables leaders to build high-performing organizations that bring out the best in people.

At the conference, the Michigan Ross Center for Positive Organizations typically presents the Award for Outstanding Published Article, which recognizes research in Positive Organizational Scholarship.

Call for Abstracts

Scholars are invited to submit a one-page, single-spaced abstract of an empirical or theoretical research project for potential presentation at the 2022 POS Research Conference. Abstracts should summarize already conducted (as opposed to planned) scholarly work and should be structured with the following components:

  • Purpose and theoretical background
  • Design/methodology/approach
  • Findings
  • Implications for research
  • Implications for practice
  • Originality/value
  • Keywords (up to 5)
  • Paper type (conceptual or empirical)

Abstracts may be selected for presentation in one of the 12 research tracks (oral presentation) or for the visual presentation session (poster session).

Track NameTrack DescriptionTrack Leader(s)
Positive Work-Life InterfaceIn this session, we will explore theoretical and empirical research on adaptive interactions among work and other life domains. We will delve into the fruitful ways life outside of work—such as leisure, community, friendship, family, and health—influences employees’ emotions, attitudes, and behaviors. In particular, we are interested in work that highlights various healthy stimuli employees experience beyond the workday. We will also discuss the various theoretical mechanisms that explain the positive interface between work and non-work, and possible reciprocal relationships. Finally, we will discuss the importance of adopting a more holistic perspective of employees—who they are inside and outside of work—in order to understand how to best cultivate a positive work-life interface for employees, organizations, and their leaders.Kate Zipay, University of Oregon
POISED for the DEEP End: Positive Organizational Scholarship for Diversity, Equity, and Equality in PracticeIncreasingly, organizations are tasked with developing effective tools and strategies to tackle issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Yet, in order to do so effectively, organizations need to become balanced, agile, and adept enough to gain a true understanding of the underrepresented and minority employee experience. This session invites research that moves beyond the “shallower” end of DEI research and practice (e.g., focusing on making the case for DEI) to exploring what necessary, concrete practices are effective in driving deeper, longer lasting organizational changes. We invite submissions that explore the gamut of these issues, with an emphasis on how research can both contribute to positive organizational progress toward DEI goals, while effectively addressing the current realities of the working world, particularly for those most affected by DEI practices.Tianna Barnes, University of Pennsylvania

Katina Sawyer, George Washington University
High Quality Connections and Positive Relationships at WorkThis session will address High Quality Connections (HQCs) and positive relationships at work by considering the conditions, contexts, and behaviors that promote and sustain meaningful human connections in the workplace. We seek research that explores the key contributors to and outcomes of HQCs and positive relationships at work in terms of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social processes. This session will also cover the importance of HQCs and positive relationships for individuals and collectives across a variety of organizational contexts and levels of analysis (e.g., dyad, individual, team, network). In addition to these broad topics, we particularly encourage submissions that address positive relationships and new technologies, positive relationships and the changing nature of work (e.g., remote and gig work), and the complexities or challenges that accompany close relationships at work.Jessica Methot, Rutgers University and University of Exeter

Julianna Pillemer, New York University

Beth Schinoff, Boston College
Crafting Meaningful Work in the Face of DisruptionIn this session, we will showcase research that examines how individuals, groups, and organizations respond to major shifts and disruptions with intentional efforts to persist in meaningful work. Across levels of analysis, we will explore how people and the organizations they comprise develop, preserve, adapt, and craft a sense of meaning and purpose for themselves and/or others.John Paul (JP) Stephens, Case Western Reserve University
Compassion in OrganizationsThis session will explore theoretical and empirical work on the expression of compassion and self-compassion in organizations. We explore the micro-dynamics of compassion and intra-individual processes of self-compassion, as well as relational and interpersonal dynamics of compassion. We welcome research focused on the impact of self-compassion and compassion for employees, work relationships, and the larger organization. We will delve into mechanisms by which compassion is organized, coordinated, or spread throughout organizations, including the relevance of leadership, relationships, structures, and cultures for creating and amplifying compassion and self-compassion at work.Monica Worline, University of Michigan

Reut Livne-Tarandach, Manhattan College
Enacting and Facilitating ResilienceThis session will explore resilience as something that organizations, groups and individuals do. We are interested in the processes of enacting resilience, as well as how workplace practices, norms, and contexts facilitate or undermine those processes. We welcome work on resilience at the individual, group, and organizational level and especially studies that consider the mechanisms underpinning processes of resilience during, not just after, significant challenges.Michelle Barton, Johns Hopkins University
Positive Identities and Identity WorkThis session will explore theoretical and empirical work related to positive identities and identity work. We seek research that pushes our current understanding of the conditions, contexts, and processes surrounding positive identities and positive selves. We encourage submissions that advance our current understanding of how positive self-construction processes impact individual, relational, and organizational flourishing. We also look forward to including work that provides insight on some of the complexities of positive identities and identity work, including topics such as resilience and positive identities, maintenance of positive identities in situations of hardship, positively reinventing oneself in the work domain, and the identity work associated with contrasting positivity and negativity in organizational settings.Kristie Rogers, Marquette University

Brianna Caza, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Broadening the Aperture on What Makes Emotional Experiences PositiveIn this session, we will expand the aperture on emotions: Exploring how positive, negative, and ambivalent emotions contribute to positive outcomes for individuals, teams, and organizations. The session will provide the opportunity to consider how positive, negative, and ambivalent emotions are all socially functional from an evolutionary standpoint, with important positive implications for individuals, leaders, and teams. Moreover, we will consider the organizational and relational contexts (e.g., cultures, norms, task contexts), interpersonal dynamics (e.g., listening and high quality relationship), and mechanisms through which positive, negative, and ambivalent emotions influence positive outcomes and spread through teams and organizations.Naomi Rothman, Lehigh University
Positive Change and Interventions in OrganizationsThis session will feature an increasingly popular type of research which uses interventions to create positive change in work-related outcomes. Interventions are applied to many problems, from well-being to productivity, and come in many forms, ranging from writing-reflections to larger-scale trainings. This variety provides a unique opportunity for this session to bring together scholars with different interests, and, drawing from their collective experiences, build depth in our understanding of how to design a high-quality intervention study—from the development of the intervention itself to the methodological considerations and trade-offs. We will also place specific emphasis on unpacking the mechanisms of change; that is, focusing on how the intervention works. Finally, we will discuss and brainstorm future areas of research which would benefit most from interventions and/or how we can creatively apply new technologies to develop novel types of interventions. At a time where our field is placing more value on “real-world” implications, this will be an exciting exploration of research which sits at the intersection of science and practice and has the potential to offer evidence-based solutions to some of the toughest practical challenges.Brittany K. Lambert, Indiana University

Energy and ThrivingIn this session, we will examine the personal and organizational factors that increase energy and thriving in organizations. We will also examine the various outcomes of energy and thriving at work.Gretchen Spreitzer, University of Michigan
Positive LeadershipPositive leadership can be defined in terms of the positive behaviors or perspectives exhibited by the leader, the experienced quality of the leader-follower relationship, or the positively deviant outcomes that result from leadership. In this session, we will explore current theories of and empirical findings regarding positive leadership. We will consider how current research has been shaped by concerns about leadership construct proliferation and what we know for sure about the development and impact of positive leadership. We will also discuss how insights about positive leadership can more effectively impact leadership practice.Michele Williams, University of Iowa
Submission Details
  • When you submit your abstract, you will be prompted to select the two research track preferences that best align with your research. Your track selections will enable the conference organizers to build out a program with robust research tracks.
  • Upload either a PDF or Word document
  • The file name should match this format: “SubmitterLastName_Title of Abstract”
  • Include the submitter’s name somewhere inside the abstract document
  • For co-authored works: Only one author per authorship team should complete the submission process
  • Notification of acceptance and assignment into a session will take place on or before January 18, 2022. At that time, all members of the authorship team will be invited to register for the conference.

Conference Registration

As in previous years, acceptance of your individual or coauthored work is required to secure attendance at the conference. All members of the authorship team will be invited to register for the conference after January 18, 2022. If you would like to attend the conference but do not have accepted work being presented, please complete our Waitlist Form. If seats remain available, we will notify you via email by April 30 and share a private registration link.

Conference Rates

Standard: $299
Doctoral Student: $199

For more information email illuminatingresearch@umich.edu.

Important Dates

Open: October 15, 2021
Close: December 20, 2021
Notifications: January 18, 2022

2022 Conference Organizers

Helpful Links