Inspiring research and inspiring scholars

Join us at the 2019 POS Research Conference to share and advance empirical and theoretical research in the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS). 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 will present the Award for Outstanding Published Article, which recognizes research in Positive Organizational Scholarship.

Call for Abstracts

Scholars are invited to submit a 1-2 page, single-spaced structured abstract of an empirical and/or theoretical research project for potential presentation at the 2019 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 one of the following 12 research track sessions (oral presentations) or for the visual presentation session (poster session).

Track Name



Positive Emotions at WorkIn this session, we will explore how positive emotions contribute to flourishing among individuals, teams, and organizations. The session will provide the opportunity to consider the use of positive emotions to build personal, interpersonal, and organizational resources. Moreover, we will consider the dynamics and mechanisms through which positive emotions influence outcomes and spread through teams and organizations.Joyce Bono, University of Florida

Michelle Duffy, University of Minnesota

Theresa Glomb, University of Minnesota
Crafting Positive Identities and Enacting our Best Selves in the New World of WorkThis session will feature research on positive identities and identity work in the new world of work. We will explore the challenges and opportunities individuals and organizations face in building and maintaining positive work identities in the age of the 24-7 workplace, the gig economy, hybrid jobs, dual career couples, globalized careers, and other emerging forms of work and organizing. Research in this session will examine the identity and image processes that individuals, dyads, and collectives engage in to create and sustain multiple positive personal, role, relational and collective identities, and the contextual variables that constrain or enhance these processes. In addition, we will explore the mechanisms underlying the construction and maintenance of both positive identities and positive selves. Finally, we will discuss the impact of positive self-construction processes on individual, relational and organizational flourishing.Brianna Barker Caza, University of Manitoba
Crafting Meaningful WorkIn this session, researchers will explore how to create a sense of meaning and purpose in organizations. We are particularly interested in investigations that examine 1) how to create a sense of meaningfulness around an organization’s purpose and mission, 2) social, cultural, and institutional dynamics that impact meaningfulness, 3) the effects of digital technology, distributed work, and contingent work on meaningfulness, and 4) new outcomes of meaningful work for individuals, organizations, and society.Doug Lepisto, Western Michigan University
High Quality Connections and Positive Relationships at WorkThis session addresses 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 will explore research on 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.Emily Heaphy, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Beth Schinoff, Boston College
Compassion in OrganizationsThis session will explore theoretical and empirical work on the expression of compassion in organizations, including work that explores the process of expressing compassion and research on the impact it has for employees, colleagues, and the larger organization. We will delve into various mechanisms by which compassion is organized, coordinated, or spread throughout an organizational setting, including the relevance of leadership, relationships, structures, and cultures for creating or amplifying compassion at work.Monica Worline, Stanford University
Positive Change in OrganizationsIn this session we will examine emerging ways of conceptualizing positive change in organizations and the processes involved in building collective strength and resilience. The session will also provide the opportunity to consider the role of small acts of change in setting the stage for larger scale change efforts and factors that are key in sustaining an organizational culture that promotes continual change.Karen Golden-Biddle, Boston University
Positive Ethics in OrganizationsThis session will include research examining ethics in organizations from a positive lens. Examples of relevant research include studying virtues, moral character, interventions for unethical conduct or promoting prosocial behavior, becoming one's best self, etc.David Mayer, University of Michigan
Positive Organizations and SustainabilityThis session will cover research on the commonalities and intersections across the fields of Positive Organizational Scholarship and Sustainability Scholarship. We will explore the similarities across the fields in terms of flourishing among humans, organizations, and natural resources. Topics will include the meanings of positive deviance, mechanisms of flourishing, and stewardship of sustainable systems that are shared across the two fields.Erica Steckler, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Oana Branzei, Western University
Positive Organizational CultureIn this session, we will explore the pillars of positive organizational cultures (i.e., cultures that allow the organization to survive and its employees to thrive), strategies for creating and sustaining such cultures, and their impact on employee engagement, well-being, and performance, and organizational outcomes such as innovation, safety, and financial metrics. We will consider a variety of factors contributing to positive organizational cultures, including but not limited to leadership styles and behavior, the experience and expression of discrete emotions, an ethical climate, virtuous practices, high quality connections, meaning-making after negative events, and prosocial behaviors.Olivia (Mandy) O'Neill, George Mason University
Positive Leadership: What We Know for SurePositive 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.Amy E. Colbert, University of Iowa
Growth and Resilience at WorkThis session will provide the opportunity to explore processes of individual and collective growth and resilience at work. We are keen to hear about research on growth both that develops out of positive, supportive contexts, and that emerges from the suffering associated with adverse and even traumatic experiences. We also welcome work on resilience at the individual, team or organizational level, especially studies that examine the mechanisms underpinning processes of positive adaptation in the face of significant challenge.Sally Maitlis, Oxford University
(In)Equity and (In)Justice in Organizations Seeking to Do GoodIn striving for inclusion, organizations must face hard truths including the underrepresentation of marginalized employees (e.g., women of color) in leadership, pay and wage inequities, and experiences of injustice in the forms of harassment and mistreatment. These truths are also present in organizations that seek to “do good” such as nonprofits, community organizations, and social enterprises. In this session, we will examine how “good” organizations grapple with inequities and injustices towards crafting an inclusive environment. We especially invite research that explores these concepts in non-traditional workplaces.Courtney McCluney, University of Virginia

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.

Notification of acceptance and assignment into a session will take place on or before January 15, 2019. At that time, all members of the authorship team will be invited to register for the conference. For co-authored works: Only one author per authorship team should complete the submission process.

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 15, 2019.

Conference rates
  • Standard – $250

For more information email


Open: September 1, 2018
Close: December 14, 2018
Notification: January 15, 2019

2019 Conference organizers

Mari Kira, Amy Young, Hilary Hendricks, and Eun Bit Hwang

Helpful links

Sponsored in part by

Relational Coordination Research Collaborative