Inspiring research and inspiring scholars

Registration is Now Closed

Due to tremendous interest, the POS Research Conference has already reached maximum capacity.

If you are still interested in attending, please add yourself to our waitlist by clicking here. If any current registrants cannot attend or if we are able to make more seats available, we will notify you by email. Thank you for your interest in the POS Research Conference.

Join us at the POS Research Conference as we share and advance qualitative and quantitative research in the field. This biennial gathering of top scholars features developmental research sessions geared toward building the next generation of POS research.

The 2015 POS Research Conference begins at 4PM on June 23rd, and ends after dinner on the evening of June 24th. This is immediately preceding The Fourth World Congress on Positive Psychology presented by IPPA, June 25-28, 2015.


Tuesday, June 23rd

4:00PM – 7:00PM — Welcome Gathering and Dinner

7:00PM – 8:00PM — Research Award and Presentation

8:00PM – 9:00PM — Mingling and Connecting

Wednesday, June 24th

7:30AM – 8:30AM — Breakfast

8:30AM – 9:30AM —  POS: The Next Generation (Panel)

9:30AM – 10:00AM — Break

10:00AM – 12:00PM — Round 1 Research Breakouts (choose from six research tracks)

12:00PM – 12:30PM — Round 1 Highlight Report-outs

12:30PM – 1:30PM —  Lunch

1:30PM – 3:30PM — Round 2 Research Breakouts (choose from six research tracks)

3:30PM – 4:00PM — Break

4:00PM – 4:30PM —  Round 2 Highlight Report-outs

4:30PM – 5:30PM —  Challenges and Opportunities: Views from Practitioners

5:30PM – 7:00PM —  Break

7:00PM – 9:00PM —  Celebration Dinner

Celebrating excellence in research

The Michigan Ross Center for Positive Organizations will present the 2015 Award for Best Paper in POS to recognize outstanding scholarship in positive organizational scholarship and to encourage research. The award recipient presents at the conference, based on the winning article.

Research Breakouts

On Day 2 of the research conference there will be multiple research papers presented in 12 different research tracks. The research tracks will be hosted by 12 different content curators:

+ Alternative Research Methods in Positive Organizational Scholarship with Andrew Knight

This session presents insights into organizations discovered through atypical and novel methodological approaches. As grounding, the session will begin with a systematic review of methodological trends in existing positive organizational scholarship. Subsequently, a series of papers will highlight alternative methodological approaches – such as insider/outsider ethnography, computer-assisted analysis of video data, mixed methods, and computer-based economic experiments, and critical futures research – that can enrich positive organizational scholarship. Discussion will center on the costs and benefits of using alternative research methods.

+ Energy and Thriving at Work with Christine Porath

This session focuses on energy, thriving, and employee well-being. Presentation topics include giving and relational well-being, energizing interactions at work, recovery experiences, and a measure of well-being.

+ From Strength to Strength? Questioning and Cultivating the Use of Strengths in the Workplace with Lea Waters

This track will begin with a critical review of the strengths literature in an organizational context and asks if a strengths-based approach is a fad or a fundamental business tool. The session will then explore a series of research studies that have used multi-dimensional strength frameworks in specific workplace contexts such as schools, the law and projects teams. Next we will explore distinct strengths in the workplace such as curiosity, creativity and collaboration. The papers include case study, review, conceptual, qualitative and survey designs.

+ Learning, Growth, and Resilience with Sally Maitlis

This session explores processes of learning, growth and resilience in a diverse contexts that include auditors, sustainability change agents, and retirees. Through a rich set of papers, both empirical and conceptual, we examine how individuals and teams respond positively to adversity, and how they learn both from their successes and failures.

+ Empirical Advances in Mindfulness Research: Linking Mindfulness to Personal and Social Outcomes in Organizations with Erik Dane

Connecting mindfulness to specific topics of organizational interest (helping behavior, compassion, work engagement, health, and social dilemmas), the studies associated with this session spotlight the importance of mindfulness in organizations and advance theory and practice on mindfulness.

+ Positive Emotions with Barbara Fredrickson and Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk

In this session, four researchers will present their latest work on positive emotions, organizations, and related topics. In addition to sharing their respective theoretical frameworks and results, each will also share ‘behind the scenes’ insights about their research process. There will also be ample opportunity for group-wide conversations about presenters’ findings, and more broadly, all attendees’ latest findings and interests.

+ Generating Positive Change with Scott Sonenshein

Underlying four vastly different changes—a school seeking improvement through adopting positive practices, a society trying to change behaviors to stave off marriage by abduction among the poor, an army trying to reform mental health practices to fight Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a regeneration effort at a summer camp—may live a common set of mechanisms, processes and practices that help illuminate change theory and practice. By stretching ourselves to find common ground among such different contexts, we will foster a much richer understanding of some of the critical features that explain and cultivate positive change.

+ Cultivating Positive Identities and Meaning Making with Laura Morgan Roberts

This session will feature empirically grounded approaches toward meaning making and cultivating positive identities for individuals and organizations. Interactive discussions will consider the mutual influences of relational processes, organizing processes and meaning making on identities, resources, actions, and well-being outcomes.

+ Positive Relationships and Reciprocity with Emily Heaphy and Brandy Booth

Our session will focus on learning about cutting-edge research on relationship processes (mentoring life-cycles and relationship persistence with former colleagues) and relationship episodes (internal competition on teams and coaching sessions). After hearing from the authors, we will facilitate a discussion about what lessons we can learn about positive relationships, and about conducting research on relationship processes and episodes.

+ Proactivity and Crafting: Making the Place and the Person through Self-initiated Change with Sharon Parker

In this interactive session, we will explore new directions in research on proactivity and job crafting, focusing on how proactivity makes both the place (e.g., by promoting innovation and trust) and the person (e.g., by promoting positive affect and well-being). A key theme will be interpersonal and social processes, and, with this emphasis in mind, the chair will introduce the new concept of wise proactivity.

+ Positive Ethics in Organizations: An Interdisciplinary Perspective with David Mayer

This session includes seven intriguing empirical (quantitative and qualitative) and conceptual papers that take a positive approach to the study of ethics in organizations and draw from diverse disciplines such as psychology, organizational behavior, and philosophy.

+ Fertilizing the Organizational Soil: Research that Illuminates Enlivening Work with Monica Worline

A central focus of Positive Organizational Scholarship is on life-giving dynamics that result in the flourishing of individuals and the development of generative organizational capabilities. In this wildcard track, we will focus on a wide variety of research findings that all have one thing in common: each illuminates an intriguing insight about how to fertilize the soil of organizations such that people and capacities are more likely to come alive. Our track will use insight circles, focused curiosity, and deliberate imagination to see more about what brings us to life as scholars as well as to appreciate research that enlivens work.

If you have any questions, please email illuminatingresearch@umich.edu.

CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS: Sue Ashford, Jane Dutton, Lyndon Garrett, and Ashley Hardin