2017 Award for Outstanding Published Article in Positive Organizational Scholarship

May 8, 2017

The Center for Positive Organizations is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 Award for Outstanding Published Article in Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) is “What’s love got to do with it? A longitudinal study of the culture of companionate love and employee and client outcomes in the long-term care setting.” The article was written by Sigal G. Barsade and Olivia A. O’Neill and published in the December 2014 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly.

Sigal G. Barsade

The winning article discusses the “implications of a culture of companionate love for both cognitive and emotional theories of organizational culture.” The research examines the role of a culture of companionate love in a long-term care setting and finds that an “emotional culture of companionate love at work” positively impacts employee satisfaction and performance and protects against emotional exhaustion.

This research “makes a strong theoretical contribution by developing the idea of companionate love in work organizations. We often talk about trust and respect in the workplace, but rarely about love,” said Gretchen Spreitzer, the Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration and faculty director of the Center for Positive Organizations.

An exemplary model of innovation and methodology, the paper offers innovative framing of the research, which was a challenge as Barsade and O’Neill chose between a culture of companionate love versus a general emotional culture approach. “It has been exciting to see scholars and practitioners showing interesting in and doing further research in both domains,” Barsade and O’Neill said.

Olivia A. O’Neill

Methodologically, the paper presents a 16-month field study in a long-term care facilities where important outcomes are studied that mattered to the health care setting including lower absenteeism, less burnout, and greater teamwork and job satisfaction as well as more-satisfied patients, better patient moods, and fewer unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

Sigal G. Barsade, Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor and Professor of Management at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, said she is most excited by “the findings that work place relationships were deep enough to sustain companionate love.”

Olivia (Mandy) A. O’Neill, associate professor of Management at George Mason University and senior scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, explained that “this is a beginning, and opportunity to define and establish the need for more research in the area of companionate love in the workplace.”

Pursuant of this finding, the authors offer a set of emotional culture scales in the paper hoping to encourage more research in the field.

The Award was established in 2008 by the Center for Positive Organizations, part of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Article submissions must be empirical in orientation and address key issues or themes in Positive Organizational Scholarship, but may be based on any discipline, such as psychology, sociology, or organization studies.

Barsade and O’Neill will be honored for their inspiring empirical contribution to the field at the 2017 Biennial Positive Organizational Scholarship Research Conference in May in Ann Arbor, Michigan.