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Embracing A Positive Business Model Is Good For More Than Just Your Community

May 16, 2014

In an article for Fast Company, Chris White discusses the importance of a positive business model:

“In both life and work, purpose is the secret ingredient to success.

“Countless studies prove the positive effect of having a sense of meaningful contribution to others in our lives, and it’s no different for work.

“When we feel that our day-to-day work is aligned with our values, our strengths, and our passions, we perform better: We are happier and more engaged in the workplace. We form deeper, more significant relationships with those around us. And when we have purpose, we live longer, healthier lives.”


U-M Study: Positive Co-Worker Connections Bring Good Health

May 16, 2014

Writing for DBusiness, Izzi Bendall takes a close look at some of Jane Dutton’s newest research:

“Even just a short conversation with a colleague can have a positive impact on a person’s cardiovascular, immune, and neuroendocrine systems, providing energy and motivation during the workday, says new research from the University of Michigan.

“‘These short, momentary interactions with people at work are like vitamins — they strengthen and fortify you throughout your day,’ says Jane Dutton, a professor of business administration and psychology at the university. ‘The good news is that these connections don’t take a lot of time to build. They happen quickly, and small gestures pay big dividends.'”


Positive Business Conference at U-M draws 350

May 16, 2014

Frank Witsil, writing for the Detroit Free Press, covers the inaugural Positive Business Conference. In the article, he quotes the Center’s Chris White and Shirli Kopelman.

“About 350 students, academics and business leaders gathered this week at the University of Michigan for the first Positive Business Conference.

“‘Our mission is to develop leaders and make a difference in the world,” Chris White, the managing director for the Center for Positive Organizations, said Friday. ‘Positive businesses create economic value, create great workplaces and are good neighbors.'”


Corporate Ethics Slide Because of Bad Negotiations

May 15, 2014

In a piece for Bloomberg Businessweek, Shirli Kopelman writes about the importance of teaching business students how to negotiate:

“If business schools are to graduate leaders who “do no evil,” to paraphrase one of Google’s principles, then we must teach them how to negotiate.

“This may seem like an unorthodox approach to minting a new generation of ethically minded managers. The fact is negotiating can be a useful vehicle for doing good deeds. All sorts of negotiations happen on a daily basis, whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s a negotiation when we want our idea selected in a staff meeting, when we want to move a project deadline, divvy up team responsibilities, and even decide where to go for lunch.”


Cascade Engineering’s Fred Keller leads by example

May 2, 2014

Reporting for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Charlsie Dewey interviews the Center for Positive Organizations’ new executive-in-residence, Fred Keller. Fred is CEO of Cascade Engineering, the second-largest certified benefit corporation in the world.


10 Ways to Set Yourself Up For Success in a New Job

April 28, 2014

In an article for Business Insider, Aaron Hurst outlines 10 ways to set yourself up for success in new job. His ideas are inspired by his own personal experience, as well as the research of Justin Berg, Jane Dutton, and Amy Wrzesniewski. “Starting on your first day,” Hurst writes, “you can begin to do what workplace researchers Justin Berg, Jane Dutton, and Amy Wrzesniewski call job crafting. It is the process of taking control of your own destiny and shaping your job to meet your needs and not just your employer’s.”


9 Ways to Find More Meaning In Your Job

April 22, 2014

In an article for Business Insider, Aaron Hurst mentions the importance of the work of Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane Dutton, as well as the value of Job Crafting:

“Pioneering psychologists like Amy Wrzesniewski, an associate professor at Yale, and Jane E. Dutton, a professor at the University of Michigan have been studying the nature of meaning at work for over a decade now. Their work is enabling us to begin to understand how we can take control of the meaning we experience at the office.

“In studying job crafting, the process of redesigning a job to boost meaning, they found that people could increase their sense of purpose by adjusting their tasks, relationships and approach to their work. These are all actions we can take in just about any job. They don’t require re-writing your job description.”


Being ‘Good’ Isn’t the Only Way to Go

April 19, 2014

Aaron Hurst, in an article for the New York Times, urges the importance of engagement in the workplace, citing research from Jane Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski:

“Finding meaning is about being engaged. When Amy Wrzesniewski, an associate professor at Yale, and Jane E. Dutton, a professor at the University of Michigan, along with other researchers, looked at workers in a wide range of organizations, from hospital cleaners to administrators and managers, they found several ways in which workers crafted purpose in each profession.

Their findings reinforced previous research that had demonstrated that the ways individuals viewed work might be more tied to their personality traits than to the work itself. They infuse their work with purpose learned from past experiences. How they view work may largely be driven by the role models they had growing up. Some see it as merely a chore in their lives, while others view it as the core of life.”


POS in Action: Practical Implications of Research on Compassion at Work

April 17, 2014

Research suggests that compassion matters at work, and has positive effects on both those who demonstrate it in response to suffering, and those who experience compassion from others. In the recent article “Compassion at Work” for Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Jane Dutton and her co-authors define compassion and suffering, review what researchers currently know about compassion at work, and discuss implications for practice and for future research. Dutton et al. note that, “The timeliness of a focus on compassion at work arises from new scientific evidence and recent calls for more enriched relational perspectives in organizational psychology.” The authors note that suffering at work can arise from events in one’s personal life, from the work itself, from negative interpersonal experiences at work, or from organizational actions, and cite the hundreds of billions of dollars businesses lose annually because of grief, stress, and burnout suffered by the individuals who comprise them. The authors describe research on the role of compassion in responding to this suffering.