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Happy employees are healthier (and cheaper)

June 18, 2014


The Guardian | Amy Westervelt

A study conducted by The Ross School of Business and Humana shows that happy employees perform better and cost less for the company. Companies are using an employee happiness survey, developed by Professor Kim Cameron, to measure employee attitudes. Using Cameron’s survey and applying this research has proven to lead to meaningful savings in the long run.

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Guest Feature: Positive Relationships at Work Microcommunity 2014 Meeting

June 16, 2014


By Sucheta Nadkarni (Drexel University), Rajashi Ghosh (Drexel University), Ilene Wasserman (ICW Consulting), and Lyndon Garrett (University of Michigan)

Old memories were rekindled and new thoughts forged when scholars interested in positive relationships at work came together in the second meeting of the Positive Relationships at Work (PRW) Microcommunity at Drexel University in March. This meeting was designed to build on the inaugural meeting held in March 2012 and strengthen the foundation for a thriving and self-sustaining research community. Thirty-five scholars at different stages of their careers (senior faculty/practitioners, junior faculty, and doctoral students) from across the United States and Canada gathered to engage in out-of-the-box ideas, help each other tackle tough research questions, and develop new friendships and collaborations.

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Etsy is proof that our economy is experiencing a biological event

June 16, 2014


The Guardian | Aaron Hurst

Hurst reports that in today’s society and economy, we are seeing a pattern of changes happening across many industries. This change is one that focuses on employees finding their purpose in the workplace, and building loyalty in their community and with customers. Using research done by Justin Berg, Jane Dutton, and Amy Wrzesniewski at the University of Michigan, “we now understand that people generate purpose through relationships, personal growth and doing something greater than themselves. They are also finding that it is vital to our wellbeing, as well as productivity.” According to their research, if we want companies to thrive in this economy, we need to become a society organized around people and not around systems.

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Our New Faculty Co-Director, David Mayer

June 16, 2014


By Janet Max Next month, Associate Professor David Mayer will begin his tenure as Faculty Co-Director, serving alongside Professor Robert Quinn, and replacing Gretchen Spreitzer, who is stepping down as she begins her Sabbatical.  Professor Mayer joined the Center for Positive Organizations in 2010, a year after he came to the Michigan Ross School of Business. […]

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First Impressions of the Center for Positive Organizations

June 13, 2014

By: Allison Sheehan


The first thing I noticed when I walked into the Center were the colorful walls—orange, yellow, and green. And when I moved from room to room, I noticed that all the tables and chairs had been set up in ways that encouraged an environment for collaboration and sharing. The tables were big enough to seat several people; for seats, you had a choice between a chair and an exercise ball. Every room was open to everybody—there was no hierarchy of offices. And when I glanced at the corner of the community room, I was so shocked to see that the Center has a little pet tortoise named Rosa!

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When Compassion And Profit Go Together: The Case Of Alice Cooper’s Manager Shep Gordon

June 13, 2014


Forbes | Ruth Blatt

Blatt describes how successful business leaders use both compassion and generosity. This article highlights the importance of bringing all of one’s qualities to the table, without leaving anything behind. Shirli Kopelman, faculty director of business practice at the Center, agrees that “the combination and strategic focus is what enables great negotiators to create value.” She points out that in order to be successful, one cannot be “either genuinely compassionate or strategic,” but instead, “great negotiators do them both.” It’s very important to “integrate various personal and professional roles,” so both people can walk out of a negotiation as “winners.”

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Three Words You Shouldn’t Say About Yourself

June 10, 2014

By: Adam Grant


When we interact with other people, what do we want? As I started to study that question, I came across a wonderful quote. “There are two kinds of people in the world,” Robert Benchley wrote. “Those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.”

Psychologists have a bad habit of oversimplifying people. If I truly wanted to capture the richness of the human condition, I needed more than two categories. Imagine my delight, then, when I found evidence that around the world, there are not two… but three styles of interaction.

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What Good can Positive Business Accomplish in the World?

June 10, 2014


Positive Psychology News Daily | Giselle Nicholson

Nicholson has attended many business conferences, and after attending our Positive Business Conference in May, she has no doubt that she’ll return to the next one. She says that the “quality and accessibility of speakers was high, the content was thought-provoking, and my fellow participants were highly engaging.” She describes the conference as “unique” and good at addressing many “themes and solutions.” She also sums up many of the key points from Ross professors and Fred Keller.

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Negotiate from the Inside Out

June 9, 2014


Harvard Business Review | Shirli Kopelman

Shirli Kopelman, University of Michigan management professor, is receiving a lot of attention from her book, “Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business.” Her blog in the Harvard Business Review, shares the benefits of negotiating genuinely. “Being genuine means you get to be the best you, realizing greater success on all levels — financial, personal, and professional.”

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6 Ways to Save Your Life — and Your Company

June 5, 2014

By: Tom Gardner, Chloe Sosenko


Your employer is putting you in harm’s way.

In fact, you can’t smoke cigarettes fast enough to match the damage that today’s workplace is doing to you. And not just you, but everyone from the newest hire to your CEO. Your company is unknowingly dragging the life from all of you.

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Mindfulness, purpose and the quest for productive employees

June 3, 2014


The Guardian | Amy Westervelt

Westervelt’s article describes how companies are searching for ways to generate purpose and passion in their employees to stop the increasing turnover rate in many jobs. Jane Dutton, professor of business administration and psychology at University of Michigan, focuses on the importance of relationships in positive organization. Dutton comments that, “If you have positive connections between employees, that means it’s also probably easier to cultivate meaning in the work they’re doing.” On the same note, “if employees feel they have a purpose, it’s easier for them to cultivate positive connections with each other.”

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UM biz center stays positive

June 1, 2014


Crain’s Detroit Business | Kirk Pinho

Crain’s Detroit Business shares Fred Keller’s, the Center’s first executive-in-residence, thoughts on his new position. “’There are a great deal of business leaders who are positive thinkers and just need a little encouragement to take those steps.'”

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