The added value of the positive: A literature review of positive psychology interventions in organizations

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Abstract

This paper systematically reviews research investigating the effects of positive psychology interventions applied in the organizational context. We characterize a positive psychology intervention as any intentional activity or method that is based on (a) the cultivation of positive subjective experiences, (b) the building of positive individual traits, or (c) the building of civic virtue and positive institutions. A systematic literature search identified 15 studies that examined the effects of such an intervention in organizational contexts. Subsequent analyses of those studies revealed that positive psychology interventions seem to be a promising tool for enhancing employee well-being and performance. As a side-effect, positive psychology interventions also tend to diminish stress and burnout and to a lesser extent depression and anxiety. Implications of those findings for theory and praxis and recommendations for future research on positive psychology interventions in organizations are discussed.
Keywords: Performance, Positive psychology, Positive psychology intervention, Review, Well-being
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-632
JournalThe European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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