New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 1: Well-being among Greeks and immigrants before and after the current financial crisis
From ancient Greek philosophy to modern day existential and utilitarian philosophy as well as clinical, developmental, humanistic psychology and research, human history has emphasized the pursuit of well-being (for example, Ryff and Singer, 2008). The central role of well-being is provided by Aristotle in Book I of Nichomachean Ethics (Aristotle, 1925: 4) which states that: happiness is ‘the highest of all goods achievable by action’ and that it is ‘living well and faring well’. The importance attributed to happiness across cultures and ages is also seen in the Dhammapada from India, which describes happiness as independent of material things and sense desires: ‘Let us live happily, without possessions. Let us feed on happiness like the shining gods’ (Dhammapada, 2000). However, in the philosophical systems of Confucianism and Taoism personal well-being and happiness consist of pursuing a virtuous life through moral capabilities (Lu, 2001). Current psychological research has tended to fall into two general viewpoints of well-being (Ryan and Deci, 2001). The hedonic viewpoint focuses on subjective well-being as a ‘relatively stable feeling of happiness one has towards his or her life’ (Oishi et al., 2007: 347), reflecting general perceived life satisfaction and affective balance by the presence of positive affect and the relative lack of negative affect (Diener et al., 2003).
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