Table of Contents

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper

Happiness in one aspect of our life can positively impact upon our satisfaction within other domains of our life. The opposite also rings true. Today’s generation of working people have often been called the generation who want it all. But can we really have it all? And at what cost to our and others’ happiness? Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers explores ways in which contemporary working people can thrive in a complex, volatile and uncertain world. Combining both research and practice, the contributors of this book cover all bases from individual wellbeing, family, work and career experiences, to leadership. They conclude by providing the reader with tools to combine what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.

Chapter 14: Flourishing at work: improving wellbeing and engagement

Peter M. Hart, Peter Cotton and Clare E. Scollay

Subjects: business and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


The influence of ‘positive psychology’ has grown significantly since its formal introduction more than a decade ago (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), and has spurred considerable interest among academics and practitioners alike (e.g., Seligman, 2012; Rusk and Waters, 2013). One of the key attractions about positive psychology is its potential to reframe a strong tradition of helping people to deal with deficits and problems in life, to a more positive approach that is focused on building the necessary conditions, resources and skills that will enable people to flourish and reach their full potential. Research and practice in the area of positive psychology has helped us to understand that there is much more to optimizing human potential than merely treating the symptoms of psychological distress, and reducing feelings of negativity and helplessness. In order for people to really achieve their potential and optimize outcomes for themselves and others, it is necessary to focus on building a strong and enduring sense of positivity (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005) that is oriented toward achieving a range of personal and group-related goals (e.g., Emmons, 2003). In essence, this positivity is the motivational force that enables people to achieve the goals that bring meaning to life and foster a sense of self-worth and fulfilment.

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