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Carolyn M. Youssef-Morgan and Lanell Craig

Work–life balance can promote employee well-being and productivity, as well as organizational competitiveness, financial performance, and sustainability. This chapter discusses the role of work–life balance in alleviating stress and promoting well-being. Furthermore, psychological capital (PsyCap), a multidimensional positive psychological construct that includes hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism, is proposed as an additive and interactive resource that can influence stress and well-being, both directly, as well as indirectly through boosting the favorable impact of work–life balance and alleviating the harmful effects of stress on well-being. Potential mechanisms for the proposed linkages are discussed. Implications for research and practice end the chapter.

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Carolyn M. Youssef-Morgan and Karl Petersen

This chapter discusses the benefits of positivity in general, and specifically psychological capital (PsyCap), an evidence-based multidimensional resource that includes hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism. After an overview of positive psychology, positive organizational scholarship (POS), positive organizational behavior (POB), and the theoretical progression of PsyCap, we focus on the benefits of developing PsyCap in the workplace. PsyCap and its constituent resources are malleable, and thus open to development. PsyCap development can lead to quantifiable returns on investment, which can help align the benefits of a psychologically healthy workplace with the strategic decision making and scarce resource allocation realities of today’s workplace.

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Carolyn M. Youssef-Morgan and Barbara L. Ahrens

This chapter presents evidence supporting gratitude as an antidote to work stress and a viable approach for promoting employee well-being. Gratitude has received increased attention because of the renewed interest in positive psychology. Conceptualizations of gratitude are presented, including gratitude as a virtue, a trait, an affective state, and a cognition. Mechanisms linking gratitude to stress and well-being are discussed, including social support, cognitive appraisals and positive reframing, broadening and building, and coping. Implications for research and practice conclude the chapter.

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Carolyn M. Youssef-Morgan and Jeff P. Dahms

Psychological capital (PsyCap) is a composite positive psychological state that is theory and evidence based, measurable, developmental, and related to work outcomes. Hope, efficacy, resilience, and optimism (summarized by the acronym HERO), are the four constituent psychological resources of PsyCap. After a brief historical perspective and a summary of the positive psychology foundations of PsyCap, this chapter provides an overview of evidence-based techniques that managers and employees can use to develop PsyCap and its constituent resources in the workplace.

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Carolyn M. Youssef-Morgan, Barbara L. Ahrens, Kristi Bockorny, Lanell Craig and Matthew Peters

Psychological capital (PsyCap) is a multidimensional psychological resource that has emerged in the organizational literature and received notable attention due to its solid theoretical foundation, valid and reliable measures, impact on work-related outcomes, and evidence of malleability and developmental potential. However, to date, positivity in general, and more specifically PsyCap applications, in the public sector remain scarce in the literature. This chapter explores some of these unique applications. After a general overview of PsyCap, including its definition, constituent resources, underlying mechanisms, and development processes, PsyCap is applied to four specific public sector contexts in the United States: fire departments, the Air Force, K-12 education, and higher education. The four case studies showcase specific practices and dynamics that can foster positivity and PsyCap, as well as challenges that can hinder PsyCap development.