Perspectives, Issues, Research and Practice
- New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Simon L. Albrecht
33 How to improve work engagement? Wilmar B. Schaufeli and Marisa Salanova Introduction: from treatment and prevention towards “amplition” This chapter deals with how to enhance work engagement and other related, positive psychological states. In answering this question, we take an individual as well as an organizational perspective. So we rephrase the question in the title as: what can the employee do in order to flourish and thrive at work, and what can the organization do in order to promote a flourishing and thriving workforce? Before providing an overview of individual- and organization-based intervention strategies, we outline the broader positive psychological framework of these “positive” interventions. Traditionally speaking, individual and organizational interventions in occupational health psychology are rooted in the so-called “medical disease” model. This means that interventions are carried out only when something is wrong or malfunctioning, and with the sole objective of fixing it. Essentially, a preventive approach operates according to the same logic of the medical model, albeit that the intervention focuses on future damage and damage control, rather than on momentary damage per se. Currently it seems that we are entering into a novel phase of development that we would like to dub “amplition” (Latin, amplio; to enlarge, increase, or magnify). In contrast to treatment and prevention, amplition is not based on the maxim of the medical disease model – fix what is broken – but on the positive psychology principle of improvement or betterment (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Amplition is about “positive” interventions that promote, increase and improve...
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